: views from the Hill

Friday, December 22, 2006

Herb Caen is spinning in his grave

(as I commented on Zen's blog) and repeat here because I think it's worth repeating. ...

The San Francisco Chronicle had an article late last month re Ferlinghetti getting tapped for a Commandeur des Arts et Lettres.


Ferlinghetti was pleased. When I first showed up to San Francisco after World War II, I was still wearing my French beret.

Later on in the article,

Although his surname and North Beach neighborhood bookstore usually associate him with Italians, Ferlinghetti has a strong French connection. His mother is part French, some of his best friends are French and many of his favorite memories are from living in France, he said.

In fact, Ferlinghetti would rather be called French than a beatnick.

"Obliterate that word," he said. "I came to San Francisco before the beats. I was more of a bohemian and what they called a nonconformist. I didn't do the 9 to 5, which is quite a French-based belief."

beatnick? BEATNICK?

Our own Herb Caen coined the word back when and the Chronicle should have "beatnik" somewhere in their spellchecker.

For shame.

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