Old Mags Never Die They Just Fade Away

While at the 50th Anniversary celebration for Naked Lunch in Paris, I got to hang out with Carl Weissner.  Weissner is best known as a German/English translator.  He singlehandedly made Charles Bukowski a bestselling author in Germany and served as Buk's foreign agent for years.  Weissner hung around army bases and jazz clubs picking up American slang, which served him well in his translation of Burroughs' Naked Lunch.  Weissner made Burroughs' slang understandable to Germans.

Klactoveedsedsteen was Weissner's mimeo mag, published out of Heidelberg.  Issue three is one of my favorites.  Sitting in a cafe in Paris, Weissner told me he printed Klacto #3 with the hope that the ink he used would fade completely in under five years, leaving only blank pages.  The pages of this issue were also scented with perfume.  Alas, the perfume has disappeared and the pesky print remains. 

Weissner and Klactoveedsedsteen are proof positive that mimeo was an international phenomenon.  Weissner established contacts throughout the United States, Continential Europe, Great Britain and even India.  In the early 1960s, Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky opened up India to New American Poetry and by the mid-to-late 1960s, a group of Indian poets and writers known as the Hungry Generation were churning out poems and mimeos of their own.  Weissner planned an Indian Issue of Klacto, and in fact, collected the material, but the issue was not to be.  Unfortunately the impetus for that publication faded becoming a blank page like newsprint in the sun.


Charly Gradin said...

hi, I was looking for some more info on the 23 issue of Klactoveedsedsteen. I am also researching on the mimeo international networks of the sixties, specially those related to argentienean magazines like Diagonal Cero and Eco Contempor√°neo. They were exchanging materials and information with the Underground Press Syndicate and Klacto, among many others. They also published Ginsberg and the Hungry Generation poetry.
Is it possible that you got a copy of this Klacto #23 number? thanks, yours Carlos Gradin

Post a Comment