Wednesday, November 13, 2019

A Method, Illustrated

 From a Jesuit devotional book:
Consider what you intend to do in this hour (A) and … (B) direct your work and your steps … towards the glory of God (C) with an ardent heart; and you can be sure that without (D) God’s mercy you can do nothing. … Arrange your works equally according to (E ) weight, number and measure, just as if (F) you were facing death (G) and angels and (H) devils were watching all your deeds attentively. But do good works, just as if (K) your grave was already being dug …   complete your works (L) according to the example of Christ and the saints; (M) the angels bring them (your works) before God. But above all … always bear in mind (N) that God and the heavenly host are always watching you.
       A. Sucquet, Via Vitae Aeternae, Antwerp, 1625

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Scientific Method and Philosophic Response... be sure to draw distinctions

In The Blue Book (p.18) Wittgenstein writes:
Philosophers constantly see the method of science before their eyes, and are irresistibly tempted to ask and answer questions in the way science does. This tendency is the real source of metaphysics, and leads the philosopher into complete darkness.
The point underscores a "political shift" in philosophy--a shift that often goes unrecognized--when philosophers move into discussions of ethics, political philosophy and the philosophy of history.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

"The Jack Pine"

Tom Thomson, The Jack Pine (1916–17). Oil on canvas; National Gallery of Canada.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Tata Literature Live: 10th Mumbai International Literary Festival Poetry Awards

A poem by International Authors editorial board member Vitasta Raina has won a prize at the 10th Mumbai Literature Festival.  The untitled poem was selected by the jury along with two other poems. For more details, and to read Ms. Raina's poem, please click HERE.

Vitasta Riana is the author of Writer's Block, an avant-garde novella published by International Authors.  Please click HERE.

Friday, November 1, 2019


Once more for emphasis. Please click HERE.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Emanations 8: Call for Submissions

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

Emanations 8

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.

In Emantions 8, we seek to emphasize graphics and visual pieces. We are especially interested in asemic writing and images, visual poetry, formalist experiments in prose, bricolage, new experiments in graphic representation, and visual narratives.  Artists are invited to prepare "compressed" portfolios (5-20 images) with an "artist's statement." Please bear in mind that the production will be in black and white.

The editors are also interested in literary material. 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 an image, 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 8. 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 January 4, 2020

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 could 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 January 4, 2020

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

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Writing about poetry, a quick reference

Possible topics/themes/approaches for writing about poetry; use these as prompts for body paragraph topics:

Stanza-by-stanza description and analysis
Structure: Forms/genre: sonnet, ballad, elegy, ode, sestina…
Plot (story, narrative)
Musical effects:
  1) Rhythm
  2) Alliteration
      a) Assonance
      b) Consonance
      c) Rhyme
Philosophical questions (also theological)
Figures of Speech:
  1) Allegory
  2) Metaphor
  3) Simile
What you like…
What you dislike…
Author’s biography
Historical context
Allusions: biographical, historical, political, literary

Monday, October 28, 2019

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Progress Report: The Invisible Tower Trilogy

I've made considerable progress on Novel Two. I've completed the creative and continuity edits, and the manuscript has been sent to a reader for suggestions.  When I get it back,  I will make necessary changes, enlist aid from the copy-editors, then table the volume as I prepare the third novel, which is nearly finished. 

I anticipate releasing both the second and third novels simultaneously, possibly as early as January, 2020.

In the meantime, the first volume of the trilogy is available. Please click

Friday, October 25, 2019

New Japanese Horizon

New Japanese Horizon: The WAH Center’s 23rd Anniversary Year
"Nii-san Anniversary Year"
Chief Curator: Yuko Nii
Section Curators:
Sonomi Kobayashi, Mieko Mitachi, Yuko Nii, Kiriko Shirobayashi 

Show Dates:  October 26 – December 29, 2019
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 26, 4 – 6 pm

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Bestiary of Philosophical Conceptions: #427 Synthesis or Concretion confronting its Abstract Nature

Although duly reified according to the inviolable principles of the Dialectic, ideational entities remain abstractions.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Stonehenge Live Stream

I was searching for the "And the Kitchen Sink Live Stream" but instead found this.  Please click HERE.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

MAXI J1820+070

Please click HERE for discussion.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Questions Poetic and Questions Philosophic, continued

Poetry = Myth (and here myth includes "intellectual mythology" and the credulous grammar where intellectual mythology makes its home)

I came on the formulation after reading Milton, Hawthorne and Melville; after talking to and reading Peter Hacker and Anthony Kenny. As an academic subject--as a path of inquiry producing new knowledge--the subject of Philosophy is
passé (compare astrology, maybe)--and that in its place the proper subject of inquiry is rather the history of philosophy. I am being somewhat contrarian to underscore a point. Walking forward from this, I should recall the idea I've here before, that philosophy is in no small measure the practice of "gossiping about school teachers and the things they say and do." One has to be careful with such characterizations, but I am very sure this is a journalistic project.

