giancarlo ditrapano

Haut or Not: Giancarlo Ditrapano


Finally — a rejection letter to (instead of from) the editor of New York Tyrant.

Dear New York Tyrant,

Thank you for submitting your book shelf to Haut or Not. Unfortunately, it’s not what we are looking for right now. We’re tying to go in a ‘maybe life doesn’t completely suck’ direction, and all your books have a ‘life completely sucks’ feel to it. Sartre was nauseous; Faulkner’s mother was a fish; Kafka’s Czech was never in the mail; never let naked boys hang out on an island; never let an alcoholic hang out under a volcano — yada yada we get the point. Cheever and Saunders offer jestful energy and enthusiasm, but then you go fuck it up with freaking Johnny Got His Gun — what every Metallica fan just had to read, huh? Grim-face Nietzsche is a redundancy, and what’s up with the Banville – O’Hara – Bowles ‘middle-aged man discontent’ trio? You too can stick your face at some foreign wind, but it’s not gonna help your hair situation. It would’ve been funny to see Isaac Babel next to Racial Hygiene, but you had to restrain yourself didn’t you? Also, you didn’t double-space your books, include a self-addressed stamped crate, or give us your BEST THREE BOOKS. Simultaneous submissions are not allowed, and you’re simultaneously being a prick and a pansy. Feel free to submit again, after you get some hope for the human race (which includes the Jews you Nazi).

Rating: Not

Haut or not / 50 Comments
April 1st, 2009 / 2:20 pm

Behind the Scenes of Tyrant 5: BEAR

A new feature in the making at HTML Giant: behind the scenes of production at your favorite litmags and presses, how things are put together, what is done, who eats first, and in today’s case, how many erections were caused during prep?

Here’s some outtakes from the recent, amazing cover of New York Tyrant‘s fifth issue, with some words on the shoot and the culmination of the innovative cover with editor GianCarlo DiTrapano:

Bears. Bears, bears, bears. I wanted the cover of Tyrant 5 to have to do with them. So, we got a bear-suit and met Barbara Nitke (a Project Runway photog) at the NYPL. She took many shots there, on the steps there at the library. The original plan for the cover: Chris, bear-suit, NYPL. (Not sure why exactly those three things though.) Barbara was kind enough to do the shoot for free, but on the condition that Chris (the bear) would come back to her studio and sit for a portrait after we were done. She was kind enough to invite me along. “Bring the bear-suit!” Ten minutes later we were back at her studio. My clothes were on the floor and all I had on was the bear-head and my underwear.

The pig mask: Maybe kind of stupid. I saw it where we rented the bear-suit and it looked like how I felt I should look sometimes, if my outsides matched my insides. Someone later mentioned The Shining, but I swear I never even thought of that. There were many shots from the library, and there were many shots from the studio. Between the NYPL and the erotic studio shots, we relegated the literary for the porn-ish. Erik Blair did the lay-out, chose that sweet 80s metal font. Erik is a magic cover maker.

I feel like I might owe an apology to all bear-enthusiasts that bought the mag on spec, thinking there was bear porn inside. I hope they like what they found inside instead. There are definitely some stories you could masturbate to if you concentrate hard enough.

Is it selling out to put a famous person on your lit mag cover to help it sell? Of course it is.  But these bitches have been selling like hotcakes so I have ceased to care.

One last thing: My belly-button wasn’t always ugly like that. I used to have a total innie. It herniated one night in Rome, at the age of 21, after over-indulging in food and wine and sex. How Roman. (Obviously, I have huge self-esteem issues to have to explain that fact.)

To check out the final cover, buy the issue (which includes work by Gordon Lish, Sam Michel, Eugene Marten, Jon Haskell, Eva Talmadge, and about 20 other loons, or to submit work for perusal and distribution to the bear community, check out New York Tyrant online.

Behind the Scenes / 36 Comments
December 4th, 2008 / 2:22 pm

MASSIVE PEOPLE (1): GianCarlo DiTrapano

Tuesdays at HTMLgiant shall now entail the feature MASSIVE PEOPLE, in which good people who are doing important shit for independent literature will be featured for a handful of q’s and some sexy photos, etc. Editors, publishers, writers, anything with a good mouth.

I would be hard pressed to find someone better to kick this bitch off with than GianCarlo DiTrapano, who in addition to be the editor of one of the best literary journals around NEW YORK TYRANT, which will soon be launching its press leg with books by Michael Kimball, Brian Evenson, Eugene Marten, and more, is also a hell of a writer (recently published in Opium.print and No Colony, etc.) and fun to listen to talk.

Let’s kick it.

1. What happens to you most days?

The same as what happens to most.  I eat and work and have drinks and then lay back down to do it again.  It’s getting colder in New York so I will be spending less time outside.

What does not happen to you most days?

I sit back and relax as my bank account wildly increases and then I beat my dog to celebrate.

