Sunday, March 06, 2005

Burn Denver Down Press
Call for Submissions (3/6/05): Angry Utopias

Send your poems, stories, or creative essays to Burn Denver Down Press. Attach your work to your mail as a Word, Apple Works, or Rich Text document. Do not send Word Perfect or Works attachment; I cannot open them.

Deadline for submissions is May 1, 2005. Accepted work will be published in a limited edition chapbook. (100 copies is the target number for the first chapbook from BDD Press.) Authors will receive a complimentary copy. All rights to accepted entries revert back to the authors upon publication.

Angry Utopias should be ready for distribution in July 2005, the first volume in The Emotional Rescue Series that will incorporate work on theAngry, theHappy, theFrustrated, and theSad.

Use the notes below as an early guide for your work.

Some Notes Toward the Construction of Angry Utopias:

An author might consider,
  • Angry is an adjective that accurately describes an individual dissatisfied with the prevailing state of affairs.
  • Utopia is a noun that accurately describes any imaginary, indefinitely-remote region, country, locality, or object.
  • A utopia is a nowhere, a no-place.
  • A eutopia is an expression of desire because it expresses what is desired to be good. A dystopia is an expression of fear because it expresses what is feared to be bad.
  • Utopias, to exist, would need to create a new world by destroying the old world.
  • CLAIM: Our utopias, whether illustrating good or bad places, are angry because their expression and construction incorporate both fear and desire into narratives that attempt to seek some-thing where no-thing exists.
  • A utopia is a sign of a thinker’s dissatisfaction with the prevailing state of affairs. Utopias are angry utopias.
  • Consider Thomas Traherne’s description of a utopian childhood in “The Third Century” from Centuries of Meditation:
    • ...Certainly Adam in Paradise had not more sweet and curious apprehensions of the world, than I when I was a child. All appeared new, and strange at first, inexpressibly rare and delightful and beautiful. I was a little stranger, which at my entrance into the world was saluted and surrounded with innumerable joys. My knowledge was Divine. …The city seemed to stand in Eden, or to be built in Heaven. The streets were mine, the temple was mine, the people were mine, their clothes and gold and silver were mine, as much as their sparkling eyes, fair skins and ruddy faces. The skies were mine, and so were the sun and moon and stars, and all the World was mine; and I the only spectator and enjoyer of it. I knew no churlish proprieties, nor bounds, nor divisions: but all proprieties and divisions were mine: all treasures and the possessors of them. So that with much ado I was corrupted, and made to learn the dirty devices of this world. Which now I unlearn, and become, as it were, a little child again that I may enter into the Kingdom of God.
  • Consider these fragments from the early moments of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus:
    • The world is all that is the case.
    • What is the case--a fact--is the existence of states of affairs.
    • If I know an object I also know all its possible occurrences in states of affairs. (Every one of these possibilities must be part of the nature of the object.) A new possibility cannot be discovered later.
    • If I am to know an object, though I need not know its external properties, I must know all its internal properties.
    • If all objects are given, then at the same time all possible states of affairs are also given.
    • Each thing is, as it were, in a space of possible states of affairs. This space I can imagine empty, but I cannot imagine the thing without the space.
    • Objects contain the possibility of all situations.
    • It is obvious that an imagined world, however different it may be from the real one, must have something-- a form—in common with it.
    • The substance of the world can only determine a form, and not any material properties. For it is only by means of propositions that material properties are represented—only by the configuration of objects that they are produced.
  • Consider the opening lines to Sir Thomas Browne’s “Letter to the Reader” in The Pseudodoxia Epidemica:
    • Would Truth dispense, we could be content, with Plato, that knowledge were but remembrance; that intellectual acquisition were but reminiscential evocation, and new Impressions but the colouring of old stamps which stood pale in the soul before. For what is worse, knowledge is made by oblivion, and to purchase a clear and warrantable body of Truth, we must forget and part with much we know.

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