Charles Henri Ford
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Charles Henri Ford (February 10, 1913 - September 27, 2002) was an American novelist, poet, filmmaker, photographer, and collage artist best known for his brilliant editorship of the Surrealist magazine View in New York City in the 1940s, and as the partner of the artist Pavel Tchelitchew.
* 1 Life
* 2 Books
o 2.1 Nonfiction
o 2.2 Fiction
o 2.3 Poetry
* 3 References
* 4 External links
Born in Brookhaven, Mississippi, he dropped out of high school, although by the age of 16, he had started his first magazine, Blues. His sister is actress Ruth Ford.
Not long after, he became part of Gertrude Stein's salon in Paris, where he met Natalie Barney and Marie-Louise Bousquet and became friends with Man Ray, Kay Boyle, Janet Flanner, Peggy Guggenheim, Djuna Barnes and others of the American expatriate community in Montparnasse and Saint-Germain-les-Pris. He went to Morocco in 1932 at the suggestion of Paul Bowles, and there he typed Barnes' just-completed novel, Nightwood (1936), for her.
With Parker Tyler, who would later become a highly respected film critic, he co-authored The Young and Evil (1933), an energetically experimental novel with obvious debts to fellow Villager Djuna Barnes, and also to Gertrude Stein, who called it "the novel that beat the Beat Generation by a generation."
In a series of short, episodic chapters, the novel portrays a collection of young genderqueer artists as they write poems, have sex, move in and out of cheap rented rooms, and duck into the neighborhood's many speakeasies. The characters' gender and sexual identities are presented with a candor and artfulness that was unique for the time; it was written concurrently with New York's Pansy Craze, when the city's popular culture was bowdlerizing homosexuality for entertainment purposes. Nonetheless, it was this candor even more than the novel's surrealism that led to its rejection by several American and British publishers. It was, however, picked up by the Obelisk Press in Paris.
Ford returned to New York City in 1934 and brought with him Pavel Tchelitchew, who would be his constant companion until Tchelitchew's death in 1957. Ford's circle at the time included Carl Van Vechten, Glenway Wescott, George Platt Lynes, Lincoln Kirstein, Julien Levy, Orson Welles, George Balanchine, and E. E. Cummings. Visiting friends from abroad included Cecil Beaton, Leonor Fini, George Hoyningen-Huene, and Salvador Dalí.
He published his first full-length book of poems, The Garden of Disorder in 1938. William Carlos Williams wrote the introduction. In 1940, Ford and Tyler collaborated again on the magazine View, which was mainly concerned with avant-garde and surrealist art. It was published quarterly, as finances permitted, until 1947. It attracted contributions from such artists as Pavel Tchelitchew, Yves Tanguy, Max Ernst, Andre Masson, Pablo Picasso, Henry Miller, Paul Klee, Albert Camus, Lawrence Durrell, Georgia O'Keefe, Man Ray, Jorge Luis Borges, Joan Miro, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Jean Genet, Rene Magritte, Jean Dubuffet, and Edouard Roditi.
In the 1940s, View Editions, an associated publishing house, came out with the first monograph on Marcel Duchamp and the first book translations of Andre Breton's poems. Charles Henri Ford's 1949 book of poems, Sleep in a Nest of Flames, contained a preface by Edith Sitwell.
Ford and Tchelitchew moved to Europe in 1952, and in 1955 Ford had an exhibition of his photographs, Thirty Images from Italy at London's Institute of Contemporary Art. In Paris the next year he had his first one-man show of paintings and drawings. Jean Cocteau wrote the foreword to the catalog. In 1957, Tchelitchew died in Rome. 
In 1962 Ford again returned to the United States and began associating with Pop artists and underground filmmakers. His 1965 exhibition of "Poem Posters" at Cordier & Ekstrom gallery triggered a color-poster fad, and a film made of the show was chosen for Fourth International Avant-Garde Film Festival in Belgium.
Ford also had a long connection with Nepal, where he bought a house. He brought Indra Tamang, a young man from a Nepali village, back to New York City to be his caretaker. With one other Nepali collaborator, Ford compiled a number of art projects using his art and Indra's photography. Indra took care of him till his death, and also continues to look after his sister Ruth Ford. Ford left some paintings, and the rights to his book "Young and Evil," to Indra Tamang.
He lived for many years in The Dakota, the famous apartment house on Central Park West. In 2001, Water From A Bucket: A Diary 1948-1957 was published. Also in 2001 he was the subject of a documentary, Sleep in a Nest of Flames made by James Dowell and John Kolomvakis. He died, aged 89, in 2002.
* Water From A Bucket: A Diary 1948-1957 (2001)
* The Young and the Evil (with Parker Tyler) (1933)
* A Pamphlet of Sonnets (1936)
* The Garden of Disorder (1938)
* ABC's (1940)
* The Overturned Lake (1941)
* Poems for Painters (1945)
* The Half-Thoughts, The Distances of Pain (1947)
* Sleep in a Nest of Flames (1949)
* Spare Parts (1966)
* Silver Flower Coo (1968)
* Flag of Ecstasy: Selected Poems (1972)
* 7 poems (1974)
* Om Krishna I: Special Effects (1972)
* Om Krishna II: from the Sickroom of the Walking Eagles (1981)
* Om Krishna III (1982)
* Emblems of Arachne (1986)
1. ^ a b c d e f g "Charles Henri Ford" memorial article, Milk magazine, Volume 8 (2006? 2007? the Web site doesn't say), accessed January 4, 2008
2. ^ Art in Review; Charles Henri Ford - 'Printed Matter 1929-1969' by Roberta Smith, New York Times, June 25, 1999 - though it should be noted that Stein died in 1946 and the term Beat Generation was not introduced until 1948.
3. ^ a b c Web page titled "Bibliography and Chronology" with information about Ford at Modern American Poetry Web site, accessed January 4, 2007
4. ^ Review by Charles Plymell, Thunder Sandwich #15
5. ^ Knitting Circle: Charles Henri Ford
* Charles Henri Ford Page at Milk Magazine
* Modern Poetry Web pages on Ford
* Interview with Charles Henri Ford
* Charles Henri Ford on glbtq
* A review of The Young and Evil
* Sleep in a nest of flames
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Henri_Ford"
Categories: 1913 births | 2002 deaths | American artists | American photographers | American writers | LGBT writers from the United States | People from Mississippi | People from New York City