On Vanity Productions

Lorin Maazel (Photo: Andrew Garn)
Vanity fare
Self-executed, self-funded projects challenge established institutions and garner praise along with ridicule
BY JUSTIN DAVIDSON [NYNewsday.com, 22 May 05]
On Sept. 29, 1855, the Brooklyn Daily Times ran an unsigned and startlingly exuberant review of a thoroughly obscure book of poetry. The anonymous critic quivered with admiration for the poet, as well as the verse. “Of pure American breed, of reckless health, his body perfect, free from taint top to toe,” he wrote.
The article did not mention that this lyric superman had printed the book himself and delivered the clothbound volumes to the only two bookstores that would take it, where they spent months moldering in stacks. He also omitted that he was using the newspaper to review his own book.
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