Friday, September 19, 2014

Thoughtful Essay on Scottish Independence

Hayden Westfield-Bell, an Englishman who lives in Edinburgh, and whose poetry is often featured in Emanations, has written a thoughtful reflection on the Scottish independence vote, which, as I learned this morning, was defeated.

His essay--pregnant with thoughtful optimism and keen understanding--can be viewed by clicking HERE.

Hayden Westfield-Bell composing his thoughts (and cooling his toes) whilst standing in a peaty burn.




















As a tail on this, I can say (and think) very little. I've lived there but don't have a clue about what's going on just now. In Scotland, the Labour Party is (or in the past has been) called the "Socialist" Party, while the Tories are (or in the past have been) called the "Unionist" Party. A "divide" might fall out, as well, between the Anglo-Scots and the Scottish-Scots, which is a vague and loose way to draw a distinction between Scottish Episcopalians and Scottish Presbyterians, though I should again underscore the vagueness of the distinction. Notwithstanding accents, "English-speaking" Scots are just as Scottish as "Scottish-speaking" Scots, and only vulgar people with coarse perceptions draw a distinction. Meanwhile,  somewhere in this mix the English fit in as well, though as Hayden suggests, English antecedents are no indication of on which side of the question an English person might fall. Complicating matters are all the various regions with their distinct identities: 1) the Highlands and Islands, 2) the East coast, 3) the Boarders, 4) Edinburgh, and 5) Glasgow.  Fife has it's own identity--with the middle-class in the East Neuk and round St. Andrews, and the working-class "Socialists" in the west...  And thus class is also a dynamic, with the middle classes and the upper classes tending towards the Liberal Democrat or Unionist parties. But over to Hayden for a report from someone with his feet on the ground (or in a burn) over there.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Nothwithstanding applications in physics and mathematics, infinity could be a semantic illusion.


















According to the definition in wikipedia:  "Infinity (symbol: ) is an abstract concept describing something without any limit and is relevant in a number of fields, predominantly mathematics and physics."

Evidently, however, representations (and any possible representations, we wonder)  of infinity are either 1) a semantic or mathematical construction; that is, a conceptual illusion; or 2) an optical illusion.

Can something both exist and not have any limit?

Time? But time is a perception, a perception of change.

Space?  But, beyond star-filled space, can something that is "empty" go on forever and be said to actually exist?


 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Magic Trio Project









 

For several years, Dario Rivarossa, Eva "Nivalis" Nieri and Tiziana "Selkis" Grassi (comprising "The Magic Trio") have been collaborating to produce illustrations for Emanations.  Their current project is preparing illustrations for the new translation of Torquato Tasso's Il mondo creato (Creation of the World), which will be published by International Authors early next year.

The Magic Trio now have a website, which can viewed by clicking HERE.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Emanations V: Call for Submissions

International Authors and the editors of Emanations are happy to announce a Call for Submissions:

Emanations: V

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, political dystopia, satire, 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 important. 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 contributors should consider length to be “open.”

Our editorial vision is evolving. Contributors should see themselves as actively shaping the "vision" of Emanations.

Send files with brief cover note to Carter Kaplan:


Deadline: February 15, 2015

Contributors should place their name in the subject heading, 
and they should include their name and contact information in the submitted file.

Emanations is a not-for-profit literary project and contributors cannot be compensated at this time. All proceeds from the sale of Emanations will support the efforts of International Authors to publish new voices from around the world. Contributors receive a copy upon publication.

Please post questions, suggestions and ideas. The project is a collaborative effort, and as we share ideas the "vision" transforms, evolves, and grows. When we write stories and poems we hope to bring to bear the entire battery of modern and postmodern literary devices. More simply: we like good, strong writing. Our essays are incisive, precise, keen, challenging, and driven by the writer's desire to advance an intelligent audience's understanding of important subjects.


The Fine Print:

1) Submit files as follows: double space, Microsoft Word, Times New Roman size #11.  Set Tabs for .2" and set spacing at 15. Use smart quotes. This will help reduce the workload as the editors format book for publication.

2) No simultaneous submissions (contributors should get fairly quick feedback anyway, especially if their submission meets our needs). Material that is obviously pulled from a file and has nothing to do with the goals of the anthology won't get any feedback beyond the initial acknowledgement.

3) Word count/line count? See details above. We're flexible, but contributors should be sensible when considering what they send in. A novella? Well, maybe, and so on.... Rules of thumb: a) Stories: very short to 20-30 pages. b) Poems: send in 5-10 pages. c) Essays: 5-10-30 pages.

