Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Robert J. Wickenheiser & Terrance Lindall, The Milton Projects: 2009-2015

Recently, Terrance Lindall presented me with a copy of a new book documenting his work with Robert J. Wickenheiser, possibly the foremost collector of John Milton books and art in the United States. I first met Bob in 2012 at the "John Milton Weekend" event held at the Williamsburg Art and Historical Center. Before his death, Bob was the Chair of the Williamsburg Circle of International Arts and Letters, which I am a member of.

The new book presents readers with a detailed look at the business--and the friendships--which characterize the world of big art galleries, high-caliber artists, and important collectors. The thesis of the book is the history of the collaboration between Terrance Lindall and Robert J. Wickenheiser in producing the Gold Illuminated Elephant folio, but it contains much, much more.  It is an excellent point of departure for students of art and literature, collectors, and people curious about what transpires among artists and patrons who share a love for unique artistic expressions--and who are committed to preserving the legacy of John Milton.

Please click HERE to view a free on-line version of the book.

Robert J. Wickenheiser lecturing at the WAH Center, April 2012

Further details concerning the history of the book:

The signed hardcover book has been purchased by Dr. Joseph Wittreich, noted Milton scholar and collector, for
The Huntington Rare Book Library California
The University of Pennsylvania Rare Book Library
Hardcover, 152pp signed and numbered, limited to 100 copies $150 (first ten spoken for).

Also, copies purchased by:
Yuko Nii Foundation Milton Library (two copies)
Bienvenido Bones Banez, jr.
Milton's Cottage
Pat Wickenheiser
John Geraghty

Courtesy Softcover to:
Professor Steve Fallon
Professor Louis Schwartz
Professor Carter Kaplan

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Inner Landscapes

An email from Michael Butterworth mentions a new book entitled James Cawthorn: The Man and His Art. The book, published by Jayde Design (who distributes Emanations in the UK) is by Mauren Cawthorne Bell, who is Mr. Cawthorn's sister. The book is 448 pages long and contains 800 paintings and illustrations.   Please click HERE to view a detailed description of this substantial production.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Declaration of Independence, the deleted passage

The Declaration of Independence lists a number of grievances against King George III.  During the composition of the document, the following passage was deleted, according to Jefferson, in order to appease delegates from South Carolina and Georgia along with Northern delegates representing merchants involved in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, The passage was replaced with a charge against George's incitement of "domestic insurrections among us."  Here is the original passage:
He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither.  This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the Christian King of Great Britain.  Determined to keep open a market where Men should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or restrain this execrable commerce.  And that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people on whom he has obtruded them: thus paying off former crimes committed again the Liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another.

Newell Convers Wyeth, Drafting the Declaration of Independence--1776


Monday, July 2, 2018

Harold Feinstein (1931-2015)

Terrance Lindall asked me to pass this along...

Roka's Fine Art and offering black and white and color photographs by Harold Feinstein, who's iconic images of Coney Island, street scenes and flowers have attracted international attention. Please click HERE to view the black and white series.  Click HERE to view the color images.

Feinstein's obituary in The New York Times.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Harlan Ellison (1934-2018)

Please click HERE for the obituary in Variety.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018


Please excuse my absence.  I will return  next week, in the meantime busy editing. Lots of announcements to come.

Stay tuned.

The Leyat Hélica

Friday, May 11, 2018

Thomas Fink Interviews Richard Kostelanetz in Dichtung Yammer

My definition of poetry is the concentration of the materials of language, in contrast to fiction which, even in minimal forms, suggests narrative. Thus, say, “Psychiatry.” is a one-word narrative, especially if crucially followed by a period, which the British more appropriately call a Full Stop. In contrast again, essays define external realities usually in prose but sometimes just with visual materials, such as photographs. While these definitions aren’t wholly exclusive, they do seem appropriate for perhaps 99% of writing known to me, including my own efforts in all these genres or, should I say, categories.
                                                          --  Richard Kostelanetz
Please click HERE to read the new interview. 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Sunday May 13 WAH Center Events

First event:
At 3:00 pm, Terrance Lindall will give a talk on the Fall 2018 production of John Milton in Outer Space. There will be a special display of the the touring Paradise Lost Elephant Folio and The Satanic Verses of Bienvenido Bones Banez Gold Folio. Books and ephemera will be available for purchase. Admission $10.00.

Second event:
At 4:00 pm, there will be a closing day performance for the current show, Pop Goes the Weasel, featuring  traditional Indian dancer Sahasra Sambamoorthi, co-founder and Artistic Director of Navatman Dance. She will preform the traditional classical Indian dance Bharatanatyam. Light refreshments will be served.


