On Wednesday, I gave a presentation on The Mimeo Revolution for Steve McCaffery's History of the Book seminar. Thanks for the invite and the hospitality, Steve. Here is a pic of the set up. You might recognize a few old favorites here. Mike Basinski, Jim Maynard and the folks in Special Collections showed me a great time. By that I mean, they pulled some wonderful Mimeo Revolution classics for me.
On the table above were: Floating Bear, The Outsider, J, Beatitude, C: A Journal of Poetry, Fuck You, a magazine of the arts, X War Elegies (the mimeo'd first and the letterpress second editions), Dan Saxon's Le Metro and Deux Megot, Semina, Chicago, Origin, Chicago Review, Black Mountain Review, Big Table, My Own Mag, Umbra, Roosevelt After Inauguration, levy's Great Train Robbery by Ganglia, The San Francisco Scene by Evergreen Review, Kulchur, two of Robert Kelly's stencils, Minutes to Go, an Ed Sanders Catalogue, Open Space, Josephine Miles' Saving the Bay, Blaser's translation of Nerval, APO-33, OLE, Rhinozeros, Klactoveedsedsteen, and Center.
Everyone of these magazines was on my wish list as I was preparing for the discussion and Buffalo's Special Collection came through on every single one. My only two regrets were that the Floating Bears did not have mailing labels and the fact that they could not deliver on Lorenzo Thomas' Dracula. But this was more than made up for by the fact that some of the magazines and publications they did provide had the added bonus of an inscription that blew my mind. For example the mimeo edition of X War Elegies, printed by Untide Press - in fact the first book published by that press - was mint and inscribed by William Everson as Brother Antoninus in 1965. The good Brother was shocked as well. The inscription states that it is the best copy he had ever seen. The book proved that the printers of Waldport were masters of mimeography just as much as they were legends of the letterpress.
It is no exaggeration to say that, for me, the UB Special Collection Room is one of the special places on earth. For someone obsessed with the Mimeo Revolution, it is overwhelming. When they rolled out all that glorious mimeo and I laid it out on the table, I was like Tony Montana buried deep in the snows of Kilimanjaro. Complete excess and total intoxication. Let's face it, I am just a local access-type guy broadcasting his rants on mimeo from the basement of his house or, maybe I should say, in the alley. But Steve, Mike and Jim let me put on an exhibition on the fly with complete freedom. I am not worthy!!
Sitting in The Pink afterwards, I thought does mimeo really smell like this; no, it must be the booze.