In 1984, I visited a number of literary sites in New York City, one of those being the building at 149 W. 21st Street, where Lucien Carr lived from 1950-1951. Credited with introducing Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William Burroughs to each other, Carr was a key member of the original circle of the Beat Generation. After Kerouac finished the first draft of On the Road in April 1951, he moved briefly into Carr’s apartment, where he wrote a second draft on a roll of United Press teleprinter paper before transferring it to individual pages. That scroll still exists—all but the end, eaten by Carr’s dog, Patchkee.
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, my favorite poet
Two weeks ago I paid a visit to City Lights Books in San Francisco, where I bought several items:
- Ferlinghetti: A Rebirth of Wonder (DVD; 2009)
- My Struggle: Book 1, by Karl Ove Knausgaard (paperback; 2013)
- Shambhala Sun (November 2014 issue)
I loved the Ferlinghetti documentary, and I can’t wait to read the others.
I found this in an old folder yesterday. Thanks again, Mr. Ginsberg.
It looks like another business trip to San Francisco later this year, and you know what that means—a visit to City Lights Bookstore. City Lights, the first all-paperbound bookshop in the country, was co-founded by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, whose A Coney Island of the Mind greatly influenced me in my early twenties. With any luck, I’ll run into Mr. Ferlinghetti himself.