“Until the mideighties,” Luc Sante says, “I was pretty unaware that what was going on all around me was specific and special, but I was fed by its vibration . . . New York City kind of ended for me at the same time that my youth did.” The following magazine covers, collages, and flyers are documents of that lost youth, with annotations by Sante. We are grateful to him for letting us reproduce them here.
Cover design for unpublished book, 1980. “Dave Carluccio” was my longstanding alter ego. He’d first shown up in a story I wrote in the midseventies, his name combining those of two elementary-school classmates, but eventually took on a life of his own. He wrote letters to the editor, took out fraudulent subscriptions, sometimes answered the telephone, and wrote highly compressed, very abstract works of crime fiction, each about 150 words long. I had enough of those to make up a chapbook but as usual lacked the funds to see the project to fruition. The title and design allude to Against Hooliganism in Literature, a 1926 screed by Aleksei Kruchenykh with cover design by Gustav Klutsis.
Reading flier, 1976. Photographs by Jim Jarmusch (left) and Matt Kennedy (right). Jim is holding a copy of “Talk Talk” by the Music Machine. “Radio-Andorra” was one of the early names of the abortive magazine eventually called Rongwrong.
Cover design for Rongwrong, 1976. Photographs by Jim Jarmusch, modeling by Suzanne Fletcher. An ambitious project, undertaken in collaboration with Jarmusch and our other roommate, George Winslow. I solicited pieces from Acker, Foreman, and Verlaine, none of whom I’d met then, as well as Christopher Knowles, a young autistic poet who worked with the playwright Robert Wilson and whose pieces are ecstatic manglings of songs he heard on the radio. I’d discovered the sensational prose of David Anderson, five or six years ahead of us at Columbia, in back issues of The Columbia Review, which I coedited for a time. (See Sante’s Art of Nonfiction interview.)