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Atkinson, Solanas

ARCHIVE: Up Your Ass


Ti-Grace Atkinson's Archive
of Solanas material
(Atkinson, Ti-Grace) Solanas, Valerie. Up Your Ass. With A Young Girl's Primer on How to Attain to the Leisure Class. [New York]: SCUM Book, 1967.
4to.; mimeograph typescript, mimeograph manuscript illustrated cover; disbound; 29 pages and 7 pages respectively, plus title pages. In a specially made cloth slipcase with related material.
First edition of Valerie Solanas's scarce play that Andy Warhol lost - motivating, it is said, Solanas's near fatal attack on the artist.; signed Ti-Grace Atkinson on the first blank.
Written in 1965, in Berkeley and New York, Up Your Ass preceded the infamous SCUM Manifesto by two years, and reveals another side to the highly troubled, enigmatic writer. Whereas SCUM (the Society for Cutting Up Men) is a fierce call to arms for the destruction of the male sex and a manic re-imagining of the world economy in which capitalism will be undone from within by women's "unwork," Up Your Ass is a hilarious, dirty-minded satire of a man-hating hustler and a panhandler on the eve of the sexual revolution.
Solanas sold copies of her manuscript on the streets of Manhattan, and later approached Warhol in early 1967 about mounting a production of Up Your Ass. At the time, Warhol told the journalist Grechen Berg: "I thought the title was so wonderful and I'm so friendly that I invited her to come up with it, but it was so dirty that I think she must have been a lady cop.... We haven't seen her since and I'm not surprised. I guess she thought that was the perfect thing for Andy Warhol."
This copy belonged to second-wave feminist leader, Ti-Grace Atkinson, the New York chapter president of the National Organization for Women (NOW). Following the shooting of Warhol, Atkinson attended Solanas's court appearance and pronounced the latter "the first outstanding champion of women's rights." Atkinson herself rode the initial wave of radical feminist groups of the 1960s, promoting her own brand of political lesbianism, while denouncing marriage as "slavery," "legalized rape," and "unpaid labor." This is only the third copy of Up Your Ass we have ever handled.
Together with:
Typed letter signed, from Jo Benson to Ti Grace Atkinson, June 14, 1968; two typescript pp.; on 25 letterhead. A letter of introduction from an editor at 25 magazine, Benson writes to request information on NOW's stance on the Solanas trial, SCUM Manifesto, and on the broader implications of NOW's mission.
Typed letter signed, from Atkinson to Benson, June 14, 1968; single typescript page on onion skin. In response to Benson's letter of introduction (see previous letter), Atkinson clarifies her own interest in Solanas as separate from her capacity as President of NOW. Atkinson includes a copy of SCUM (not present), alongside a statement of purpose from NOW, to illustrate the two distinctive approaches to feminism.
Typed letter, from Mary Eastwood to Betty Friedan, June 15, 1968; two carbon typescript pp., with autograph notation on the bottom of the first page. This memo, written by Freidan, the first President of NOW, to attorney and NOW founding member, Eastwood, explores whether it is appropriate for NOW to publicly support Solanas during her trial, despite the latter's divergent politics. Freidan discusses Solanas's anti-male stance in relation to NOW's more moderate support of gender equality but nonetheless concludes that it is the organization's responsibility to thoroughly research the case for any sign of sexual discrimination.
Autograph letter signed, from Atkinson to Eastwood, 1968; one page, on the front of the periodical The Other; June 28, 1968, Vol. 3, No. 30 issue; pencil. Atkinson writes as an introduction to The Other, whose cover image of a half nude woman, clad in a provocatively draped American flag, and clutching a gun, Atkinson terms "a triumph aesthetically." Atkinson's letter rejoices over positive coverage in the Wall Street Journal and the Daily Worker, and she thanks Eastwood for her continued support of Valerie Solanas.
The archive also includes a two page photocopy manuscript from Atkinson to philosopher John Rawls (1968); a one page typescript manifesto (March 29, 1969, "Valerie Lives. Defend Her!"); a New York Post clipping on Solanas (June 9, 1969, "Shot Warhol, She Gets 3 Years"); and an eight-page Autograph letter signed to Atkinson from a friend at Time-Life Books (April 6, 1973).

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