What is a “Gone Cat”?

It’s not about cats gone missing. The term is somewhat obscure slang from forties and fifties Beat culture. The expression was used a number of times in Jack Kerouac’s seminal book “On The Road” (1957), specifically by the Neal Cassady inspired anti-hero “Dean Moriarty”. Moriarty referred to people or things that he admired as being “real gone”. If he was speaking in reference to one cool person he would say “He’s a real gone cat” or “She’s a gone girl”. Inspiration comes from “On The Road” in more ways than just the title of this website. Another main character, Old Bull Lee (who was based on William S. Burroughs) lives to try or study anything just for the sake of experience. This passage from On The Road in reference to Old Bull Lee says it all:

“He dragged his long, thin body around the entire United States and most of Europe and North Africa in his time, only to see what was going on; he married a White Russian countess in Yugoslavia to get her away from the Nazis in the thirties; there are pictures of him with the international cocaine set of the thirties-gangs with wild hair, leaning on one another; there are other pictures of him in a Panama hat, surveying the streets of Algiers; he never saw the White Russian countess again. He was an exterminator in Chicago, a bartender in New York, a summons-server in Newark. In Paris he sat at cafe tables, watching the sullen French faces go by. In Athens he looked up from his ouzo at what he called the ugliest people in the world. In Istanbul he threaded his way through crowds of opium addicts and rug-sellers, looking for the facts. In English hotels he read Spengler and the Marquis de Sade…”

The “Culture Talk” section is a series of 35mm photos taken by Haya Zoubi of people who work in the art and fashion industries alongside interviews about their views on art.

We have the same passion for life experience and travel and we give the term “Gone Cat” a second meaning in reference to those who have a love for surreal travel adventures, art + interviews

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