Lucien Carr's New Vision

Lucien Carr's New Vision

A new perception of the literary world.
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Those who know me well will attest to my obsession with a niche group of writers and artists, active mostly during the 1950s, known as the Beat Generation. What I find most fascinating about this group of extraordinary writers is not just their work, but the vision behind it. This vision came not from one of the creators of Beat literature, but from a friend and associate named Lucien Carr. Carr was a core member of the original Beat authors who met at Columbia University in New York, alongside famous names such as Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and William S. Burroughs. Though he never directly contributed to the literature of the movement, he pushed the genius around him into fertility with his New Vision. At Columbia, he studied the practices and forms of Parisian Bohemianism and Emersonian transcendentalism and created the following series of affirmations that fueled the Beat revolution:

1. Naked self-expression is the seed of creation.

2.The artist’s consciousness is expanded by the derangement of the senses.

3. Art eludes conventional morality.

These are all taken with the transcendentalist idea that humans are good by nature, which opens the artist to new experiences without the fear of serious, permanent harm to themselves. Together, these statements form Lucien Carr’s New Vision.

One of the best pieces of advice a budding writer or artist can heed is to “create everything." I interpret the first affirmation of the New Vision, “naked self-expression is the see of creation,” to mean the same thing. Naked self-expression is the rawest form of art. Say, for example, you wish to cook a hamburger for dinner. First, you need the raw ground beef. This is the naked self-expression of the meat, unadulterated and unaltered. From there, the cook, the artist, is free to season and refine the raw material to improve it. In the end, the burger that the cook seasoned will taste better than a lump of ground beef thrown onto the griddle untouched. However, the burger would be nothing without the raw base. Through naked self-expression, we introduce a large body of raw material that we can refine into something greater.

I cannot publicly condone the use of drugs as writing assistants. I can, however, say that many artists throughout the course of history have used substances as a lubricant for their creative pathways. Personally, I find that a glass or two of wine and some fast-paced jazz will get my writing flowing. The Beats took a lot of various substances. William Burroughs spent a significant portion of his life addicted to heroin. Jack Kerouac was a severe alcoholic. Allen Ginsberg was known to experiment with psychedelics such as LSD or DMT. All of them were frequently strung out on Benzedrine, an over-the-counter amphetamine that has since been removed from the market. In deranging their senses, the Beats sought to explore and create on a different plane of perception than the stuffy, academic world that suffocated the early members of the movement at Columbia.

In saying that “art eludes conventional morality,” I am not saying that you must commit atrocities for your art, or that you can justify an atrocity by calling it art. The final statement of the New Vision is a liberation from censorship, from commonality, and from the judgement of the general public. It invites the artist to explore the taboo. For Allen Ginsberg in particular, this opened the path to discussing the problems he faced as a homosexual man in mid-century America and to fighting the censorship of his most well-known poem, Howl. For me, it encourages me to confront the issues that arise as a bisexual man who was raised in the Catholic school system. Morality is relative to what was instilled in us as children. Homosexuality cannot be practiced under the law of the Church.

With the New Vision in mind, the artist can be set free from tradition and expand their mind and work to create something new and unique. It opens the artist to experimentation and failure. I struggle with both of these as I was raised to believe that failure is unacceptable, whether with grades or social situations or sports. It wasn’t until around when I first started writing consistently during my senior year of high school that I began to work on this, to view failure not as a defeat but as a chance to retry and experiment and learn. Lucien Carr’s New Vision is an essential part of my development as a writer.


Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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To the guy that shot my brother...

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To the guy that shot my brother,

On January 9, 2019 my families entire life changed with one phone call. The phone call that my little brother had been shot in the face, no other details. We didn't need any other details. The woman on the phone who called us in full panic told us where he was so we went, as soon as possible. I don't think it helped that not even 10 min prior I talked to Zach on the phone.. kind of irritated with him, and the ONE TIME I didn't say 'I love you' as we hung up. Could've been the last time we ever spoke.. I remember pulling up to the hospital thinking 'this can't be real' 'it's not our Zach' 'this is just a dream Sarah, WAKE UP' I'd close my eyes really tight just to open them, I was still in the hospital emergency parking lot. I could still hear the ambulance sirens coming. It was all real.

The day our life's changed was definitely a test of faith. A test of how strong we were, as a family. I sat in that waiting room ready to see the damage that has been done to my sweet baby brother. Because at that point we had no idea how lucky he got. That glimpse of seeing Zach will haunt me forever. How helpless I felt in that exact moment frequently wakes me up from these horrific dreams I've been having ever since that day. That is a moment burned into my me and families brain forever.

