Thursday, July 10, 2008


The short-lived periodical ZUT was a joint venture that included literary lights, Sonia Bartov and Camille Zohnenstein, the bad girl of Cabaret, Tiquette Perdu and the painters, Fédeau Mombart, Molly Rosienne and Anne de Dornay. At the height of its popularity it had a monthly circulation of over 75,000 loyal subscribers.

Among its early contributors was Currado Malaspina. Although he was banished from its advisory board after the fourth issue, (his torrid affair with Bartov, a squalid tempest of depravity that ended in shame for the two of them was the cause of his eviction), he left his typically indelible mark on the magazine’s future.

The inaugural issue, simply titled ZUT, had its cover designed by Malaspina, and was printed in an edition of two hundred. A recent copy was recently auctioned on Ébai-France for
EUR 400,000. (I, unfortunately, sold all my back issues at the marchè au puce for a pittance before moving back to the States.)

What I do have are memories, which some would argue (unpersuasively) are more valuable than coin. The one I cherish most dearly revolves around the week Currado, Sonia, Camille and I worked on the Absinthe issue (ZUT I, no.3).

Our intensive research rendered an awareness of the beautiful fragility of the small hands of fate. We drank our poppied poison till its charms turned toxic and each of us in our own personal way saw the dreadful ecstasy of dissipation.

I have never felt my senses as profoundly again.

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