by Richard Kostelanetz
DIE KUNST DER FUGE
He spent a week listening in sequence to all the versions he owned of J. S. Bach’s Die Kunst der Fuge, crying every time the last triple fugue ended in mid-phrase, signaling the composer’s death.
After making many calculations that he recorded on a map in his hand, he stood securely on a spot from which everything important to him in the world was equidistant.
Anxious about paper money, my parents converted all bills into coins that filled rooms of our house.
On the same day that he married his ex-wife’s daughter by a later marriage, his ex-wife married his son from his first marriage, becoming in-laws like no other.
Though he took a year to paint a picture, he shot each day a photograph of himself before his work-in-progress, expecting that these snapshots would then be exhibited chronologically besides the painting.
– Individual entries on Richard Kostelanetz’s work in several fields appear in various editions of Reader’s Guide to Twentieth-Century Writers, Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature, Contemporary Poets, Contemporary Novelists, Postmodern Fiction, Webster’s Dictionary of American Writers, The HarperCollins Reader’s Encyclopedia of American Literature, Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, Directory of American Scholars, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in American Art, NNDB.com, Wikipedia.org, and Britannica.com, among other distinguished directories. Otherwise, he survives in New York, where he was born, unemployed and thus overworked.