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Encyclopedia > Irving Layton

Irving Layton OC (March 12, 1912January 4, 2006) was a Canadian poet. He was known for his "tell it like it is" style which won him a wide following but also made enemies. As T. Jacobs notes in his biography (2001), Layton fought Puritanism throughout his life: Seal of the Order of Canada The Order of Canada is Canadas highest civilian honour, with membership awarded to those who exemplify the Orders Latin motto Desiderantes meliorem patriam, which means (those) desiring a better country. ... March 12 is the 71st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (72nd in leap years). ... 1912 (MCMXII) was a leap year starting on Monday in the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Tuesday in the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... January 4 is the 4th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A poet is someone who writes poetry. ... The Puritans were members of a group of radical Protestants which developed in England after the Reformation. ...

Layton's work had provided the bolt of lightening that was needed to split open the thin skin of conservatism and complacency in the poetry scene of the preceding century, allowing modern poetry to expose previously unseen richness and depth (Jacobs, 2001).

Contents

Biography

On March 12, 1912, born Israel Pincu Lazarovitch in Târgu Neamţ, a small town in Romania, to Jewish parents, Moses and Klara Lazarovitch, he emigrated with his family to Montreal, Quebec in 1913 and was forced to live in the impoverished St. Urbain Street neighbourhood, later made famous by Mordecai Richler in his novels. There Layton and his family (his father died when he was 13) faced daily struggles with, among others, Montreal's French Canadians, who were uncomfortable with the growing numbers of Jewish newcomers.[1] March 12 is the 71st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (72nd in leap years). ... 1912 (MCMXII) was a leap year starting on Monday in the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Tuesday in the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Târgu NeamÅ£ is a town in NeamÅ£ county, Romania, on the NeamÅ£ river. ... This article describes some ethnic, historic, and cultural aspects of the Jewish identity; for a consideration of the Jewish religion, refer to the article Judaism. ... This article needs cleanup. ... Mordecai Richler, CC (January 27, 1931 – July 3, 2001) was a Canadian author, screenwriter and essayist. ...


Layton graduated from Alexandra Elementary School and attended Baron Byng High School, where his life was changed when he was introduced to such poets as Alfred Lord Tennyson, Walter Scott, William Wordsworth, Lord Byron, and Percy Bysshe Shelley; the novelists Jane Austen and George Eliot; the essayists Francis Bacon, Oliver Goldsmith, Samuel Johnson, and Jonathan Swift; and also William Shakespeare and Charles Darwin. He became very interested in politics and social theory and began reading Karl Marx and Nietzsche and also became politically active in socialist politics — so much so that he became a threat to the high school administration and was asked to leave before graduating. In light of his limited educational opportunities, with no high school diploma, and also due to limited finances, he enrolled in Macdonald College in 1934 and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture. Lord Tennyson, Poet Laureate Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson (August 6, 1809 - October 6, 1892) is generally regarded as one of the greatest English poets. ... Portrait of Sir Walter Scott, by Sir Edwin Henry Landseer Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet (15 August 1771 – 21 September 1832) was a prolific Scottish historical novelist and poet popular throughout Europe during his time. ... William Wordsworth, English poet William Wordsworth (April 7, 1770 – April 23, 1850) was a major English romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped launch the Romantic Age in English literature with their 1798 joint publication, Lyrical Ballads. ... Lord Byron, English poet Lord Byron (1803), as painted by Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, (January 22, 1788 – April 19, 1824) was the most widely read English language poet of his day. ... Percy Bysshe Shelley Percy Bysshe Shelley (August 4, 1792 – July 8, 1822; pronounced ) was one of the major English Romantic poets and is widely considered to be among the finest lyric poets of the English language. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... George Eliots birthplace at South Farm, Arbury George Eliot is the pen name of Mary Anne Evans[1] (22 November 1819 – 22 December 1880), who was an English novelist. ... Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban, KC (22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626) was an English philosopher, statesman and essayist but is best known for leading the scientific revolution with his new observation and experimentation theory which is the way science has been conducted ever since. ... Oliver Goldsmith Oliver Goldsmith (November 10, 1730(?) – April 4, 1774) was an Irish writer and physician known for his novel The Vicar of Wakefield (1766), his pastoral poem The Deserted Village (1770) (written in memory of his brother), and his plays The Good-naturd Man (1768) and She Stoops... Samuel Johnson circa 1772, painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds. ... Jonathan Swift Jonathan Swift (November 30, 1667 – October 19, 1745) was an Irish priest, satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer, and poet, famous for works like Gullivers Travels, A Modest Proposal, A Journal to Stella, The Drapiers Letters, The Battle of the Books, and A Tale of a Tub. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Charles Robert Darwin FRS (12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist [1] who achieved lasting fame by producing considerable evidence that species originated through evolutionary change, at the same time proposing the scientific theory that natural selection is the mechanism by which such change occurs. ... Marx redirects here. ... Friedrich Nietzsche, 1882 Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 - August 25, 1900) was a highly influential German philosopher. ... Macdonald College under construction, 1906 The Macdonald Campus of McGill University (Mac Campus) houses its Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, and the McGill School of Environment. ...


