"One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple." -- #Jack Kerouac: image by Kam Bain @kam_bain, 15 October 2013
Now one must clear one’s mind of cant and admit, firstly, that everyone is free to live as he likes as far as society will let him; secondly, that other people besides Angel Dan Davies enjoy poetry, jazz and sex; and thirdly that, appalling as it would be to have Itchy Dave Gelden coming in one’s door ‘fidgeting and scratching his crotch’ (‘Hi, what’s cookin’? Are we gonna blow some poetry, maybe?’), he would probably be no worse than a guardee subaltern talking about Buck House, or your father-in-law telling you how his new golf clubs cost more but aren’t as good as his old ones. Other people are Hell (I have never seen why Sartre should have been praised for inverting and falsifying this truism), and the self-important spongers of Venice no more so than the rest. But Mr Lipton’s point is that they are a lot less so.
Philip Larkin (1922-1985): Carnival in Venice (excerpt), a review of Lawrence Lipton: The Holy Barbarians, in The Spectator, 1960, reprinted in Required Writing: Miscellaneous Pieces, 1955-1982, 1983
Philip Larkin and friend, 1964: photo courtesy of The Estate of Philip Larkin
for Aram Saroyan