Dazed and Digital Interview w/ Giancarlo DiTrapano
Giancarlo DiTrapano’s imprint Tyrant Books and magazine New York Tyrant have been instrumental in promoting such celebrated writers as Sheila Heti, Michael Kimball and Jonathan Ames, as well as launching the lesser-known likes of Marie Calloway and Ken Bauman. Raised in Charleston, West Virginia, DiTrapano founded Tyrant after interning at a big New York publishing house and becoming frustrated by the dinosaur-like pace. The 39-year-old has been known to hand interviewers cocaine platters on visits to his studio in Hell’s Kitchen, but our interview was carried out remotely. Still, shits and giggles were had as we discussed his imprint’s flippant knack of nailing and tearing apart selfie culture.
Dazed Digital: Why did you decide to start Tyrant?
Giancarlo DiTrapano: I was interning and saw how long it would take me to climb the NY publishing ladder. I had a little money though, so I started the lit mag arm of Tyrant. The name came to me when I was in Italy. I was walking alone drunk in the countryside and it started hailing, so I took shelter in a barn and fell asleep. I dreamt of ‘NEW YORK TYRANT’ in exploding lights like Dirk Diggler did in Boogie Nights.
“I DON’T FEEL RIGHT TELLING PEOPLE WHAT THEY SHOULD AND SHOULDN’T READ. THERE’S SO MUCH TO READ, SO MANY FUCKING BOOKS, IT’S DIZZYING TO THINK ABOUT”
DD: Presumably some kind of mission statement came to you as well?
Giancarlo DiTrapano: That I have none. I publish writing that strikes me and then hope that it strikes others. There’s nothing I won’t publish, no restraints or anything. Well, I guess it has to be in English. That’s the one guideline.