Posts tagged ‘Richard Kalich’
November 27, 2017
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List of Titles
- The Painter’s Women
- Permanent Fatal Error
- The Red-Handed League
- The Death of Tarpons
- La Frontera
- The Last Island
- Central Park West Trilogy
- Dirty Pictures
- Silk for the Feed Dogs
- The Insider’s Guide to Betrayal
- Borderland Noir
- The Angel of the Streetlamps
- Killarney Blues
- The Starved Lover Sings
- Reach the Shining River
- In Love with Paris
- One True Sentence
- Forever’s Just Pretend
- Toros & Torsos
- The Great Pretender
- Roll the Credits
- The Running Kind
- Head Games
- Print the Legend
- Death in the Face
- Three Chords & the Truth
April 28, 2015
I don’t have a method but… and it’s a big ‘but’… I can speak of a pattern that has repeated itself with all four of my novels. And the same will be true with my next. I see my novels metaphorically. By that I mean an image comes to me… and that image, that poetic metaphoric image, contains all I need to know about the fiction to follow. The image is always (to me) more than just an image. Not only does it give me the beginning, middle and end of the narrative, but it also suggests a fundamental elemental universal of our world. I don’t mean to suggest the demonic/divine illumination of the 18th or 19th century novelists, nor do I want to glorify or romanticize the artistic process, but this is what I’ve experienced as a Writer.
If pressed, I would say this metaphoric image is a gift; some poets have it, I’m told. Where it comes from… who knows? I call it… the fecundity of the unconscious.
My particular unconscious showing me the way: Before words or thought or deliberation or calculation that which lies deepest inside me articulates itself with this image. Once it appears I allow it – or it allows me – to form, shape, edit and refine itself over a gestation period that can last two to twenty years. The image never leaves me. And though as a Writer and person I evolve and change, recreate myself and the forms I might make use of as a novelist, the first image, the central image… stays the same. I’ll give you an example. The day I finished my novel The Nihilesthete an image came to me of a man hovering over a surveillance camera while hiding in his closet, spying on a boy and girl. It only took me twenty-plus years to find the courage to write that novel now titled Penthouse F.
Richard Kalich is the author of CENTRAL PARK WEST TRILOGY, including The Nihilesthete, Charlie P, and Penthouse F.
March 7, 2015
Colin O’Sullivan about PENTHOUSE-F by Richard Kalich
– So we are going to do this like a courtroom drama, or an interrogation?
– Yes. We are. We are indeed.
– Because most of the book is done in that style.
– I see. Was the book impressive?
– Yes, very impressive. Mr. Kalich is a great writer.
– And he appears in the book too?
– Yes, if it really is him, if you know what I mean…you can call the book postmodern, or that he uses meta-narratives or…
– That all sounds a bit confusing.
– In theory yes, but it’s a very entertaining book. Says a lot about writing. And the creative process. It’s playful, but not flippant. We’re dealing with a serious artist here.
– Oh, really?
– “He’s an idiot. So disconnected . . . conflicted . . . torn apart.”
– Just joking. That’s actually a quote from the book. He often sidesteps you like that. Reminds you of…
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February 14, 2015
From the chapter “The young harpist”
At age fifty-seven Charlie P fell in love with a twenty year-old Bulgarian harpist entering Juilliard on scholarship. Besides being young and beautiful, she came from a good family, too. Her mother not only taught ethics at the university, but practiced what she preached. Her father discovered the cure for cancer. Her grandfather assassinated both Hitler and Stalin, and what makes these deeds even more remarkable is that he accomplished them before the War. It has been thirty-three years since Charlie P had last been in love. And now this. How lucky could he get. Miracle of miracles. Wonder of wonders. Charlie P never thought it would happen to him again.
On their first meeting, Charlie P wanted to buy the young woman the world. And with an outpouring of generosity that the world has rarely seen, he bought the young woman all of Manhattan as well as the Brooklyn Bridge. And in the wee hours he sneaked off with her to Paris and brought back the Eiffel Tower, too. At the date’s end, for his generosity and kindness, the young woman told him she loved him. But when Charlie P leaned his head forward and pursed his lips, all she gave him was a peck on the cheek. It’s only to be expected, said Charlie P. What else could an old man like myself expect from such a young and beautiful girl. Who comes from a good family, too.
From the chapter “Love is war”
What if the love of his life is not all he made her out to be? What if only for a fleeting second Charlie P opens his eyes and can see?
From the chapter “Do you know the difference…?”
“Do you know the difference between an artist and a businessman?” said Charlie P in one of his many arguments with the young harpist. “I’ll tell you.”
“A businessman is interested in power, lives for power, first and always is power, he’s a power monger. No amount of money or power is enough for him. Only those things tangible and palpable, of flesh and blood reality, those things he can touch, smell, see and hear, interest him. To obtain those things he instrumentalizes and manipulates the world. Accumulation, more and more is his sole aim and credo. His raison d’être and clarion call.”
Charlie P pauses for a deep breath. When he continued his voice had changed noticeably.
