Proposal for a book of Preambles

"Preambles" is a tentative title for a proposed book that would collect my introductory essays written for the following collections of literature, art, criticism and social thought: On Contemporary Literature (1964, 1969), The New American Arts (1965), Twelve from the Sixties (1967), Beyond Left & Right (1968), Possibilities of Poetry (1970), Imaged Words & Worded Images (1970), Social Speculations (1971), Human Alternatives (1971), eeing Through Shuck (1972), In Youth (1972), The Edge of Adaptation (1973), Breakthrough Fictioneers (1973), Short Fictions (1974), I Articulations (1974), Essaying Essays (1975), Younger Critics in North America (1976), Esthetics Contemporary (1978, 1989), A Critical Assembling (1979), The Yale Gertrude Stein (1980), Autobiographies (1981), The Literature of SoHo (1981), The Avant-Garde Tradition in Literature (1982), Merce Cunningham: Dancing in Time & Space (1992, 1998), Writings About John Cage (1993), Nicolas Slonimsky: The First Hundred Years (1994), The Portable Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians (1995), AnOther E. E. Cummings (1998), A Virgil Thomson Reader (2002), An Aaron Copland Reader (2003). As many of these books are presently out of print, "Preambles" would be the only place in which these essays could be conveniently found. Several are regarded among the best of kind; most were prepublished in magazines; some have already been reprinted in anthologies edited by others. Each should be prefaced with a brief headnote, recalling the occasion for which it was written and perhaps describing the book it introduced; and "Preambles" will open with an introduction to the problems of introductions. The only book comparable to this is W. H. Auden's Forewords & Afterwords (1973), which actually contains, its title notwithstanding, more book reviews than essays initially written to introduce books. It is expected that readers interested in contemporary art, literature, criticism and social thought will continue to consult these essays and, thus, want to obtain "Preambles." Since over two hundred thousand copies of these earlier collections have already been sold, it can be assumed that many readers are familiar with the author's name and his work.