[ed. SANDERS, Ed]

Fuck You

New York: Fuck You Press, 1962

4to, 22 tangerine mimeographed leaves, unpaginated, secured by staples running the length of left edge. Minimal bumping to top left corner, otherwise a fine copy.


In the 'fifties and 'sixties, one-man underground publishing enterprises such as the Fuck You Press rarely got past Issue One -- indeed, many failed even to get that far. Fuck You, A Magazine For The Arts ran for thirteen issues between 1962 and 1965, featured contributors comprising most of the principal cast of that period's counterculture scene, and is now acknowledged as one of the main freeways connecting the end of the Beats to the beginning of the Yippies. In Sanders' own words, 'Fuck You was part of what they called the Mimeograph Revolution, and my vision was to reach out to the 'best minds' of my generation with a message of Gandhian pacifism, great sharing, social change, the expansion of personal freedom (including the legalisation of marijuana), and the then-stirring messages of sexual liberation.'

Issue 1 of Fuck You did not go down well with Dorothy Day. Socialist bohemian turned Catholic activist, Day had co-founded the Catholic Worker newspaper in 1931, and edited it until her death in 1980. Jean Morton, employed by the Catholic Worker, was a contributor to the first issue, and her employer got a mention at the back of the magazine. For Sanders, this was uncontroversial: there was a loose alliance of Catholics and non-aligned pacifists (Sanders among them) in the New York anti-nuclear movement, and he assumed the Catholic Worker would be broadly supportive of his new venture -- he had, after all, used their mimeograph machine to print it. But Day begged to differ. In the March 2 entry of her diary she wrote: 'Jean Morton, Nelson Barr, Bob Kay, Hoffman, Sanders all asked to stay from CW. In their mimeographed publication they have shown hatred, contempt for the very sources of life itself, and have defaced in every way the creativity within them, a blasphemy and a horror from which one can only recoil with fear and disgust at this breath of evil among us.' In protest at Day's reaction two of the contributors to Issue 2, Nelson Barr and Jim Forest, resigned from their posts at the Catholic Worker. The issue also carries a response to Day: 'This outburst of Calvinistic directives seems to us not in the spirit of anarchy, non-violence, & the view of Christ in every man. ... In future issues of this magazine we shall refrain from any mention of the Catholic Worker to save Miss Day from any more metaphysical distress. If any of the mad gropers left at the Worker want to publish in Fuck You/A Magazine Of The Arts all manuscripts should bear the notation: "Approved by D.D."'

Around 500 copies of each issue were produced, firstly on the Catholic Worker's Speed-O-Print and later on an A.B. Dick stencil duplicator. They were then distributed free of charge wherever Sanders found himself. The survival rate of any issue of the magazine is low; copies of early issues rarely surface, and they are rarer still in fine condition.

Keywords: Ed SANDERS"

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