We still read…actual books even. And while a lot of our favorite writers are long gone, their influence is still smothering us. They’ve left us with piles and piles of great reading, insight, fucked up situations, and maniacal living to read about. This shirt is an ode to them. Here’s a run through who they are and some late-night YouTube finds and a few excerpts from their work. But really, we just hope you’ll dive in and learn about them for yourself.
Get the What Youth “Dead Writers” T-Shirt here, learn about the writers on it below:
One fast move or I’m gone, I realize, gone the way of the last three years of drunken hopelessness which is a physical and spiritual and metaphysical hopelessness you can’t learn in school no matter how many books on existentialism or pessimism you read, or how many jugs of vision-producing Ayahuasca drink, or Mescaline take, or Peyote goop up with. —Big Sur
Hunter S. Thompson:
We have become a Nazi monster in the eyes of the whole world—bullies and bastards who would rather kill than live peacefully. We are not just Whores for power and oil, but killer whores with hate and fear in our hearts. —Kingdom of Fear
All of which is to say, I didn’t pay a hell of a lot of attention to grammar, and when I write it is for the love of the word, the color, like tossing paint on a canvas, and using a lot of ear and having read a bit here and there, I generally come out ok, but technically I don’t know what’s happening, nor do I care. —from Charles Bukowski On Writing
Because we don’t know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens a certain number of times, and a very small number, really…How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless. —From The Sheltering Sky
William S. Burroughs:
Confusion hath fuck his masterpiece. —from Naked Lunch
What is the nature of the search? you ask. The search is what anyone would undertake if he were not sunk in the everydayness of his own life. To become aware of the search is to be onto something. Not to be onto something is to be in despair. —from The Moviegoer
“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”
Our favorite book: The Myth of Sisyphus
She would’ve been a good woman,” said The Misfit, “if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life. —From a Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories
IT’S MORNING, TIME to get up, so get up, Arturo, and look for a job. Get out there and look for what you’ll never find. You’re a thief and you’re a crab-killer and a lover of women in clothes closets. You’ll never find a job!
Every morning I got up feeling like that. Now I’ve got to find a job, damn it to hell. I ate breakfast, put a book under my arm, pencils in my pocket, and started out. Down the stairs I went, down the street, sometimes hot and sometimes cold, sometimes foggy and sometimes clear. It never mattered, with a book under my arm, looking for a job.
What job, Arturo? Ho ho! A job for you? Think of what you are, my boy! A crab-killer. A thief. You look at naked women in clothes closets. And you expect to get a job! How funny! But there he goes, the idiot, with a big book. Where the devil are you going, Arturo? Why do you go up this street and not that? Why go east – why not go west? Answer me, you thief! Who’ll give you a job, you swine – who? But there’s a park across town, Arturo. It’s called Banning Park. There are a lot of beautiful eucalyptus trees in it, and green lawns. What a place to read! Go there, Arturo. Read Nietzsche. Read Schopenhauer. Get into the company of the mighty. A job? fooey! Go sit under a eucalyptus tree reading a book looking for a job. —from The Road to Los Angeles
Jean Paul Sartre:
I am alone in the midst of these happy, reasonable voices. All these creatures spend their time explaining, realizing happily that they agree with each other. In Heaven’s name, why is it so important to think the same things all together. —from Nausea
“As a woman I have no country. As a woman I want no country. As a woman, my country is the whole world.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald:
Actually that’s my secret — I can’t even talk about you to anybody because I don’t want any more people to know how wonderful you are. —from Tender is the Night
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
My wife has been killed by a machine which should never have come into the hands of any human being. It is called a firearm. It makes the blackest of all human wishes come true at once, at a distance: that something die.
There is evil for you.
We cannot get rid of mankind’s fleetingly wicked wishes. We can get rid of the machines that make them come true.
I give you a holy word: DISARM. —from Deadeye Dick
“Re-examine all that you have been told… dismiss that which insults your soul.”
Oh!–and I speak out of later knowledge–Heaven forefend me from the most of the average run of male humans who are not good fellows, the ones cold of heart and cold of head who don’t smoke, drink, or swear, or do much of anything else that is brase, and resentful, and stinging, because in their feeble fibres there has never been the stir and prod of life to well over its boundaries and be devilish and daring. One doesn’t meet these in saloons, nor rallying to lost causes, nor flaming on the adventure-paths, nor loving as God’s own mad lovers. They are too busy keeping their feet dry, conserving their heart-beats, and making unlovely life-successes of their spirit-mediocrity. —from John Barleycorn