Lucien Carr died Friday of complications from cancer treatment. He was 79 years old. Carr is known as a figure in the Beat Generation and also as a reporter and editor for the United Press International news service.
Carr was a big influence on Kerouac, appearing as Kenneth Wood in the novel The Town and the City. He also supplied the now-legendary roll of paper that became the manuscript for On the Road.
(To learn more about Lucien Carr, read the LitKicks article here.)
In other news, a collection of Neal Cassady’s letters has recently been published (Collected Letters, 1944-1967). Cassady’s widow, Carolyn, has done an excellent job of promoting Neal’s legacy as a writer, which often gets overshadowed by the legend that surrounds him. The collection includes letters to Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg among other Beat writers, as well as correspondence between Neal and Carolyn.
Considering the fact that today’s literature often seems dry in comparison to what the Beats did with words fifty-odd years ago, what are your thoughts on their legacy? Are you interested in the writing of the Beats? Do they inspire what you write today? If so, how? If not, why?