San Francisco – Lawrence Ferlingetti, poet, publisher, bookseller and activist who helped start the Beat movement in the 1950s and well embodied his curious and rebellious spirit in the 21st century, died at the age of 101 happened.
Ferlingetti, a San Francisco institution, died Monday at his home, his son Lorenzo Ferlingetti said. A month shy of his 102nd birthday, Ferlinghetti died “in his own room,” in the hands of his son and his son’s girlfriend, “as he breathed his last.” The cause of death was lung disease. His son said on Tuesday that Ferlingetti received the first dose of the COVID vaccine last week.
Some poets of the last 60 years were so famous, or so influential. His books sold over 1 million copies worldwide, which was truly a fantasy for any of his peers, and he ran one of the world’s most famous and specialized bookstores, City Lights. Although he never considered himself one of the beats, he was a patron and soul mate and, for many, preached a permanent symbol – a nobleman and a more liberal American dream.
“Am I shutting down the consciousness of a generation or just some old fool and trying to escape from America’s dominant materialistic hateful consciousness?” He asked in “Little Boy”, a section of the consciousness novel published around the time of his 100th birthday
He created history. Jack Kerraok, William S., via the City Lights Publishing Arm. The books of Burroughs and many others appeared, and the release of Alan Ginsberg’s historical poem “Howell” led to a 1957 obscenity case that broke new grounds for freedom of expression.
He also blamed history. The Internet, superstore chains and high rents closed many booksellers in the Bay Area and beyond, but City Lights remained a thriving political and cultural outlet, with a section devoted to books enabling “revolutionary potential” Where employees could have a day off. To participate in anti-war demonstrations.
“People generally seem more conservative as they age, but in my case, I feel more radical,” said Ferlighetti to Interview magazine in 2013, “being able to respond to the poem’s challenge to the time of the apocalypse Should, even if it means apocalypting. “
The store also closed during an outbreak of coronovirus, when it was forced to close and required $ 300,000 to stay in business. A GoFundMe campaign raised $ 400,000 quickly.
Ferlings with high blue eyes can be introverted and reticent in bearded, unfamiliar situations. But he was the most popular of poets and his work was not meant for solitary contemplation. This meant chanting or chanting loudly in coffee houses, bookstores or campus gatherings.
His 1958 anthology, “A Coney Island of Mind, ”Sold thousands of copies in the US alone. A longtime outsider of the poetry community, Ferlingetti once jokingly stated that he had “committed the sin of too much clarity.” He called his style “wide open” and his work, influenced in part by ee cummings, was often lyrical and childlike: “Peacock gone / Under the trees of night / In lost moon / Light / When I went out Gaya / In Search of Love, “” He Wrote “Coney Island. “
Ferlingetti was also a playwright, novelist, translator and painter and had many admirers among musicians. In 1976, he recited “The Lord’s Prayer” at the band’s farewell concert, which was immortalized in Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Waltz”. The folk-rock band Aztec Two-Step took its name from a line in the title poem of Ferlinghetti’s “Coney Island” book: “A pair of sinful cats / Aztec two-step.” Ferlinghetti also published some early film reviews of Pauline Kell, who became one of the country’s most influential critics with The New Yorker.
He lived long and well despite a painful childhood. His father died in 1919, five months before Lawrence was born in Yonkers, New York, which left behind a sense of harm to him, yet provided much for the creative tension that precipitated his art. His mother, unable to cope, panics two years after her father’s death. He eventually disappeared and died in a state hospital.
Fairlingti spent years living in relatives, boarding houses and orphanages, before he was taken in by Bislands, a wealthy New York family for whom his mother worked as a regent. He studied journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a master’s in literature from Columbia University, and a doctorate in Paris from the Sorbonne. His early influences included Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe and Ezra Pound.
Ferlingetti hated war, because he was in one. In 1945, he was a naval commander stationed in Japan and remembered visiting Nagasaki a few weeks after the US dropped the atomic bomb. The massacre, he would recall, made him an “immediate pacifist”.
In the early 1950s, he settled in San Francisco and married Seldon Kirby-Smith, whom he divorced in 1976. (They had two children). Ferlinghetti also became a member of the city’s growing literary movement, the so-called San Francisco Renaissance, and soon helped establish a gathering place. Peter, Martin, a sociologist, had opened a paperback store in the North Beach section of the city and recently named it after a Charlie Chaplin film, “City Lights”. When Ferlingetti saw the storefront in 1953, he suggested that he and Martin be partners. Each contributed $ 500.
Ferlinghetti later told The New York Times: “City Lights became just about the place where you could go in, sit, and read books without being prepared to buy anything.”
Beats found in New York in the 1940s now had a new base. One project was the Pocket Poets series of City Lights, which offered low-cost versions of the poem, most notably Zinsburg’s “LL”. In 1955, Ferlinghetti, reading a version of Jingberg, wrote to him: “I wish you all the best in the beginning of a great career. When will I get the manuscript? “A comical take on a message sent from Ralph Waldo Emerson to Walt Whitman reading” Leeds of Grass “.
Ferlingetti published “Howell and other poems“In 1956, but customs officials confiscated copies of the book that was being sent from London, and Ferlingetti was arrested on obscenity charges. After a highly publicized court battle, a judge decided in 1957 Told that “Howell” was not vulgar, citing the poem’s relevance as a critique of modern society, despite its sexual themes. A 2010 film about the case, “Howell”, featured James Franco by Ginsburg and Andrew Rogers. Starred as Ferlingetti.
Ferlingetti will also release prison writing by Keroek’s “Book of Dreams”, Timothy Leary and Frank O’Hara’s “Lunch Poems”. Ferlingetti puts the prison at risk for “hovel”, but rejects Burrows’ classic “Naked Lunch”, with the concern that the publication would “ensure definite legal validity”.
Ferlingetti had poor eyesight in recent years, but he continued to write and continue regularly on City Lights. The establishment, meanwhile, adored him, even though affection was not always returned. He was awarded San Francisco’s first Poet Award in 1998, and three years later was given historic status to City Lights. He received an honorary award from the National Book Critics Circle in 2000 and five years later he was awarded the National Book Award Medal for “tireless work on behalf of poets and the entire literary community”.
“The dominant American business culture can globalize the world, but it is not the mainstream culture of our civilization,” said Ferlingetti. “The true mainstream is not of oil, but of litterateurs, publishers, bookstores, editors, libraries, authors and readers, universities and all the institutions that support them.”
In 2012, Hanglingti won the Janus Pannius International Poetry Prize from the Hungarian Pain Club. When he came to know that the country’s right-wing government was the sponsor, he turned down the award.