Influenced by the Limitations of a Lifeboat in a Tidal Wave


​Before I needed to earn a living from writing I was a member of the avant-garde, fervent and full of high opinion. The other day while cleaning up old files, I came across a typescript of “Synchronic Non-Causative Agent,” an unpublished paper of mine written more than half a century ago. (I had sent to Richard Kostelanetz, probably intended for his 1973 anthology Breakthrough Fictioneers). Reading it over gave me the bright idea of posting it here. Despite its age, it still seems relevant.

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“The artist in America is influenced by the limitations of a lifeboat in a tidal wave. … If the avant-garde is anything, it consists of international pockets of resistance against conforming tides. They gravitate to places where others have distinguished themselves by honest methods of liberation. Not to heaven.”

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