Monday, 21 June 2010

Tradition | Introduction | Kinds of Wood

Week 5 | Tradition | Contents

Tuesday | Poetry | Simon Says
Wednesday | Fiction | In Defence of the Middlebrow 
Thursday | Music | Goddam Motherfucking Hippies
Friday | Chapbook | Advancer, by John Clegg

"You run into people who want to write poetry who don't want
to read anything in the tradition. That's like wanting to be a builder
but not finding out what different kinds of wood you use."
- Gary Snyder

As writers we are urged to spend the majority of our time reading. If we are serious about all this then we force ourselves to read back endlessly into the past until we bounce back again in the opposite direction and trace our own paths to where we are now. Why then, do I detect such a sneer from anyone who describes a piece of art, a person or a sentiment as being 'traditional'? When did we start conflating tradition with convention?

This week we will be thinking of the artist as Janus - looking to the past and future and trying to harness their visions of both into a present state.

In researching this week's theme, our Editor in Chief, James Harringman travelled into the past, and as such is stuck in 1834 where, alas, there is no internet connection. We wish him a safe return and sincerely hope that he brings us back various trinkets from his great-great-grandfathers' mansion, the Rt. Hon. Lord Edward Keithly Homebridge Harringman III.

Phil Brown
Poetry Editor

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