"My real friend was a writer named Stan Leventhal. All of his books are out of print now. And the harsh truth is that Stan never really became a great writer. But he wanted to be. My favorite story of his was in the final book published in his lifetime, Candy Holidays and Other Short Fictions, where Stan remembers the last man he unknowingly infected. However, Stan was a great friend. He liked to have a Jack Daniels and a cigarette; he took AZT with bourbon sometimes. A tall skinny guy, clean shaven with short brown hair, he was kind of a hippie, wore a jean jacket, T-shirt and had a backpack. Stan read everything and was one of the first men I'd met who actually read lesbian fiction and loved it.
He lived in a filthy apartment on Christopher Street overlooking the park. It was packed with books and CDs, his guitar and TV. He'd come to the city from Long Island to be a singer and started out on the folk circuit. He'd broken up with the love of his life right before we made friends and plunged himself into the creation of Amethyst Press, which probably published the most interesting collection of gay male writing in the history of our literature. He published books by Dennis Cooper, the late Bo Houston, the late Steve Abbott, Kevin Killian, Patrick Moore, Mark Ameen-all important, under-appreciated artists. After working at porn magazines like Torso for years, Stan had a formula. He'd publish a highly intellectual, formally innovative novel by a gifted writer and then slap a piece of beefcake on the cover so it would sell. His favorite writer was Guy Davenport, to whom he'd written a comprehensive and adoring monograph.
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( Stan Leventhal, 1987, by Robert GiardCollapse )
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More Particular Voices at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Particular Voices
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