Sunday, June 25, 2017

"...nevertheless I took it as a pledge of future happiness..."

Milton visiting Galileo when a prisoner of the Inquisition. Alexander Hart, 1847.

“There it was that I found and visited the famous Galileo, grown old, a prisoner to the Inquisition, for thinking in astronomy otherwise than the Franciscan and Dominican licensers thought. And though I knew that England then was groaning loudest under the prelatical yoke, nevertheless I took it as a pledge of future happiness, that other nations were so persuaded of her liberty. Yet was it beyond my hope that those worthies were then breathing in her air, who should be her leaders to such a deliverance, as shall never be forgotten by any revolution of time that this world hath to finish.”

― John Milton, Areopagitica A speech for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing to the Parliament of England, 1644

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

WAH Center, July 2

Terrance Lindall has sent out an announcement for a talk I am giving Sunday July 2 at the WAH Center:

"Illustrating the Visions: Alloys of Art, Poetry, Politics and Philosophy"

Talk by Publisher and Professor Carter Kaplan of International Authors our private library: below the Memorial Shelf for Dr. Robert J. Wickenheiser


Sunday July 2, 2017
Luncheon 12:30 – 1:30 PM   $25

Talk 2:00 -3:00  FREE ADMISSION

Display of AI Books and original illustrations by renowned artists
International Authors link:

"International Authors: A consortium of writers, artists, architects, filmmakers and critics, International Authors publishes work of outstanding literary merit. Dedicated to the advancement of an international culture in literature, primarily in English, the group seeks new members with an enthusiasm for creating unique artistic expressions."

"Emanations is an anthology series featuring fiction, poetry, essays, manifestos and reviews. The emphasis is on alternative narrative structures, new epistemologies, peculiar settings, esoteric themes, sharp breaks from reality, ecstatic revelations, and vivid and abundant hallucinations. The editors are interested in recognizable genres—science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery, local color, romance, realism, surrealism, postmodernism—but the idea is to make something new, and along these lines the illusion of something new can be just as intriguing. If a story or poem makes someone say, “Yes, but what is it?” then it’s right for Emanations. Essays should be exuberant, daring, and free of pedantry. Length is a consideration in making publication decisions, but in keeping with the spirit of the project, length is “open.”  Emanations is a continually shifting and evolving project, and contributors should see themselves as actively shaping our editorial vision and compass."

The Williamsburg Circle of International Arts and Letters is a program of the Williamsburg Art & Historical Center (WAH Center). The Circle serves as a hub for discussion of new ideas about diverse subject matters. It is especially keen to point up intersections in areas of study that on first glance appear to be contradictory, especially in the areas of art and literature. Observations on the human experience in a receptive individual can sometimes evoke intuitive leaps of creativity, bringing forth new ideas in science, philosophy, literature and the arts. We hope to encourage this.

We believe that a strong education in the classical humanities is a fundamental prerequisite for good citizenship in every country in the world today. What is Classical Humanities? It is nothing less than the spiritual, ethical and intellectual foundation for Western culture. Classics are a vibrant, interdisciplinary field that lies at the heart of the liberal arts. It is the lack of a common heritage and common values that gives rise to basic conflicts among peoples. A broad education in the classical humanities can bring about a common understanding and a common set of values.

Our outstanding members serve as inspiration to young scholars whose concepts are forming and who are or will be developing projects important to our 21st century civilization. 
To learn about the Williamsburg Circle of International Arts and Letters, please click HERE. To  learn about the WAH Center and the Yuko Nii Foundation, please click HERE.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Conversations with Philip K. Dick... in Emanations: I Am Not a Number

Tessa B. Dick,the widow of Philip K. Dick, is working on a new book about PKD's ideas and art. Here is the cover for the project, which will be published in the near future.

We are very fortunate to have two sections from Ms. Dick's manuscript in Emanations: I An Not a Number.

The first section describes some of PKD's cosmological speculations. I think the description is worthwhile because the speculations are not only interesting in themselves, but also because Ms. Dick provides insight into how PKD developed his concepts and theories. In the second section, Ms. Dick describes PKD's plans for sequels to two of his novels, The Man in the High Castle and The Penultimate Truth.