2. You were in my dream the other night, no kidding, I don’t know why, it was a small apartment, you were in one door yelling at someone on the other side of the room at another door, me and another guy were watching, the man you were yelling at took out a gun and shot you in the face. What does this mean? Why?

I know what it means.  I have the same one.  You and a friend drive from Atlanta to New York City for a party.  I spot you guys downtown and say hello.  The three of us go to a bar and get drunk, really drunk, and a phonecall is placed using your friend’s phone.  The rest of the night is delivered by a smiling Latino boy with silver sunglasses on top of his head. We return to my apartment in Hell’s Kitchen to finish things.  We get back there, and do indeed finish them, but in a hurry, as if “finishing” were the objective.  We call for more. A different guy shows up this time (no silver sunglasses) and I don’t recognize him.  There seems to be some bad blood.  You can tell by the tone we use.  So, the rest of the night is passed to me but it’s light.  Sometimes I raise my voice when I’m displeased. I am standing in the kitchen doorway as the delivery guy stands just inside my front door. I tell him, with a raised voice, how much this pains me.  I ask him what is going on and why he insists on being such a jig.  A gun is produced, I get shot in the face. My hands come up over my mouth, blood pours from between my fingers.  You and your friend are sitting on the floor, backs against the wall and you can’t stop staring. All four of your eyes are huge and you’re just staring at me.  It looks like you aren’t even breathing. I stumble back into the kitchen and land on the floor. From the linoleum, I see him turn the gun on you and your friend. Your friend’s skin miraculously turns black the moment the gun is pointed at him. You, Blake, turn pink and start glowing and you look like you’re getting younger.  Both of you get it real good though; three times each in the stomach. Then you roll over onto your sides and hold your guts in.  It’s an awful scene. The bullet I took went out through my cheek, so, even though there’s a lot of blood, I live.  But you two don’t though.  You could’ve, but you don’t though.  Your lives are allowed to end because I am too bothered with my face.  I am so worried about it that I must keep continuing the rest of the night to deal with it while both of you wiggle on the floor holding your stomachs and bleeding to death. In my defense, I do keep saying over and over, “I’m really sorry about all of this, Blake.  I’m so so sorry. Tell your friend I’m sorry. Why’s he black now? Tell him I’m sorry. New York is usually a pretty good time.” And then I mumble something indecipherable.  I don’t look at you when I say it because I am busy with what is laid out on the desk in front of me. Crushing and chopping.  It is turning pink and balling up from the falling blood of my mouth. I get the feeling in the dream that you and your friend think I’m being rude.  Does your dream run like this?

Now, if dreams do anything else besides foretell the future, I think they allow themselves to be opened for interpretation. This particular dream can be interpreted like this: Giancarlo DiTrapano can be a very selfish person and may seem like not such a good friend when he is in the pocket. He lacks what he’s always craved: elan. But it also signifies a deep tie between us, Blake.  Watching someone get shot in the face in your dreams is textbook Freudian for a future bond.  If I had been naked, the dream would mean you were planning on shooting me yourself.  But, you know, if that’d happened, I’d never have invited you two back to my place and probably would have walked the other way once I spotted you guys downtown.

3. Tell me a literary rumor. Make it up if you have to.

I think I know what you’re getting at.  Hmmm…let me see. This one time, to get a story for the Tyrant, I sent “a young Italian girl with pretty feet” over to a writer’s house at his request. It was a trade, and we received in turn a story by the writer.  The story was worth it. The story is good. And it created this other story.  A whole new story that didn’t exist before.  The story about getting the story.  That was the last good thing I’ve written and I didn’t even have to pick up a pen.

4. What books are you reading now? What books do you want to read?

What I read daily, without question, are the titles stacked in my bathroom.

“Waste” by Eugene Marten (Already read this, but I just like picking it up and digging in at any point)

a book of poems by Piero Pasolini (This was a gift.  Roman Poems.  Kind of sucks.)

a book titled “Disarming the Narcissist,” (This was mailed to me by a printer as an example of their work and I don’t have many books like this so it’s different and fun to learn what a narcissist I am.)

“The Origins of Solitude” by Garth Buckner

“Essay on Man” by Alexander Pope. (Jaw-dropping)

I want to read Under The Volcano and the recently released Camus diaries.

Gian's son learning to smoke

Gian's son learning to smoke

5. What are you writing now? What do you want to write?

I am working on a piece about David Lynch for this collection that is coming out soon that should be great.  I’m actually having trouble with it and am hoping the editor won’t get angered by me failing completely. But I don’t really write that much.  I have in the past, wrote a little here or there, but not so much.  I don’t even consider myself a writer most of the time.  I’d like to do it more, but when I’m not really feeling it I end up hating the whole damn world and everyone in it and especially hate myself for acting like such a fraud.

Massive People / 11 Comments
October 21st, 2008 / 3:09 am