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The Duplex Planet 96

The Duplex Planet 96

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DP96 96: Advice for Children 2.50
What's your advice for children?
Tell me a true story.
Tell me a lie.
What would you do if you were governor (see also 110)?
Brookings' "January" poem.
(published 1988)

The Duplex Planet is a zine edited and published by David Greenberger since 1979. It contains transcriptions of his interviews with elderly residents of senior centres and "meal sites" in the Massachusetts area. For many years, the zine focused on the residents of the Duplex Nursing Home, located in Boston.

The Duplex Planet has subsequently found larger audiences in other forms which are all derived from the original template — including book collections, spoken-word recordings, and a series of concerts. A series of personal commentaries drawn from Greenberger's experiences with this body of work has aired regularly on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered". Some of the Duplex Nursing Home residents, all identified by name, became recurring characters in the zine and its various offshoots and adaptations.

In 1979, having just completed a degree in fine arts as a painter, Greenberger took a job as activities director at the Duplex Nursing Home. On his first day, he met the residents of the nursing home and abandoned painting in favour of conversation. "This is my art," he said.[citation needed] In this unexpected setting, Greenberger found an unusual medium and a desire to portray the people he met as living human beings instead of "just repositories of their memories or the wisdom of the ages."  Instead of collecting oral history about significant events, Greenberger focused on talking one-on-one with ordinary people about ordinary things — the joy of a close shave or answers to questions like "Can you fight city hall?"

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