“Toward the end of his short life, Jack Spicer began to relax some of his purist principles about the publication and circulation of his poetry. In 1964, impoverished and unable to hold down a job, he consented to allow Lawrence Ferlinghetti to sell his books at City Lights bookstore in San Francisco, officially ending his […]
Paul Valéry (1871-1945) had the dubious fate of becoming a monument in his own lifetime, the personification of the quintessential “homme des lettres.” A member of the Académie française, he was France’s cultural representative to the League of Nations and an indefatigable lecturer and commentator. He held enough academic positions to overwhelm a half-dozen ordinary professors. He published over 20 books in various genres; his poetry, on which much of his reputation rests, is a very small share of the whole….