I snapped a photo of him, M-16 in one hand, bottle of water in the other, his chin tilted up like a boxer about to enter the ring.
Printed privately in Paris in 1935 as a limited edition of seventy-five signed copies, the volume had over the course of four decades virtually disappeared, only ten copies of the original are now known to be in existence. Read's book is of historical significance not only because it is the first collection of folk epigraphy printed in the English language since the anonymous British work The Merry-Thought, or The Glass-Window and Bog-House of Miscellany of 1731, but also because it has been the stimulus for graffiti research undertaken since 1935. But it is not just of historical importance, for much of what Read says here still carries import. He proved that even the so-called complete and unabridged dictionaries refused to print "dirty" words and this situation has not significantly changed despite the much vaunted "new freedom." Read's collection documents that obscenity, as in so many other aspects of life, American society has changed relatively little in the past fifty years.
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