Monday, May 15, 2017

the last book I ever read (David Talbot's Season of the Witch, excerpt one)

from Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror, and Deliverance in the City of Love by David Talbot:

A couple of years later, Ferlinghetti opened up City Lights Books with partner Peter Martin, son of the assassinated anarchist Carlo Tresca. Italian garbage truck drivers would roar up to the curb and run inside to buy the anarchist newspapers that the store got directly from Italy. It was a cramped one-room establishment in those days; they didn’t even own the basement, which is where the Chinese New Year Parade’s endless, red and gold dragon was tucked away the other 364 days of the year. But City Lights became a beacon to the poets, wanderers, and angel-headed hipsters who were making their way to San Francisco. You could browse forever, and nobody would bother you. It was here that Ferlinghetti first met Ginsberg, who entered the store one day trailed by his usual crowd of young men, looking more like a horn-rimmed Columbia University intellectual than the wild Whitman of Cold War America. Ginsberg would pound out “Howl” on his typewriter a few blocks away in his railroad apartment at 1010 Montgomery Street.

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