|About the Book|
Born in NYC in 1916, Alvin Schwartz began his literary career while still in high school as a co-editor of Mosaic, a little magazine of the thirties that published such luminaries as William Carlos Williams, Ezra Pound, R.P. Blackmur and GertrudeMoreBorn in NYC in 1916, Alvin Schwartz began his literary career while still in high school as a co-editor of Mosaic, a little magazine of the thirties that published such luminaries as William Carlos Williams, Ezra Pound, R.P. Blackmur and Gertrude Stein. He wrote critical pieces for other little mags including Ken Ginigers Lion & Unicorn, while his poetry and criticism also appeared in such places as Voices, The American Scholar and American Imago.Caught in the depression, he turned to writing comics for a living and was soon scripting the two leading newspaper strips of the day, Batman and Superman. He was often described as having a double identity, like Superman, his comics writing extending all the way to the creation of two best-selling Superman Operettas at a time when The Blowtop, his first novel, was being described in the NY Times as probably the first conscious existentialist novel in America.Schwartzs close friendships with many of the leading abstract expressionist painters, including Pollock and DeKooning among others, as well as contacts with some of the leading French existentialists such as Simon de Beauvoir and Jean Wahl also marked his work and led eventually to publication of The Blowtop in France (Les Editions de lElan Paris 1950) where under the title of Le Cingli, it became a best seller. His most recent book, written in his eighties, entitled: An Unlikely Prophet, is a memoir dealing with some very off-the-wall experiences generated by his years doing not only Superman but the mix of literary genres that followed. Described by some critics as offering a new and exciting vision of reality, this late work also leans very heavily on insights firstintimated in his seminal early work, The Blowtop, lending credence to the likelihood that the latters cult role at Columbia University may very well have set a direction for Allen Ginsburg and Jack Kerouac who were Columbia undergrads at the time.