Get Your Mind Out of the Gutter

Recently, I bought a copy of The New American Story anthology (1965) edited by Robert Creeley and Donald Allen. Turns out my copy was not set correctly. A few pages were off center with the text pushed flush right to the edge of the margin.

So what do you do when life gives you a lemon. You make lemonade. I now see this printing error as a happy accident that comments on the anthology wars of the 1960s and this anthology in particular. Margins are key. The stories collected in New American Story were all on the margins. They were outlaw texts from the gutter with hopes of going legit. Yet despite the attempt of this anthology to get this writing in the canon, some writers like William Burroughs or Hubert Selby, Jr. remain off-center and askew.


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