Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Challenging Reflection, Adventurous Images

                Sonnet—To Science

Science! true daughter of Old Time thou art!
   Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes.
Why preyest thou thus upon the poet’s heart,
   Vulture, whose wings are dull realities?
How should he love thee? or how deem thee wise,
   Who wouldst not leave him in his wandering
To seek for treasure in the jewelled skies,
   Albeit he soared with an undaunted wing?
Hast thou not dragged Diana from her car,
   And driven the Hamadryad from the wood
To seek a shelter in some happier star?
   Hast thou not torn the Naiad from her flood,
The Elfin from the green grass, and from me
The summer dream beneath the tamarind tree?

                                                                                       Edgar Allan Poe 


Monday, May 29, 2023

Space Cowboy Books and Art Queen Gallery present: Michael Butterworth’s “Circularisations”

June through July 2023, with an opening reception on June 17, 6:30-8:30 pm.

In 1969 U.K. poet, author, editor, publisher, and bookseller Michael Butterworth published his “Circularisations” in New Worlds Magazine, a new form of graphic poetry designed to create a new way of reading. These literary experiments will be on display at the Art Queen Gallery in Joshua Tree, CA through June and July 2023, with an opening reception on June 17. Selections of Butterworth’s poetry will be read during live musical performances from Phog Masheeen and Field Collapse, followed by a special screening of Clara Casian’s minidocumentary “House on the Borderland”, a film about Butterworth and his work.

Please click HERE to register.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Clark Ashton Smith on religion and weird literature: letter to Richard Dodson 02-06-1933

Smith observes that interests in religion and weird literature are related. In both cases, suspension of disbelief is conducive to the pursuit of understanding. 

An obvious point, of course, but how does thinking along these lines influence our understanding of the ways we read the Bible, Milton, St. Augustine, Luther, Calvin, and so on? 

Moreover, how does this influence our understanding of Locke and Newton, and, therefore, our understanding of modernity?


Sunday, May 21, 2023

In the old days... (engaging technocracy, continued)

In the old days, we built machines as a measure against technocracy, but then the machines--or rather the revenue streams created to build and operate the machines--took over.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Editorial Progress

Horace Jeffery Hodges' Extra Pound: The Limericks is now in the proof stage. Slim, clever volume. It should be available in two or three weeks.

Submissions for Emanations Ten continue to come in. Lots of very good material...

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Highbrow insight from St. Augustine

"I have read in Plato and Cicero sayings that are wise and very beautiful; but I have never read in either of them: 'Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden.'"

Augustine of Hippo by Caravaggio

Friday, May 12, 2023

Highbrow advice from Cicero

If you have a garden and a library you have everything you need.

                                     - Marcus Tullius Cicero

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Hypotheses non Fingo

From Sir Isaac Newton’s Principia:

Hitherto we have explained the phenomena of the heavens and of our sea by the power of gravity, but have not yet assigned the cause of this power … I have not been able to discover the cause of those properties of gravity from phenomena, and I frame no hypotheses [hypotheses non fingo]; for whatever is not deduced from the phenomena is to be called an hypothesis; and hypotheses, whether metaphysical or physical, whether of occult qualities or mechanical, have no place in experimental philosophy … To us it is enough that gravity does really exist, and acts according to the laws which we have explained, and abundantly serves to account for all the motions of the celestial bodies, and of our sea.

Compare Heinrich Hertz on “force” and “electricity”:

Our confused wish finds expression in the confused question as to the nature of force and electricity. But the answer which we want is not really an answer to this question. It is not by finding out more and fresh relations and connections that it can be answered; but by removing the contradictions existing between those already known, and thus perhaps by reducing their number. When these painful contradictions are removed, the question as to the nature of force will not have been answered; but our minds, no longer vexed, will cease to ask illegitimate questions.