You always hear about these things in the movies or on the news, a house being shot up, someone shooting another innocent person, not to care if they died on your watch. But we found ourselves on the news.. We have been confined to the hospital since that day. Running on barely any sleep, taking shifts of sleep so we don't make ourselves sick taking care of Zach. Watching him suffer. Undergoing surgeries, to repair the damage you did.

Before I proceed let me tell you a little something about the man you shot.

Zachary Keith Wright. A blonde hair blue eyed boy. Who could potentially be the most annoying human on the planet (possibly coming from his sister). A man who loves his God first, loves his family second. Perfect by no means, but almost perfect to me. A 19 year old who was to graduate high school this month. After graduation he was prepping to leave for Marine boot camp in the summer.. being in the military has been Zach's dream since he could talk. Literally. Running around, playing war with underwear on our heads, and finger guns. Some would say we looked like natural born assassins.. growing up he has been a country boy. Let me tell ya country to the core. He loves this country like he loves his family. He believes in helping people, taking charge in what's right, and never leaving a brother behind. He's lived by that his whole life. Until now....

The day you shot him. The day not only did you change my brothers life, you changed his families life too. The day you almost ripped my brother out of this world... for what? A misunderstanding? Because you've let something take ahold of your life that you can't let go you're willing to kill someone innocent over? Luckily for him, his guardian angels were protecting him in your time of cowardice. There were 3 times that day he should've died, the time you shot him, the time you tried to shoot him again as he stared you directly in the face, (even tho he couldn't talk I know you could read his eyes, and he still intimidated you. That's why you tried to pull the trigger again) and the time he was running out of the house. But he lived. A man who was shot in the face, didn't lay there helpless, didn't scream in agony. That MAN walked to the neighbors to get help. Why? Because he's a MAN, and because he's on this earth for a reason.

It's gonna sound a little strange not only to you, but the audience who is reading this. I must say thank you. Even in this situation, this was the best outcome we could get. He gets to live. He will make a full recovery. He will graduate. And he will go off into the Marines. You united my family together. Closer than ever. Thank you. You tested our faith and brought us closer to our God. Thank you. Because of your moment of weakness, you showed us what prayer could do. Heal anything. Thank you. This was a bump in the road, and a helluva way to kick off our year of 2019. But here we are.. all laying in the hospital. I'm looking around as mom is sleeping in her recliner chair exhasted but still here, Zach his awake playing his xbox all hooked up to machines, fighting to heal and get better. And of course I'm writing this letter to you.

See you in trial,

From the girl whose brother you shot.

'Fight the good fight' - 1 Tim 6:12 🤟🏼💙

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The Yoga Styles You Should Try According To Your Zodiac Sign

Yes, even if you don't "believe" in astrology.

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Whether or not you "buy into" astrology, chances are, you've looked up your sign and maybe even your full birth chart. Even if you don't believe that your Zodiac sign says anything deeper about your personality and characteristics, astrology can be an interesting tool for self-reflection and a fun way to get curious about your tendencies and habits. You know what they say: "Take what works, leave the rest." Plus, Beyonce has a song about the signs, and it's a total banger.

There are many different styles of yoga, and it can be daunting to figure out where to start or navigate trying a new style if the one you're practicing isn't quite your vibe. Based on the energetics associated with the signs and their elemental domains, there are yoga styles matched perfectly to balance you out mentally, physically, and spiritually.

1. Water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces)

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Taking a slower approach to yoga can be healing for the water signs, who are known for sensitive and deeply in touch with their emotions Try a Yin class or any class labeled Deep Stretch, Gentle Stretch, or Gentle Flow. Water signs also might feel more in their element practicing stand-up paddle (SUP) Yoga in the midst of the ocean's serenity.

2. Fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius)

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The fire signs are known to be competitive, courageous, and dynamic. Practicing any type of heated yoga (such as a Heated Vinyasa Flow class), Power flow, or Ashtanga class will push you and also help you find a greater sense of relaxation by the end of the hour.

3. Air signs (Libra, Aquarius, Gemini)

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Seeking balance and thriving on being with the flow of things, air signs should practice yoga in a way that emphasizes synchronizing breath with movement. Try any Hatha yoga or Gentle Flow classes to get your body moving in a calming and relaxing way. Air signs should look for classes held outdoors, whether that's in a park or at the beach!

4. Earth signs (Capricorn, Taurus, Virgo)

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Earth signs are grounded, strong, productive, and pay attention to the details. Iyengar yoga focuses on detailed alignment points and breath and is a great tangible way for Earth signs to practice relaxation and silence the inner critic. Earth signs also benefit from the rejuvenating effects of being close to the ground in Restorative yoga.

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