Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Harold Jaffe’s Goosestep: Fictions & Docufictions

Posted on: September 26th, 2016 by admin
Harold Jaffe’s new volume: Goosestep: Fictions & Docufictions will be published in November, 2016, by JEF (Journal of Experimental Fiction)
GOOSESTEP-FRONT
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SOS: SAVE OUR SCAT!

Posted on: September 19th, 2016 by admin

BLACK SCAT BOOKS is struggling to stay afloat. It must replace its dying computer system and outdated software, and raise funds to pay book authors and contributors to BLACK SCAT REVIEW. Since its launch in the summer of 2012, this unique indie publishing venture has survived hand-to-mouth. Now we need your help to keep the sublime art & literature flowing.

SOS: SAVE OUR SCAT!

The Puritan guest blog

Posted on: September 19th, 2016 by admin

The Puritan Senior Editors

The Benefits of Entering a Writing Contest

The Puritan Senior Editors

For every literary magazine, a prize. Our lit culture’s thick with them. Whether you’re an ardent submitter, see them as a necessary evil to keep literary ships afloat, or you love to hate them, writing contests can often feel more common than the periodicals they support.

Here at The Puritan, we’ve got our own—The Thomas Morton Memorial Prize in Literary Excellence (yes, intentionally long-titled)—and it’s in its fifth successful year. However, we like to think of ‘The Morton’ as slightly more appealing than many other honours from many other magazines—even those that grant a bit more money.

(more…)

Event Review: Sacred Geography: Dispatches from India by Harold Jaffe

Posted on: May 9th, 2016 by admin

by Erica Spriggs

It is a Friday evening at the San Diego Theosophy Center, and few people are talking. The room is warm despite the open window. Professor Harold Jaffe is wearing black, a a mandarin-collar shirt, sunglasses, slacks. He approaches the podium gradually, watching for the sudden movement of extended legs as people settle into the still silence. A single window lets the street noise into the crowded room—the heavy curtain is curled, the bottom resting on a bookshelf—incapable of cooling the gathering of friends, colleagues, and students, several sipping hot tea from styrofoam cups.

Jaffe is about to read from his Sacred Geography: Dispatches from India, and there is a sense that this is special, important, that we are not just listeners; we are here to contemplate how death and beauty converge, how even the sacred can be commodified.

For every dispatch, a photograph appears on the television to his left. He tells us that “one can sense the thousands of years of worshiping despite the official degradation of the poor.” There is a silent shared despair as he recounts the untouchables: thin, black, barefoot. He tells us of the “cremated body parts bobbing in the Ganges.” He tells us that the multiple “sounds break apart into a white noise” and “untouchables glide by noiselessly,” interrupted by the presence of mobile phones.

The boom of his voice accompanies the rise of his hands as he asks us to consider a digital India—whether or not it can co-exist with the sacred. His mouth aligns with the glow of the podium-light, his words luminous as he details his time in a rowboat at dawn on the Ganges, accompanied by a rat and a boy chewing betel. The reader pauses to drink, his fingers elongate delicately around the blue water bottle as the audience clears their throats, thirsting for that same water.

To understand the state of India’s poor, Jaffe attempts to discuss dengue fever with a high-caste and is unsuccessful—the man feels insulted.

One of Jaffe’s dispatches comments on the barrier between his desire to know and his ability to access that knowledge, because he is, in effect, one of the privileged, merely visiting the suffering.

The idea of barriers is further demonstrated in a photo of oxen with a girl in the center, her pigtails match the shape of the oxen’s ears behind her. Jaffe tells us about the “unnatural unblinking glance” of the ox—how you give in, allow yourself to see the suffering as part of the movement towards both knowledge and serenity in the midst of chaos.

He pauses, and the photo becomes more vivid, the resting oxen less sentient without faces, the little girl vulnerable, because she looks at us, challenges us not to look away.

Jaffe tells us that he spent a year in India 35 years ago and was drawn back to it again. On his most recent trip, he wrote 43 dispatches, expressing, in particular, a concern for the “uncolonized space of dreams,” and the well-being of the impoverished.

By the time he is finished, the light from the window is gone—only the grouping of black clouds remain. The world is the world. Without deception.

Autre Review of Harold Jaffe’s Death Café

Posted on: April 18th, 2016 by admin

[BOOK REVIEW] SUSAN GRACE REVIEWS HAROLD JAFFE’S NEW BOOK, DEATH CAFÉ

April 14, 2016

Harold Jaffe, progressive, social activist, and author of 24 innovative books, including Othello Blues, Revolutionary Brain, Anti-Twitter, and Induced Coma, has planted another mine in the minds of readers worldwide with his latest work, Death Café.

The title alone, Death Café, is compelling, and perhaps, in a sense, satiric. For the unfamiliar, a death café is an actual thing, an experience, but Jaffe’s version goes far beyond to become in effect the sine qua non for exploring the 21st century human condition.

read Autre review…

Provisional Notes on Art Brut.

