Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Active - 1978 - 2013  |   Genres - Language & Literature, History, Culture & Society

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Biography by Nathan Southern

Though historians often group Lawrence Ferlinghetti in a clique with Kerouac, Burroughs, Ginsberg and the other icons of beat culture during the '50s and '60s, a number of key differences exist; like the others, Ferlinghetti authored and published numerous volumes of literature (social activist poetry, in his case), but uniquely, he never personally celebrated the trademark beat lifestyle of trekking out on the road, hitchhiking all over America and taking a series of random jobs; instead, he found and occupied a far more individualistic and sedentary role, as the founder and proprietor of the iconic City Lights bookstore and book publisher in San Francisco, one of the primary publishing outlets and sellers of countercultural literature (indeed, a focal point for it). Ferlinghetti participated in a number of documentaries, as well, including the 1984 Kerouac and the 2007 Obscene (about Grove Press founder Barney Rosset).

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