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“HOWL” FOR CARL SOLOMON

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Carl Solomon

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Carl Solomon was born March 30, 1928 in the Bronx, New York. His father died in 1939, which depressed him deeply. He graduated high school at the age of fifteen, and enrolled at the City College of New York. In 1943 he dropped out to joined the US Maritime Service. As a seaman, he traveled all over the world, seeing many notable sights such as the surrealist exposition of Andre Breton, Jean Genet’s first play, and hearing Antonin Artaud read poetry. Solomon began reading a lot of Dadaist and Surrealist poetry. Then, after identifying himself with Kafka’s hero, K, Solomon decided that he was insane. Just after his twenty-first birthday, he voluntarily committed himself and recieved shock treatment at the Psychiatric Insitute of New York.

As Solomon was coming up from his shock treatment one day, he mumbled “I’m Kirilov [of Dostoyevsky’s The Possessed].” Allen Ginsberg, sitting in the waiting room replied, “I’m Myshkin.” Indeed, Solomon said many interesting things after regaining post-shock consciousness, much of which Ginsberg put into his famous poem, “Howl,” which was dedicated to Solomon. Solomon at first thought he was a new patient, though Ginsberg was only visiting his mother.

Solomon and Ginsberg soon became friends, which was Solomon’s only real claim to fame. Despite his mental conditions, Solomon was very intelligent, and was able to teach ginsberg a lot about important writers and obscure geniuses.

Solomon’s uncle happened to be A.A. Wyn, the publisher of Ace books. When he wasn’t in the hospital, Solomon did work for his uncle. Ginsberg pleaded with him to try to publish his seemingly un-publishable friends William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac. Ace books ended up signing Burroughs’ Junky as part of a pulp, two-in-one thriller, but they rejected Kerouac’s 120-foot long single page manuscript of On the Road.

Though Solomon was not a writer himself, pepole always thought he was. He did eventually live up to these expectations in 1996, when his first book, Mishaps, Perhaps was published. It was a collection of quaintly psychotic essays including “Pilgrim State Hospital,” and “Suggestions to improve the Public Image of the Beatnik.” Later, two more of his books were published: More Mishaps in 1968, and Emergency Messages in 1989.

http://www.angelfire.com/mo/abalot/solomon.html

Carl Solomon

By Levi Asher on Wednesday, August 24, 1994 08:46 am

CARL SOLOMON

Beat Generation,
.
“… 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 …”
(From ‘Howl (for Carl Solomon)’ by Allen Ginsberg)

Yes, Carl Solomon really did throw potato salad during a City College of New York lecture on Dadaism. He and his friends were making an artistic statement by doing this, but years later when Solomon pleaded for a lobotomy to end his psychotic anguish he was not being artistic.

Solomon, born on March 30, 1928 in the Bronx, is mainly famous for having inspired the poem “Howl”, rather than for any achievements of his own. He and Ginsberg met in a waiting room at a psychiatric hospital where Ginsberg was visiting his mother. Solomon was a regular there. Despite his mental problems he had a hyperactive intelligence, and was able to instruct Ginsberg (not exactly a dummy himself) on many literary points, despite the fact that Ginsberg was two years older.

Carl Solomon’s uncle was A. A. Wyn, publisher of Ace paperback books. Carl worked intermittently for his uncle, and Ginsberg pleaded with Carl and his uncle to help publish his then-unpublishable friends William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac. Ace Books finally used Burroughs’ first novel, ‘Junky,’ as half of a pulp thriller “Two Books In One.” But they were among the many publishers who turned down Kerouac’s ‘On The Road.’

Solomon was never a writer himself, although readers of “Howl” often assumed he was. Later in life he gave in and fulfilled the expectation by writing two book of elliptical, erudite and quaintly psychotic short essays, “Mishap, Perhaps” in 1966 and “More Mishaps” in 1968. His “Emergency Messages,” more in the same vein, was published in 1989.

It’s interesting that Kerouac, Burroughs and Ginsberg each traveled with a “doppelganger” — a mirror image sidekick with less literary training but more “authenticity”. Kerouac had the free-spirited charismatic Neal Cassady and Burroughs had the street smart true junkie Herbert Huncke. Ginsberg, who seemed to always inspire to the state of insanity, had Carl Solomon.

http://www.litkicks.com/CarlSolomon

CARL SOLOMON

simply inbelievable-A 70-year-old man in Washington D.C. has spent more than 40 years locked away in a D.C. hospital for the criminally insane. His crime: stealing a necklace worth $20.

