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Charles Henri Ford

IN THIS SUGAR-FREE ERA, what artist has a life more interesting than his art? The death of Charles Henri Ford (1908–2002) puts the capper on a time when precociousness and chutzpah were art forms in themselves. In 1927, on the eve of his nineteenth birthday, Ford wrote in his diary: “In two years I will be famous. In two years I will be famous. In two years I will be famous. In two years I will be famous. In two years I will be famous. In two years I will be famous. This is my oath.”

Not missing a beat, the poetry-besotted high school dropout started a little magazine out of his small-town Mississippi bedroom, christening it with the hip title Blues: A Magazine of New Rhythms. He announced the first issue just as longtime literary journals The Dial and the Little Review were folding, so even well-known writers like Gertrude Stein and William Carlos Williams answered with submissions. Besides

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