Love in the Days of Rage

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Author
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Author Dutton Books $15.95 (116p) ISBN 978-0-525-24681-7
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
Ferlinghetti's first work of fiction since his surrealist novel Her reads like an old manuscript that he pulled out of a desk drawer and reworked. Written in flowing, poetic sentences and endlessly long paragraphs, this mercifully short love story is set in the summer of 1968 in Paris, where New York painter Annie is having an affair with Julian Mendes, a well-heeled banker claiming to be a closet anarchist. They take meals in restaurants, have sex, and talk, talk, talk about revolution and love. When student protests erupt, Julian proves to Annie that he's not a hypocrite by involving her in a vague looting scheme. It may be true, as poet Ferlinghetti implies, that the global protest wave of '68 presaged today's Green Movement, yet even if one sympathizes with his politics, it's hard to take these self-absorbed romantics seriously. The Parisian atmosphere is convincing, but the pretty writing occasionally veers off into Beat prose-poem monologues that would read better if set as free verse. (September)
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