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Paris: Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s Love in the Days of Rage

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Photograph by i.langsdson1
Photograph by i.langsdson1

April is just around the corner. We’re thinking of the world’s best April Fool’s joke, warmer weather, and student riots. Ok, we know that riots don’t quite fit with Easter egg pastels, matzo ball soup, and cherry blossoms, but we just read Love in the Days of Rage by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, a chronicle of the student riots that took place in Paris in the spring of 1968.

Always the poet, Ferlinghetti presents the riots, and the political ideas they incite, through the romance of poetry and lovers. The book focuses on Annie (an American painter) and her lover Julian (a Portuguese banker and anarchist) as they experience their love affair in the midst of political chaos. The affair takes the foreground, but it inevitably encompasses their political present, making the novel at once tender and thought-provoking, two things we love and don’t often find together.

Still not sold? Even if you don’t love a political uprisings or a love stories, you will love the writing itself. Ferlinghetti’s poetic style translates to a lyric prose that begs to be read aloud. It’s as though he created a watercolor painting in words, and it embodies all that we think of spring, and of Paris itself.

Besides, who doesn’t love a good student riot?

About the author

Suzanne Russo

About the author: Suzanne Russo thinks of herself as equal parts California Girl and New Yorker. She moved from San Francisco to New York four years ago to pursue her MA in English, and her obsession with all things New York life and history hasn’t dwindled yet. She is a freelance writer, director of the San Francisco-sponsored, New York literary pub crawl, Lit Crawl, and constant wanderer.

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