Streetcorners - Prose Poems of the Demi-Monde (Masterworks of Fiction, 1911-1912) by Francis Carco, translated by Gilbert Alter-Gilbert / ISBN 9781931243636 / small 212-page paperback from Green Integer / new copies with light wear
Streetcorners collects, for the first time in English, a number of Francis Carco’s renowned prose poems, works which defined the Paris scenes of Montmartre and Montparnasse for decades. The translator has brought together sixty pieces that reflect everything from rainy nights in Paris, to the world of music halls, seedy bars, the hairdresser’s, and houses of prostitution.
The ending of Alter-Gilbert's intro: "Carco embodied the spirit of his age; he was the Paris of the teens, twenties, and thirties. He will always be remembered as the underworld dilettante and latter-day boulevardier who sang of murky thoroughfares and drizzle-dappled pavements, and who solemnized for an entire generation the studied irreverence of the professional outsider, and the velvet crush of the demi-mondial 'Life.' Carco was at his best in the role of 'gutter poet.' But he was not merely a celebrant of lowlife, nor was he a moralist, for he did not judge his subjects, but presented them without preachification or prescription. He was simply a gifted poet who etched with words the vicissitudes of the damned and not-so-beautiful inhabitants of society's darkest corners."