The University of Wisconsin Press 1930 Monroe Street Madison, Wisconsin Henrietta Street London WC2E 8LU, England Copyright 2005 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System All rights reserved Printed in the United States of America Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Field, Edward, 1924 The man who would marry Susan Sontag and other intimate literary portraits of the Bohemian Era / Edward Field. In the Village it was the opposite, and whatever you were was acceptable. For the bohemian world s first principle was Sexual Freedom, which welcomed all the rejects and refugees from a Puritan America that never allowed much dissent in any area, especially out in the provinces.But even here, there were thugs, and some restaurants and businesses didn t like serving mixed-groups. The moderns were part of an arts generation that rejected popular culture and took pride in being difficult obscurity was practically a requirement for avant-garde poetry.
That was what my commercial artist father worried about when he saw me drawn into Village life that I would become a homeless bum, standing in the snow in Washington Square without a coat.
And if you just wanted to enjoy living in the Village, you could always say you were a poet.
That was really beside the point, or maybe was the point, for bohemian life was about unconventionality and ideals, and the Beats famously combined both.
What s more, the goal was even to sound different from each other.
For instance, each of the poets who are in the canon of modern poetry has a unique voice.