Up Is Up, But So Is Down: New York's Downtown Literary Scene, 1974-1992

Up Is Up, But So Is Down: New York's Downtown Literary Scene, 1974-1992

by Brandon Stosuy
     
 

Gathers almost twenty years of New York City's smartest and most explosive-as well as hard to find- writing, providing an indispensable archive of one of the most exciting artistic scenes in U.S. History.See more details below

Overview

Gathers almost twenty years of New York City's smartest and most explosive-as well as hard to find- writing, providing an indispensable archive of one of the most exciting artistic scenes in U.S. History.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
While the major players in New York's punk scene have had their songs anthologized and reissued several times, Stosuy believes the downtown literary culture has not been as well preserved. This vibrant time capsule, presented in a creatively designed oversize volume, aims to fill the gap by compiling poems and short stories and mixing in an assortment of magazine covers, hand-printed flyers and other artworks that demonstrate the performative and collaborative aspects of the scene's poetry readings and small magazines. Stosuy's skills as an archivist and cultural critic help him guide readers through the various subcultures. The talent roster is split between recognizable literary figures and the semiforgotten: Mary Gaitskill and Tama Janowitz are the biggest stars here, and monologues by Eric Bogosian and Spalding Gray are juxtaposed with pieces by performers like Penny Arcade, one of the last stars of Andy Warhol's Factory. In an afterword in the form of a dialogue, Cooper and Myles discuss how the AIDS crisis decimated this vibrant artistic community and share recollections of a heady time they say is still influencing the cultural scene. 180 illus. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

“Exhilarating. . . . Up Is Up reproduces flyers and pages from lit mags to convey downtown’s heady DIY ethos. The writing itself displays sensibilities that are at once fiery and cool. Cookie Mueller, Dennis Cooper, Wojnarowicz and many others merge crackling prose and a matter-of-fact tone to burrow into disturbing corners of sexual desire. AIDS takes a serious toll in the ’80s, and becomes the haunting focus in amazing selections by novelist Gary Indiana and poet Tim Dlugos. Even as the scene begins to wind down, the book nails the deep thrills of talk and collaboration, especially in novelist Lynne Tillman’s complex rendering of two friends’ bar-set conversation. That gift for gab lives on in the epilogue, a spirited conversation between Eileen Myles and Cooper, who resist mythologizing but invoke the scene’s glory nonetheless.”
-Time Out New York

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814740118
Publisher:
New York University Press
Publication date:
10/01/2006
Pages:
500
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 11.00(h) x 1.40(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

Up Is Up itself has a scrapbook feel. It gathers poems, excerpts and short stories as well as handmade magazine covers, pamphlets and posters that capture the collaborative, on-the-fly spirit of the period. . . . What is most arresting about UP IS UP is not its discovery of any individual genius but its invocation of an electrifying social energy that helped blast out an intellectual space for then-‘transgressive’ female and gay writers.”
-New York Times Book Review

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“This is a kind of three-decade book celebrating the possibilities of a self-sufficient writing community right under the nose of the decaying, increasingly irrelevant, empire of New York publishing.”
-American Book Review

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“Some of us like our angels with dirty faces; witness the lovingly reproduced artifacts of Up Is Up, But So Is Down: New York's Downtown Literary Scene, 1974-1992, a comprehensive compendium of below-14th Street literary productions by everyone from Laurie Anderson to Nick Zedd, focusing on the output of small magazines of the era like Koff, Bomb, and Between C and D...[the] stories meld dry satire with heart-churningly desperate transmissions of damaged humanity.”
-Village Voice

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“Exhilarating. . . . Up Is Up reproduces flyers and pages from lit mags to convey downtown's heady DIY ethos. The writing itself displays sensibilities that are at once fiery and cool. Cookie Mueller, Dennis Cooper, Wojnarowicz and many others merge crackling prose and a matter-of-fact tone to burrow into disturbing corners of sexual desire. AIDS takes a serious toll in the '80s, and becomes the haunting focus in amazing selections by novelist Gary Indiana and poet Tim Dlugos. Even as the scene begins to wind down, the book nails the deep thrills of talk and collaboration, especially in novelist Lynne Tillman's complex rendering of two friends' bar-set conversation. That gift for gab lives on in the epilogue, a spirited conversation between Eileen Myles and Cooper, who resist mythologizing but invoke the scene's glory nonetheless.”
-Time Out New York

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Up Is Up is a remarkable monument to the vibrancy of the Downtown scene. There are moments of romantic myth-making, dysfunctional beauty and hilarious profundity. It documents a now-gone era when lower Manhattan was an affordable oasis for artists, writers and musicians, when poetry and prose rubbed up against punk and visual art before drunkenly stumbling into an endless pansexual orgy.”
-New York Press

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