Sunday, January 25, 2015

And that's an "OK" you can depend on!

Fitzhugh L. "Fitz" Fulton, Jr, Test Pilot

Friday, January 23, 2015

Butterworth Show, Continued

Here's an announcement and related news from the Exhibition Centre for the Life and Use of Books in Manchester:

Please click HERE.

The announcement concludes: the "success of [the Butterworth show] has prompted research and further filming for a feature length documentary by Manchester-based artist Clara Casian, taking the innovative and experimental art and writing of the Corridor series as a starting point to examine the wider culture surrounding Savoy, and the lives and work of Butterworth’s peers."

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Pictures from the Butterworth Show at Kent State University

Emanations I is visible in the last two photographs.

From Professor Hassler's introduction to the exhibit:
Please excuse my own voice initially to introduce these materials in the Michael Butterworth/Savoy Press Exhibit. The voice of Butterworth himself is on all the caption cards in the cases. It is a clever and witty voice that I characterize further below. But first, the radical nature of the materials, their European origins, and why we at Kent State should notice.
All American history is partially a product of invasions from Europe. I arrived at Kent to teach in the middle of the sixties, roughly the same moment as the Beatles invasion. I knew a lot about the radical and diabolic Lord Byron, about the French Revolution. But I was not prepared to be told by my friends about the Cleveland poet d.a. levy, who died defiantly in 1968. In fact, the country, the University all matured rapidly in the psychedelic sixties that climaxed for us at May 1970. Now 45 years later, I have completed my tenure of teaching—some radical and some conventional literature. I am fortunate to be able to introduce this bookish exhibit and “invasion” again of European radicalism and shall describe it in much more detail at my March 4 talk here. In the meantime, read carefully the captions by Butterworth in the cases. His voice is the voice of Swift, the voice of the French barricades in radical Paris, and of the diabolical Lord Byron (Lord Horror). He is clever, intense, informal; and this is solid literary history about banned books and about radical publishing. I think all of this helps to appreciate our very American history of radicalism inspired by our European roots—by this mixed and croaking speciation.
As we know, the frog is able to live underwater but is able, also, to sparkle in the sun. We hope for such amphibian complexity in what is exhibited here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Nigerian Poet Seeks Critic

Nigerian poet Ebi Robert, whose poetry appears in Emanations: Foray into Forever, has contacted me seeking help with his play An Empty Kingdom.  He is looking for a critic interested in writing a short introduction or afterword. Mr. Robert has provided me with the following prospectus:
The play is about the struggle of power between the people and the few.  Set in the south-south, Niger Delta region of Bayelsa State of Nigeria, the play presents the struggle of governance between the people and a group of persons who believe in an oligarchical authoritarianism based on an ancient order of kingship by inheritance. The late King had no son, hence there was no one to continue the bloodline. The late King's uncle demands that he be made king, being the only surviving seed of the bloodline. The people refuse because nothing good has ever come out of the custom, save injustice. Thus they choose Tuaton, a man from another land who had lived with them. But the aristocrats refuse saying he is not a son of the soil. Thus, on and on, they struggle to influence the authorities and make one of their own King. Eventually, I plan to develop the concept into a trilogy. I currently seek someone to write a foreword for the play. Search the name "Ebi Robert" to contact me through facebook, or use my email:  ebi [dot] fortune [at] yahoo [dot] com.
Unfortunately, I am tied down and can't write the forward--anyway, not at this time.  In the meantime, if someone can lend a hand here, please contact Mr. Robert as per his instructions.  Incidentally, more of Mr. Robert's poetry will appear in Emanations V.

Ebi Robert

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Quick Update

Receiving many fine submissions for Emanations V.  A dystopian theme is evolving.  The deadline is February 15.  Please click HERE to view the Call for Submissions.

Editing Tasso's Il mondo creato (Creation of the World) Day 6.  Should have it back to Dario and Salwa in a few days.

Meanwhile, more Tasso news (as always) from Dario:  please click HERE.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Philip Murray-Lawson interviews Juan de Nubes

Please click HERE to read Philip's interview with French artist Juan de Nubes.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Col. Jack Broughton

Click HERE for the LA Times obituary.

Click HERE for a Highbrow note on Col. Broughton's court-martial (with a comment by Ed Rasimus).

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Speculative Fictions issue #1

Editor Gareth Jackson has announced that Speculative Fictions issue #1 is now available as a free download.

The second volume of Speculative Fictions (the first volume was #0) features writing by Harpy70, Chris Pressey, Michael Butterworth, Vera Insomniac, Langdon Jones, Gareth Jackson, Ian Johnson,  Robert Meadley, Tantra Bensko, and yours truly.

Click HERE for the free download (issue #0 also available).

Monday, December 29, 2014

Test Your Highbrow I.Q.
Can You Draw the Object?

Study the following animation and consider the complex structure that it describes. It is helpful to consider yourself as a point of reference that is moving through the structure.  To confirm your comprehension, draw a diagram of it.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Art of the Christmas Meme

William Blake via Dario Rivarossa: the human family encounters itself in a lively science fiction allusion.

From Tiziana "Selkis" Grassi: indefatigable support for the literature of ideas in the guise of a colorful fantasy:

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Expulsion of superstition, nightmares and ghosts: from John Milton's "On the Morning of Christ's Nativity" (1629)

And then at last our bliss [ 165 ]
Full and perfect is,
But now begins; for from this happy day
Th' old Dragon under ground,
In straiter limits bound,
Not half so far casts his usurped sway, [ 170 ]
And wrath to see his Kingdom fail,
Swindges the scaly Horrour of his foulded tail. 

