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Writing Across the Landscape: Travel Journals 1950-2013
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Lawrence Ferlinghetti Giada Diano
Writing Across the Landscape: Travel Journals 1950-2013 by Lawrence Ferlinghetti at Abbey's Bookshop,

Writing Across the Landscape: Travel Journals 1950-2013

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Giada Diano Matthew Gleeson



Travel writing


496 pages

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In celebration of Ferlinghetti's 100th birthday comes this stunning portrait of the intrepid life of one of America's best poets (Huffington Post).

Over the course of an adventured-filled life, now in its tenth decade, Lawrence Ferlinghetti has been many things: a poet, painter, pacifist, publisher, courageous defender of free speech, and owner of San Francisco's legendary City Lights bookstore. Now the man whose A Coney Island of the Mind became a generational classic reveals yet another facet of his manifold talents, presenting here his travel journals, spanning over sixty years. Selected from a vast trove of mostly unpublished, handwritten notebooks, and edited by Giada Diano and Matthew Gleeson, Writing Across the Landscape becomes a transformative work of social, cultural, and literary history.

Beginning with Ferlinghetti's account of serving as a commanding officer on a Navy sub-chaser during D-Day, Writing Across the Landscape dramatically traverses the latter half of the twentieth century. For those only familiar with his poetry, these pages present a Lawrence Ferlinghetti never before encountered, an elegant prose stylist and tireless political activist who was warning against the pernicious sins of our ever-expansive corporate culture long before such thoughts ever seeped into mainstream consciousness.

Yet first and foremost we see an inquisitive wanderer whose firsthand accounts of people and places are filled with pungent descriptions that animate the landscapes and cultures he encounters. Evoking each journey with a mixture of travelogue and poetry as well as his own hand-drawn sketches, Ferlinghetti adopts the role of an American bard, providing panoramic views of the Cuban Revolution in Havana, 1960, and a trip through Haiti, where voodoo and Catholicism clash in cathedrals filled with ulcerous children's feet running from Baron Hunger. Reminding us that poverty is not only to be found abroad, Ferlinghetti narrates a Steinbeck-like trip through California's Salton Sea, a sad yet exquisitely melodic odyssey from motel to motel, experiencing the life between cocktails, between filling stations, between buses, trains, towns, restaurants, movies, highways leading over horizons to another Rest Stop...

Sad hope of all their journeys to Nowhere and back in dark Eternity.

Particularly memorable is his journey across the Trans-Siberian Railway in 1957, which turns into a Kafkaesque nightmare in which he, lacking a proper visa, is removed from a Japan-bound freighter and forced back across the Russian steppe to Moscow, encountering a countryside more Tolstoy than Khrushchev, while nearly dying in the process. Readers are also treated to glimpses of Ezra Pound, looking like an old Chinese sage, whom Ferlinghetti espies in Italy, as well as fellow Beat legends Allen Ginsberg and a dyspeptic William S. Burroughs, immured with his cats in a grotto-like apartment in London.

Embedded with facsimile manuscript pages and an array of poems, many never before published, Writing Across the Landscape revives an era when political activism coursed through the land and refashions Lawrence Ferlinghetti, not only as a seminal poet but as an historic and singular American voice.

50 drawings, 30 facsimile pages

By:   Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Edited by:   Giada Diano, Matthew Gleeson
Imprint:   Liveright
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 178mm,  Spine: 36mm
Weight:   790g
ISBN:   9781631495946
ISBN 10:   1631495941
Pages:   496
Publication Date:   March 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Born in Bronxville, New York, in 1919, Lawrence Ferlinghetti is an American poet, painter, liberal activist, and the cofounder of San Francisco's hallowed City Lights Booksellers & Publishers. He lives in San Francisco. Giada Diano is Lawrence Ferlinghetti's translator and biographer in Italy. Her biography is published by Feltrinelli (Milan). Matthew Gleeson is a writer and editor who has spent over a decade with City Lights Booksellers & Publishers.

Ferlinghetti move[s] through the the grip of managed melancholy; a detached and watchful sympathy for the world and its follies. -- Iain Sinclair - London Review of Books

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