Thursday, October 31, 2013

Monday, October 28, 2013

Israfel, fourth stanza

Notwithstanding the triumphant comparison Poe makes in the final lines, the fourth stanza remains my favorite in the poem, as it is the clearest elucidation of the poetic and intellectual principles that the author aspires to both experience and express:
But the skies that angel trod,
   Where deep thoughts are a duty,  
Where Love’s a grown-up God,
   Where the Houri glances are  
Imbued with all the beauty
   Which we worship in a star. 
Stanza four begins as a controversion to the thesis of the third stanza, which is the assertion by the choir of stars and other "listening things" that Israfel's poetic power--Poe calls it "fire"--is due to the musical quality of the angel's song. To the contrary, Poe explains in stanza four that the merits of Israfel's articulations are attributes of a realm--a "sky" as he calls it--of another sort: rather produced by the intellectual character of the angle's utterances, which are initially characterized as combining rigor of thought with the notion of "duty" (see Ray Monk's Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius, passim). Then attributing an adult psychic-sensual activity to this stratospheric realm, the poem resolves upon the true object of beauty, which can be construed, first, in the image of gazing Houri--beautiful, alluring and voluptuous love nymphs of the Koranic paradise--and, second, with the purely formless attractions that we "worship in a star."

The star is a stock romantic image with (obviously) celestial associations, but, examined more closely, the word itself conveys a tangible and significant quality that might as well be called "kabbalistic depth." Unbridled by the physical laws of this universe and yet an object within it, removed physically by hundreds of millions of miles of intransversable space that separates it almost completely from the authority of hermeneutic explanation and the constructions of civil convention, yet remaining impossibly visible as a point of relatively "eternal" light--the star is the sign of a realm beyond our own, dazzling even in its minute form, a flaring pin-point shining through from some distant and, we wonder, brighter reality.

Read the poem in its entirety by clicking HERE.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Dante Was a Fantasy Writer in Italian High Schools

I am happy to post the following picture of Dario Rivarossa presenting his book Dante era uno scrittore fantasy (Dante was a Fantasy Writer) to a group of 15-18 year-old students at a secondary school specializing in classical studies in Todi, a small Medieval town in the province of Umbria in central Italy.  

The English version of Dante era uno scrittore fantasy can be purchased through Amazon in paper (HERE) or for Kindle (HERE).

Congratulations, Dario!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

International Authors on Kindle

Several International Authors productions are now available on Kindle.

First is Horace Jeffery Hodges' novella, The Bottomless Bottle of Beer.  Professor Hodge's novella (with illustrations by Terrance Lindall) originally appeared in Emanations: Second Sight.  In revising the tale for Kindle, Professor Hodges made several changes, and in responding to my request for a description of these changes he advised me they were modest:
1) Correction of errors: mine, yours, Terrance's (i.e., editorial errors rectified)
2) Clarification of allusions (e.g., to Melville, Balzac)
3) Expansion of a couple of transitional passages (for better continuity)
4) Separation of text and illustrations (due to Kindle's inability to handle both together)
I should add that the Kindle version contains many additional illustrations that were not in the Emanations version.  Of note is Mr. Lindall's illustration of the courtroom scene. On the floor is a copy of Emanations in flames:

The Bottomless Bottle of Beer can be purchased HERE for a nominal charge.

Another International Authors production that has found its way to Kindle is Dario Rivarossa's engaging and readable study, Dante was a Fantasy Writer, which can be purchased HERE. Mr. Rivarossa has advised me that a number of secondary schools in Italy have selected the original Italian version of Dante was a a Fantasy Writer to introduce students to the Divine Comedy.

Finally, Elkie Riches' novel Reclamation is now available on Kindle.  As captivating and miraculous as the visions experienced in the pre-dawn state of lucid dreaming, Ms. Riches' extraordinary book can be purchased by clicking HERE.

While I appreciate how Kindle can save money and space, my personal preference is for solid physical books; nevertheless, I will be looking closely at Kindle and applying my highbrow faculties of understanding to the phenomena (and epiphenomena) that might be revealed through an in-depth philosophical analysis of this brave new technology.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Call for Submissions: Emanations IV

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

Emanations IV

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 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 1, 2014

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. The book will be formatted by the editors before 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 cntributing 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
Elkie Riches, UK
Stephen Sylvester, US

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Michael Butterworth Interview Part II

Last month Philip Murray-Lawson posted part I of his interview with Michael Butterworth. Part II is now available. Click HERE to learn more about Michael's work in conceptual art, the visual arts journal Corridor8, and his publishing in general.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Someday Dream

A recent note from Vitasta Raina includes a photo of the final proof copy of Someday Dream, a collection of her poetry edited by A. J. Thomas. The book will be published by Sahitya Akademi.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

花鳥風月 Kachou Fuugetsu


Kachou Fuugetsu

Literally:  Flower, Bird, Wind, Moon...

Meaning:  Experience the beauties of nature, and in doing so learn about yourself...

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Writer's Block Reviews

A number of reviews have been posted on the Amazon sales page for Vitasta Raina's novella Writer's Block.  Click HERE to read them.

Vitasta Raina