Lena Dunham: “Something I feel about being in your twenties, which is different than Sex & the City…about women in their thirties, who had successful careers, pre-recession, the best most supportive friends. The characters on our show are tortured. If you ask a girl in her twenties ‘Are you a happy person?’, I think she can say ‘I have happy moments…’ Maybe people will radically disagree with me, but I don’t really think it’s possible to be an at peace human when you’re between 22 and 30.”
A few favorite lines:
"[The Beat Generation] was basically a religious generation on a [spiritual] quest. Though they rushed back and forth across the country on the slightest pretext, gathering kicks along the way, their real journey was inward; and if they seemed to trespass most boundaries, legal and moral, it was only in the hope of finding a belief on the other side."
"But then they danced down the streets like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I’ve been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars…"
"This is the story of America. Everybody’s doing what they think they’re supposed to do."
"…the absolute madness and fantastic hoorair of New York with its millions and millions hustling forever for a buck…the mad dream—grabbing, taking, giving, sighing, dying, just so they could be buried in those awful cemetery cities…"
"I want to marry a girl so I can rest my soul with her till we both get old. This can’t go on all the time—all this franticness and jumping around. We’ve got to go someplace, find something."
"Lucille would never understand me because I like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running from one falling star to another till I drop."
"…feeling that the best the white world had offered was not enough ecstasy, not enough life, joy, kicks, darkness, music, not enough night…I wished I were a Denver Mexican…but what I was so drearily, a "white man" disillusioned."
"Dean was directly in front of [the tenorman] with his face lowered to the bell of the horn, clapping his hands, pouring sweat on the man’s keys…[he] was in a trance. The tenorman’s eyes were fixed straight on him; he had a madman who not only understood but cared and wanted to understand more and much more than there was…"
"…[the tenorman] began singing ‘Close Yours Eyes’…he looked at us, Dean and me, with an expression that seemed to say, Hey now, what’s this thing we’re all doing in this sad brown world?…here we were dealing with the pit and prunejuice of poor beat life itself in the god-awful streets of man, so he said it and sang it, ‘Close—-your—-’ and blew it up way up to the ceiling and through the stars and on out—-‘Ey-y-y-y-y-y-es’"
"Ah hell, you never cry."
“You say that? Why do you think I don’t cry?”
“You don’t die enough to cry.”
"I realized these were all snapshots which our children would look at someday with wonder, thinking their parents had lived smooth, well-ordered, stabilized-within-the-photo lives and got up in the morning to walk proudly on the sidewalks of life, never dreaming the raggedy madness and riot of our actual lives, or actual night, the hell of it, the senseless nightmare road."
My hometown made a sad but hilarious appearance near the end: “[Laredo] was the bottom and dregs of America…contraband brooded in the heavy syrup air…cops were red-faced and sullen and sweaty, no swagger…we felt awful…”
Reminded me of my Dad: “…and the old men, the old men are so cool and grand and not bothered by anything.”
On Mexipeople: “There’s no suspicion here, nothing like that. Everybody’s cool, everbody looks at you with such straight brown eyes…and in that look all of the human qualities are soft and subdued and still there. Dig all the foolish stories you read about Mexico and the sleeping gringo and all that crap and all it is, people here are straight and kind and don’t put down any bull.”
"In my madness I was actually in love with her for the few hours it all lasted; it was the same unmistakable ache and stab across the mind, the same sighs, the same pain, and above all the same reluctance and fear to approach."
Trailer for the film: