Shig Murao: The Enigmatic Soul of City Lights and the San Francisco Beat Scene is officially online: As is well known, Shig, who worked at City Lights, sold the copy of Howl that lead to the obscenity trial, and went on trial with Lawrence Ferlinghetti, was written out of the Howl movie. Such treatment reminds me of the 1957 photo of Jack Kerouac that copped Joyce Johnson out of the shot. Johnson took matters into her own hands and wrote the classic memoir Minor Characters. has the makings of a classic website that will serve as an archive to all things Shig.

For Mimeo Mimeo readers, the opportunity to view issues of Shig's Review should be a special treat. Unfortunately, Shig's Review has largely been written out of histories of the Mimeo Revolution. Until previewing, I had heard of Shig's Review but never actually seen a copy. I was unaware of the publishing history of the Review. I thought the Review ran for many more issues in the 1960s and was shocked to discover just how many issues there were in the 1980s. The site provides a sampler and an index. I know for a fact that this material fills a need for scholars and collectors alike.



Richard Reynolds said...

You want irony? I've got irony. Shig and Lawrence Ferlinghetti had a falling out in 1976, which I describe in the "End of an Era" chapter of my biography on The disagreement resulted in Shig leaving City Lights and never speaking to Ferlinghetti again.

The irony here is that the Shig cropped Ferlinghetti out of the photo pictured above! In the original, taken in 1974 at the City Lights in North Dakota Conference, Ferlinghetti is seen on the right, next to Ginsberg. (Peter Orlovsky is also in the original next to Gary Snyder, though Orlovsky is cut in half by the frame of the photo.)

--Richard Reynolds

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