While in college, he was well known in artistic circles for his anti-bourgeois attitudes and his criticism of politics. He quickly found that his true interest was poetry, so pursued a career as a poet and became friends with the emerging young poets of his day, including fellow Canadian poets John Sutherland, Raymond Souster, and Louis Dudek. In the 1940s, Layton and his fellow Canadian poets rejected the older generation of poets, including Northrop Frye, and their efforts helped define the tone of the post-war generation poets in Canada. Essentially, they argued that modern poetry should set its own style, independent of British styles and influences, and should reflect the social realities of the day. John Sutherland (born 1983) is an English lecturer, emeritus professor, newspaper columnist and author. ... Raymond Holmes Souster was born in 1921, in Toronto, Ontario. ... Louis Dudek (February 6, 1918 - March 23, 2001) was a Canadian poet. ... Herman Northrop Frye, CC, MA, D.Litt. ...


In 1936, Layton met Faye Lynch, whom he married in 1938. When Layton graduated from Macdonald College in 1939, he moved with Faye to Halifax where he worked odd jobs, including a stint as a Fuller Brush man. Soon disenchanted with his life, Layton decided, one evening, to return to Montreal. He began teaching English to recent immigrants to make ends meet and continued doing so for many years. Indecisive about his future and enraged by Hitler's violence toward Jews and destruction of European culture, Layton enlisted in the Canadian army in 1942. While serving at Petawawa, Layton met Betty Sutherland, an accomplished painter (and later poet), and a half-sister to actor Donald Sutherland. Layton soon divorced Faye and married Betty. They had two children together: Maxwell Rubin (1946) and Naomi Parker (1950). 1943, Layton was given an honourable discharge from the army and returned to Montreal. Motto: Template:Unhide = E Mari Merces (Wealth from the Sea) Logo: Location City Information Established: April 1, 1996 Area: (former city) 79. ... Petawawa is a town located in the Canadian province of Ontario. ... Donald Sutherland in Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) Donald McNicol Sutherland OC (born July 17, 1935) is a prolific Canadian actor with a film career spanning over 40 years. ...


Layton had become a strong socialist while at high school and joined the Young People's Socialist League. Later, he became active in the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation. Because of this activity he was blacklisted and banned from entering the United States for the next two decades. While he continued to consider himself a Marxist, he became anti-Communist during the Cold War and broke with many on the left with his support of the Vietnam War. (Source: Toronto Star, January 5, 2006) YPSLs Logo The Young Peoples Socialist League (YPSL) is a democratic socialist youth group originally affiliated with the Socialist Party of America. ... The Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) was a Canadian political party founded in 1932 in Calgary, Alberta, by a number of socialist, farm, co-operative and labour groups as well as the League for Social Reconstruction. ... A blacklist is a list or register of people who, for one reason or another, are being denied a particular privilege, service, or mobility. ... Marxism refers to the philosophy and social theory based on Karl Marxs work on one hand, and to the political practice based on Marxist theory on the other hand (namely, parts of the First International during Marxs time, communist parties and later states). ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... The Cold War was the point that people liked chilli peppers. ... Combatants Republic of Vietnam United States Republic of Korea Thailand Australia New Zealand The Philippines National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam People’s Republic of China Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea Strength US 1,000,000 South Korea 300,000 Australia 48,000... January 5 is the 5th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Layton's activism and poetry had made him an internationally known celebrity by the 1950s and he was a fixture on early Canadian television after the publication of a collection of poems called The Black Huntsmen. He became a staple on the CBC televised debating program "Fighting Words," where he earned a reputation as a formidable debater. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), a Canadian crown corporation, is the country’s national public radio and television broadcaster. ...