Posted on: March 2nd, 2016 by admin

by Erica Spriggs

Art brut, also known as outsider art, is not merely an expression of “madness.” It goes beyond the constructs of language into a deeper realm of consciousness. It disobeys the formula of lines, color, and composition; it becomes itself as it deconstructs itself, as the audience attempts to find a reference that can name what they are seeing. For some brut artists, it is a process not of breakdown but of breakthrough.

According to Jean Dubuffet, author of “L’art brut préféré aux arts culturels,” art brut is “executed by people untouched by artistic culture . . . so that their authors draw everything (subjects, choice of materials employed, means of transposition, rhythms, ways of writing, etc.) from their own depths, not from clichés of classical art or art that is fashionable.” Jean Dubuffet recognized the merits of “madness” in art and invented the term “brut” by presenting his own collection to solidify its right to the creative landscape.

As the artist enters a state of expression, or divided consciousness, he/she turns over a new language that comes not only from their carnal selves, but from a place “unhinged,” free from the influence of societal mores.

Among other things, art brut asks you to challenge your comprehension of what art means, and how meaning is structured through pattern or anti-pattern.

The cathedral of the brut artist’s mind has not been traversed, trespassed, stomped on by outsiders attempting to understand how art works, why it works, or if it can be replicated. Brut artists use whatever materials that are available in their surroundings: toothpaste, food, bodily fluids; such materials add to the vibrancy of their renderings and the fantasy of a boundless imagination.

Art brut celebrates the ability of our heart’s mind to speak the language of chaos, to give it purchase in the physical world, where the internal structures tend to be unspoiled, remain wild, and are able to connect with our own divided consciousness.

Art brut, also known as outsider art, is not merely an expression of “madness.” It goes beyond the constructs of language into a deeper realm of consciousness. It disobeys the formula of lines, color, and composition; it becomes itself as it deconstructs itself, as the audience attempts to find a reference that can name what they are seeing. For some brut artists, it is a process not of breakdown but of breakthrough.

According to Jean Dubuffet, author of “L’art brut préféré aux arts culturels,” art brut is “executed by people untouched by artistic culture . . . so that their authors draw everything (subjects, choice of materials employed, means of transposition, rhythms, ways of writing, etc.) from their own depths, not from clichés of classical art or art that is fashionable.” Jean Dubuffet recognized the merits of “madness” in art and invented the term “brut” by presenting his own collection to solidify its right to the creative landscape.

As the artist enters a state of expression, or divided consciousness, he/she turns over a new language that comes not only from their carnal selves, but from a place “unhinged,” free from the influence of societal mores.

Among other things, art brut asks you to challenge your comprehension of what art means, and how meaning is structured through pattern or anti-pattern.

The cathedral of the brut artist’s mind has not been traversed, trespassed, stomped on by outsiders attempting to understand how art works, why it works, or if it can be replicated. Brut artists use whatever materials that are available in their surroundings: toothpaste, food, bodily fluids; such materials add to the vibrancy of their renderings and the fantasy of a boundless imagination.

Art brut celebrates the ability of our heart’s mind to speak the language of chaos, to give it purchase in the physical world, where the internal structures tend to be unspoiled, remain wild, and are able to connect with our own divided consciousness.

Harold Jaffe’s Sacred Geography in NEW ORLEANS REVIEW

Posted on: February 4th, 2016 by admin

ganges-dawn-1

Ganges Dawn

Predawn, everyone’s awake, Kashi’s jumping.
Excluding the homeless thousands who are unawake.
I’m walking cautiously to the ghats in the semi-dark through littered streets, trying to distinguish trash from cardboard and newspaper humps of low-castes sleeping, groaning while sleeping.

Do they dream while they sleep?
Is it a collective dream?
Has their 2000 years of servitude infected their dreams?

Sacred Geography: Dispatches from India (continued)

Harold Jaffe’s Dispatches from India – December 18, 2015

Posted on: December 18th, 2015 by admin

Caste Cannibal

A newlywed couple from Varanasi were arrested over claims they dined on the
Genitals of the woman’s alleged rapist after her husband murdered the alleged

rapist and excised his privates. The victim’s mutilated body was found in a
burnt-out tuk-tuk on a Varanasi sidestreet after the revenge attack, sparked by

claims the new wife, age 20, made that she was raped just three days before her
white wedding in cheery Varanasi. The husband, 26-year-old Hari Pippal,

an untouchable, or Dalit, who became prosperous via his latrine
supply business, has admitted murdering the man after discovering his wife,

also untouchable, was not a virgin on their wedding night in atmos-
pheric Darjeeling, the former British hill station, where they spent

their honeymoon. “I was outraged,” Pippal told the swarming Indian
media after his arrest, adding that his decision to eat the victim’s

genitals was made instantaneously “to cure my heartache.” Police
say that after murdering the man, Pippal transported the victim’s

severed genitals wrapped in butcher paper to his house, ordered his
20-year-old wife to cook the genitals, and the pair then ate them

together, along with rice masala and dahl. The mutilated victim, with
whom the wife formerly consorted, was an elephant handler in a

small dingy zoo four kilometers southwest of Varamasi. Sarasvati, a
local police spokesperson who goes by the one name, told the

