Against the Grain: Interviews with Maverick American by Robert Dana

By Robert Dana

Opposed to the Grain is a set of interviews with 9 small press publishers, each characterised by way of energy of get to the bottom of and a commitment to strong books. every one press displays, maybe extra at once than any huge alternate writer might, the nature of its founder; and every has earned its personal position within the opt for workforce of significant small presses in the US. This assortment is the 1st of its sort to discover with the publishers themselves the old, aesthetic, functional, and private impulses in the back of literary publishing. The publishers incorporated are Harry Duncan (the Cummington Press), Lawrence Ferlinghetti (City Lights), David Godine (David R. Godine), Daniel Halpern (the Ecco Press), Sam Hamill and Tree Swenson (Copper Canyon Press), James Laughlin (New Directions), John Martin (Black Sparrow), and Jonathan Williams (the Jargon Society). Their ardour for books, their trust of their person visions of what publishing is or may be, their encouraged mulishness crackle at the web page.

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James Laughlin 31 He also works with myths, creating myth. He takes, for example, the cargo cults of Micronesia and shapes myths out of his reading. I know the four anthropological works about the cargo cults which he used, but, while their material is interesting, the way he synthesizes it in twenty pages makes it wonderfully mythical and elevated and selective. DANA: You've touched on two of the key aspects of writing-upon content and subject matter, and shape or form. It's curious that about the same time in a recent conversation with Daniel Halpern the same subject came up.

DANA: It seems to me that's a press that's as committed to a standard of literary taste as you were. LAUGHLIN: I think Dan's very talented. He's one of the best young editors around. He has uniformly high standards, and he gets a lot of good stuff. You've probably heard the story of Bill Bird's trunk. DANA: No. LAUGHLIN: Well, you know who Bill Bird was? DANA: Yes, one of Hemingway's early publishers. " But he never sent for them. Bill Bird died, and his heirs find the trunk and sell it to the Lilly Library at Indiana University.

When Omar got out of boarding school, he'd be shipped off to his grandmother's for the summer. Ezra was remote in that sense. And yet, in the town of Rapallo, he was deeply loved and respected. And nobody ever came to see him in Rapallo and was turned away summarily. If he proved to be a bore, he would be gently eased out. But anybody could come there, and Ezra would talk to them, try to instruct them. He had this wonderfully forbearing quality about people-and he didn't expect people to be as smart as he was.

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