Wednesday, May 21, 2008

SxSW: Roundup pt 1

Items are piling up in my crib. In my crib, items are piling. Please join me on a brief tour of recent acquisitions. First, a survey of a small but notable haul at a recent book fair featuring the likes of Roof, The Figures, Cuneiform, Bootstrap, Portable Y0-Yo etc, & Ugly Duckies.

The Weiners I had been after for what seemed like a full year, though I don't think it's been out that long. Deals were to be had at this event--publishers, bookfair visitors, take note, always have a deal. People want them. Some of the most interesting items though were some special things from Geoff Young. On his table were paperback copies of Clark Coolidge's Space, published long ago in 1970 by Harper and Row. When I lamented to Geoff that I had a hardback signed copy that was somewhat beat up, he produced a lavishly new HC copy from his bag behind the table. My eyes were so wide I saw Fuji. That, along with a copy from a recently-discovered handful of Kenneth Goldsmith's No 111, marked the true finds of the day.

What follows documents various sorts & sites of acquisition. For the most part, this will be only a general pictorial survey, as there is still more yet to come. The careful voyeur may notice the 'pataphysical jets destinationally aflame, for very good reason. Those goodies to be depicted in part 2 of this post.

The Clark Coolidge/Glen Baxter collab, out from Arc Publications, a UK outfit, is the first edition of work originally from 1974, & it is something similar to Ted Berrigan's picture-drawing-texts featured in the Aaron Fischer bibliography Granary put out. The Stephen Rodefer item is from Equipage, in what is almost a totally Tuumba-inspired design, replete with oversize wraps with too-easily bumped corners. The copy is signed. The early Rod Smith title The Boy Poems is my 2nd copy of this book but it was up for grabs for cheap at his recent Zinc bar reading so I grabbed. Of the Atlas stuff, the Peret is especially choice, a 1986 title that is among the most elusive of the early Atlas product.

In this series of items, the Benjamin Friedlander pieces are of special note. The first is the premier issue of Jimmy & Lucy's House of K, a small-run mag of the mid-80s west coast scene. Friedlander co-edited the journal along with Andrew Schelling. It is similar to L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E in the sense that it is 99% prose, but on the whole seems less militantly critical, tending occasionally toward biography & remembrance. The first issue for instance opens with Stephen Rodefer on Ted Berrigan's then-recent passing, & ends with Barry Lane on filmmaker Hollis Frampton, who had just died also. In surveying issue one, particular note should go to Nancy May's giraffe artwork, featured throughout the issue, which is a nice formal touch, as opposed to featuring it in one's own separate section. By issue six of Jimmy & Lucy's House of K, a survey of Tuumba press which I've previously owned for a while, a similar interactivity between pieces is achieved by allowing the different pieces to end & begin on the same page, much like L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E.

The second Friedlander-related item is a tiny, rare, visually interesting collab with Rodefer, which was "originally published in March 1984 on the occasion of a reading...This new and revised edition of 200 copies printed Spring 1987 and assigned to the reader," published by Phraseology, entitled Oriflamme Day. By total coincidence, the innards of this one highly resemble the Baxter/Coolidge collab, featuring visually random bits of collaged image & text heading in all directions.

Also totally by coincidence, I recently pounced on what was then my second copy of Kenny Goldsmith's No 111. The only copy for sale online was going for over $200, so when I saw one for a much more reasonable price, I stepped on the gas. The pristine copy arrived, &, much to my pleasure, bore a nice stamp & signature from Goldsmith--a detail that was not included in the description of the book when I bought it. So now I have three copies of the book.

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