Ronald Sukenick

    When I started rereading OUT seriously in the course of putting it online, I felt a growing conviction that the book had been written by a shockingly demented lunatic. Then I remembered that I wrote it. And that the lives of many of us had a maniac quality at the time. And that the era it epitomized--it was published in 1973--was a shockingly lunatic period. The book in its manic way catches the tone of the time as I remember it. The movie made from the book several years later (starring Peter Coyote and Danny Glover, still available in many video stores) though excellent in its way, is sane by comparison. OUT, it seems to me, is tuned in to some other reality--speedy, hysterical, wise, obscene, comic, crazy and shamanic, a trip in more ways than one--but a reality that's still as real as sex, dreams, desire, spiritual anguish and a yearning for salvation and cosmic justice.

    And besides, a life without a little madness in it is hardly worth living.

this way...Out—>

Ronald Sukenick: Bio

    One of the leading postmodern innovators, Ronald Sukenick has been on the cutting edge of American writing for twenty-five years and his influence has been pervasive. His breakthrough books, Up, a novel, and The Death of the Novel and Other Stories, were landmarks in the explosion of a new kind of American fiction in the sixties and the early seventies. His novel 98.6 has been in print for twenty years and has just been reissued in a new edition with an author's introduction. His recent book, Doggy Bag: Hyperfiction, challenges the academic, the boring and the purely commercial in American fiction by using mass market modes to subvert the mass market in a movement called Avant-Pop.

    Sukenick's fictive style in books like Blown Away, Long Talking Bad Conditions Blues and The Endless Short Story has been accused of undermining the entire tradition of Western Humanism and his transgressive content has been attacked by the P.C. Left and the Radical Right. His work has always created controversy, starting with an attempt to expel him from Cornell on obscenity charges as an undergraduate, from which he was rescued by Vladimir Nabokov among others. Sukenick's combination of low comedy and high consciousness irritates the culture police and delights those without preconceptions about what writing should be. His attitude toward cultural orthodoxies has always been, "The hell with it, let's have some fun!"

    Virtually banned by the literary establishment like Henry Miller, William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac before him, Sukenick's work has broken out again and again, sometimes through chinks in the hyper-commercial mass market that he has always fought against, sometimes through the cult readership of the small presses that he always fought for. His message of liberation is not confined to fiction: Down and In: Life in the Underground, is a group autobiography of the subterranean art/writing/music scene in American culture over the last thirty years. And Sukenick's work as publisher and editor on American Book Review and FC2/Black ice Books, as well as Black Ice Magazine, has helped to introduce generations of new innovators from Russell Banks to Mark Leyner to Mark Amerika.

The original hardcover copy of OUT is now available for a limited time in first edition, signed by the author, at $18.95 plus $1 for mailing or $3 for priority mail. Send a check made out to Ronald Sukenick to the following address: Sukenick, In Press, 1505 Bluebell Ave., Boulder CO 80302.

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