The Birth of the Beat
he Beat Generation, that was a vision we had, John Clellon Holmes and I, and Allen Ginsberg in an even wilder way, in the late forties, of a generation of crazy illuminated hipsters suddenly rising and roaming America, serious, curious, bumming and hitchhiking everywhere, ragged, beatific, beautiful in an ugly graceful new waya vision gleaned from the way we had heard the word beat spoken on street corners in Times Square and in the Village, in other cities in the downtown city-night of postwar Americabeat, not meaning down and out but full of intense conviction.
eat doesnt mean tired or bushed, so much as it means beato, the Italian for beatific; to be in a state of beatitude, like St. Francis, trying to love all life, trying to be utterly sincere with everyone, practicing endurance, kindness, cultivating joy of the heart. How can this be done in our mad modern world of multiplicities and millions? By practicing a little solitude, going off by yourself once in a while to store up that most precious of goals: the vibrations of sincerity.