2/21/2016

James Joyce and the Comstockery of internet.

Fuck the censors.

--Steve Fly


One of Comstock's first actions was to obtain the passage of a strong federal indecency law--which was then used to pursue authors and publishers of novels including works by Balzac and Tolstoy. This law today is largely dead on the books though never repealed, as a result of many leading free speech cases. Senator James Exon of Nebraska, in proposing the Communications Decency Act in 1995, reinvigorated the Comstock law in two ways. His vague Internet indecency language echoed part of the wording of the original Comstock law. Even more outrageously, the CDA extended portions of the Comstock law to information transmitted over the Internet. As a result, some long-disused language banning the distribution of abortion information became federal law again--until the Justice Department stood up in federal court in Brooklyn and announced that the government would not attempt to enforce this provision of the CDA.
The CDA restored to federal law a crime involving the distribution of "indecent" material even though it had literary or artistic value-- and allowed a jury to make the decision based on "contemporary community standards." Effectively, a law of the type under which "Nausicaa" was deemed too dirty to distribute was back on the books for the first time in many decades. Could an online version of Joyce be censored again?--http://www.spectacle.org/398/gertie.html

We can escape history and break out of the infinite series of repeated folly by understanding freedom of speech to mean protecting the next James Joyce-- in print, on the Web, or in a medium undreamed of yet.--http://www.spectacle.org/398/gertie.html 

Pound to Joyce: ‘Wall, Mr Joice, I recon you’re a damn fine writer, that’s what I recon’


ON THIS DAY…19 DECEMBER

December 19, 2013

ON 19 DECEMBER 1917 POUND WROTE TO JOYCE PRAISING ‘TELEMACHUS.’

Pound, who had already been responsible for getting A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man into print, was impressed by the first episode of Joyce’s new novel, Ulysses. For the next three years, Pound was editor, critic, and even censor of Ulysses.
Shortly after A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man started to appear in serial form in the Egoist in February 1914, Joyce started work on Ulysses, a novel he may well have been thinking about since his time in Rome in 1906-7. However, he put off work on Ulysses in favour of his play Exiles, and it was not until June 1915 that the first episode of Ulysses was written.
However, even in April 1917 Joyce still maintained that the only part of it that might be ready for publication was the ‘Hamlet’ chapter, and he was reluctant to see that cut to fit the space available in the Egoistmagazine. He told Pound in June that he had finished the ‘Hades’ episode and was working on ‘Aeolus,’ and by August he was telling Margaret Anderson that he hoped to send some of Ulysses to Pound for the Little Review.
A severe attack of lumbago and glaucoma meant that Joyce had to undergo an eye operation at the end of August, and in mid-October he moved to Locarno to recuperate. The first three episodes of Ulysses were finished there, and sent to Claud Sykes in Zurich for typing. The first episode was then sent on to Pound who hoped to publish it in the Little Review and the Egoist.
In his letter of 19 December 1917, Pound declares that the opening chapter is ‘echt Joice’ and though there was a passage on the third page that made him question it for a moment, he reread it, and could find nothing wrong. There were some words that he wondered about, for instance ‘merry’ in the phrase ‘merrying over the sea,’ but again these were not a matter for concern.
The one thing that seemed to occur prophetically to Pound was that the novel was sure to be suppressed but, he declared, ‘it is damn wellworth it.’ Unwittingly, Pound had a dig at Anthony Comstock, the founder of the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, and promoter of a bill that made it illegal to deliver obscene, lewd or lascivious material. It was Comstock’s law and his Society for the Suppression of Vice that got Ulysses suppressed in 1920.
Pound concluded his letter in a voice imitative of an American drawl: ‘Wall, Mr Joice, I recon you’re a damn fine writer, that’s what I recon’… You can take it from me, an’ I’m a jedge.’

Sources & Further Reading:
Joyce, James: Letters of James Joyce, vol. II edited by Richard Ellmann, London: Faber & Faber, 1966.
Pound, Ezra: Pound/Joyce – The Letters of Ezra Pound to James Joyce with Pound’s Essays on Joyce, edited and with Commentary by Forrest Reid, London: Faber & Faber, 1968.

2/11/2016

Psientits finnd evedance ov malta faqtol arkitechsure in FW

probably one of the best descriptions
of Hologrammic Prose i have read
in yonks. Quoted from the Guardian Newspaper
by Alison Flood. Noyse wairk.

