Story. Bernadette Mayer. 0 to 9 Books. 1968.


0 to 9 Books, 1968. Item #1137

Side-stapled wrappers. The poet’s very rare first book published by 0 to 9, the press and magazine she edited with Vito Acconci.

In “A Lecture at the Naropa Institute, 1989,” Poetics Journal (1990), Mayer remembers:

“The way it came into being was I wrote a story that was about falling down, tripping and falling down. It was nicely written, experimentally so, but it seemed dull. So I tried to figure out what to do with it; and being a twenty-year-old person at the time, I went overboard and made a structure that is like a diamond shape where I accumulated other texts. I was very interested in American Indian myths at that time so I included a Kwakiutl myth about hats and about smoking; their description of a hoop and arrow game; and then an Italian folk tale about fourteen men who went to hell … then I accumulated some lists from the dictionary of other words for beginning, middle and end. There’s a recipe for true sponge cake, there’s a 19th-century letter about etiquette, a couple of quotes from Edgar Allan Poe, and an article by the biologist Louis Agassiz about coral reefs…I decided to interrupt the text at random moments with all the words I could think of that would mean story…The confluences were amazing. All of a sudden it would say detective story, and the section that was randomly chosen to be a detective story really became one. Or could become one in the reader’s mind. Probably more so than in my mind.” (From a Secret Location website.)

Front cover, two closed 5mm scrapes, evidence of partial fold in the middle of the book, overall gently rumpled. Very good plus.

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