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Arnold Skemer, born in 1946, is an American novelist and publisher. He was born in the Bronx, New York on the Grand Concourse, moved to Queens, New York in 1957, and graduated from Queens College in 1968.

He is the author of the following novels:

  • The Famine (1985)
  • C (1992)
  • The Occupation (1995)
  • B (1996)
  • Momus (A Novella in a Box) (1997)
  • The Ruins of the City (1998)
  • Investigations of the Cyberneticist (1999)
  • E (2002)

Recurrent themes in his work include: the nature of the State and the paradoxes of history, as well as the sickness implicit in the human psyche, and the limitations of the individual. Stylistically, the works are generally delivered in a cool and distant formality.

Earlier Work

The Famine: India nears nuclear self-destruction in an apocalyptic and visionary scenario.

The Occupation: A city in southern France during the German occupation; the crimes of the polity are depicted in a state of total moral decay.

Later Work

C, D, B, and E are novellae constituting part of a projected larger work entitled ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ. Each volume is complete in itself, yet is part of a unity in the larger work. It starts from the author's conception and embryonic development (A) and ends with his death and decomposition (Z). F, G, H and I are in process, each 56-64 pages. A-Z is projected for completion by 2020.

Momus is a novella-in-a-box meant to be read in random order. Each page is separate. This concept is sometimes referred to as a shuffle book.

Investigations of the Cyberneticist is a chapbook fiction about a "defective intellectual."

Aside from his work on A-Z, approximately 15-20 other works are also in progress. His fiction tends toward the novella length.

As Publisher

Skemer has operated Phrygian Press since 1985, specializing in innovative fiction such as Metafictions by Richard Kostelanetz, and poetry such as E.S.P. by Alan Catlin. He also publishes ZYX (begun in 1990), a small xerographic magazine that publishes poetry, short fictions, commentary on innovative fiction and small press matters, and reviews. It appears 2-3 times a year.

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