Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes
"And the Blue Angels are coming back to scare the local population. I remember seeing old Vietnamese women ducking under the benches in Washington Square; they thought they were back in the war."
"Anyone who saw Nagasaki would suddenly realize that they'd been kept in the dark by the United States government as to what atomic bombs can do."
"Before I was at Nagasaki, I was a good American boy. I was an Eagle Scout; I was the commander of a sub-chaser in the Normandy Invasion."
"Don't patronize the chain bookstores. Every time I see some author scheduled to read and sign his books at a chain bookstore, I feel like telling him he's stabbing the independent bookstores in the back."
"Freedom of speech is always under attack by Fascist mentality, which exists in all parts of the world, unfortunately."
"I had a show at George Krevsky Gallery this past spring. That show traveled to Woodstock, New York where it showed for six weeks."
"I think if there's a great depression there might be some hope."
"I'd ban all automobiles from the central part of the city. You see, the automobile was just a passing fad. It's got to go. It's got to go a long way from here."
"I'm reading a book about Romaine Brooks, a wonderful painter from early in the last century."
"I'm still working on it. Look what it did for Pisa!"
"It seemed the clamor was such that this book would not be allowed by proper society. After all, Howl was a vast castigation of American consumer society."
"It seems to me it's changing for the worse. The spineless Democrats are taking dictation from George II who usurped the throne and is occupying the palace illegally."
"It would have been nice had we provided a nice warm stable and we were feeding them regularly - the care and feeding of poets."
"It's much easier to consume the visual image than to read something."
"It's the story of an American who wants to become a dictator and goes to Europe with a sidekick to interview various Fascists to find out how the Nazis and Mussolini got into power."
"Many of the poets in the high poetic positions have been singularly silent or, at best, come out with a low mumble."
"No, I didn't become disenchanted. I just couldn't paint like them."
"No, it's much worse. That was nothing back then. President Eisenhower's reign was very stultifying; there was lots of unspoken censorship."
""Skyscraper America" extends around the world with American corporate monoculture."
"Some of our greatest painters and poets are not activists at all. Like the Japanese haiku masters, or various Polish poets or Chinese poets, or 12th century mystics like Rumi or Hafiz, the great Persian poets."
"The famous non-objective artists, from the New York School, for instance - Kline, De Kooning, Motherwell - were Abstract Expressionists, but they were great draftsmen; they could draw extremely well before they started painting non-objective."
"The future of publishing lies with the small and medium-sized presses, because the big publishers in New York are all part of huge conglomerates."
"The paintings may communicate even better because people are lazy and they can look at a painting with less effort than they can read a poem."
"The real literary editors have mostly been fired. Those that remain are all "bottom line" editors; everything depends on the money."
"There are hardly any left in New York City. The San Francisco Bay Area is very fortunate to still have a lot of independent bookstores."
"There are skyscrapers in Sumatra, in China, in Japan, in the Middle East, in mid-Europe, in all the countries that were once under dictatorships."
"There won't be any changes until we have another depression like in the 1930s, which we have not approached yet in the present recession."
"These are international criminals, and the spineless Democrats are doing nothing about it."
"They were looking for a stable, but we didn't have one. In fact, we weren't very stable ourselves."
"Under both Bush administrations, they've reappointed at least four felons who were convicted during the Watergate years and during Iran-Contra."
"We didn't really have a stable. One at a time, poets would stagger in the door, drunk or sober, high or stoned."
"We have to raise the consciousness; the only way poets can change the world is to raise the consciousness of the general populace."
"We were just a one-room bookstore; we didn't have any money for lawyers."
"Well, I didn't know how to draw very well back then, in the '40s and '50s."