Please click the cover image to learn more about Emanations: I Am Not a Number:

As a footnote, I want to point out that The Penultimate Truth contains what we might describe as "experimental" or "avant-garde" writing. Far from being a strict modernist limited to conventional linear narrative, Philip K. Dick was indeed capable of extraordinarily sophisticated and elegant grammatical architectures that create layers of complex multi-valiant meanings, astonishing impressions, and finely-nuanced emotions. In The Penultimate Truth, this literary shifting begins at chapter five.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch image featuring Salvadore Dali as the antagonist

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch is one of Philip K. Dick's best novels.  In future Highbrow posts, I might set forth my reasons for saying so.  In the meantime, here is a curious Dali-inspired Palmer Eldritch digital panting by an artist called... "SharksDen".


Monday, June 12, 2017

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Passing Reference

Please click the cover image to learn more about Emanations: I Am Not a Number.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Radiant Snow in the Korean News

Horace Jeffery Hodges and his new book Radiant Snow (International Authors, 2017) have captured some attention in the Ewha Voice. Please click the image to read the article.

Emanations: I Am Not a Number is now available

Please click the cover image to view the Amazon sales page.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Outline of Thought

The Wikipedia article entitled "Outline of Thought" presents much more than is suggested by the title.  I'll leave it to card-carrying Highbrows to negotiate this one for themselves, with my suggestion that this is an archive of words and concepts useful to advancing the mission of literary creativity.  Please click HERE.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Chicken-and-Egg Problem

More from Annie Jacobson’s The Pentagon’s Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America’s Top Secret Research Agency:
As ARPA director, [Eberhardt] Rechtin believed he knew why the agency had run into so many difficulties during the Vietnam War. He called it the “chicken-and-egg problem” in congressional testimony related to the Mansfield Amendment [which barred the Defense Department from conducting “any research project or study unless the project or study had a direct relationship to [a] specific military function]. When asked by a committee member if it was appropriate to describe the Advanced Research Projects Agency as a “premilitary research organization within the Defense Department,” Rechtin said that if the word “military” were replaced by the word “requirement,” then that assessment would be correct. Unlike the regular military services, Rechtin said, ARPA was a “pre-requirement” organization and that it conducted research in advance of specific needs. “By this I mean that the military services, in order to do their work, must have a very formal requirement based on specific needs.” Rechtin said, “and usually upon technologies that are understood.” ARPA existed to make sure the military establishment was not ever again caught off guard by a Sputnik-like technological surprise. The enemy was always eyeing the future, he said, pursuing advanced technology in order to take more ground. And ARPA was set up to provide the Defense Department with its pre-requirement needs.

“There is a kind of chicken-and-egg problem in other words, in requirements and technology,” Rechtin explained. “The difficulty is that it is hard to write formal requirements if you do not have technology with which to solve them, but you cannot do the technology unless you have the requirements.” The agency’s dilemma, said Rechtin, was this: if you can’t do research before a need arises, by the time the need is there, it’s clear that the research should have already been done.

                       (pp. 335-336)

Eberhardt Rechtin

Friday, June 2, 2017

V838 Monocerotis

The unusual variable star V838 Monocerotis (V838 Mon) continues to puzzle astronomers. This previously inconspicuous star underwent an outburst early in 2002, during which it temporarily increased in brightness to become 600,000 times more luminous than our Sun. Light from this sudden eruption is illuminating the interstellar dust surrounding the star, producing the most spectacular "light echo" in the history of astronomy.

As light from the eruption propagates outward into the dust, it is scattered by the dust and travels to the Earth. The scattered light has travelled an extra distance in comparison to light that reaches Earth directly from the stellar outburst. Such a light echo is the optical analogue of the sound echo produced when an Alpine yodel is reflected from the surrounding mountainsides.
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has been observing the V838 Mon light echo since 2002. Each new observation of the light echo reveals a new and unique "thin-section" through the interstellar dust around the star. This video morphs images of the light echo from the Hubble taken at multiple times between 2002 and 2006. The numerous whorls and eddies in the interstellar dust are particularly noticeable. Possibly they have been produced by the effects of magnetic fields in the space between the stars.

                                          source : Hubble

Monday, May 29, 2017

Castle Bravo

From Annie Jacobson’s The Pentagon’s Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America’s Top Secret Research Agency; here is a description of the scientists aboard USNS Ainsworth observing the detonation of the first thermonuclear device (H-bomb) “Castle Bravo” at Bikini Atoll:
   The prerecorded voice of Barney O’Keefe came over the loudspeaker, counting down the last seconds. Everyone fell silent. “Five. Four. Three. Two. One.” Zero Hour. A flash of thermonuclear light, called the Teller light, sprang to life as a flood of gamma radiation filled the air. The presence of x-rays made the unseen visible. In the flash of Teller light, Freedman—who was watching the scientists for their reactions—could see their facial bones.
    “In front of me…they were skeletons,” Freedman recalls. Their faces no longer appeared to be human faces. Just “jawbones, and eye sockets. Rows of teeth. Skulls.”

