JANE EYRE’S GOTHIC SHADOW AND WUTHERING HEIGHTS’ GOTHIC STONE

Gothic is a rather subjective term but the novels Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte) and Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte) transcend literary nit-picking. Both are the finest gothic exemplars of their generation. The two books evoke landscapes of gothic expressionism using wholly different palettes. The Bronte sisters published almost concurrently, but their masterpieces diverge on an elemental level from the first sentence of the opening chapter. Wuthering Heights is a novel howling at the gothic stone, Jane Eyre a faerie whisper from of gothic shadow.

UTILITARIANISM – DEFINING THE IDEAL AND EXTIRPATING THE DOGMA

Utilitarianism defines good as “the greatest happiness for the greatest number”. It's an aspiration to make real choices based on an ultimate goal that's an ideal, not a dogma. This short article tries to explain what that means.

A man walks along an empty street in the old town area of Salzburg on April 6, 2020 during the exit restrictions amid the new coronavirus / Covid-19 pandemic.

WALKING: MAP LOADS SLOW BUT CACHES AT THE SPEED OF THOUGHT

When you move through the world on foot it is slow, but the detail is unparalleled. Distilled into memory, the space and time become navigable at the speed of thought; the fastest speed you can imagine. We can call this taking possession and none of the 'faster' modes of travel take ownership of space in this way. Walking is therefore the fastest and the best and the most bohème way to move through the world.

POSTMODERNISM – BLUEPRINT FOR WESTERN IRRELEVANCE

Today, three full generations after its birth in the 1940s, postmodern thinking has engendered a uniquely degraded democratization of creative ambition. It has subordinated individual originality and culture to consumerism. This piece is an exercise in therapy but useful for anyone keen for a definition of post-modernism, the cultural coronavirus against which we have no vaccine. Yet.

COGNITIVE ASSONANCE

COGNITIVE DISSONANCE is a psychological state, observed when a brain holds onto a belief (about reality) in the face of persistent contradictory evidence; by somehow ignoring it. COGNITIVE DISSONANCE is stressful but not as disturbing as having to explode a belief. The brain's natural non-stress state, however, is COGNITIVE CONSONANCE, where belief is evidentially and consistently in alignment with reality. The less easily observed but nonetheless essential enabler of COGNITIVE DISSONANCE is known as COGNITIVE ASSONANCE. ASSONANCE recasts DISSONANCE with most of its stress removed so it feels almost as natural as CONSONANCE.

GINSBERG’S HOWL AND T. S. ELIOT’S THE WASTELAND

I've often heard Howl and The Wasteland paired before, in the smokeless midnight air of alt-coffee urban popups, listening for free as a mumbling hipster reads them aloud, back-to-back, in the same reverent cadence and double bass rhythm and nobody listening to the words...

CONVENTIONS STAY BORING BUT HOPE? DOESN’T SPRING ETERNAL

we're in the yangtime now. Conditions have changed. Just as important, any younger friends are now the age I was when we went through the unusual quid pro quo, when I benefited from the hopeful energy. I'm antsy because of the sense of closing time and opportunity. So scribbling away, in my spare time, observing the ho-hum-flow.

“KILLING TIME”

"KIlling Time" is a short poem (of sorts) written in June 2016 at the height of a certain mindset that'll be familiar to some and, mercifully, alien to most.

LAZY TO LAMBENT – THANK YOU WILLIAM BLAKE

"What I've observed in the past is when my brain is depleted of certain resources, it gets tetchy at things sensory, scatty at things psychological. At best it's malaise. Not anxious or black depressive. Just nothing. Stasis."

“RASPBERRIES AND A PLASTIC ROSE”

Ditty written on a September long ago, found again recently and given an appropriately obscure title. What do you think?

BUDDHA BEAUJOLAIS, JACOB’S ROOM and WISTFUL WYSTAN

Burning the candle at both ends doesn’t just shorten the candle’s life, it mutates the candle slowly into something grotesque; the more so because it’s still the same wax that once was so new and pristine and perfect.