The Oracles are dumm,
No voice or hideous humm
Runs through the arched roof in words deceiving. [ 175 ]
Apollo from his shrine
Can no more divine,
With hollow shreik the steep of Delphos leaving.
No nightly trance, or breathed spell,
Inspire's the pale-ey'd Priest from the prophetic cell. [ 180 ]
The lonely mountains o're,
And the resounding shore,
A voice of weeping heard, and loud lament;
From haunted spring and dale
Edg'd with poplar pale, [ 185 ]
The parting Genius is with sighing sent,
With flowre-inwov'n tresses torn
The Nimphs in twilight shade of tangled thickets mourn. 

In consecrated Earth,
And on the holy Hearth, [ 190 ]
The Lars, and Lemures moan with midnight plaint,
In Urns, and Altars round,
A drear, and dying sound
Affrights the Flamins at their service quaint;
And the chill Marble seems to sweat, [ 195 ]
While each peculiar power forgoes his wonted seat. 

Peor, and Baalim,
Forsake their Temples dim,
With that twise-batter'd god of Palestine,
And mooned Ashtaroth, [ 200 ]
Heav'ns Queen and Mother both,
Now sits not girt with Tapers holy shine,
The Libyc Hammon shrinks his horn,
In vain the Tyrian Maids their wounded Thamuz mourn. 

And sullen Moloch fled, [ 205 ]
Hath left in shadows dred.
His burning Idol all of blackest hue,
In vain with Cymbals ring,
They call the grisly king,
In dismall dance about the furnace blue; [ 210 ]
The brutish gods of Nile as fast,
Isis and Orus, and the Dog Anubis hast. 

Nor is Osiris seen
In Memphian Grove, or Green,
Trampling the unshowr'd Grasse with lowings loud: [ 215 ]
Nor can he be at rest
Within his sacred chest,
Naught but profoundest Hell can be his shroud:
In vain with Timbrel'd Anthems dark
The sable-stoled Sorcerers bear his worshipt Ark. [ 220 ]
He feels from Juda's land
The dredded Infants hand,
The rayes of Bethlehem blind his dusky eyn;
Nor all the gods beside,
Longer dare abide, [ 225 ]
Nor Typhon huge ending in snaky twine:
Our Babe, to shew his Godhead true,
Can in his swadling bands controul the damned crew. 

So when the Sun in bed,
Curtain'd with cloudy red, [ 230 ]
Pillows his chin upon an Orient wave.
The flocking shadows pale
Troop to th' infernall jail,
Each fetter'd Ghost slips to his severall grave,
And the yellow-skirted Fayes [ 235 ]
Fly after the Night-steeds, leaving their Moon-lov'd maze.

Infant Hercules strangling the serpent

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Studio 1652

International Authors editor Vitasta Raina and her partner Akshay Shrinagesh have launched a new center for urban planning, architectural design, speculative research and graphic arts.

Here is the description from their new website:
Studio 1652 seeks to walk through the invisible walls between art, architecture, urban science, communication design and speculative research, and view the world in a holistic manner, rather than separated by closed door fields of learning.

We believe in Systems Thinking of understanding problems as parts of an overall whole, rather than in isolation, focusing on cyclical cause and effect, linkages and interactions, to develop long-term sustainable solutions.
Please click HERE to view the Studio 1652 website.

Please click HERE to visit the Amazon page for Vitasta's novella, Writer's Block.

l. to r. Anil Dhingra from Decor India, Akshay Shrinagesh and Vitasta Raina

Friday, December 19, 2014

Taking Blake too Seriously

As I suggested eleven months ago in a Highbrow memorandum, there is a "risk" in taking William Blake too seriously. Further thoughts along these lines:
I find him inspiring, full of anthropological and psychological insights, but I am also weary of where he can lead his admirers. The more I read about him the more I am skeptical. As a  philosopher, he is not as rigorous as his exuberance might suggest. On Locke, for example, his criticisms are over the top and he is dead wrong, and then on top of his haughty and sanctimonious declamations he equivocates--perhaps he realized he was in over his head? A survey of his work and his "claims" demonstrates that he does a lot of equivocating. Along these lines, somewhere he says he is not interested in being precise or accurate, but is rather interested in "consistency"--I take it that he means he is more interested in producing an "impressive composition" than he is in expressing philosophical understanding. I think his claims concerning his superiority to Milton have deceived people. He is no where near Milton as a scholar, a theologian, a historian, a politician, a psychologist, a philologist, a philosopher, an anthropologist, a poet, a professional, a well-connected man of the world, a revolutionary, or what have you. Also, his stuff in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell about Milton being of the devil's party is absurd... But many people take this as a point of departure for claiming Satan is the hero of Paradise Lost. There is a little too much Rousseau in Blake. At a Blake conference someone more knowledgeable than me explained that as the French Revolution went south and plunged into violence, Blake stopped printing Marriage of Heaven and Hell. Blake was withdrawing from the moral relativism and claims for the veracity of "passion" that Marriage espouses. Also, the biographers present ample evidence that Blake wrote some pretty absurd advertisements for his shows in which he made over-the-top claims about himself, his genius, and his prophetic powers. People in the late-18th century art word laughed at this horn blowing, and it seems to me their laughter was justified.