To the Editors:
The late Carl R. Proffer was founding editor and publisher, with his wife Ellendea, of the Ardis publishing house and Russian Literature Triquarterly. Their basement publishing from Ann Arbor, Michigan, became the most important source of Russian literature in the world, rescuing classic works no longer circulating in the Soviet Union and also publishing works by the finest new writers in that country and in exile from it.
This is a pre-eminent example of what one man can do: indeed single-handedly he reshaped the literary processes in the Soviet Union as well as brought irreversible changes in the English-speaking world’s perception of the reality of Russian literature.
He died at age 46 last September and a memorial service is planned for him now: on April 1, at 7:30 at the New York Public Library, Susan Sontag, Vartan Gregorian, and distinguished others will join me for a special tribute, to which the literary public is invited.
PEN American Center
New York, New York
March 28, 1985