“I’LL BE YOUR MIRROR, REFLECT WHAT YOU ARE”:: POSTMODERN DOCUMENTATION AND THE DOWNTOWN NEW YORK SCENE FROM 1975 TO THE PRESENT

Marvin J. Taylor

Abstract

At first glance, the Velvet Underground, whose haunting ballad “I’ll Be Your Mirror, Reflect What You Are” provides my title, may not appear to have anything to do with authorization or with libraries (other than some library collections may have their recordings in the media center).1 And yet, the Velvet Underground, and “I’ll Be Your Mirror” in particular, suggests a model for conceptualizing the process of canon building, the accreditation of literary figures and movements, and the role libraries play in both. I realize this is a peculiar statement, but there are several ways in which it is true. The . . .

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