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Coming Soon

Emanations 6 will be out by the end of the month.  Stay tuned.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Trafika Europe 11 – Swiss Delights

Trafika Europe 11 – Swiss Delights is now available to view on-line Latest in Swiss literature…including audio conversations with Michael Fehr and Leta Semadeni, an animated literary video with Ilma Rakusa, a translator's essay by Roger Russi on the importance of Mariella Mehr's work.

Edited by Andrew Singer and Tess Lewis.

Please click here to view the new issue.  Click here to view the Trafika Europe website.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Radiant Snow is now available

Horace Jeffery Hodges' collection of poems, Radiant Snow is now available.

Please click HERE to view the Amazon sales page.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Horace Walpole's copy of the death warrant of King Charles I

This is likely the Walpole copy from Strawberry Hill, now in the Milton collection of the Yuko Nii Foundation:

In his home Horace Walpole hung a copy of the warrant for the execution of Charles I with the inscription "Major Charta" and wrote of "the least bad of all murders, that of a King". In 1756, he wrote:
 I am sensible that from the prostitution of patriotism, from the art of ministers who have had the address to exalt the semblance while they depressed the reality of royalty, and from the bent of the education of the young nobility, which verges to French maxims and to a military spirit, nay, from the ascendant which the nobility itself acquires each day in this country, from all these reflections, I am sensible, that prerogative and power have been exceedingly fortified of late within the circle of the palace; and though fluctuating ministers by turns exercise the deposit, yet there it is; and whenever a prince of design and spirit shall sit in the regal chair, he will find a bank, a hoard of power, which he may lay off most fatally against this constitution. [I am] a quiet republican, who does not dislike to see the shadow of monarchy, like Banquo's ghost, fill the empty chair of state, that the ambitious, the murderer, the tyrant, may not aspire to it; in short, who approves the name of a King, when it excludes the essence.
Ketton-Cremer, R.W. (1964). Horace Walpole: A Biography. London: Methuen. p. 127.
The warrant itself reads as follows:
At the high Court of Justice for the tryinge and iudginge of Charles Steuart Kinge of England January xxixth Anno Dñi 1648.
Whereas Charles Steuart Kinge of England is and standeth convicted attaynted and condemned of High Treason and other high Crymes, And sentence uppon Saturday last was pronounced against him by this Court to be putt to death by the severinge of his head from his body Of wch sentence execucon yet remayneth to be done, These are therefore to will and require you to see the said sentence executed In the open Streete before Whitehall uppon the morrowe being the Thirtieth day of this instante moneth of January betweene the houres of Tenn in the morninge and Five in the afternoone of the same day wth full effect And for soe doing this shall be yor sufficient warrant And these are to require All Officers and Souldiers and other the good people of this Nation of England to be assistinge unto you in this Service
Given under our hands and Seales
To Colonell Ffrancis Hacker, Colonell Huncks and Lieutenant Colonell Phayre and to every of them
John Milton's name does not appear on the Warrant.  Cromwell's signature - "O. Cromwell" - is found on the left, in the first column, third line down.

Source: Wikipedia. Images: the Yuko Nii Foundation.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

L. Sterns Newburg on the International Authors translation of Torquato Tasso's Il mondo creato (Creation of the World)

L. Sterns Newburg has this to say about the new Tasso book:
An impressive piece of scholarship, and a valuable practical document for those interested in the great Italian poet, Torquato Tasso. This is a translation of Tasso's Il Creato Mundo, and the translators have been faithful - I want to say "lovingly faithful" - to the spirit and the words of the original. Tasso's original is in some ways an eccentric performance, so this translation presented numerous technical challenges, most of which have been surmounted.

The most difficult part of Tasso to recreate in English is the music of the original Italian. Any translation from a Romance language to English that somehow recreates such music engaged in a species of legerdemain, and inevitably, it results in subtle departures from sense of the original. The translators did not attempt to recreate Tasso's music.

Tasso cannot, perhaps, really speak to us in English, but the able translators have given us something far superior to a mere crib. Bravissimo!
To view the Creation of the World Amazon sales page, please click HERE.