By Robert Dana
Opposed to the Grain is a suite of interviews with 9 small press publishers, each characterised by means of power of unravel and a commitment to reliable books. each one press displays, might be extra without delay than any huge alternate writer may, the nature of its founder; and every has earned its personal position within the choose staff of vital small presses in the United States. This assortment is the 1st of its variety to discover with the publishers themselves the ancient, aesthetic, sensible, and private impulses at the back of literary publishing. The publishers integrated 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 will be, their encouraged mulishness crackle at the web page.
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Extra info for Against the Grain: Interviews with Maverick American Publishers
Ezra wouldn't read the stories; he wasn't interested much in any fiction since James or Flaubert. But he would look at the poems and tear them to pieces. " He'd write in the way he would say it. Finally, after I'd been there some months, he said to me, "Jas, let's face it, you're never going to be a writer. " Canby was the editor, you remember, of the Saturday Review. He was the famous man who wrote that there was no character development in Ulysses. " That puzzled him, and he said, "Well, maybe you're right.
DANA: So you would say it was a straight capitalistic economics? LAUGHLIN: He didn't charge me any interest. He gave me the money. My father was a very sweet man who worked in the mills. He was in charge of the electrification of the Alaquippa mills. He'd taken an electrical engineering degree at Princeton, and he worked in the company until his father died. And the minute his father died, he quit and devoted the rest of his life to golf, fishing, and shooting birds of various types. But he was a sweet man and very much a gentleman.
I never wanted to tackle the Tropic books here, because I don't like lawyers and courts and cases. Do you know that poor Barney Rosset, when he brought out Tropic of Cancer, had sixty-seven cases going at the same time, in different courts, in different cities, where booksellers had been picked up for selling the book? So that poor Barney, James Laughlin 27 who's to me sort of a culture hero, never made a dime off Tropic of Cancer, because it all went in legal fees. DANA: That's a sad story. LAUGHLIN: I was just canny enough to know what would happen and to avoid that and to realize that I didn't have the funds to pay lawyers in sixty cases.
Against the Grain: Interviews with Maverick American Publishers by Robert Dana