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article-0-1AE7EB8200000578-232_634x422Thief, 70, has spent 43 YEARS locked up in psychiatric hospital for stealing a necklace worth $20
Franklin Frye has been locked away in the St Elizabeth’s psychiatric facility since 1971
A motion for his release was filed six years ago but is yet to be heard by a judge
The man who attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan is housed at the same facility

By Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 10:07 EST, 23 January 2014 | UPDATED: 10:13 EST, 23 January 2014

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A 70-year-old man in Washington D.C. has spent more than 40 years locked away in a D.C. hospital for the criminally insane. His crime: stealing a necklace worth $20.

Franklin H. Frye was sent to the psychiatric wing of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in 1971 after he was found not guilty by reason of insanity for stealing the necklace.

Six years ago, a public defender filed a motion asking a federal court to grant Mr. Frye an unconditional release. In the motion, attorneys for Mr. Frye cited his recovery over the last four decades he spent in psychiatric captivity as grounds for his release.

Frye’s case, however, is yet to be heard by a judge.

Psych ward: Franklin Frye has spent more than 40 years in the St. Elizabeth’s psychiatric facility for stealing a $20 necklace
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Psych ward: Franklin Frye has spent more than 40 years in the St. Elizabeth’s psychiatric facility for stealing a $20 necklace

In what the Washington Times – which broke the story about Mr. Frye after reviewing his case and federal court records – describes as ‘a serious judicial breakdown,’ Mr. Frye’s case seems to have slipped through the cracks.

According to the paper, the original judge assigned to Mr. Frye’s case died in 2007 – when the motion for Mr. Frye’s release was first filed.

The case wasn’t transferred to a judge who is still breathing until the last few weeks.

‘Mr. Frye has been waiting over five years to have this motion heard by the court,’ Silvana Naguib, a lawyer now representing him, wrote in a Jan. 8 legal filing.

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‘Mr. Frye was accused of stealing a necklace that was valued at approximately twenty dollars,’ Ms. Naguib continued in the motion. ‘He has been at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital almost continuously since.’

Glacial pace: Frye’s most recent motion for his release was filed six years ago – but is yet to be heard by a judge
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Glacial pace: Frye’s most recent motion for his release was filed six years ago – but is yet to be heard by a judge

Like St. Elizabeth’s Hospital’s most famous resident, John Hinckley Jr. – the man who infamously shot President Ronald Reagan in 1981 – Mr. Frye has been permitted to spend short amounts of time out of the hospital. Until December, he was part of an outpatient program at Washington Hospital Center. That program ended because of funding problems – and Mr. Frye was sent back to the psychiatric ward.

Frye has filed several motions for his release over the last 40 years, including one two years after he was committed. In that motion, the hospital director recommended that Mr. Frye be unconditionally released. The judge, however, approved a conditional release so Mr. Frye could look for a job.

‘In the early years of Mr. Frye’s hospitalization, Mr. Frye would sometimes get in fights with other patients, often over money, food, clothing and the other hotly desired commodities of institutional life,’ Ms. Naguib wrote in her motion. ‘However, in the last decade, as Mr. Frye has aged, these conflicts have all but vanished. Now, nearly 70, Mr. Frye displays no dangerous behavior of any kind.’

Infamous: John Hinckley, the man who shot President Ronald Reagan, is also held at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital
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Infamous: John Hinckley, the man who shot President Ronald Reagan, is also held at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital

In his latest motion, Mr. Frye’s attorneys reiterate the claims made in the 2008 motion that was never heard by a judge: ‘Mr. Frye has recovered his sanity and no longer suffers from a mental illness as defined by law.’

Just one day after Naguib filed the most recent motion on Frye’s behalf, his case was transferred to a living judge. It’s unclear when – or if – the judge will rule on the motion for Mr. Frye’s release.

Read more: Man spends four decades in mental hospital after stealing $20 necklace

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2544701/Man-spends-43-years-federal-psychiatric-hospital-stealing-necklace-worth-20.html#ixzz2rKvthNPy
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