Jack Kerouac (Jean-Louis Lebris de Kerouac)
[Writer, b. 1922, Lowell, Massachusetts, d. 1969, St. Petersburg, Florida.]
...[the photographer] can be considered a kind of disembodied burrowing eye, a conspirator against time and its hammers. His work, print after print of it, seems to call to be shown before the decay which it portrays flattens all... Here are the records of the age before an imminent collapse.
How I wished I’d have had a camera of my own, a mad mental camera that could register pictorial shots, of the photographic artist himself prowling about for his ultimate shot—an epic in itself. (On the road with Robert Frank, 1958)
Dean took out other pictures. I realized these were all the snapshots which our children would look at someday with wonder, thinking their parents had lived smooth, well-ordered, established-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, our actual night, the hell of it, the senseless nightmare road. All of it inside endless and beginningless emptiness. Pitiful forms of ignorance.
Anybody doesn’t like these pitchers don’t like potry, see? Anybody don’t like potry go home see television shots of big hatted cowboys being tolerated by kind horses. Robert Frank, Swiss, unobtrusive, nice, with that little camera that he raises and snaps with one hand he sucked a sad poem right out of America onto film, taking rank among the poets of the world. To Robert Frank I now give this message: You got eyes.
Contrary to the general belief about photography, you don’t need bright sunlight: the best moodiest pictures are taken in the dim light of almost dusk, or of rainy days...
It’s pretty amazing to see a guy, while steering at the wheel, suddenly raise his little 300 dollar German camera with one hand and snap something that’s on the move in front of him, and through an unwashed windshield at that. (On the road with Robert Frank, 1958)
Dear Robert, That photo you sent me of a guy looking over his cow on the Platte River is to me a photo of a man recognizing his own mind’s essence, no matter what. (1960, on a postcard to Robert Frank)