By Robert Dana
Opposed to the Grain is a set of interviews with 9 small press publishers, every one characterised through energy of get to the bottom of and a commitment to reliable books. each one press displays, probably extra at once than any huge alternate writer may well, the nature of its founder; and every has earned its personal position within the decide on staff of significant small presses in the US. This assortment is the 1st of its type to discover with the publishers themselves the historic, aesthetic, sensible, 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 should be, their encouraged mulishness crackle at the web page.
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Extra resources for Against the Grain: Interviews with Maverick American Publishers
So that that part of the avant-garde has disappeared. But the avant-garde still does flourish, in a certain sense, in that there are a large number of very good writers who are doing something which is totally different from what your average, accepted, good writer is doing. Now I would take as examples Walter Abish, three of whose books we have published, who has a ki11d of construction for fiction which is highly original and totally different from anything that anybody else is doing. And somebody like David Antin out on the 38 AGAINST THE GRAIN Pacific Coast, who is doing his talk pieces, which are an experiment in trying to make a new kind of poetry out of prose.
They have this great imaginative power which creates a world within which they work. DANA: Would you say the same thing about Thomas's sonnets, which he once called "wild and whirling words"? LAUGHLIN: I'm speaking of the whole Thomas oeuvre. The whole thing put together is a personal, imaginative world. DANA: The sonnets puzzle the reader even now. " LAUGHLIN: In Thomas, the world is created through a mystique of sounds and symbols. DANA: Yes, an incantatory quality. I've always felt that Thomas created by incantation.
DANA: Well, you must have been quite a sensation at Harvard. An upstart twenty-year-old publisher with ... LAUGHLIN: I don't think that Harvard paid any attention to me. I mean, the people . . DANA: No circle of friends sprang up around you? Or, ... LAUGHLIN: I'm pretty much of a loner. The people on the Advocate . . I was always a member of the Advocate, and I would have been president of the Advocate, except for the turpitude of another fellow, my best friend, who won the presidency away from me by giving the Advocate building a new roof.