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The ten thousand things and the one true only.

by Kip Manley

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Things to keep in mind:
The secret of the Photographer.

Ruslan Lobanov is one of the most popular artists in the post–Soviet Union space. He isn’t a classical author of art photography. It’s something more than that. Нe defines his genre as a cinematic photography. Uniqueness of Ruslan’s photos based on analog technologies that he used for their realization. Mystery and elaborate elements of female nakedness, which blend harmoniously with collectible accessories, handmade costumes and attentively selected locations, are embodiment of the Photographer’s perception of the World. Ruslan Lobanov compares photo with a puzzle. The main satisfaction for creator is a final result, which is admirable by fans.

Alexandra Serafimovych

—posted 2 days ago


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Things to keep in mind:
The secret of the pickle barrel.

If you could make a change to anything you’ve written over the years, what would it be?

In The Dispossessed, I would mention the communal pickle barrels at street corners in the big towns, restocked by whoever in the community has made or kept more pickles than they need. I knew about the free pickles all along, but never could fit them into the book.

Ursula K. Le Guin

—posted 12 days ago


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Things to keep in mind:
The secret of now.

Imagination like all living things lives now, and it lives with, from, on true change. Like all we do and have, it can be co-opted and degraded; but it survives commercial and didactic exploitation. The land outlasts the empires. The conquerors may leave desert where there was forest and meadow, but the rain will fall, the rivers will run to the sea. The unstable, mutable, untruthful realms of Once-upon-a-time are as much a part of human history and thought as the nations in our kaleidoscopic atlases, and some are more enduring.

We have inhabited both the actual and the imaginary realms for a long time. But we don’t live in either place the way our parents or ancestors did. Enchantment alters with age, and with the age.

Ursula K. Le Guin

—posted 41 days ago


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Things to keep in mind:
The secret of being wrong.

I knew that I wanted it to be a little wrong. I’d like to make this, like, a little bit funny. Take this a little too far. So I did the tie-dye, which was pink and purple on the pants, I went a little further with the Home Depot chains. There’s gotta be something wrong about anything that you do, otherwise it’s just plain old cliché.

Tim Cappello

—posted 49 days ago


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Enneoddity.

Here we are: the next chapbook is about to hit the shelves, just about two months since the last one was published. It would appear that such a schedule as exists is finally being kept! For now.

If you were to accept, for a moment, for the sake of play, the discredited notion that the reason why I decided upon 22 chapbooks per season (11, per volume) is because there are 22 cards in the Major Arcana of most tarot decks (and not, as is well known, because there used to be 22 episodes, on average, in the seasons of old-skool Yankee television shows), well. If you then were to set the chapbooks of this season (Spring; Summer) next to the cards of the Major Arcana, as if the one somehow had something to do with the other, well: this next chapter, no. 36, “ – so powerfully strong – ”, would be right there next to Death. —Make of that what you might.

The first draft came in at 17,044 words; the (nearly) final cut’s a trim 15,250, though just last night I cut five words, and significantly altered the trajectory and velocity of a major character’s path through what’s to come. We’ll see what else might happen before it’s published.

Patreons have of course already seen the cover, and will shortly be getting their ebooks and ’zines; everyone else will get a chance to see the cover when it’s posted for sale, but: if you follow the Pixelfed, you might’ve seen the underlying image. —I was walking home after one of Tonkon Torp’s annual parties—the one, in fact, where I’d spontaneously shot the cover of Good Queen Dick from a corner of their lobby—and as I made my way on foot down a freshly washed Hawthorne, I happened to see where the rain that had occasioned that bow still beaded the tables that had been set on a sidewalk outside a club, and so. —An image of a another world.

No. 36. Three chapters in, just over a quarter of the way through this volume. The free installments will appear on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, beginning April 12th; in the meanwhile, there’s no. 37 to begin, and finish. That one would be laid against Temperance; perhaps it’s best we keep our enthusiasm in check. After all: if we can’t be mirrors—or is it rabbits?—we’ll be friends.

—posted 61 days ago


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(Originally posted on the Patreon.)

Things to keep in mind:
The secret of puns.

It is partly this tact which makes Marvell’s puns charming and not detached from his poetry; partly something more impalpable, that he manages to feel Elizabethan about them, to imply that it was quite easy to produce puns and one need not worry about one’s dignity in the matter. It became harder as the language was tidied up, and one’s dignity was more seriously engaged. For the Elizabethans were quite prepared, for instance, to make a pun by a mispronunciation, would treat puns as mere casual bricks, requiring no great refinement, of which any number could easily be collected for a flirtation or indignant harangue. By the time English had become anxious to be “correct” the great thing about a pun was that it was not a Bad Pun, that it satisfied the Unities and what-not; it could stand alone and would expect admiration, and was a much more elegant affair.