Thursday, April 26, 2018

A Possible Place for Aesthetics in the Formulations of Logic, Judgement, and Knowledge

"Knowledge is the perception of the connection and agreement, or disagreement or repugnancy, of any of our ideas."
        --John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
"Perhaps the most important thing in connection to aesthetics is what might be called aesthetic reactions, e.g. discontent, disgust, discomfort. The expression of discontent is not the same as the expression of discomfort. The expression of discomfort says: 'Make it higher . . . too low! . . . Do something to this.'" 
      --Ludwig Wittgenstein, notes on architecture made during the construction of the family home in Vienna.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Friday, April 13, 2018

May 1

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

Emanations 7

Emanations is an anthology series featuring fiction, poetry, and essays. 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 literary writing. We seek fiction and poetry that present unworldly ways of seeing, feeling, and describing. Recognizable genres -- science fiction, fantasy, horror, political dystopia, satire, mystery, local color, romance, realism, surrealism, and postmodernism -- are fine, but the chief 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, it is good, but what is it?” then it is right for Emanations.  

Essays should be exuberant, daring, and free of pedantry. Accounts of unusual travels will fit well into Emanations 7. 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.

Email files with brief cover note to:

Review of Submissions begins May 1, 2018

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. Only one complimentary copy will be sent to each contributor; the fortunes of the mail, particularly international mail, is beyond the control of International Authors.

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 exotic 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. As described above, only one copy will be sent to each contributor; the fate of the mail, particularly international mail, is beyond the control of International Authors.

5) International Authors is a consortium, and as such every contributor is a “member” of 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 an accepted piece appears in Emanations, the contributor can 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.

8) Note on calendar: The editors will not review submitted files until May 1, 2018. 

Contributors submitting work to Emanations agree to these points. 

Published by International Authors

Board of Editorial Advisors

Ruud Antonius, Netherlands/UK/Switzerland
Steve Aylett, UK
 Bienvenido "Bones" Banez, Jr., Philippines/US
Holly Baumgartner, US
Cedric Cester, Spain
Sushma Joshi, Nepal
Devashish Makhija, India
C. E. Matthews, N. Ireland
Aziz Mustafa, Kosovo
Michael Moorcock, US/UK
Kai Robb, US
Ebi Robert, Nigeria
Joel K. Soiseth, US
Stephen Sylvester, US
Don Tinsley, US

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Literary paths to philosophy, for young people

In a recent article in The Daily Nous entitled "Making a Case for Pre-College Philosophy", Justin Weinberg advocates teaching philosophy to young people, presents evidence of its value, and argues for the importance of that evidence to professional philosophy...

I disagree. 

When I consider the phrase "Philosophy for Children" my best response is: "The Greek Myths."  I am thinking something along the lines of, "
I take it Greek thought and action are deeply connected. Ergo, Heracles and Theseus represent to children models of thoughtful action."

In any event, I disagree with teaching "Philosophical Problems"; that is, the sorts of "Philosophical Problems" that occupy university philosophers, which are not problems so much as thy are artifacts of the power and food chains created by the academic context... and anyway are not appropriate considerations of what I consider to be "important" philosophical matters. 

The "philosophy" young people need is taught in stories and a handful of political documents, as follows:

The Bible
"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" - Irving
"The Purloined Letter" - Poe
"The Gold Bug" - Poe
"Young Goodman Brown"  - Hawthorne
"Sinners in the Hands of a Just and Angry God" - Edwards
"A discourse concerning the unlimited submission and non-resistance to the high powers" -Mayhew (highlights.. teachers could re-tell)
"Areopagitica" . . . (Perhaps an impossible task for most teachers, but re-telling the main points is more than worth it)
Paradise Lost (another impossible task, but I've had luck re-telling some of the highlights, albeit with college students)
The Scarlet LetterMoby-Dick (if it's possible to get them to read it, and if their teachers can understand it, which I doubt)
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Declaration of Independence
The U.S. Constitution
"The Virginia Act of Religious Freedom"
Julius Caesar
Animal Farm

"Politics and the English Language"
Brave New WorldA Clockwork Orange
Lolita - Nabokov
Pale Fire
- Nabokov
Bend Sinister
- Nabokov
Philip K. Dick
The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch -
Philip K. Dick
The Transmigration of Timothy Archer -
Philip K. Dick
Selections from Swift
Aristophanes' The Clouds, and if they can handle that, show them some Lucian: "The Sale of Philosophies"
Oedipus Rex - Sophocles
The Oresteia - Aeschylus
Anabasis / The Persian Expedition - Xenophon  And, returning to my original "theme" of representing thoughtful action to young people, I'll conclude by saying, "What Xenophon thinks--ah, and what Xenophon does!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Richard Kostelanetz and his library

Please click HERE for an April 4 New York Times article on the home of Richard Kostelanetz, which is a library (and publishing and printing studio) containing 25,000 books.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

John Milton in Outer Space News

Terrance Lindall is preparing promotional activities for his John Milton in Outer Space project.  I'll keep the Highbrow community in the loop as things develop.

