Ovi -
we cover every issue
Poverty - Homeless  
Ovi Bookshop - Free Ebook
worldwide creative inspiration
Ovi Language
Ovi on Facebook
Stop violence against women
Murray Hunter: Opportunity, Strategy and Entrepreneurship
Stop human trafficking
BBC News :   - 
iBite :   - 
The loss of a beautiful mind. For Larry
by Thanos Kalamidas
2018-12-09 07:33:58
Print - Comment - Send to a Friend - More from this Author
DeliciousRedditFacebookDigg! StumbleUpon

We were first introduced by a common friend in academia and we were supposed to talk about philosophy and humanism. We talked about early 20th century watercolours, modern poetry, and jazz music and of course architecture. We disagreed about abstract and installation art while he gave me a full lecture about Robert Kennedy.

larry0A few years later with a few glasses of red wine behind us we laughed about that first meeting and we continued arguing about abstract art. We never agreed on that, but we did agree in so many others including our stubbornness to write our thoughts, ideas, creations and articles on yellow legal pads, always by hand, always with pencil. Actually a pack of yellow legal pads was his last present to me.

For me Larry was much more than a friend, it was me in a few years in the future and losing him was losing part of myself. We shared so many traits that it was scary and for me it was all concluded in one sentence: if Larry is my evolution in ageing, then it was worth all the mistakes I’ve done.

Mistakes was the other trait we shared. Larry was far from perfect but his brilliant mind was partly made by his mistakes. He became who he was through a life that had right and wrongs. Mistakes and pain. Without his mistakes, Larry would have never found the depths of understanding Kafka embrace Walt Whitman and W. H. Auden’s poetry and identify with Censor Bruegel paintings. Is odd but it is the wrongs, especially the social wrongs, that paved the way to something so intellectual as Larry was.

Larry also shared something most intellectuals and thinkers of his calibre feel. He loved humanity with passion, he dedicated his life defending and explaining humanity but he always felt uncomfortable among people. You see, his mind was working in a speed that it was difficult for him to wait. He had no time to explain. He could teach but this is not the same like explaining. And he was a brilliant teacher. Through all the times we spent talking either face to face or through mails and messages, I learned. I learned and the word “learned” emphasized to maximum.

larry1_400“To understand poetry you must read it out loud.” Lesson major and very true. I never done it before and after Larry literally forced me to do it, I understood. Years of studding and loving Dylan Thomas and T.S. Eliot vanished in front of a new apocalyptic perspective that gave them new power, new understanding. Larry was proud and I was humbled.

Larry will be remembered as a philosopher and thinker. An expert on Hannah Arendt, on Aristotle, Plato. A university professor and a lecturer. Oddly, for him it was his success as a …proof reader. That was his pride, how good proof reader he had been and guiltily I admit that I often teased him for that.

For me, Larry was a poet. But not just a poet. He was one of the best American poets of the second half of the 20th century. A Thomas of the 1970s. A poet that should be in every book dedicated to the “Beat movement”. His poem “Blind Politics” is a hymn to the Beat movement and “Christmas in Paris” brought tears in my eyes. I just hope that Ovi has somehow helped his poetry touch more people. I can only hope.

The last time we met with Larry, dementia had obviously started a war my friend lost in the end. News soon reached me to verify the suspicions but even during his battle we continued communicating through …confusing but very Larry mails. Now a new Larry appeared that I had somehow missed, a flamboyant Larry. I smiled; it was so Larry to surprise me even under the circumstances. He was going towards dementia dancing and reciting poetry loudly.

The news for his end reached me a few days ago and I still find it difficult to accept it. I think it is because while his body has left, his beautiful mind is with me all the time. I can actually hear him arguing about abstract art and architecture this very moment.

Larry left behind two beautiful kids, a son and a daughter that he loved like no other father can love but always in Larry’s unique way. I’m sure both his son and his daughter share his traits, his talents, his love for the people and his dedication for a better world even one with …abstract art.

In his own words, Dr. Lawrence Nannery:

“What to say without saying too much?  I was born in 1942, and have degrees in philosophy and political science from Columbia University and the New School for Social Research, and there is very little that I am not interested in.  I have studied all of the social sciences, only to find out that they were not "scientific" in the strong sense.  But I did come away with a lack of piety about those disciplines.  For example, I do not believe in economists, but I do relish economic history.

At 32 I went to the New School to study philosophy and found a home.  I became, in turn, an expert on Hannah Arendt, on Aristotle, Plato, and later wrote a long book on Kafka, the smartest guy on the planet.  I founded a philosophy journal that has survived to this day.

I have taught over time at a dozen colleges, in New York and London, but got attached to none, and worked often as a social worker or in some other region of social services.

It's all the manic depression thing, either an undirected layabout or a man visiting many research institutions seeking out the least known detail of something I cannot live without getting to the bottom of.

Up until some months ago I was working on another long project, in the philosophy of history, which I have taught several times, but it burgeoned so greatly I had an outline of several hundred pages and left the project out of boredom.  But I have just taken it up again.  If I get busy as a dung beetle, I could write on what I have already learned about this subject primarily, though I assert with full confidence that everything interests me, and even I cannot predict exactly where I will wind up on a given topic.”

PS. Check Dr. Lawrence Nannery’s poetry and articles for Ovi magazine, HERE!

Print - Comment - Send to a Friend - More from this Author

Get it off your chest
 (comments policy)

© Copyright CHAMELEON PROJECT Tmi 2005-2008  -  Sitemap  -  Add to favourites  -  Link to Ovi
Privacy Policy  -  Contact  -  RSS Feeds  -  Search  -  Submissions  -  Subscribe  -  About Ovi