Written over the course of three days and three nights, The Subterraneans was generated out of the same kind of ecstatic flash of inspiration that produced another one of Kerouac's early classics, On The Road. Centering around the tempestuous breakup of Leo Percepied and Mardou Fox—two denizens of the 1950s San Francisco underground—The Subterraneans is a tale of dark alleys and smoky rooms, of artists, visionaries, and adventurers existing outside mainstream America's field of vision.
“They are hip without being slick, they are intelligent without being corny, they are intellectual as hell and know all about Pound without being pretentious or talking too much about it, they are very quiet, they are very Christlike.”
"Están a la moda sin ser astutos, son inteligentes sin ser cursi, son intelectuales como el infierno y saben todo sobre la libra sin ser pretenciosos o hablar demasiado sobre ello, son muy callados, son muy parecidos a Cristo".
“What are you reading?” and for the first time she opened her mouth and spoke to me communicating a full thought and my heart didn’t exactly sink but wondered when I heard the cultured funny tones of part Beach, part I. Magnin model, part Berkeley, part Negro highclass, something, a mixture of langue and style of talking and use of words I’d never heard before except in certain rare girls of course white and so strange even Adam at once noticed and commented with me that night—but definitely the new bop generation way of speaking