What are the three points or rules that constitute the Beat’s creative program concerning writing and the role of art?

Expert Answers

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

Lucien Carr wrote a manifesto called the "New Vision" based on "A Vision" by Yeats that outlined three main points that their writing style should adhere to.

The first point is "naked expression is the seed of creativity." This means that they thought that writing should come from the soul. Often in a stream of consciousness that by its nature was more honest and vibrant than more heavily planned out work.

The second point is "the artist's consciousness is expanded by the derangement of the senses." Carr was encouraging the use of mind-altering substances such as drugs and alcohol to help produce their work. Of course, much of William Burrough's early work is about drugs or inspired by drug-induced hallucinations and Jack Kerouac's death was partly due to alcoholism. However, it should also be remembered that Allen Ginsberg was a practitioner of meditation.

The third point is "Art eludes conventional morality." This suggests that artists shouldn't strive to be moral in their work. If he or she works honestly they will let the writing take them where it has to go. That in itself is the most moral thing a writer can do.

The last point was helped by the increasingly liberal obscenity laws. A famous trial, for example, passed the publication of William Burrough's Naked Lunch.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial