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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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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10 Mouth-Watering Halloween Candies To Receive

They're oh-so delicious.

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Halloween's coming and that can only mean one thing: trick-or-treating. More like: CANDY! Here is a list of my favorite Halloween candy to get your mouth watering.

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup (Halloween Style)

Wow, what a beautiful looking piece of candy.

Candy Sticks

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Wowza, I could eat these for days.

Smarties

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They may not make you smarter, but they sure are delicious.

Starbursts

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Especially the pink ones.

Candy Corn

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Although I can only eat a few at a time because they're waaaay too sweet, they make for an amazing treat.

Baby Ruth

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These may not be Halloween specific, but boy do I love them.

Skittles

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Ugh, looking into my pumpkin bag as a kid and seeing a bag of skittles made my heart happy.

M&M's

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Love, love, love, LOVE. Any shape, any kind, M&M's are amazing.

Bubblegum

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I will trade you any candy for one of these. Don't ask me why. I just will.

Almond Joy

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I've never seen a more beautiful looking candy bar...ever.

As you can tell, candy is something I am very passionate for. Are you?

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