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Carmel Magazine Digital Edition SU16

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212 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S U M M E R / F A L L 2 0 1 6 STEINBECK SEES THE DOC The uncanny grace of the coast's charms continued to pull word work- ers long after the bonds of that initial artist's colony loosened. The immor- tal John Steinbeck was living in Pacific Grove in 1930 when he met Edward "Doc" Ricketts, the marine biologist who introduced the writer to the curiosities of the sea. He also soaked Steinbeck in the rollicking tide- pool of area bars and fisheries, and characters who plied their time in both, fresh fodder for works like "Tortilla Flat" and "Cannery Row." In the mid-'40s, Henry Miller took up residence in Big Sur, where he stayed nearly 20 years. His colorful account of those days, "Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch," is a song to the sweetness of the Big Sur life. Miller's style, a great gallop of words, is fully unreined in the book, which discusses—among a thousand and one things—other writers and artists then in the area. The Henry Miller Library in Big Sur, with its odd sculpture garden, performance space and funky air of welcome, is a good reflection on the eccentric, contrary and generous man. Around 1961, Jack Kerouac stayed in a Bixby Canyon cabin owned by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, where he tramped around the woods, doing some drinking and some dreaming. The novel that came out of that idyll, "Big Sur," is not one of his best, but it does have some lyrical writing about the area, and besotted scribbling about a writer consumed by booze, a mir- roring of Kerouac's actual life. John Steinbeck and Ed Ricketts' 1930s partnership in pranks and prose produced happy hijinks and lasting works. Poet George Sterling founded an artist's colony in Carmel in 1905 that welcomed many writers and creators. San Francisco's 1906 quake sent a cluster of artists, writers and bohemians from their destroyed homes to tents and cabins in Carmel-by-the-Sea. Photos: The Pat Hathaway Collection/

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