Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The Realist Archive Project is complete

Ethan Persoff has just announced the completion of The Realist Archive Project, in which the complete run of Paul Krassner's legendary and rare satire/freethought/conspiracy underground magazine has been scanned and posted online. Jesse Walker describes "the lost bridge between Mad and Wikipedia" (with a bonus find of a letter to the editor from a then-conservative Karl Hess):
In 1958 Paul Krassner set out to create a Mad magazine for adults. He was well-qualified for the task, being both a former Mad contributor and, in fact if not always in spirit, an adult. The result was The Realist, a journal whose great innovation was to refuse to label which articles were journalism and which were satire, and sometimes to add just enough truth to a piece of fiction that readers would be left completely befuddled as to what, if anything, they should believe. Some call it a prelude to the underground press. I call it a prelude to the Internet.
Over a three year period, a quartet of issues was posted monthly; the most (in)famous stuff — "The Parts Left Out of the Kennedy Book", the Disneyland Memorial Orgy, the Fuck Communism! poster — was posted early on, but there are plenty of goodies in the later updates; the highlight of the penultimate update was an interview with Albert Ellis by Krassner and Robert Anton Wilson, and the final update is topped off with Krassner's "My Acid Trip with Groucho Marx" (which was already online, but this is a different edition with original page scans and without an eyeball-searing background color).

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