The Dharma Bums

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The Dharma Bums


Cited as the possible inspiration for the song title: Pretty Girls Make Graves.
As stated by the character Ray Smith:

"Pretty girls make graves," was my saying, whenever I'd had to turn my head around involuntarily to stare at the incomparable pretties of Indian Mexico.

See also: Jack Kerouac

Wikipedia Information


The Dharma Bums is a 1958 novel by Beat Generation author Jack Kerouac. The basis for the novel's semi-fictional accounts are events occurring years after the events of On the Road. The main characters are the narrator Ray Smith, based on Kerouac, and Japhy Ryder, based on the poet and essayist Gary Snyder, who was instrumental in Kerouac's introduction to Buddhism in the mid-1950s. The book concerns duality in Kerouac's life and ideals, examining the relationship of the outdoors, mountaineering, hiking, and hitchhiking through the western US with his "city life" of jazz clubs, poetry readings, and drunken parties. The protagonist's search for a "Buddhist" context to his experiences (and those of others he encounters) recurs throughout the story. Released just one year following the success of his previous novel, On the Road, The Dharma Bums was another success for Kerouac and became one of his most popular books. The novel would also go on to have a significant influence on the Hippie counterculture during the 1960s.