Literary Birthday – 17 September – Ken Kesey

Ken Kesey was born 17 September 1935, and died 10 November 2001.

Top 10 Ken Kesey Quotes

  1. What I always wanted to be was a magician… My real upbringing when I was a teenager was doing magic shows, all over the state, with my father and brothers. Doing magic, you not only have to be able to do a trick, you have to have a little story line to go with it. And writing is essentially a trick.
  2. To hell with facts! We need stories!
  3. If you’re a Conservative, why aren’t you behind conserving the land?
  4. Me and Norman Mailer have talked about how hard it is in America to get better. Especially at writing.
  5. When Shakespeare was writing, he wasn’t writing for stuff to lie on the page; it was supposed to get up and move around.
  6. Truth doesn’t run on time like a commuter train.
  7. I sometimes have these spells of compulsive truth. But as Lady Macbeth would say, ‘The fit is momentary.’
  8. There’s no better way in the world to aggravate somebody who’s trying to make it hard for you than by acting like you’re not bothered.
  9. Kerouac had lots of class—stumbling drunk in the end, but read those last books. He never blames anybody else; he always blames himself.
  10. He who marches out of line hears another drum.

Ken Kesey was an American writer best known for his novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Kesey considered himself to be a link between the Beat Generation of the 1950s and the hippies of the 1960s.


by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 17th September 2012