4) Published as hard copy only—Emanations will be available on Amazon. Participants who make a substantial contribution of material, editorial work, or art will get a copy. It can take some time to get copies to contributors outside of North America. In the case of our first anthology, for example, it took forty-five days to get a copy to a contributor in to Nepal.

5) In the past, International Authors has made it possible for contributors to purchases copies “at cost” using coupon codes, and so on. International Authors is a consortium, and as such every contributor is a “member” or our community, and contributors are encouraged to help promote the anthology by sending review copies to newspapers, journals and relevant Web sites.

6) Copyright "reverts" to contributors upon publication. That is, after a piece appears in Emanations, the contributor can seek to publish their piece elsewhere. Contributors should understand that Emanations will remain for sale on Amazon indefinitely. All materials appearing in Emanations are under the exclusive copyright of the contributing writers and artists.

7) Note to poets: Please do not send poems as individual files. All poetry submissions should be sent as a SINGLE MircosoftWord file formatted in Times New Roman, size 11.  Please submit three to ten pages.


Published By International Authors
Board of Editorial Advisors

Ruud Antonius, Netherlands/UK/Spain
Steve Aylett, UK
Joolz Barry, UK
Holly Baumgartner, US
Cedric Cester, Spain
Horace Jeffery Hodges, South Korea
Sushma Joshi, Nepal
Devashish Makhija, India
Aziz Mustafa, Kosovo
Michael Moorcock, US/UK
Elkie Riches, UK
Stephen Sylvester, US




Friday, August 29, 2014

John Arbuthnot "Jacky" Fisher, First Baron Fisher, First Sea Lord

In his illuminating book on British Battleships, 1892-1957 (London: Putnam, 1957) Commander Randolph Pears, R.N. (Retd.) relates this amusing anecdote about the future Sea Lord entering the Royal Navy of the mid-nineteenth century.  As Commander Pears relates, in those days prospective cadets wishing to become officers were subject to close scuritiny:
When the future Lord Fisher of Kilverstone entered the Navy himself in the 'fifties of the last century his examination mainly consisted of having to jump stark naked over a chair and to recite the Lord's Prayer, no doubt having to put his clothes on again for the second feat, but that is not related.  He was rewarded with a glass of sherry.
Fisher as Midshipman 1856-1860


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

International Authors in the Classroom

Here is the reading list/schedule for a course I am teaching this semester called "Exploring Literature."

 From Emanations: Foray into Forever, we will read stories by Jeffrey Falla and Chris Matthews. Also from International Authors, we will read Vitasta Raina's novella Writer's Block.

The course is divided into themes (in capital letters). Weekly topics/meetings are represented either with a list of readings or quotation marks. References to "Poetry Section" are poems from the corresponding thematic section in Literature: The Human Experience, Abcarion, Klotz, and Cohen. Perhaps we will look at poetry from Emanations: Foray into Forever as well. 

RESPONDING TO LITERATURE
Fiction
Poetry
Drama
Non-Fiction

INNOCENCE AND EXPERIENCE
“Young Goodman Brown,” Hawthorne
Young Goodman Brown film
Poetry Section


WRITING ABOUT LITERATURE
Writing about Literature
LOVE AND HATE
“Leigia,” Poe (handout)
The Bride Price, Emecheta
Poetry Section



LIFE AND DEATH
“Begging on the Threshold of Eternity,” Matthews (handout)
“Circle of Quanij,” Falla (handout)
Poetry Section

Midterm

CULTURE AND IDENTITY
“The Yellow Wallpaper,” Gilman
“Virginia Act of Religious Freedom,” Jefferson (handout)
from The U.S. Constitution (handout)
“The Manning of Ships” from White-Jacket, Melville (handout)
from Animal Farm, Orwell (handout)
“Politics and the English Language,” Orwell (handout)
“Master Harold” …and the boys, Fugard
Poetry Section




CONFORMITY AND REBELLION
“The Lottery”, Jackson
The Lottery, film
THX1138, film
“A Modest Proposal,” Swift
Declaration of Independence, Jefferson (handout)
“The Town-Ho’s Story” from Moby-Dick, Melville (handout)
Writer's Block, Raina
Poetry Section



Final

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

considering the art of consideration

Melencolia § I  by Albrecht Dürer


Friday, August 15, 2014

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Michael Butterworth Exhibition in Manchester Begins Today

The International Anthony Burgess Foundation is holding an exhibition of Michael Butterworth's work at the Exhibition Centre, entitled The Use and Abuse of Books.

Read about it HERE.  And more HERE.

