Issue 82: Make It Scream, Make It Burn by Leslie Jamison

It was generally believed that the original manuscript of Agee’s killed article [which spawned Let Us Now Praise Famous Men] had been destroyed—or lost for good—until his daughter discovered it in a collection of manuscripts that had been sitting in his Greenwich Village home for years: a 30,000-word typescript simply titled “Cotton Tenants.” This June, the piece was finally published—released by Melville House as a stand-alone text alongside an assortment of Evans’s photographs.
For the first time, we can compare Praise to the husk of its original form. It’s a raw split-screen glimpse into the process of witnessing itself: how does the morally outraged mind begin to arrange its materials? And then—once it runs into doubt, or begins to doubt itself—how does it rearrange them all over again?
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[Portrait of Agee by Walker Evans]

Issue 82: Make It Scream, Make It Burn by Leslie Jamison

It was generally believed that the original manuscript of Agee’s killed article [which spawned Let Us Now Praise Famous Men] had been destroyed—or lost for good—until his daughter discovered it in a collection of manuscripts that had been sitting in his Greenwich Village home for years: a 30,000-word typescript simply titled “Cotton Tenants.” This June, the piece was finally published—released by Melville House as a stand-alone text alongside an assortment of Evans’s photographs.

For the first time, we can compare Praise to the husk of its original form. It’s a raw split-screen glimpse into the process of witnessing itself: how does the morally outraged mind begin to arrange its materials? And then—once it runs into doubt, or begins to doubt itself—how does it rearrange them all over again?

Read More…

[Portrait of Agee by Walker Evans]