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It was one eclectic movement that included a fabulously diverse group of individuals. Some of us just loved to play and sing the music, some of us were into poetry, some of us were into the historical and cultural background of the music, some of us were into the current and historical political implications and applications of the music, some of us were into sex, drugs and alcohol, but everyone was a little bit into everything - Bruce Langhorn regarding the early Greenwich Village Folk scene

Author Topic: Mance Lipscomb - I Say Me for a Parable  (Read 3872 times)

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Offline outfidel

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Mance Lipscomb - I Say Me for a Parable
« on: July 24, 2006, 01:49:24 PM »
I'm about half-way through reading Mance Lipscomb's autobiography, I Say Me for a Parable, and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. Mance comes across as a font of wisdom & decency, and he's got boatloads of great stories to tell about life & music.

I really like the way Glen Alyn preserved Mance's eastern Texas dialect -- you can "hear" Mance's voice through the words on the page. I didn't care for this when I first picked up the book, about a year or two ago. At the time, I was just skimming through it to see what he had to say about Blind Willie Johnson & Blind Lemon Jefferson. But now that I've really wrapped my mind around Mance's story, I can appreciate that this was the best way to tell it.

Anyway, for anyone who has read it, what does the title phrase mean? Mance says "I say me for a parable" a few times in his go-alongs. I'm guessing that this is his way of telling his listener, "what I'm about to tell you is a parable, so pay attention for the lesson". Your thoughts?
« Last Edit: July 24, 2006, 01:51:47 PM by outfidel »
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Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Mance Lipscomb - I Say Me for a Parable
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2006, 10:43:06 AM »
The inside flysheet of the dust jacket states:

"...means, roughly 'I use myself as an example'."

As a sidelight, the book had a chequered publishing life. It started out as a very limited "vanity" 530 page edition in 1980 and advertised at $200. The following year there was yet another printing by Possum Heard Diversions (huh?) in cheaper and less extravagant format. 12 years later Alyn finally found himself a mainstream publishing house in W.W. Norton, at a more reasonable $28.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Mance Lipscomb - I Say Me for a Parable
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2006, 12:02:00 PM »
Quote
The inside flysheet of the dust jacket states:
As a sidelight, the book had a chequered publishing life. It started out as a very limited "vanity" 530 page edition in 1980 and advertised at $200. The following year there was yet another printing by Possum Heard Diversions (huh?) in cheaper and less extravagant format.
I've been discussing this with someone better versed in such matters than I who suggested I look at the following announcement in Whiskey, Women And?8, March 1982:

A 100-book limited edition of I SAY ME FOR A PARABLE: the Life & Music of Mance Lipscomb, by Mance Lipscomb and A. Glenn Myers, was published May 27, 1981. This is the only printing of the complete, unabridged version of Mance's biography. Each book, individually hand-numbered, is signed by A. Glenn Myers.
The book contains a 530-page text, 25 photographs, a prospectus and afterword by A. Glenn Myers, and four photo-copied illustrations from Mance's scrapbook. The Go-alongs are separated by gold parchment-bond. Title and authors are stamped in 22-karat gold on the spine and front of the hardbound covers.
The cost is $100 per book. The copy number which you receive is on a first ordered, first served basis. Orders to A. Glenn Myers, P.O. BQX 703, E1 Rito, New Mexico 87530. Postage is $5 for 4th class, $10 for 1st class certified.

My informant is of the opinion that there were probably no takers at $200 and it was "reborn" as the above. Note the author's change of name too. Bizarre...

Offline Stuart

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Re: Mance Lipscomb - I Say Me for a Parable
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2006, 12:23:00 PM »
Bunker Hill to the rescue--again--as usual! Thanks for the additional info, BH.

Its just a guess, but the decision to write the book in a way that reflected Mance's pronunciation and grammar, in other words the way he expressed himself, might have made the publishers that the author originally approached have reservations. Without any strong interest from the commercial presses, the alternative would have been self-publishing and then marketing the book to the enthusiasts, libraries, etc., with a few niceties included. Just a guess. As to the later history of the book, the name change, etc., I'd be curious as to the real story behind it all.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2006, 12:40:48 PM by Stuart »

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Mance Lipscomb - I Say Me for a Parable
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2006, 12:54:40 PM »
Its just a guess, but the decision to write the book in a way that reflected Mance's pronunciation and grammar, in other words the way he expressed himself, might have made the publishers that the author originally approached have reservations.
I reckon that's about the sum of it. I can think of at least two UK magazines who reviewing the book summed up (in different fashions) that it took a brave publisher to go with the vernacular and an equally stalwart purchaser to read the vernacular. One reviewer called the approach a "kiss of death" for sales. Each to his own, eh? :)

Offline outfidel

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Re: Mance Lipscomb - I Say Me for a Parable
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2006, 05:50:59 AM »
Bunker Hill - Thanks for the publishing history. I have the 1994 Da Capo paperback ($16.95) which of course does not have a dust jacket. However, had I read the back cover more closely, I would have seen the explanation: "...means, roughly 'I use myself as an example'."
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Offline eric

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I Say Me For A Parable
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2011, 06:53:03 AM »
Just finished this remarkable book by Glen Alyn.  If you like Mance now, he'll be your hero when you finish this book.  An amazing life and a great man.

Amazon usually has used copies.
--
Eric

Offline kinsuk

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Re: Mance Lipscomb - I Say Me for a Parable
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2015, 09:15:01 PM »
could someone share this book please ?


 


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