EMAIL PAGE ONE
COLUMN 114, FEBRUARY 1, 2005
(Copyright © 2003 The Blacklisted Journalist)
LUCIEN CARR, 79, A BEAT GENERATION ORIGINAL, IS DEAD
Subject: 'Beat' Generation Catalyst Lucien Carr Dies
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2005 21:53:06 -0500
From: "Jim Walck" email@example.com
'Beat' Generation Catalyst Lucien Carr Dies
By Randall Mikkelsen
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Lucien Carr, a muse and catalyst of
the "beat generation" who brought Jack Kerouac together with other
writers to spark a counterculture revolution, died on Friday in Washington.
He was 79.
Carr, a retired senior editor at the United Press
International news wire service, died at George Washington University Hospital
of complications from cancer treatment, said his longtime companion Kathleen
Carr was a student at Columbia University in New York in
1944 when he introduced Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs, who
formed the literary nucleus of the countercultural "beatnik" movement
of the 1950s.
"The beat scene was a circle of friends who just
happened to have three of the most important writers of in the last 50 years in
America, plus some extraordinary minds, including Lucien," said Dennis
McNally, author of the Kerouac biography "Desolate Angel: Jack Kerouac, the
Beat Generation and America."
By some accounts, including his own, Carr played a role in
Kerouac's legendary speedwriting of the breakthrough novel "On the
Road," by supplying a Teletype roll for the manuscript. "I didn't
steal it," he told a co-worker at UPI. "I just stuck it under my arm
and brought it home."
But McNally said he inspected the manuscript recently and
found it to consist of individual sheets of paper taped together. It was
possible Carr supplied the roll for another Kerouac novel, "Dharma
Bums," he said.
"Lucien's impact on Kerouac's thinking and writing was
considerably more important than whether or not he supplied the roll,"
McNally said. He said Carr helped instill a notion of "first thought, best
thought," in which the beat writers strived to be closer to the roots of
inspiration and write spontaneously.
Carr served two years on a manslaughter conviction for
stabbing dead an older man, David Kammerer, who had a romantic crush on Carr,
and throwing his body into the Hudson River in 1944.
The conviction cast a pall over the emerging beats who were
striving for authenticity in the gritty urban streets of America, and probably
kept Carr from playing a more public role for the rest of his life, McNally
The killing and Carr's friendship with Burroughs were
portrayed in the 2000 movie "Beat." Carr was also portrayed as Kenneth
Wood in Kerouac's novel "The Town and the City."
Carr's 47-year UPI career began after his prison term and
spanned most of the second half of the 20th century. "Lou Carr was a great
editor: calm and unflappable as he handled bulletins and any political crisis
that came in Washington," said former UPI White House correspondent Helen
Thomas. "Young reporters were in awe of him---some of the veterans as well.
Carr is also survived by three sons, Simon, Ethan, Caleb---a writer whose works include the murder mystery "The Alienist"---and five grandchildren. (Additional reporting by Lori Santos) ##
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