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Top Stories was a small prest6ys dedicated to radical forms of writing. Founded by Anne Turyn in 1978 when her longtime interest in non-traditional storytelling uncovered the inability and unwillingness of traditional publishers to support the growing number of artists working to push these boundaries. Over the next 13 years, Top Stories became an unparalleled venue for experimental writing, publishing small books by novelists, conceptual artists, filmmakers, and musicians. Included among its visionary participants were Kathy Acker, Laurie Anderson, Constance DeJong, Jenny Holzer, and Cookie Mueller.

A reflection of the restless language contained within each issue, Top Stories offered complete creative freedom to the participating artists. As explained by Turyn in 2018, “I’d print anything so long as their submission/piece fit in the 5×8” format, and the back covers were consistent.” This included shorter pieces, which would otherwise vanish into anthologies or journals; experiments in word and image; and texts drawn from larger bodies of work, performance scores or installations.

Turyn created a flexible, inexpensive format for publishing these cutting-edge works. Each issue of Top Stories was printed in black and white, with a stapled spine, in lengths ranging from 16 to 80 pages. They sold for as little as a dollar each, and never more than . They weren’t quite books and they weren’t quite pamphlets, but this in-between format manifested an intimate, direct relationship between text and reader that has sustained a steadfast fascination with Top Stories for more than three decades.

Today, issues of Top Stories are included in numerous archives and collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and New York University’s Bobst Library. Top Top Stories, a single volume selection of works from Top Stories, was published by City Lights in 1991. Most recently, Top Stories has been the subject of exhibitions at Southfirst, Brooklyn, Weiss Berlin, Germany, and Kustverein, Amsterdam.

All images courtesy Anne Turyn unless otherwise noted

Top: Judith Doyle and Kathy Acker, from Top Stories at Artists Space, 13 May, 1983. Photo: © Laurie Neaman

Top Stories는 급진적인 형태의 글을 쓰는데 전념하는 작은 언론이었다. 1978년 Anne Turyn이 설립한 비 전통적(색다른) 스토리 텔링에 대한 오랜 관심은 Top Stories가 아닌 다른 전통적인 출판사들이 이러한 경계를 넓히기 위해 노력하는 예술가가 증가하는 것을 지원할 수 없다는 알게되었고 다음 13년 동안 Top Stories는 소설가, 개념 예술가, 영화 제작자 및 음악가가 작은 책을 출판하면서 실험 작문을 위한 어디와도 비교할 수없는 장소가 되었습니다. 환상적인 참가자 중에는 캐시 애커, 로리 앤더슨, 콘스탄스 데종, 제니 홀저, 쿠키 뮬러가 포함되었습니다.

각 호 안에 담긴 쉴 새 없는 언어의 반영으로, 탑 스토리는 참여 예술가들에게 완전한 창작 자유를 제공했다. 2018년 튜린에 의해 설명되었듯이, "나는 그들의 제출물/조각이 5x8" 형식으로 맞으면 무엇이든 인쇄할 것이다. 여기에는 더 짧은 작품들이 포함되었는데, 그렇지 않으면 앤솔로지나 저널로 사라질 것이고, 단어와 이미지에 대한 실험, 그리고 더 큰 규모의 작업, 성능 점수 또는 설치물에서 도출된 텍스트들도 그들의 제출물에 포함되었다.

Turyn은 항상 유연하면서 저렴하지만 혁신적인 작품을 출판하기위한 형식을 만들었습니다. 톱 스토리의 각 호는 16페이지에서 80페이지에 이르는 길이의 스테이플이 달린 흑백으로 인쇄되었고 긱 호는 각각 1달러에 팔렸고,이상의 퀄리티는 혹은 비싼 가격에 팔지 않았다. 그것들은 책도 아니었고 팜플렛도 아니었지만, Turyn의 형식은 텍스트와 독자 사이의 친밀하고 직접적인 관계를 보여주었고, 30년 이상 동안 탑 스토리에 변함없는 매력을 유지해 왔습니다.

오늘날, 탑 스토리의 이슈는 뉴욕 현대 미술관과 뉴욕 대학교의 밥스트 도서관을 포함한 수많은 기록물과 소장품들에 포함되어 있다. 1991년 시티 라이트(City Lights)에 의해 출판된 Top Stories의 단 한 권의 작품 모음인 Top Top Stories입니다. 가장 최근에, 탑 스토리는 독일, 브루클린, 바이스 베를린, 그리고 암스테르담의 커스트베린에서 전시의 주제가 되었습니다.
“I had this idea to make a little publication where people could combine the kind of writing that I thought was interesting. I didn’t really even have a name for it. I just found writing that interested me, sometimes combined with images, and my friends all seemed to think it was interesting too. At the time it seemed like it was hard to find and so I thought I should publish it.”

– Anne Turyn, in a 2020 interview with Know Wave

Mary Kelly, Pecunia Non Olet, back cover. Top Stories #29, 1990 Anne Turyn is a fine art photographer and educator.
She was the founder and editor of Top Stories. Turyn’s Real Family Stories was published by Top Stories in 1982.
 
 
“The person who started Top Stories was a reader. She had a mind that read outside of conventionally published narrative. And she was a great person for this project, because of the truly inquisitive, interested, curious mind she has. I mean, she was devoted to the medium of language.”

– Constance DeJong, in a 2020 interview with Know Wave

Letraset sheet used by Anne Turyn to create the Top Stories logo, circa 1978

Constance DeJong is an artist, writer and performer. DeJong’s I.T.I.L.O.E. was published by Top Stories in 1983.
“I absolutely loved those books. I remember being really struck by Gail Vachon’s This Is My Mother, This Is My Father, I can still remember whole lines of that piece. At the time, I didn’t know any of the writers personally but they were clearly part of a larger affinity group, aesthetic or community. They were all female, they favored the first person, they weren’t confessional, they were prose, they weren’t plot-driven like traditional short stories, they were tough.”

– Chris Kraus, in a 2021 interview with Know Wave

Gail Vachon, This Is My Mother. This Is My Father, front cover, 1980. Top Stories #6
Chris Kraus is an artist and writer, and a co-editor of Semiotext(e).
In 1990, she founded Native Agents, an imprint of Semiotext(e), which published books by Cookie Mueller, Kathy Acker, Lynne Tillman, and Gary Indiana, among others.
 
“Looking back at Top Stories after 38 years has passed, I’m impressed with how visionary they were. They’re authentic records of the times, they documented the culture that went against the grain. They broached dialogue and exposed ideas, and I guess reinforced and inspired anyone who was feeling strangled by the status quo. It did feel helpful to have someone recognize and wish to record my work.”

– Janet Stein, in a 2020 interview with Know Wave

Top Stories subscription form, circa 1983. Distributed with issues of Top Stories sold at stores
Janet Stein is an artist. Stein’s Shattered Romance was published by Top Stories in 1982.
“The only guidelines were the size and the shape.
It was more about what I could afford. Like the first ones were 16 pages
because it seemed like I could afford that.”

– Anne Turyn, in a 2020 interview with Know Wave

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