Christopher P. Stephens, Bookman

Chris Stephens has been a book dealer since 1965 - earlier if you count childhood buying and selling.

Stephens has sold major collections to university libraries all over the world. He has operated appealing bookstores in Mt. Carroll, Illinois, Hastings on Hudson, NY and several in NYC, NY. He is a wholesale dealer to other bookstores all over the world.

Chris loves books.

Stephens now maintains a lively internet operation out of his new home in Scranton, PA.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Richard Kostelanetz

     Richard Kostelanetz does not like trees.
     Could this be true?  Chris Stephens claims it is.  "Not trees.  I like concrete."  Chris says Richard said this more than once, and that he didn't mean concrete poetry - which he also liked.  He meant the kind of concrete from which buildings and massive walls are made.
     Not sunlight or views either, apparently.  Kostelanetz had blocked out the windows in his loft on 17th Street.
     Aubrey Beardsley, another creative genius in black and white, also kept his windows closely shuttered to keep out the daylight.
     Our book loft on 38th Street had unblinded windows on 4 sides.  Maybe he didn't see them.  In the main part, where the books were stored, and where we had Kostelanetz' party, those windows were not a noticeable feature.  Long lines of bookshelves formed bright corridors on the window sides blocking light from the other side.  Those shelves facing the bright outside held boxes of books.  Open book shelves were in the interior.  Sunlight fades book spines.
     Chris knew Richard better than I did.  To me, Kostelanetz seemed a man so full of artistic exuberance that he wouldn't want to shut anything out, let alone sunshine. 
     In any case, he was entirely at ease at his party at that loft full of hidden windows.  There's a little more about that party in an earlier post.   

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