Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Notes on old new little presses part nine

& parts one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight

For a one-off talk on my stuff at the University of Bedfordshire four years ago titled The Making of Slow Fiction, published later in Kindle format (below substratum level in Amazon's sales rhizosphere), wrote -

For my self-published printed chapbooks, I prefer using font writer with personal word processor. Typescripts pasted up and master pages photo-copied at high street printers. Copied again as pages on desk top printer.

This desk top printer used to print boxed editions of Slow Fiction: twenty-three tales 2001-2010 was punished to destruction.The kit has not been replaced.

Still promoted as print-on-demand object available from Home'Baked website - printing the set of intended 'cheap chapbooks' would now be a logistical problem. Anybody who obtained titles for complimentary review, or found individual titles for sale when tabled at gigs has rarities. I was only able to complete six editions of box when the printer gave up. 

Home'Baked Books began in spirit of Cobbing's Writers Forum. That is, keep everything in print if possible: keep editions unlimited, keep books affordable, don't sign stuff (devalues poetry & poetics). 

In previous Notes on old new presses I attempt to document working the little press ethos alongside changing economics, print technology, aesthetics, and growth of modern university-based creative writing pedagogics.

For committed users of computer processed documents filed for print-on-demand, with an eye on the book as perfect bound - pleasures of imperfect, unbound, uncommitted artifacts containing elements of paper or card may seem irrelevant to literary practice.

A favoured form for preparing my verbal texts before personal computers was the electronic typewriter with basic font processor app plus irritating floppy disks. On a minus, disks got spoiled losing data. On the plus, ribbon cassettes lasted far longer than those of laser printers. Characters fade into appealing light grey with multi-strike battering - unlike inkjet cartridges which sometimes dry & die after couple weeks non-activity.

Multi-strike ribbon cassettes have become annoyingly unavailable, unless hours are spent trawling eBay for dealers opening dual packs to sell one cassette at inflated prices. An era of Home'Baked Books has ended.

Still, cartoon art and poetry can find entry as 'zines. Artzines emerging from punk are desired  collectables.Three years ago I organized an exhibition of' artzines. Displayed during the week of Malcolm McLaren's funeral; London's bookartbookshop window took on the appearance of an anarchist social centre info free table.

Little presses may find themselves drowning with 'zines on free tables of anarchist social centres but that isn't necessarily the end of their poetical journey.

The Making of Slow Fiction closes -
Slow Fiction as printed boxset is intended to be a bookwork installation. Web-format online variations in existing fic-blogosphere addenda and possible e-book versions of work with multiple comment threads could allow Slow Fiction to grow as work of collaborative textmaking.

Multiple comment threads have appeared @WordPress's wellerverse fic-blogosphere since 2008. It's been ninety-nine percent spam bombed. Tedious to delete every day. A few junk-slimes retained because of flarfable entertainment value.

But is there entertainment value in collaborative textmaking. And if there is - who is entertaining who?