The purpose of art is to impart the sensation of things as they are perceived and not as they are known. The technique of art is to make objects ‘unfamiliar,’ to make forms difficult, to increase the difficulty and length of perception because the process of perception is an aesthetic end in itself and must be prolonged.
If you want people to pay attention to your poetry, choose a plot they already know.
—[The Latin poet] Horace, as quoted to Richard Kostelanetz by John Barth, March 1, 1968
Richard Kostelanetz developed an early interest in “unacceptable” literature exactly fifty years ago when he wrote his honors thesis on Henry Miller. At the time, Miller’s most notorious books were still banned in the US.
Since the late 1960s, Kostelanetz has portrayed heterosexual experience in his writing and other media. This work is often judged unfamiliar, if not unacceptable. He stands firmly by his belief that the three great subjects for his work are love, art and New York City.
Performance of Richard Kostelanetz’s Seductions
Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 7 pm
Sixteen readers present a narrative of sex and memory interwoven one sentence at a time.
About the Artist
Born and raised and New York, Kostelanetz has contributed poems, stories, articles, reviews and experimental prose to hundreds of magazines both in the US and abroad. He has written more than fifty books of criticism, cultural history and creative work, in addition to editing over three dozen anthologies of art and exposition. Long active in alternative literary publishing, he co-founded Assembling Press in 1970 and alone founded Future Press in 1977 and Archae Editions in 1978. As a media artist Kostelanetz has created language-based audiotapes, videotapes, films and holograms that have been exhibited and broadcast around the world.