Monday, March 31, 2014

Vitasta Raina in Suvarnarekha

I have recently learned that Vitasta Raina, author of the poetry collection Someday Dream and the novella Writer's Block, has poetry appearing in Suvarnarekha: An Anthology of Indian Women Poets Writing in English

Here are a few lines form the publisher's description of the anthology:
Across generations, these poets flamboyantly articulate epochal feminine sensibilities that both validate and interrogate the nitty-gritties of our culture, while genuinely revealing the marginalization of their gendered identities as also their responses to this inevitability. In doing so, they create a milieu for divulging and affirming their individuality. It is important to reckon the role of the early poets who worked in this medium and charted pathways for the progeny. Carrying forward that historiography, contemporary Indian women poets in English have been exploring female consciousness with eloquence, confidently expressing their selves with the contention of their ability and uniqueness.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Update: Emanations IV

The response to the Call for Submissions has been tremendous. I received a large volume of material to read through; fortunately, I am now well through that task.

In fact, the ms. is nearly finished.  Much of the art work has come in. Next comes a light creative edit, the final formatting, and then the copy edit. Kai Robb and I have hashed out a few concepts, and he is now working on the cover art.

I will post the table of contents when I get to that stage. Stay tuned.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Haiku Key to the Meteorology of Interplanetary Space

Frank does not like it
Dave has a bad feeling, too
Change in the weather

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Nicholas Roerich

Better than the surrealists . . . is good old Nick Roerich, whose joint at Riverside Drive and 103rd Street is one of my shrines in the pest zone. There is something in his handling of perspective and atmosphere which to me suggests other dimensions and alien orders of being—or at least, the gateways leading to such. Those fantastic carven stones in lonely upland deserts—those ominous, almost sentient, lines of jagged pinnacles—and above all, those curious cubical edifices clinging to precipitous slopes and edging upward to forbidden needle-like peaks!
         --H. P. Lovecraft to James F. Morton, March 1937
To learn more about Nicholas Roerich , please click HERE.

Monday, March 17, 2014

On the Logic of Propositions and the Magisterium of Philosophy

A proposition is a statement that says something about reality, and what it claims or represents can be either true or false. There are four kinds of propositions, and the fourth can be divided into separate categories but it is essentially a statement of one order.

The four kinds of proposition are:

1) Analytic: "All triangles have three sides."

2) Internal: "I have a headache."

3) External, or Empirical:  "I see a table here before me."

4) Categorical: which can be expressed as a moral proposition,  "Human beings should not kill other human beings"; as a political proposition, "The Crimean vote to succeed from Ukraine is illegal according to international law"; or as an aesthetic proposition, "Fellini's films are beautiful even when they are grotesque."

As far as my understanding takes me, there is only one type of proposition that can be proven true or false; that is, the Analytic proposition. The others are rather statements of a different order. Internal propositions do not describe anything that can be logically proven: moreover, whether they are true or false has no bearing upon our philosophical understanding or the description of actual reality. Rather such statements guide (or do not guide) our behavior. External propositions can be no more than descriptive. They are not logically true, but rather they are descriptive; that is, they are useful. If descriptive statements are false then they are simply nonsense; they don't inform us about anything, except perhaps that a person who vocalizes them is careless, is ignorant, is misinformed, is a joker, or is a liar. Categorical propositions--or rather expressions of moral, political, or aesthetic belief--are neither true nor false, they are simply statements about belief. The question is, are they persuasive?

The key point I am turning upon here is what can be proven with logic.  The philosophical material that informs the various subjects addressed by philosophers (or by social-scientists, scientists, and poets) is itself very thin.  That is, their theories, hypotheses and mythological constructions are enchanting, intriguing, or somehow appealing to our understanding; nevertheless, they remain matters that cannot be proven with logic, and so we must remain circumspect about the truth claims of the many voices that seek to sway our opinions, or which seek to enlist us in their projects.  As for science, that can still proceed, for our science really does not seek what is true, but merely what seems to work at any given point in time, or in some context, or when given a certain set of circumstances or conditions. Nor do I want a science that seeks to do more.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Someday Dream publication imminent...

As I announced last October, Vitasta Raina's collection of poetry, Someday Dream is to be published by Sahitya Akademi I have been informed the book will be out in a few days.

I will keep Highbrow readers in the loop as I learn more. In the meantime, here are photographs of Vitasta presenting her new book
at the Sahitya Academi's Women Writers programme during the Delhi Arts Festival:

Vitasta's novella Writer's Block is available through Amazon. Click HERE to read the reviews.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Ubiquity of Confocal Oblate Spheroids

I am unsure of the thesis, but the pictures are lovely.

Click HERE to read about the ubiquity of confocal oblate spheroids.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Literary Witches

“When, however, one reads of a witch being ducked, of a woman possessed by devils, of a wise woman selling herbs, or even of a very remarkable man who had a mother, then I think we are on the track of a lost novelist, a suppressed poet, of some mute and inglorious Jane Austen, some Emily Bronte who dashed her brains out on the moor or mopped and mowed about the highways crazed with the torture that her gift had put her to. Indeed, I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.
                           Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

from The Witch of Atlas

All day the Wizard Lady sat aloof;
Spelling out scrolls of dread antiquity
Under the cavern's fountain-lighted roof;
Or broidering the pictured poesy
Of some high tale upon her growing woof,
Which the sweet splendor of her smiles could dye
In hues outshining heaven--and ever she
Added some grace to the wrought poesy:--

                                       -- P. B. Shelley

Friday, March 7, 2014


1200–50; Middle English  < Anglo-French; Old French verai  ( French vrai ) < Vulgar Latin *vērācus,  for Latin vērāx  truthful, equivalent to vēr ( us ) true (cognate with Old English wǣr, German wahr  true, correct) + -āx  adj. suffix

Saturday, March 1, 2014

In Hoc Signo Vinces

Dario Rivarossa has something interesting in his blog today.  Please click HERE.