Friday, April 18, 2003

Magazine Me XXVIII
I first encountered Reinhold Aman not too long after I got into zines in the late '80s. A self-described "cunning linguist," his Maledicta Press has been in operation for almost 20 years and "specializes in offensive and negatively-valued words and expressions from all languages and cultures, past and present. Its main areas of interest are the origin, etymology, meaning, use, and influence of verbal aggression and verbal abuse of any kind, as well as language usually considered vulgar, obscene, or blasphemous."

The site features excerpts from and information about the 13 320- and 160-page collections issued to date, and includes some intriguing subsections, including looks at prison slang, outhouse poetry and graffiti, polyglot exclamations, and ribald jokes. And even though Aman now resides in California, he put in time at the University of Wisconsin and went on to teach at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, which he dubs "Dungheap U."

One of the longer-running small-press projects I'm aware of -- and extremely fun stuff. It seems that Joi Ito and the Metafilter set has rediscovered his work because of the forthcoming -- and long-awaited -- Vol. 13. Good to see Maledicta still plugging along.

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