GINSBERG, Allen. Howl for Carl Solomon. San Francisco: Grabhorn-Hoyem, 1971.
Large 4to, original beige Belgian linen with a complex printed design to covers in nine colours by Robert LaVigne; grey endpapers; edges untrimmed; with the original watermarked loose publisher's introductory announcements by Hoyem & Grabhorn and notes by Ginsberg; pp. [viii], 43, [v]; essentially a fine copy.
Limited edition, one of just 275 copies signed by Ginsberg to the title page. Comprising the original text as published by City Lights in 1956, with recent additions by the poet and the addition of a related poetic fragment The Names written in 1957, published in the Paris Review. Printed on handmade paper from 18 point Goudy Modern type, with wood type initials.
When it was first published in 1956, Howl became one of the most important and highly-regarded poems of the 20th century. Upon its release by City Lights, the publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti and the bookstore's manager, Shigeyoshi Murao, were charged with disseminating obscene literature, and both were arrested.
Beat poet Allen Ginsberg first met Carl Solomon in the waiting room of the New York State Psychiatric Institute, and later dedicated his poem to him. However, Solomon had many complaints about Ginsberg and Howl, especially the line "I'm with you in Rockland", claiming that he was "never in Rockland" and that the third section of the poem "garbles history completely". The poem's first section immortalizes a few of Solomon's personal exploits, such as the line "who threw potato salad at CCNY lecturers on Dadaism and subsequently presented themselves on the granite steps of the madhouse with shaven heads and harlequin speech of suicide, demanding instantaneous lobotomy."
The painter Robert LaVigne met Peter Orlovsky in a coffee shop in San Francisco and almost immediately took the younger man as his muse, bringing him to live with him as a model and lover. It was at LaVigne's studio that Allen Ginsberg first met and subsequently fell in love with Orlovksy - first his image in a large, nude portrait that LaVigne had painted, and then with the young man himself.