“The artist on the other hand pursues truth and meaning, and the making of all things beautiful. He has no use for the tangible and the palpable. The functional and the material. He’s sensitive and delicate and cannot pass a glowing sun or a pale moon or a patch of cloud or a sheet of rain without stopping to gaze in awe and wonder. He lives in the clouds with only the starry constellations spinning in his head.”
“Just as I thought,” said the young harpist. “I know the difference.”
“Yes. And I prefer the businessman.”
February 4, 2015
Review of The Nihilesthete, by Richard Kalich (Betimes Books)
When social-worker Haberman finds a limbless wheelchair-bound man observing a street artist, it’s as if all his birthdays have come at once. He can now set about the task that he may always have been destined for, to take this unfortunate victim under his monstrous wing and systematically abuse him (mentally and spiritually) until he is somehow sated.
Why does he do this? What unfortunate events in his past have compelled him to carry out such atrocities? Wrong question. It’s like asking how Winnie got buried in sand in Beckett’s “Happy Days”: the fact is that she just happens to be buried in sand; the fact is that Haberman just happens to be this way, like Simenon’s Frank Friedermaier in Dirty Snow perhaps, bad to the bone. Those looking for easy armchair-psychology rationalizations have come to the wrong anti-hero.
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January 1, 2015
“…wrought with dark humour and a multitude of literary, philosophical and psychological references. The trilogy is an essential read for anyone who enjoys a challenge: predictable neither in content nor in form, CENTRAL PARK WEST TRILOGY is not your average novel.”
Full review here: http://www.palatinate.org.uk/?p=52129
Richard Kalich’s book is on promotion in the UK and Australia. Don’t miss it!
December 31, 2014
Tired of being a stay-at-home and a couch potato, Charlie P gives a gala New Year’s Eve party which not only he but nobody else attends. Even Charlie P was surprised at the turnout. To be sure, this is the best party he’s never been to. The one he would least have wanted to miss.
The entire affair was catered by the world’s greatest chefs, and platters of sumptuous foods were served by geishas in kimonos and men in black. Champagne flowed like April rain. Every guest was given a token of appreciation for not attending, diamonds and gold; and for those who didn’t wear jewellery, thinking it ostentatious, or trade gold in the market, Picassos from the Blue period. And the entertainment was world class. From the Three Tenors, Nureyev and Fontaine, to rappers and hip-hop. From chart-breakers and the current pop, to has-beens and never-was’s. Fireworks lit up the night sky before, during and after the party. Needless to say, there was something for everybody. For every taste and desire imaginable.
At long last Charlie P knew what it was to have the spotlight. To be the center of attention. If not for him this party that did not happen would never have taken place.
But what gave Charlie P the most satisfaction was the fact that all the people not attending the party got along charmed the pants, if not panties, off young career women in the bloom of youth. While hangers-on, freeloaders, and weak sons of strong fathers could be seen having serious and meaningful discussions with men of the cloth. And chronically cheating husbands and adulterous wives, who had fought tooth and nail over divorce settlements, alimony payments and child support for years, were now laughing together, making merry and dancing cheek to cheek. On a larger scale, and despite ancient enmities that had made for a thousand years of hatred, world rulers and Heads of State were making every effort to reconcile their differences; open lines of communication; enter into dialogue. And so, on this night, at Charlie P’s party, at least, there was no such thing as separation of Church and State; East vs. West; men vs. women. Indeed, there was only commonality of purpose, good cheer, peace on earth and good will towards men.
For certain, at Charlie P’s gala New Year’s Eve party which didn’t take place—happy times were here again. Still, by the night’s end, Charlie P was visibly disappointed. The crowd had already filtered out, most rushing off to other parties, and other than a few tepid kisses on the cheek from the women, ceremonial hugs from the men, and the usual “see you next year”’s, Charlie P once again felt empty, alone, deserted.
He certainly wasn’t ready to relinquish the spotlight, stop being the host and center of attention. And, so, he began thinking about next year’s party. No, it would not be a sequel of this year’s event; a rehashing and recycling of the time-tested and familiar. Next year Charlie P decided that rather than be a small fish in a big pond, he would be a big fish in a small pond by giving his party in a soup kitchen for the hungry and homeless, the needy and disenfranchised. Not only so well. High rollers mixed with paupers, and aging playboys would he save a fortune by not having to wine and dine his guests with diamonds and gold, but all those unfortunates needed to be happy was a bowl of hot soup, a warm bed, a pair of sturdy thick-soled boots and a windbreaker for the ensuing winter months. Toss in a few extra dollars to keep them off the dole, and, rest assured, more than lukewarm kisses and perfunctory hugs, he would be adulated, venerated, possibly even canonized as a saint.
But what if all those people who didn’t attend this year’s party attend next year’s party?
The excerpt also appears in our collection GIFTS.
December 17, 2014
Christmas is not always magic but good books always are.
Whether you love or hate Christmas, you might enjoy a good story.
Our collection GIFTS: NINE BITTERSWEET CHRISTMAS STORIES is free on Amazon this week: getBook.at/FREE_GIFTS
December 11, 2014
A limited print edition of GIFTS is now also available here: http://www.bookdepository.com/Gifts-Betimes-Books/9780992967444
Free delivery worldwide!