According to Michael:
The Anthony Burgess Foundation have asked us for books they can put on sale in the bookshop during the three weeks of the exhibition and I have sent them five copies of Emanations 4.
 He also says a copy of Emanations 1 is part of his display.

 
Michael Butterworth

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

International Authors Meeting in San Gimignano, Italy, August 9, 2014

I've just returned from Tuscany where International Authors had its second meeting.  (For a report on our first meeting in London, please click HERE).


Clockwise from left: Philip Murray-Lawson, Dario Rivarossa, Marzio Nieri (behind Dario), Eva Nieri, Elisa Papi, Leonardo Zaffera (Elisa and Leonardo run GuardaStelle Edizioni, a small press in Italy), Carter Kaplan. Photo by Nadine Muray-Lawson.

Dario was "master of ceremonies" as we discussed (in an "avant-garde" pidgin of Italian, French, American English, Euro-English, and Philp-Murray-Lawson English) International Authors, Guardastelle Edizioni, book production and distribution, Tasso, Dante, the book Dante era uno scrittore Fantasy  (see also HERE), Milton, the Italian Renaissance, the middle ages, Tuscany, Umbria, Moby-Dick, The Scarlet Letter, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, fantasy, science fiction, translation, anime, art, illustration, and so on. The keynote subject was Dario's progress translating Tasso's Creation of the World, which IA should bring out early next Spring. Much of Dario's work with the text is finished, and over the next few months he, Eva and Tiziana Grassi (the "Magic Trio") will create the illustrations. There should be about 60 illustrations, and the book will be around 400 pages long--same size as Emanations.

San Gimignano















International Authors Tuscany HQ near San Gimignano














A person could get used to this sort of thing.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Highbrow Advice from Xenophon

Xenophon instructs his captains to encourage the Greek soldiers, now lost in Persia:
But there will be a great rise in their spirits if one can change the way they think, so that instead of having in their heads the one idea of "what is going to happen to me?" they may think "what action am I going to take?"
                                                                                                   --Xenophon, Anabasis

"Xenophon" by Selkis






















Monday, August 4, 2014

More Blogosphere Commentary and Observations

Once again, Dario Rivarossa has blogged on Emanations: Foray into Forever.  Please clock HERE.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Professor Hodges, Emanations, and the Art of the Family "Daycation"

Professor Hodges is reading Emanations.  Please click HERE for his trademark multivalent jesting (includes lively holiday pictures).


















It looks like he is scrutinizing the book very carefully.  I look forward to hearing his critical impressions in some future Gypsy Scholar report.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Il Mondo Creato Progress Report

I have finished the preliminary edit of Tasso's Il Mondo Creato, Day III.  Meanwhile, Dario Rivarossa has reached a benchmark: He has finished his translation of Day VII.  That is, he has finished the preliminary translation of the entire poem. It now goes to Professor Salwa Khoddam for her enhancements (I believe she is now working on Day V).  I expect to catch up with Dario and Salwa over the next three months.  By November the book will enter the production stage, which will include bringing the front matter and introductory materials together with the poem, further editing, and then preparations for publication.  Some of my earlier reflections on this project can be read by clicking HERE.

Meanwhile, Dario will be working with Nivalis and Selkis (the three of them comprising "The Magic Trio") to produce the cover and the illustrations.  After much deliberation, soul-searching and head scratching, we have determined that the book will have about 60 illustrations. Altogether, the book will be about 400 pages long.

Dario sums up as follows:
A barbaric YAWP! The new, or rather, the only unabridged English translation of Torquato Tasso's long poem Il Mondo  Creato (1592) has just been completed -- i.e., the first draft, while the text is still in the process of being edited by Prof. Salwa  Khoddam and Prof. Carter Kaplan.

Day or Canto 7 should be of a particular interest to Paradise Lost readers and scholars insofar as Tasso "fills in the gaps" in the narrative of  Genesis (e.g. God leading Eve in front of Adam after creating her), that probably was the main source that inspired Milton for his own reworking of the Biblical text.
As to the "role" of the original sin in the "economy" of salvation, according to MC, well, it is very interesting, but it will not be revealed here

Writing thousands of footnotes on language, literature, Renaissance society, sources, and "the legacy" (especially Milton and CS Lewis) has been as exciting as translating the verses.
Now the funniest stage begins: illustrating it together with Nivalis and Selkis, the Magic Trio. The number of pics should be about 60.
The 400-page volume may be published by International Authors in -- say, next Spring?
I agree with Dario's projection for a Spring 2015 launch.  Click HERE to view his original blog post on these matters.