To learn about the project, please click HERE.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Radiant Snow is now available on Kindle

Horace Jeffery Hodges' Radiant Snow is now available on Kindle. Please click HERE.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Coming soon...

Things are busy at Highbrow HQ.  Some new books are on the way from International authors. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

“Yes, it is good, but what is it?” then it is right for Emanations -- Kostelantez Responds

Highbrow readers are acquainted with the Call for Submissions for Emanations, which culminates in the line: "If a story or poem makes someone say, 'Yes, it is good, but what is it?' then it is right for Emanations."

Recalling this, Richard Kostelanetz (website) sent me the following from an exchange with Thomas Fink that is forthcoming in Dichtung Yammer.
Fink:  Why might one call your poetry “poetry”?
Kostelanetz:   What else to call such artistic inventions with words when no other category is more appropriate, though from time to time I’ve heard the dismissive “not poetry,” which I don’t mind as much as others might, since I appreciate the distinguished tradition of work dismissed as “not art” in the 20th century.
   "Word games” I’ve been told, though from time to time I’ve argued as a critic that some so-called word games, such as palindromes or tongue-twisters, represent inventive High Folk Poetry that is esthetically formalist by virtue of its compositional rules. I suppose some of the more challenging crossword puzzles would count as well, though I don’t do crossword puzzles or play Scrabble, among other popular recreations with words. (My mother was an ace at the word game called Anagrams, which she said she never lost. I know I never beat her. Couldn’t figure out how she did it, because she didn’t read much. I grew up in a house with no lamp next to any chair. My father on weekends would put his New York Times on the carpet to read it.)
   In my book Proudly I Parade Exclusions (2017) I gladly note that the Poetry Foundation, the Academy of American Poets, Poets’ House, Ubuweb, magazines with “Poetry” in their title, the “best” poetry annuals, and the poetry book reviewing media have never acknowledged me, even though my poems have appeared for decades, yes for more than five decades, in several highly selective poetry anthologies and are mentioned in several critical histories of poetry.  Though I have received a few dozen grants and fellowships, the only sponsor to reward my creative writing was the Berliner Kunstlerprogramm. By this measure of continued American institutional resistance alone, was, is, and must my poetry still be genuinely avant-garde. Consider that being unacceptable for fifty years, even with elite recognitions, might be a unique achievement in American arts. Not even John Cage was unacceptable for so long.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Escape Trajectories is now available

On behalf of International Authors (in association with NULL23) I am happy to announce the publication of Escape Trajectories, a collection of innovative narratives by William Weiss and Gareth Jackson, with an Introduction by Michael Butterworth. Here are links to the Amazon sales pages, and to the updated International Authors website:
Amazon UK
International Authors

Friday, March 2, 2018

Professor Hodges reviews Vitasta Raina's Writer's Block

Professor Hodges has written a review of Vitasta Raina's novella Writer's Block. Please click HERE.
Vitasta Raina

Horace Jeffery Hodges

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

L. Sterns Newburg reviews Creation of the World

I just heard from L. Sterns Newburg, who advises me that he has revised his Amazon review of the International Authors translation of Torquato Tasso's Creation of the World
Il Creato Mundo in English - Amazing
Genio: Come stai, Torquato?
Tasso: Ben sai come si può stare in una prigione, e dentro ai guai fino al collo.

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!

Tasso's reputation in English-speaking countries has mutated over the years. Tasso influenced not only Milton, but Edmund Spenser and Samuel Daniel. He was at one point one of the luminaries of world literature, and after Dante, people tended to discuss Tasso and Ariosto. Something happened in the 19th Century, I gather, and their reputation outside Italia declined. Also, the later work of Tasso is somewhat problematic because he seemed desperate to conform to religious requirements as seen according to the lights of the Counter-Reformation. Alas.

His lyrics, his play Aminta, and Jerusalem Liberated are all very important, but the legend of Tasso as time went on exerted as much influence as the man's work. Leopardi wrote a fictional dialogue between Tasso and his "familiar spirit," and Goethe wrote a famous play. There are other uses of his personal history-as-mythology. It's almost the way Chatterton's life gets used.

This translation could help in a revaluation and understanding of this significant poet, something that is overdue.
 To visit the Amazon sales page for Creation of the World, please click HERE.