swarming Indian media that “the case is still under investigation but
we strongly suspect that this is a premeditated murder.” The

husband is accused of carrying out the murder, with the wife acting
as a willing accomplice. The victim was found dead in a burnt-out

tuk-tuk in the Manikarnika Ghat sector of Kashi. Pippal had ordered
his wife to contact the victim and set up a liaison in a butcher shop

owned by the wife’s brother. When the victim arrived at the butcher
shop, he found only Pippal, who then allegedly hacked him to

death, hung him upside-down from a meat hook, severed his
genitals, removed the mutilated cadaver from the meat hook and put

it in the tuk-tuk which he set on fire. VV Subramanian, the
prosecutor, insists that the brutality of the crime is yet another

reason for maintaining, even “refining,” the much disputed caste
system in India.

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Harold Jaffe’s Dispatches from India – December 18, 2015

Posted on: December 18th, 2015 by admin

Saint Mother

Pope Francis has endorsed a second medical miracle attributed to
the late Mother Teresa, clearing the path for the beloved nun to be
elevated to sainthood next year, the online Roman Catholic
newspaper Avvenire reported Thursday.

Mother Teresa was beatified by Pope John Paul II in a fast-tracked
ceremony in 2003, in the Vatican, attended by some 300,000
pilgrims.
Beatification is a first step towards sainthood.

Celebrated for her work with the “poorest of the poor” in Kolkata
(Calcutta), Mother Teresa is expected to be officially canonized in
Rome on September 4, 2016, as part of the Pope’s Jubilee Year of
Mercy, according to online Avvenire’s Vatican expert Stefania
Falasca.

The move comes after a panel of Roman Catholic experts (namely
cardinals, taking a break from pederasty) convening three days ago
in the Vatican, officially attributed the miraculous healing of a Muslim
man from Agra with multiple brain tumors to Mother Teresa,
Avvenire reported.

Mother Teresa, along with her posse of nuns, was touring northern
India and had just emerged from the Taj Mahal, in Agra, when a
sickly man pushed to the front of the crowd and petitioned her.
Mother Teresa saw at once that he was gravely ill and wiped his
perspiring brow with her own cotton head covering.
She then blessed him.
The man was instantly cured.
So the story goes.
This miracle occurred in April 1985, and the man is still alive and
cancer-free, living in Agra.
He is married to his fourth wife and has fathered at least nine
children.

India has been faulted for delaying the process of Mother Teresa’s
canonization because the man is Muslim, not Hindu.
India has vehemently denied the accusation, which it attributes to its
long-time enemy, Muslim-dominant Pakistan.

Teresa, born to Albanian parents in what is now Skopje in
Macedonia, was known across the world for her charity work in the
name of Christ.
She died in 1997 at the age of 87.

Nicknamed the “Saint of the Gutters,” she dedicated her life to the
poor, the sick and the dying in the slums of Kolkata.
Tenderly, she touched the untouchables.
She succored them
She baptized them, but never against their will.
Allegedly.
She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.

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Harold Jaffe’s Dispatches from India – December 13, 2015

Posted on: December 14th, 2015 by admin

SuicideBomb

I am a female Untouchable.
You prefer Dalit to Untouchable.
You do not like the name Untouchable for public relations.
Even as you kill us and flog us without touching us
The munitions strapped across my body touch me.
West of Manikarnika, the burning ghat, is the Golden Temple
devoted to Lord Shiva.
Barefoot, I will enter the Golden Temple devoted to Lord Shiva.
Because I am a female Untouchable I am forbidden from worship to
Lord Shiva in the Golden Temple.
Upper caste Hindus will flog me if I enter the Golden Temple to
worship Lord Shiva.
I will enter the Golden Temple with munitions strapped across my
body.
You cannot hold me back.
You cannot fill my blackened head with pieties.
You cannot distract me with devotion.
With hatred for Muslims.
Like Lord Shiva, I will destroy to create.
Call me freedom fighter.
I will create the order that Mahatma Gandhi imagined when he
named the Untouchable Harijan, Child of God.
When Mahatma Gandhi scrubbed and cleaned the privvies of the
Harijans.
Whoever is worshpping in the Golden Temple will be destroyed and
recreated as all-loving, loving the Dalit, loving the cow that Hindus
have pledged to love, loving the dogs and donkeys and goats.
Loving the cunning monkey.
Loving the Untouchable female.
It is not just poor Muslims who are freedom fighters.
Who sacrifice themselves when there is nothing left.
Why should I despise the poor Muslim when I am despised by
Hindus, my own people.
I will sacrifice myself and sacrifice the higher castes in the Golden
Temple so they can be recreated in the heart of Lord Shiva.
I am thin, black, female, weakened from not eating, from scrubbing
your toilets, from false devotion, from being born Dalit.
Upper caste Hindu wives threw themselves on their husband’s
burning bier in sacfrifice and were celebrated.
Mine is the greater sacrifice.
Hear me.
I am blackened and burning with sacrfiice.
I am penetrated with Shiva.
You cannot hold me back.

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