Planet News

A quick dig through our archive at left! This year marks our 60th anniversary as a publisher, it all started with Pictures of the Gone World by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Pocket Poets No. 1 (a new 60th anniversary edition is forthcoming Fall 2015).

“Poetry was like something you were force-fed. So if you had a bad experience you might be a little ruined. Dottie’s approach to teaching and poetry which I have to say is one act, one sacred hill she is running up time and again is to impart and rebel at one and the same time. In a way she’s ruining it again and again and uncannily you like it. Because embedded in it is this deep pounding truth.”
Eileen Myles on Dorothea Lasky! (via Rookie)

“Lawrence has built an intellectual process at the store. There are no foundational texts and no limitations; he helps the whole staff participate in the curatorial nature of bookselling that we practice at City Lights. We have a choice about which books we carry, about which ones fit in with the City Lights tradition, and our customers began to understand that. We never discount books, but we introduce readers to books and writers that they will hear about later. We continue to define ourselves by the choices we make, and by being active about which authors to promote, we foster a ‘community of curiosity.’ In this way, we only have to decide which books we think are good. It’s not our role to stock the books that are already widely popular.”
Our own Paul Yamazaki tells it like it is…

“San Francisco’s new tech masters feel no need to justify themselves. They are absolutely certain that everything they touch turns to gold. They are, by definition, the future. But machines are not destiny, they’re just machines. Some bring social benefits, along with sky-high IPOs – and some don’t. As Leon Wieseltier recently wrote in the New York Times Book Review, ‘The processing of information is not the highest aim to which the human spirit can aspire …The character of our society cannot be determined by engineers.’
And yet the spirit of engineering is ascendant, and no place more so than Stanford and its urban outpost, San Francisco. On campuses like this one, the humanities departments are increasingly diminished by the reign of engineering and computer science. In a world such as this, rife with technologies and ideas ‘that flatten and shrink and chill the human subject,’ Wieseltier observed, ‘the humanist is the dissenter.’ The humanities – the study and critical appreciation of the human enterprise – do not require a dose of the hard sciences to become more relevant, as the prophets of techno supremacy like to preach. It’s the other way around. Technology needs to be humanized. It’s not enough to create a cool app – you have to ask what it’s for, and whose needs it serves.”
David Talbot (Season of the Witch) on the topographical / technological shifts shaping San Francisco. An incendiary read! (Via 48 Hills)

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