I grew up near the Atlantic seaboard and in the farm country of eastern Pennsylvania and the high deserts of Mexico, immersing myself in Russian fiction, English poetry, and the music of Wagner, Beethoven, and Bruckner. I soon began writing my own stories, poems, plays, novels, essays, etc. (and even spent several years composing "classical music") and by my early twenties was publishing poetry and journalism and giving poetry readings in the Philadelphia area, where I lived at the time.
In the early 1970s I won the Temple University Student Poetry contest. In the late 1970s I came to California to escape “family, friends, and Philadelphia,” and have lived in San Francisco ever since. My essays, criticism, experimental fiction, and poetry have appeared in literary magazines and periodicals in the United States and Great Britain. My poem “Nymphéas,” published in Ekphrasis, a small poetry magazine in Sacramento, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
My poems and fiction have appeared in literary magazines and anthologies throughout the United States. Several of my plays have been produced and radio broadcast in the Bay Area; also an excerpt from Nachtstück, an opera for which I wrote both libretto and music. In 1989, I helped found the literary and arts magazine Caveat Lector which, with Ho Lin, I continue to edit and publish. My novel A Spy in the Ruins was published in 2005 by Regent Press, and is available at www.regentpress.net or at Amazon.com. I have completed another novel, called Voyage to a Phantom City. My blog, “The Bog of St. Philinte" [pronounced feeLANTE], can be visited and commented upon. (http://theelitist-cwb.blogspot.com/)I often feel myself to be culturally and intellectually a European, if eccentric and déraciné, shipwrecked on the coast of an illusive brave new world. My work has sometimes more in kind with Continental than Anglo-American traditions, especially in its speculative bent, formal curiosity, and skepticism regarding realism. I am doubtful of commonly honored American values, democratic and popular culture, etc. I believe in redemption, if any, through the delicacy of fantasy, the reverie that vanishes in its realization, vertigo of the moment’s adoration, the convivial grace of the hallucinations called art.
Russian fiction (Dostoyevsky, Gogol, Chekhov), the nouveau roman (Robbe-Grillet, Sarraute, Simon), Samuel Beckett, Juan Goytisolo, Thomas Bernhardt, surrealist novels (De Chirico, Leonora Carrington), the fiction of Miguel de Unamuno and Jean-Paul Sartre; the poetry of Donne, Shelley, Keats, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Dickinson, T.S. Eliot, Elizabeth Bishop; the philosophical writings of Unamuno, Ortega y Gasset, Sartre, Heidegger, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Walter Kaufmann.
Shadow in the Water (short story, to appear in Caveat Lector)
Regent Press (www.regentpress.net)
Classical music, philosophy, history, photography.
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