Proposal for All Along The Edge: A Richard Kostelanetz Reader

This will contain selections of his writing, in various forms, that were previously published but are not currently available in widely distributed books of his. Its introduction will be drawn from "Person of Letters in the Contemporary World" (1988) that was initially published in Contemporary Authors: Autobiographies Series (Gale). The book could include his journalistic profiles of Gertrude Stein (from Margins, 1974) and the visual artist George Rhoads (Smithsonian, 1988), as well as the musicians Nicolas Slonimsky (The World & I, 1989) and Arvo Pärt (Connoisseur, 1990); selections of Kostelanetz's much-anthologized poems and fictions both visual and verbal; his extended introductions to the anthologies The New American Arts (Horizon, 1965), Twelve from the Sixties (Dell, 1967), Possibilities of Poetry (Delta, 1970), Future's Fictions (Panache, 1971), and The Avant-Garde Tradition of Literature (Prometheus, 1982). Under the rubric of "Literary Criticism," the book should include his critical essays on "The American Absurd Novel," "Dada and the Future of Fiction," "A Magazine of Worse" (Poetry) and his exposes of uniformity in contemporary fiction; under "Arts Criticism," his essays on Moholy-Nagy, The Theatre of Mixed Means, Artists' Books, and the marketing of art vs. literature; under "Cultural History," his classic challenge of the canon, "Locating American Literary 'Establishments,'" from The End of Intelligent Writing (1974); under "Scripts," the theatrical versions of his single-sentence "Lovings" (1991). The book will close with examples first of his literary essays, including his 1965 memoir of "The British Literary Scene" and his 1989 consideration of AIDS; and then of his art with words, numbers, and lines, in audio, video, film, and holography. The book's theme, implicit in its title, is the many-sided edge, the forefront, regarded in terms both of subjects and career. Need it be said that All Along the Edge will be, initially in its scope, like no other retrospective in the history of American art/literature. Interested publishers are advised to contact the author.