Beat Movement

Start Free Trial

Are there "beats" in other arts?  Benny Bufano? Fine Arts?

I was in S.F during the 50's and saw other artists at work, but never heard them connected with the Beat movement.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The Beat Movement was begun by Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William Burroughs. According to Jack Kerouac, the term "beat" was "describe both the negatives of his world and the positives of his responses to it."

Therefore, any piece (musical, artistic, or literary) which spoke/speaks to negatives in the world and the positive responses to it could be defined as containing "beat."

Almost all poetry, regardless of the movement to which it belongs, contains a beat. Songs also contain a beat, as created by the music. Art, as in all mediums which are used, can also contain a "beat," as defined by Kerouac's definition.

Furthermore, as defined by eNotes, anything which is "characterized by experimental styles and subjects, including spontaneous writing without regard for grammar, sexually explicit language, uninhibited discussion of personal experiences, and themes" could be defined as containing a "beat."

Therefore, when simply based upon the definitions provided, a work of art need not be part of the actual Beat Movement to be considered to contain a beat. It must only speak to the themes which were representative of the period: disillusionment, spontaneity, and social nonconformity.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial