Alysia Abbott at Literary Hub:
When Lawrence Ferlinghetti died this week at age 101, nearly one month shy his 102nd birthday, many of my friends, even writer friends, expressed surprise on social media. I didn’t even know he was still alive!
Indeed, Ferlinghetti outlived all the younger Beat writers he once published including Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, and Greg Corso. When The New York Times, in a 2005 interview, asked him why, he answered, “Kerouac drank himself to death, and Burroughs, when he was young, thought the healthiest person was one who had enough money to stay on heroin all his life. I really never got into drugs. I smoked a little dope, and I did a little LSD, but that was it. I was afraid of it, frankly. I don’t like to be out of control.”
But for me, and a segment of San Franciscans and aspiring bohemians worldwide, Ferlinghetti seemed immortal; we found comfort in this.