Karen Lillis is currently serializing a memoir about working at St. Mark’s Bookshop called Bagging The Beats At Midnight: Confessions of an Indie Bookstore Clerk over at Undie Press. Her recent installment, titled “People Who Led Me to Self-Publishing,” discusses the inspiring and energetic figures she encountered, people who took artistic matters into their own hands by making sloppy, lo-fi xeroxed booklets that were sold on a special consignment rack at St. Mark’s. Karen reminds us that writers such as Anais Nin, William Blake, Walt Whitman, Kathy Acker, Gertrude Stein, and others all self-published at one point. There’s a certain magic about it—the immediacy of it, the openness, the way any wing nut or fanatic or obsessive outsider can be given an equal hearing on the consignment rack. No filtration or editorial process—just print, copy, distribute.
In a recent email I sent to Al Burian, I wrote that I was interested in bridging the gap between the small press/indie publishing world and the self-publishing/zine world. Al is kind of a cult figure in the self-publishing world, but is probably virtually unknown to small press and indie lit readers (although he did get some kind of honorable mention in The Best American Nonrequired Reading series one year). I’ve been reading his zines since I was 13 and I’m still totally obsessed with them. Since Al Burian was my favorite zine writer, over the years I let everyone I knew borrow his writings—teachers, friends, family. Some instantly became obsessive fans of his work as well. Since last month Al’s out-of-print collection of early zines, titled Burn Collector, is finally back in print after being republished by PM Press. (You should check it out—I’ve probably read it more times than any other book in my life.) Al’s zine Burn Collector and others like his inspired me to start self-publishing when I was 15.
In theaters tomorrow and On Demand on the 29th. Don’t miss this film. Some more whet:
-Steve Erickson interviews Noé: “I saw “Lady in the Lake” on mushrooms and became fascinated with the idea of depicting a character‘s perspective while he’s on hallucinogenic drugs. I also read about astral projection, and the afterlife. I don’t believe in it, but as a collective dream, like flying saucers, I wanted to depict it properly.” and “I want to make a movie that will be very sentimental and sexual. I have a long treatment now. It’s a love story. I want to film sex as I’ve experienced it, which I haven’t seen accurately represented in erotic or pornographic films.”
Following up on my post about how much I liked Korine’s latest, Trash Humpers is now about to be released on September 21st on DVD, VHS (in limited edition of 300, handmade cases by Korine), and on 35mm (in an edition of 5). Pick up yours here.
Here’s a sample of one of the original VHS cases:
The posthuman is merely the subhuman that results whenever people aspire to the superhuman.
– Garret Keizer (On ‘postmen’ in this month’s Harper’s)
Dick Cavett: What psychology do you use on a seagull?
While we’re on the Harmony Korine again, there is a new short film called Act Da Fool by him on the Proenza Schoulder site. It is retarded gorgeous. In a related Q&A on the site he refers to it as his version of The Ten Commandments. [Thanks to Mike Kitchell for the point.]