Appended to his book Jefferson's Birthday, Dick Higgins' Postface is one of the earliest accounts of Happenings and Fluxus by someone who both practiced and was in the thick of both worlds. Jefferson's Birthday/Postface was initially planned to be published by George Maciunas as a Fluxus Edition. Long delays in realizing the project pushed Higgins to abscond the manuscript and publish it himself, and it became the first book published for his Something Else Press publishing house.
Peter Frank writes, "Postface, an account of the state of High Art and the new sensibility at the time (1963), is as personal and polemical an account as such analytical commentary allows. Considering that this account has been enobled as a book and not just fed into (or thrown at) the temper of the times as an article in a journal, it is more polemical and personal than its context would allow. Its dated quality, as it now comes down to us, points this out; its tone alternately of fierce resentment (towards the prominent avant-gardists whom Higgins castigates in their false vanguardism) and great excitement (for the work of Higgins' new sensibility compeers) now seems not inappropriate, but quaint. It exists more as an artifact of the young Higgins and his strong opinions than it does as a measure of the arts in the early 1960s. The ferment among Higgins and his friends is conveyed by inference rather than detailed account, and Higgins' enthusiasm crowds out an ability to contextualize the work he champions, although he obviously strives to do so,,,,Postface paints a vivid pictures of the times from the vantage of someone entirely immersed in them. And, if Higgins; views in Postface should be taken with some caution, he does not hide his subjectivity, but parades it in a youthful display of ardor and candor - a display that clarifies the need Higgins and his fellow Intermedialists felt for a means of coordinating and disseminating their work and ideas. Fluxus was good, but not enough. The Something Else Press emerged to fill the void." From Something Else Press, An Annotated Bibliography, McPherson, 1983
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