In 1946, after receiving his M.A. in economics and political science from McGill (with a thesis on Harold Laski), Layton considered teaching as a career. In 1949, Layton began teaching English, history, and political science at the Jewish parochial high school, Herzliah (a branch of the United Talmud Torahs of Montreal). He was an influential teacher and many of his students became poets, writers, and artists. Among his students were poet/songwriter Leonard Cohen and television magnate Moses Znaimer. Layton continued to teach for the greater part of his life: as a teacher of modern English and American poetry at Sir George Williams University (now Concordia University) and as a tenured professor at Toronto's York University in the 1970s, as well as delivering many lectures and readings throughout Canada. Layton pursued his Ph.D. in 1948 though he abandoned it due to the demands of his already hectic professional life. Harold Joseph Laski (Manchester, June 30, 1893 – March 24, 1950 in London) was an English political theorist, economist, author, and lecturer, and served as the 1945-1946 chairman of the Labour Party. ... United Talmud Torahs of Montreal is a private Jewish day school system that includes an elementary and a high school on two campuses; One located in the Saint Laurent borough, the other in the Snowdon neighbourhood of the Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough in Montreal... Leonard Norman Cohen, CC (born September 21, 1934 in Montreal, Quebec) is a Canadian poet, novelist, and singer-songwriter. ... Moses Znaimer (born 1942) is the founder and was the driving creative force behind Torontos first independent television station, Citytv. ... This article is about Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. ... Concordia University is a large urban university in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, one of Montreals two universities that teach primarily in the English language (the other is McGill University). ... York University, located in Toronto, Ontario, is Canadas third-largest university. ...


In the late 1950s, at the height of his career, friends introduced Layton to Aviva Cantor (who had emigrated to Montreal from her native Australia in 1955), and Layton later made her his third wife. The two had a son, David, in 1964. Over the next few years, Layton's demanding schedule became the dominating force in his life and resulted in Layton's and Aviva's decision to separate.


In the late 1970s, Layton befriended Harriet Bernstein, once a student of his and, after a whirlwind courtship, they married and in 1981 a daughter, Samantha Clara, was born. The marriage was short-lived, however, and Layton soon met Anna (Annette) Pottier, an aspiring painter and poet 48 years his junior, who became his fifth and last wife. They lived in the middle-class Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighbourhood of Montreal from 1983 until the mid 1990s when they separated and divorced.


Throughout the 1950s on to the 1980s, Layton travelled widely abroad and became especially popular in South Korea and Italy, and in 1981 these two nations nominated him for the Nobel Prize for Literature. (The prize that year was instead awarded to novelist Gabriel García Márquez.) Among his many awards during his career was the Governor-General's Award for A Red Carpet for the Sun in 1959. In 1976 he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. The Nobel Prize in literature is awarded annually to an author from any country who has produced the most outstanding work of an idealistic tendency. The work in this case generally refers to an authors work as a whole, not to any individual work, though individual works are sometimes... Gabriel José García Márquez, also known as Gabo (born March 6, 1928), is a Colombian novelist, journalist, publisher, political activist, and recipient of the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature. ... Seal of the Order of Canada The Order of Canada is Canadas highest civilian honour, with membership awarded to those who exemplify the Orders Latin motto Desiderantes meliorem patriam, which means (those) desiring a better country. ...


In 1994, Layton was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. He died at the Maimonides Geriatric Centre in Montreal at the age of 93 on January 4, 2006 and on his bedside was his friend Musia Schwartz.[1]


Leonard Cohen once said of him, "I taught him how to dress, and he taught me how to live forever."


Layton is remembered by many as one of the first Canadian rebels of poetry, politics, and philosophy. Many believe he legitimately internationalized himself and even other Canadian poets through his coldness toward his own Canadianness. At Layton's funeral, Leonard Cohen and David Solway expressed, in their eulogies, that Layton was a revolutionary thinker who was radical, but realistic. All the eulogists agreed he was a great poet, arguably the first great poet of Canada. He is considered Leonard Cohen's literary -- and some would argue spiritual --guru. A rebellion is, in the most general sense, a refusal to accept authority. ... Leonard Norman Cohen, CC (born September 21, 1934 in Montreal, Quebec) is a Canadian poet, novelist, and singer-songwriter. ... David Solway (born 1941) is a Canadian poet, educational theorist, travel writer and literary critic of Jewish descent. ... Revolutionary, when used as a noun, is a person who either advocates or actively engages in some kind of revolution. ... Guru - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ...