William Empson

—posted 64 days ago


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Things to keep in mind:
The secret of Shakespeare.

A quibble is to Shakespeare, what luminous vapours are to the traveller; he follows it at all adventures; it is sure to lead him out of his way, and sure to engulf him in the mire. It has some malignant power over his mind, and its fascinations are irresistible. Whatever be the dignity or profundity of his disquisition, whether he be enlarging knowledge or exalting affection, whether he be amusing attention with incidents, or enchaining it in suspense, let but a quibble spring up before him, and he leaves his work unfinished. A quibble is the golden apple for which he will always turn aside from his career, or stoop from his elevation. A quibble, poor and barren as it is, gave him such delight, that he was content to purchase it, by the sacrifice of reason, propriety and truth. A quibble was to him the fatal Cleopatra for which he lost the world, and was content to lose it.

Samuel Johnson

—posted 72 days ago


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Things to keep in mind:
The secret of Spenser.

It would be interesting to take one of the vast famous passages of the work and show how these devices are fitted together into larger units of rhythm, but having said that every use of the stanza includes all these uses in the reader’s apprehension of it I may have said enough to show the sort of methods Spenser had under his control; why it was not necessary for him to concentrate on the lightning flashes of ambiguity.

The size, the possible variety, and the fixity of this unit give something of the blankness that comes from fixing your eyes on a bright spot; you have to yield yourself to it very completely to take in the variety of its movement, and, at the same time, there is no need to concentrate the elements of the situation into a judgment as if for action. As a result of this, when there are ambiguities of idea, it is whole civilisations rather than details of the moment which are their elements; he can pour into the even dreamwork of his f--ryland Christian, classical, and chivalrous materials with an air, not of ignoring their differences, but of holding all their systems of values floating as if at a distance, so as not to interfere with one another, in the prolonged and diffused energies of his mind.

William Empson

—posted 96 days ago


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Things to keep in mind:
The secret of cruelty.

Many years ago, a deeply religious Roman Catholic friend said to me, with some irritation, “Why must you liberals bring everything down to cruelty?” What could he have meant? He was, and is, the most gentle and kindly of men, and a principled defender of political freedom and social reform. As a Christian, he obviously regarded cruelty as a dreadful vice. He was not defending cruelty or abandoning liberal politics; rather, he was explicitly rejecting the mentality that does not merely abhor brutality, but that regards cruelty as the summum malum, the most evil of all evils. And he was reminding me that, although intuitively, most of us might agree about right and wrong, we also, and of far more significance, differ enormously in a way we rank the virtues and vices. Those who put cruelty first, as he guessed, do not condemn it as a sin. They have all but forgotten the Seven Deadly Sins, especially those that do not involve cruelty. Sins are transgressions of a divine rule and offenses against God; pride, as the rejection of God, must always be the worst one, which gives rise to all the others. Cruelty, as the wilful inflicting of physical pain on a weaker being in order to cause anguish and fear, however, is a wrong done entirely to another creature. When it is marked as a supreme evil, it is judged so in and of itself, and not because it signifies a rejection of God or any other higher norm. It is a judgement made from within a world where cruelty occurs as part both of our normal private life and our daily public practice. By putting it irrevocably first—with nothing above it, and with nothing to excuse or forgive acts of cruelty—one closes off any appeal to any order other than that of actuality.

Judith N. Shklar

—posted 104 days ago


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Things to keep in mind:
The secret of prepositions.

The process of becoming accustomed to a new author is very much that of learning what to exclude in this way, and this first of the three “facts,” hard as it may be to explain in detail, is one with which appreciative critics are accustomed to deal very effectively. But the other two are more baffling; one can say little about the quality of a language, if only because the process of describing it in its own language is so top-heavy, and the words of another language will not describe it. The English prepositions, for example, from being used in so many ways and in combination with so many verbs, have acquired not so much a number of meanings as a body of meaning continuous in several dimensions; a tool-like quality, at once thin, easy to the hand, and weighty, which a mere statement of their variety does not convey. In a sense all words have a body of this sort; none can be reduced to a finite number of points, and if they could the points could not be conveyed by words.

William Empson

—posted 112 days ago


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