“A Poet of Darkness”

We are happy and proud – overjoyed, really! – to share with you a few lines from a letter that the great American post-modernist writer Richard Kalich wrote to us and the Irish writer Colin O’Sullivan after having read his work for the first time (Colin’s novel, The Starved Lover Sings).

Such an endorsement, coming from an erudite, an intellectual and a passionate advocate of literary fiction and the Written Word, is invaluable.

“I have much to say and think the best way to get out what I feel and think about Colin’s novel is in staccato bursts.

My first and ongoing impression is that you, Colin, have written a book that would have inspired me to become a Writer if I needed such inspiration when young. Writers like Thomas Mann did their damage to me all those years back in much the same way. There’s an inner beauty to your narrative and characters, a most human beauty that is the undercurrent of all you write, create, and no matter how dark or perverse the narrative probes… […]

Second: No matter how varied and complexly differentiated your characters are, it seemed again to me they all emanated from that same most Human Source: Yourself. I’ve read too much and too many not to know the difference between a True Writer and a stereotypical “conceit”. […]

Colin O’Sullivan, I’m happy to say, has the heart of an Irish Poet and the intellect and wisdom of a Jewish Sage.

[…] I’ve always believed the job of the Writer is to take inside him the pain of the world and then through his craft, gift, talent and soul, to articulate it. Words, paint, clay or body movement…it’s all the same.  Well, your book does that as much and as well as any book I’ve read in recent years.  A Poet of Darkness… They don’t make ‘em like you anymore. And I mean it, and not in a corny way when I say… Thank You for being ‘YOU’. And Thank You, [Betimes Books], for publishing Colin and his book. 

Dick Kalich

P.S.  The last pages are not only well thought-out, but an epiphany of Poetics

Richard Kalich is the author of The Nihilesthete, Charlie P, and Penthouse-F, re-issued by Betimes Books as Central Park West Trilogy. His new novel, The Assisted Living Facility Library, will be published later this year.

 

Colin O’Sullivan is the author of Killarney Blues, The Starved Lover Sings, and The Dark Manual, all available from Betimes Books. He’s just completed a new novel, My Perfect Cousin.