“Before San Francisco, my father started up Semina. This small publication would be called a zine these days. It was basically a collection of loose pages that consists of poetry, photographs and artwork. The edition would be a print run of 100, and all of it was done on a hand press at home. I think this was a way for my father to communicate with the world. Or in simple terms, to share something that he liked and wanted to show the work to others. Most of the editions were mailed or handed out for free. I think when he went to San Francisco he would have a couple on consignment at City Lights Bookstore. They sold for a dollar. The poets that were featured in the publication are Michael McClure, David Meltzer, Philip Lamantia and others. Now they’re priceless and it’s very difficult to find the original Seminas.
Tosh Berman reflects on his childhood and his father Wallace Via Blastitude
“In art, Partisan Review is perhaps best known as the publisher of Clement Greenberg, who contributed over 30 articles from 1939 to 1981, most notably his Summer 1939 essay entitled “Avant-Garde and Kitsch.” (Greenberg even made a posthumous appearance in the Spring 1999 issue.) Beyond Greenberg’s voluble legacy we encounter such landmark texts as Dwight Macdonald’s “Masscult and Midcult,” from the Spring 1960 issue, and Susan Sontag’s “Notes on ‘Camp’” from Winter 1964, as well as the seminal popular-culture criticism of Robert Warshow (his essay on the Krazy Kat comic strip in the November-December 1946 issue is especially great) and the work of Hilton Kramer, the conservative iconoclast who went on to found The New Criterion.”
The archive of the Partisan Review has been digitized!
“The earlier “you,” the one in the first two books [The Cow and Coeur de Lion], was the Bush-era “you.” It’s the “you” of YouTube and advertising. It’s really brutalized. It’s what the impoverished “I” is made of. The “I” is just the object of the address of advertising, of George W. Bush, of ATMs. And the weird thing is that “you,” like the “thou,” the divine “thou,” isn’t expected to respond, only to buy in. You’re not expected to answer, just to ante-up or pay in. Even if there’s a comment box.”
Ben Lerner & Ariana Reines in conversation via Bomb Magazine