Up Is Up, but So Is Down: New York's Downtown Literary Scene, 1974–1992

Brandon Stosuy, Editor, Dennis Cooper, Afterword by, Eileen Myles, Afterword by , afterword by Dennis Cooper and Eileen Myles. New York Univ. $29.95 (510p) ISBN 978-0-8147-4011-8

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.)

Reviewed on: 08/28/2006
Release date: 10/01/2006
Hardcover - 510 pages - 978-0-8147-4010-1
Show other formats
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!