--Fly

“The absolute record in terms of multifractality turned out to be Finnegans Wake by James Joyce. The results of our analysis of this text are virtually indistinguishable from ideal, purely mathematical multifractals,” said Professor Stanisław Drożdż, another author of the paper, which has just been published in the computer science journal Information Sciences.
Joyce himself, reported to have said he wrote Finnegans Wake “to keep the critics busy for 300 years”, might have predicted this. In a letter about the novel, Work in Progess as he then knew it, he told Harriet Weaver: “I am really one of the greatest engineers, if not the greatest, in the world besides being a musicmaker, philosophist and heaps of other things. All the engines I know are wrong. Simplicity. I am making an engine with only one wheel. No spokes of course. The wheel is a perfect square. You see what I’m driving at, don’t you? I am awfully solemn about it, mind you, so you must not think it is a silly story about the mouse and the grapes. No, it’s a wheel, I tell the world. And it’s all square.”
The academics write in their paper that: “Studying characteristics of the sentence-length variability in a large corpus of world famous literary texts shows that an appealing and aesthetic optimum … involves self-similar, cascade-like alternations of various lengths of sentences.”
“An overwhelming majority of the studied texts simply obey such fractal attributes but especially spectacular in this respect are hypertext-like, ‘stream-of-consciousness’ novels. In addition, they appear to develop structures characteristic of irreducibly interwoven sets of fractals called multifractals.”
http://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/jan/27/scientists-reveal-multifractal-structure-of-finnegans-wake-james-joyce 

2/10/2016

The Pound Question: “Light lights in air”: Value, price, profit and Louis Zukofsky’s poetry By Andras Gyorgy



On the Pound question,
Quoted from the article “Light lights in air”: Value, price, 
profit and Louis Zukofsky’s 
poetry by Andras Gyorgy: 
(wiki links edited by steve fly)

The “Pound Question” is a complex one. At this stage we may conclude at the very least that his well-known fascist sympathy in the war and broadcasts on behalf of Mussolini need be set against his enthusiastic support of Zukofsky’s circle, mostly Jewish and avowedly Marxist. 
British painter and writer Wyndham Lewis, with whom Pound worked on the Vorticist magazine Blast in 1913-14, offered some insight into the American poet’s personality. Lewis called Pound, “A bombastic galleon, palpably bound to, or from, the Spanish Main. Going on board, I discovered beneath its skull and cross-bones, intertwined with fleurs de lys and spattered with preposterous starspangled oddities, a heart of gold.”
Pound had discovered the power of “movements” which consisted of little more than a manifesto, a special issue of a journal and an anthology. At his most enthusiastic, he would be praising and advising Zukofsky almost daily, sometimes more often, in letters, introducing his discovery to editors, giving him the benefit of his time, his wondrous editing, academic sponsorship. When his friend James Joyce was down on his luck, Pound sent him a pair of old shoes. According to Ernest Hemingway (in A Moveable Feast), Pound was “so kind to people that I always thought of him as a sort of saint.”
The touching relationship between Zukofsky and Pound, which did not cease in warmth and respect to the end of their days, is an aspect of the passing on of the modernist tradition to another generation of Zukofsky’s Objectivist circle, and then again through Robert Creeley and his generation, or “company” as he called it. 
Zukofsky fought for years to have “A” 1-12 (1959, 1967) in print. The poetic sequence Anew (1943), also the name of the collection of shorter poems that New Directions is bringing back, was the last volume that a publisher brought out for a very long time. A testament to Zukofsky’s mood during the long period of his neglect is the title of the sequence “Barely and Widely” (1962), which refers to Louis’ complaining to his soul mate Celia, as he often did, about how “barely” he was known and how “widely” neglected. This was true at least until many of the poets represented in Donald Allen’s very influential anthology, The New American Poetry (1959), discovered and championed him in their war against “academic” poets and the Eliot-inspired “New Criticism”, which ruled English departments after the Second World War.
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/02/03/zuko-f03.html

2/08/2016

Hilaritas Press - The New Home of Robert Anton Wilson publications



Hilaritas Press grew out of a desire to keep the books of Robert Anton Wilson in print and to fulfill Bob’s wish to provide for his children, something that during his life was difficult when authors typically receive less than ten percent of the money generated by their work. Bob’s daughter Christina and his friend Rasa, directing enterprises of the Robert Anton Wilson Trust, created Hilaritas Press as a way to fulfill Bob’s wishes and insure that his legacy remains robust. We’ve enlisted the aid of a small group of Bob’s treasured friends and others who are advising and helping out the Trust on RAW related matters. Bob would have loved that. Throughout his life he generously gave thanks and returned support for the many people who were touched by his heart, humor and wisdom.

Bob said that he first got the word hilaritas from Ezra Pound’s Cantos which was quoting the Byzantine philosopher Gemistus Pletho who said “you can recognize gods even in their human form by their outstanding hilaritas.” Bob notes that in Pletho’s time, hilaritas meant “cheerfulness, good humor we would say, but not in the sense of always joking.” For many years Bob would often sign his letters, and then emails with “amor et hilaritas”, or simply “hilaritas”.

After editing, reformatting and publishing Bob’s books in eBook and Print editions, a huge task that will take us a while, Hilaritas Press will invite other adventurous authors to become members of the Hilaritas Press family. Stay tuned to this internet channel for more details!

http://www.hilaritaspress.com/