Book Worship

rkOn Monday 25 March, 7 pm. at McNally-Jackson, 52 Prince Street, between Lafayette and Mulberry Streets, Richard Kostelanetz will present over one dozen recent books rarely, if ever, seen before, most of them extending his earlier achievements at the intersection of literature and book-art, many of them produced with the seductive new technology of “on-demand printing” and thus reasonably priced, at least for now.

Among them are Epiphanies, two vols., 1000 pages, one story to a book page, culminating thirty years of work with resonant single-sentence climax moments in otherwise nonexistent fictions, a typographical feast for a monumental project, 8½” x 11”.

Conceptual Fictions, an extended essay with examples about the framing of implicit narratives.

Visual Fictions, collecting pages designed more than a decade ago for hisOpenings and Complete Stories, along with his Leonardo and Me.

Verbal Fictions, various formally alternative narratives that are not visually enhanced.

Vocal Shorts, an expanded edition of his texts designed for live performance for various numbers of players.

Openings Short Fictions, in the tradition of Epiphaniesthe initial sentences of otherwise nonexistent stories.

Reflections on Loving and Relationships, his aphorisms continuously on right-hand pages against drawings of men and women made by the prominent choreographer Frances Alenikoff.

Furtherest Fictions, which reprints, revised, an earlier collection of his exploration of radically alternative narrative well beyond what every other fictioner is doing.

A Universe of Sentences, a continuous selection of lines by others worth remembering, the whole representing a universe of experience.

1001 Stories Enumerated, single-sentence fictions that, unlike Openings andEpiphanies, are meant to be complete in themselves.

Erotic Minimal Fictions, a variety of prose alternatives constituting the apex of avant-garde erotica.

Fields/Arenas/Pitches/Turfs, which completes the publication of geometric poems—with four, eight, and sixteen words to a large book page–begun thirty years ago.

1-99: A Book, another Kostelanetz narrative, in the tradition of Exhaustive Parallel Intervals (1979), composed only of numerals.

Ghostories, which are fictions created by boldfacing certain letters within a single word (e.g., address).

Homophones: Stories, where narratives are composed from two or sometimes more words that sound alike if spelled differently.

To & Fro &, where the reader’s discovery of narratives depend upon turning the book’s pages.

Ops & Clos, where opening and closings words, each pair with its own typography, are interspersed amidst each other.

English, Really English, in which he collects English words that seem incredible—over five thousand of them alphabetically in several perfectbound volumes.

What I Didn’t Do, which epitomizes intellectual nonhistory as Kostelanetz’s record of proposals that were never supported.

A Book of Eyes, photocopied and velobound, which explores the richly various ways that the single letter between H and J appears in contemporary typography

His presentation may also include such slightly older books as Skeptical Essays (Autonomedia), his latest collection of mostly severe criticism; Three Poems (NY Quarterly), where his experiments with three strains of one-word poetry appear interspersed; Micro Fictions (Archae), a limited-edition hardback with 900 pages of Louis Bury’s imaginatively designed narratives all three words and less; the reprint of his classic anthology of alternative expositions, Essaying Essays (AC Books); and maybe some others.

In May, Black Scat will publish Richard’s new book The Works & Life of Kosty Richards: An American Career in our Absurdist Texts & Documents series (#15)—thus adding to this vast library of experimental fiction.

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