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Book Title: Εικόνες του Φευγάτου Κόσμου|
The author of the book: Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Edition: ΕΚΔΟΣΕΙΣ ΤΗΣ ΛΙΜΝΗΣ
Date of issue: 1995
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Reader ratings: 6.5
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Format files: PDF
The size of the: 22.94 MB
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They say Beat poetry is a lot like jazz, and I think they have a point. But the point I’m going to make about jazz is more specific and somewhat different: East coast Beat verse compares to West Coast Beat verse like old East coast Jazz compares to old West coast Jazz. East coasters are likely to be half-mad, drug-crazed experimenters, wandering spirits and introspective soloists of the avant guard; West coasters are likely to be more outgoing, comfortable with large groups and popular success, and willing to keep the day-job.
It’s only fair to point out that Ferlinghetti was born in New York, but after Chapel Hill, the navy (during WW II), graduate school at Columbia, and a doctorate from the Sorbonne, he settled down—at the age of thirty-two—in the city of San Francisco, where he painted, taught French, and made a little extra money writing art criticism and translations. Then, in 1953, he founded City Lights Bookstore, the first all paperback book store in the nation, and two years after began to publish, under the “City Lights Books” imprint, the legendary “Pocket Poets Series.” Number One in the series was Pictures of a Gone World.
If Ginsberg personifies the West, then Ferlinghetti embodies the East. His verse is sunny, filled with humor, the beauties of nature, the pleasures of good company and human love. Although the structure of his verse owes much to the “triads” of William Carlos Williams, the imagery and music harks back to the old-fashioned, romantic lyrics of E. E. Cummings, stripped of all but the occasional rhyme.
This review is based on the fortieth anniversary edition (1995), in which Mr. Ferlinghetti has added eighteen new poems to the original slim volume of twenty-seven. Here, for a taste, I give you one of the original twenty-seven.
funny fantasies are never so real as oldstyle romances
where the hero has a heroine who has
long black braids and lets
kiss her ever
and everybody’s trying all the time to
run away with her
and the hero is always drawing his
(sic) sword and
tilting at ginmills and
forever telling her he
loves her and has only honorable intentions and
and no one ever beats him at
but then finally one day
she who has always been so timid
offs with her glove and says
(though not in so many big words)
Let’s go lie down somewheres
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Read information about the authorA prominent voice of the wide-open poetry movement that began in the 1950s, Lawrence Ferlinghetti has written poetry, translation, fiction, theater, art criticism, film narration, and essays. Often concerned with politics and social issues, Ferlinghetti’s poetry countered the literary elite's definition of art and the artist's role in the world. Though imbued with the commonplace, his poetry cannot be simply described as polemic or personal protest, for it stands on his craftsmanship, thematics, and grounding in tradition.
Ferlinghetti was born in Yonkers in 1919, son of Carlo Ferlinghetti who was from the province of Brescia and Clemence Albertine Mendes-Monsanto. Following his undergraduate years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he served in the U.S. Navy in World War II as a ship's commander. He received a Master’s degree from Columbia University in 1947 and a Doctorate de l’Université de Paris (Sorbonne) in 1950. From 1951 to 1953, when he settled in San Francisco, he taught French in an adult education program, painted, and wrote art criticism. In 1953, with Peter D. Martin, he founded City Lights Bookstore, the first all-paperbound bookshop in the country, and by 1955 he had launched the City Lights publishing house.
The bookstore has served for half a century as a meeting place for writers, artists, and intellectuals. City Lights Publishers began with the Pocket Poets Series, through which Ferlinghetti aimed to create an international, dissident ferment. His publication of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl & Other Poems in 1956 led to his arrest on obscenity charges, and the trial that followed drew national attention to the San Francisco Renaissance and Beat movement writers. (He was overwhelmingly supported by prestigious literary and academic figures, and was acquitted.) This landmark First Amendment case established a legal precedent for the publication of controversial work with redeeming social importance.
Ferlinghetti’s paintings have been shown at various galleries around the world, from the Butler Museum of American Painting to Il Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome. He has been associated with the international Fluxus movement through the Archivio Francesco Conz in Verona. He has toured Italy, giving poetry readings in Roma, Napoli, Bologna, Firenze, Milano, Verona, Brescia, Cagliari, Torino, Venezia, and Sicilia. He won the Premio Taormino in 1973, and since then has been awarded the Premio Camaiore, the Premio Flaiano, the Premio Cavour. among others. He is published in Italy by Oscar Mondadori, City Lights Italia, and Minimum Fax. He was instrumental in arranging extensive poetry tours in Italy produced by City Lights Italia in Firenze. He has translated from the Italian Pier Paolo Pasolin’s Poemi Romani, which is published by City Lights Books. In San Francisco, his work can regularly be seen at the George Krevsky Gallery at 77 Geary Street.
Ferlinghetti’s A Coney Island of the Mind continues to be the most popular poetry book in the U.S. It has been translated into nine languages, and there are nearly 1,000,000 copies in print. The author of poetry, plays, fiction, art criticism, and essays, he has a dozen books currently in print in the U.S., and his work has been translated in many countries and in many languages. His most recent books are A Far Rockaway of the Heart (1997), How to Paint Sunlight (2001), and Americus Book I (2004) published by New Directions.
He has been the recipient of numerous prizes, including the Los Angeles Times’ Robert Kirsch Award, the BABRA Award for Lifetime Achievement, the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Award for Contribution to American Arts and Letters, the American Civil Liberties Union’s Earl Warren Civil Liberties Award. Ferlinghetti was named San Francisco’s Poet Laureate in August 1998.
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