In getting ready to publish my debut novel Amerikan Krazy in November, Boffo Socko Books is re-publishing some of my experimental fiction and non-fiction. (Many have already had some fun with my modular experimental fiction piece The Pontoon Manifesto of which we just re-released an electronic version of on Monday.)
Today I’m pleased as punch (not necessarily Kool-Aid) to announce that the 40th Anniversary re-release of my Fall 1975 piece entitled Proceedings of the National Academy of the Avant Garde is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com for release on September 25th. The original publication of the book was made possible by a grant from the Literature Program of the National Endowment for the Arts through the Participation Project Foundation.
I hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I did writing it.
“I am amazed. Not only is Proceedings of the National Academy of the Avant Garde the only funny example of experimental fiction I have ever laid eyes on, it is the only example of experimental art in any form that I’ve seen in years that I thought was really good. Give us more, Mr. Korn and mark my words they won’t be calling you experimental for long.”
From Henry James Korn, a leader in the experimental writing and small press community in Lower Manhattan during the 1970’s, comes volume one, issue one of an imaginary academic journal that administers the coup de grace to the American reality consensus.
Skewering topics as diverse as art, politics, agriculture, professional sports automotive supplies, food, pet products, and children’s toys, Korn’s Proceedings has had an influence on popular culture for over four decades. It is entirely possible that Lady Gaga’s meat dress, worn at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards, was inspired by Henry James Korn when he invented “a suit of armor comprised of 1000 transistor radios all tuned to different Spanish-language stations.”
Introduction by Loris Essary
“The higher comic vision of life,” writes Bergson scholar Wylie Sypher in The Meanings of Comedy, “is humane and an achievement of man as a social being.” Avant garde comic art remains our best, conceivably our only response, to an increasingly fragmentary world over which our individual control is minimal.
So now we have a publication by Henry James Korn with an oxymoronic title embracing programmed immortality, nostalgia for the future, and fluorescent chicken bones. But art exists where art is perceived and anything can be art at that point where we remove the object from the realm of the practical and personalize it though our own esthetics. Our misperceptions occur because we allow our reactions to be institutionalized and enslaved to official certifications of validity represented by the multiple choice and essay questions that Korn appends to his text in order to encourage reader response. “You cannot-a kid me, dere ain’t no sanity clause,” is the way Chico Marx expressed his opposition to authority in a Night at the Opera which Henry James Korn takes as a motto for his Proceedings. Elsewhere, Korn writes of two men in a room singing loudly, each in response to the other, filling the room with alternate balloons of sound. “Sometimes,” writes Korn, “we call this Opera and other times it’s the on-going process of life itself.’ Korn evidently understands much of what Franz Kafka was getting at in his notebooks when he explained he extravagantly exaggerated fictional situations purely in the interests of advancing clarity.
Further details as well as reviews and comments and links to social media sites for Proceedings can be found on its own page at Proceedings of the National Academy of the Avant Garde.