Weaving people and ideas to make a difference
Randy Fertel is a writer and philanthropist dedicated to the arts, education, New Orleans, and the environment.
A Taste for Chaos
In A Taste For Chaos, Fertel explores the undercurrent of spontaneity in literature and identifies a new metagenre called improvisations – texts that claim to have been written without effort or craft, like an idea that hits you in the shower.
The Gorilla Man and the Empress of Steak
The Gorilla Man and the Empress of Steak is the story of two larger-than-life characters and the son whom their lives helped to shape.
A Taste for Chaos provides a sweeping view of the complex history of the notion of artistic spontaneity. Packed with erudition and references ranging from Lucretius to James Brown, and written with reader-friendly clarity, Fertel’s book is a lively examination of the centuries-old debate between the improvisers and the deliberators. This detailed labor of love deserves its place on any serious bookshelf devoted to literary study or the history of ideas.
- Billy Collins, Poet Laureate; author of Aimless Love
A Taste for Chaos is a stunner of a book – smart, jarring, innovative, witty, provocative, wise, and beautifully written. As a sustained and unified work of literary analysis, this book is nothing short of dazzling, both in its meticulously structured central argument and in its intricate exploration of the artistic tensions between order and disorder, reason and intuition, design and improvisation. Not only is this a book about the artistic endeavor, but it is also a work of art in its own right.
- Tim O’Brien, National Book Award-winning author of The Things They Carried and Going After Cacciato
A smart blend of psychology, philosophy and literary history…. A tour de force of reading in the fields of literary theory and history befitting a George Steiner or Erich Auerbach.