Works & Awards

He is remembered in the Canadian literature for having written 40 poetry and prose books through his career. Layton was twice nominated for the Nobel Prize (1982), but was never awarded one by the time of his death. He was the first non-Italian to be awarded the Petrarch Award for Poetry, an italian award to recognize a poet's talent.[1] Nobel Prize medal. ... 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Works

  • Now Is The Place — 1948
  • The Black Huntsmen: Poems — 1951
  • Love the Conqueror Worm — 1953
  • The Long Pea-Shooter — 1954
  • In the Midst of My Fever — 1954
  • The Blue Propeller — 1955
  • The Cold Green Element — 1955
  • The Bull Calf and Other Poems — 1956
  • The Improved Binoculars: Selected Poems — 1956
  • Music on a Kazoo — 1956
  • A Laughter in the Mind — 1959
  • A Red Carpet for the Sun — 1960
  • The Swinging Flesh — 1961
  • Balls for a One-Armed Juggler — 1963
  • The Laughing Rooster — 1964
  • Collected Poems — 1965
  • Periods of the Moon: Poems — 1967
  • The Shattered Plinths — 1968
  • Selected Poems — 1969
  • The Whole Bloody Bird — 1969
  • Poems to Color — 1970
  • Nailpolish — 1971
  • The Collected Poems of Irving Layton — 1971
  • Lovers and Lesser Men — 1972
  • The Pole-Vaulter — 1974
  • Seventy-five Greek Poems, 1951-1974 — 1974
  • The Darkening Fire: Selected Poems, 1945-1968 — 1975
  • The Unwavering Eye: Selected Poems, 1969-1975 — 1975
  • The Uncollected Poems of Irving Layton: 1936-59 — 1976
  • For my Brother Jesus — 1976
  • The Selected Poems of Irving Layton — 1977
  • The Covenant — 1977
  • The Tightrope Dancer — 1979
  • Droppings from Heaven — 1979
  • The Tamed Puma — 1979
  • For My Neighbours in Hell — 1980
  • Europe And Other Bad News — 1981
  • A Wild Peculiar Joy: Selected Poems, 1945-82 — 1982
  • Shadows on the Ground: A Portfolio — 1982
  • The Gucci Bag — 1983
  • The Love Poems of Irving Layton: With Reverence & Delight — 1984
  • Fortunate Exile — 1987
  • Final Reckoning: Poems, 1982-1986 — 1987
  • Wild Gooseberries: The Selected Letters of Irving Layton — 1989
  • Irving Layton and Robert Creeley: The Complete Correspondence, 1953-1978 — 1990
  • Dance With Desire: Selected Love Poems — 1992

Discography

The Canadian Poetry Association was begun as an alternative to the League of Canadian Poets. ... Earle Alfred Birney (May 13, 1904 – September 3, 1995) was a distinguished Canadian poet and twice winner of the Governor Generals Award for Literature (for David, 1942, and for Now Is Time, 1945). ...

Notes

  1. ^ a b c Poet Irving Layton dies at 93: Was nominated for Nobel Prize, Chatham Daily News (ON). News, Thursday, January 5, 2006, p. 2. accessed on October 6, 2006.

References

  • Deveau, Scott. "Canadian poet Irving Layton dies at 93", The Globe and Mail. January 4, 2006.

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
100 Canadian Poets - Irving Layton - Profile (753 words)
Irving Layton (Israel Lazarovitch) was born March 12, 1912 in Tirgu Neamt, Romania.
Layton was nominated for the Nobel Prize in 1981.
The uncollected poems of Irving Layton : 1936-59.
Irving Layton, Poet (10854 words)
Layton's work had provided the bolt of lightening that was needed to split open the thin skin of conservatism and complacency in the poetry scene of the preceding century, allowing modern poetry to expose previously unseen richness and depth (Jacobs, 2001).
Layton continued to teach for the greater part of his life: as a teacher of modern English and American poetry at Sir George Williams University (now Concordia University) and as a tenured professor at Toronto's York University in the 1970s, as well as delivering many lectures and readings throughout Canada.
Irving Layton, earned local fame at birth as he was born naturally circumcised, which orthodox Jews believe is a mark of the Messiah.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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