My uncle was a professor of ancient history with a PhD in Hittitology from the University of Chicago. When I was still a lad, he taught me that the history of the past 2000 years was "mere journalism". Some years later, I shared my uncle's idea with a person I was close to back in Scotland, the former Dean of Arts at St Andrews University, Donald Bullough, who was a fellow of St John's College, Oxford, and an historian with books on Charlemagne and Medieval Europe. Anyway, as I shared my uncle's idea with Donald, he winced; but then a rather bemused expression as of remembrance or "a happy insight" came over his face, and with a warm smile he insisted, "Your uncle is absolutely right!" What this means for philosophy I can't say precisely, but one would expect philosophers to include in their repertoire an understanding of the full expository possibilities given by the English language, which obviously should include a "poet's sensitivity" to the fine nuances of credulity and conceptual illusion that the language has a tendency to conjure; as well possessing a deep and imaginative knowledge of the historical contexts that frame philosophers as they exercise themselves and say remarkable (and curious) things.

Jacques-Louis David,  "Minerva Fighting Mars"  (1771)

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Is "What is the Meaning of Life?" a philosophical question?

Casually, such questions appear "mostly harmless". When such questions, however, are entertained in earnest, is a philosopher really doing philosophy?

Often philosophers resort to discussing questions that are not properly philosophical questions at all, but are rather poetic questions (eg. "the meaning of life"). Not that we shouldn't read and discuss poetry, but let's not "do poetry" and call it "doing philosophy."

The distinction comes into especial focus when a "philosopher" is "doing poetry", and moreover is unaware that he or she is talking about dull poetry, and, what is even more tedious, is unaware that his or her dilation is a dull conversation about poetry.

The distinction between poetic and philosophical questions compares to what is central in Wittgenstein's conception of philosophy, I believe. 

Athena Instructs Odysseus

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Earth is passing through the stream of debris left behind by Comet Halley, October 2 to November 7: The Orinid Meteor Shower

"If you find the shape of Orion the Hunter, the meteor shower's radiant (or point of origin) will be near Orion's sword, slightly north of his left shoulder (the star Betelgeuse) . . . "


 Sources:  Here and Here.

And--October 8 and 9--don't forget the Draconid shower, here.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Monday, October 7, 2019

Sunday, October 6, 2019

from Philosophical Investigations...

"276. (On Color Blue)" by Joseph Kosuth, 1993. Neon tubing, transformer, electrical wires.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Thursday, October 3, 2019

68 Cantos by William Weiss

Some weeks ago, I mentioned the forthcoming publication of William Weiss's 68 Cantos, a sophisticated, lengthy, and masterfully realized "cut up" based on the writings of Michael Butterworth.

This is a brilliantly sustained effort. It pushes the notion of "story" right to the edge--properly confusing yet consistent enough to create illusions, suggestions and impressions of a continuous and deep narrative. It satisfies the aesthetic measure:  "It is very good, but what is it?" 

To discover what it is, please visit Michael Butterworth's description (HERE) and the Amazon sales page (HERE).

Congratulations, William Weiss!

Monday, September 30, 2019

To the Unknown God

Jacopo Bassano workshop, Discourse of St. Paul in the Areopagus of Athens,16th century

16 Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols. 17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there. 18 Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him. And some said, “What does this babbler wish to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities”—because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection. 19 And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 For you bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean.” 21 Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.
22 So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for
       “‘In him we live and move and have our being’;
         as even some of your own poets have said,
         “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’
29 Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”
32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, “We will hear you again about this.” 33 So Paul went out from their midst. 34 But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.

  Acts 17:16-34 English Standard Version

Friday, September 27, 2019

Formal Grace, Droll Caricature

Lyonel Feininger (1871–1956), Lady in Mauve, 1922. Oil on canvas