Living at the Movies
Author: Jim Carroll
Publisher: Penguin Books (1981)
Originally released in 1973, Living at the Movies was the first aboveground publication of the work of Jim Carroll, a singer-songwriter Newsweek called “contender for the title of rock’s new poet laureate.” In these poems, all written before the age of twenty-two, Carroll shows an uncanny virtuosity. His power and poisoned purity of vision are reminiscent of Arthur Rimbaud, and, like the strongest poets of the New York School, Carroll transforms the everyday details of city life into poetry. In language at once delicate, hallucinatory, and menacing, his major themes—love, friendship, the exquisite pains and pleasures of drugs, and above all, the ever-present city—emerge in an atmosphere where dream and reality mingle on equal terms. It is an astonishing debut by an important American writer and artist.
“Jim Carroll has the sure confidence of a true artist. . . . He is steeped in his craft. He has worked as only a man of inspiration is capable of working. . . . His beginning is a triumph.”