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Notes from Underground: Zines and the Politics of Alternative Culture (Haymarket Series) Paperback – October 17, 1997
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“Notes from Underground is an impressive book, illuminating the possibilities and limits of democratic communication in a world where colossal media trusts make small-scale media activity both difficult and invisible. In its subject matter and its original conception, Duncombe’s pioneering study engages some of the elemental issues of our time.”—Stuart Ewen
“At long last, somebody’s got it right. Duncombe does the essential work of cultural analysis that neither the national weeklies with their demographic fantasies, nor the czars of cultural studies with their determination to locate dissent in daytime television, can never bring themselves to perform.”—Tom Frank, The Baffler
About the Author
Stephen Duncombe, an Associate Professor at the Gallatin School of New York University, is the author of Dream and Notes from Underground, editor of the Cultural Resistance Reader, and coeditor (with Maxwell Tremblay) of White Riot.
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Zines reflect what happens when anyone can publish. Much as we might like to believe that this is the answer to corporate news and other canned information, zines turn out to me more personal expression and less a matter of getting you better news than the big agencies. But, that said, they offer just about every perspective conceivable. And, for those self-publishers who stick with them, they can be the beginnings of projects that allow them to find a productive, creative place in society. Of course, some will keep doing zines forever and a day. Whether zines or a "real job" become one's destiny, zines still serve as a forum for dissent and dissemination. And they and the people behind them are worth knowing about.
The making of it,the meaning of it and the paradoxes and drawbacks it has are all introduced.
pros and cons well defined.Duncombe also draw the limits of the underground scene.I agree with his pessimisim about fanzine writers doing nothing more than just being politics by themselves.[what i mean is fanzine writers dont need to take political action as making a fanzine is keeping them busy (mind and time)]
What is most successful about this book is he didnt just write about the world of fanzines but explored through the social/economic/political structure of the USA. As a political science student and a fanzine writer i share his views concerning the new world order as an everchanging,imposing and even assimilating fact.(is it new?)
Well, i really liked the book even though at times i felt like he is repeating all again well i guess this happens when explaining such complex things (as economic,olitical things not fanzines)
Having no idea what a "zine" was - in itself either tells you that I am completely removed from Bohemia and/or have been completely swallowed up by the mass of Big Business everything. But I clutched for that lifeline and reveled in the premise of freedom of speech as I read about the DIY zine creators/communicators.
Individuality and originality still lives? YYYYYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSS
Take a walk with Duncombe - it's worth it.