Archive for Literature

Lord George Byron – Poet

Posted in Biographies, Poems, Poems, Rhymes, Riddles, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 5, 2020 by Drogo

lord byron turbin

George Gordon Byron was born in London, England to nobility. He lived from 1788 to 1824, and was a radical flamboyant and notorious liberal leader in world literature and politics during the early Romantic Movement and Historic Revival period. The first ten years of his life were spent with his mother in Scotland. Byron’s father had abandoned his family and died when young George Byron was only three years old. When young Byron was ten, his great-uncle died leaving George with the family title of ‘Lord’ Byron. Young Lord Byron returned to England, where he attended the Harrow School, and eventually Cambridge University.

In 1807 Lord Byron published his first book of poems, ‘Hours of Idleness’; which was severely criticized by the Edinburgh Review (a Scottish literary magazine). ‘Hour of Idleness’ was primarily a collection of educated romantic proses expected of young contemporary poets; but Byron was clearly more rebellious. Byron responded to his critics, using satirical witty and biting style in his ‘English Bards and Scotch Reviewers’, where he attacked almost every notable literary author and critic. Byron wrote the first two cantos (sections) of ‘Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage’ as fiction, using Edmund Spenser’s literary style. Soon Byron’s work mainly reflected his own experiences and early gothic revival sentiments.

From 1809 to 1811, Lord George Byron traveled through southern Europe and parts of the Near East. In 1815 Byron married Anne Isabella Milbanke. Their brief, turbulent, and unhappy marriage ended the same year; partly due to rumors of George’s incest with his half-sister, Augusta Leigh, and all the public gossip about his many former affairs as well. Byron departed from England forever in 1816, and moved to Switzerland and Italy. 

At the Villa Diodati in Switzerland 1816, Byron hosted his most historic party. For three rainy summer days and stormy nights, five friends became ghostly writers. The writers were Byron, his personal physician John Polidori, famous poet Percy Shelley, Mary Godwin (Percy’s future wife), and her step-sister Claire Clairmont with whom Byron already had a daughter. The five read gothic stories (including Fantasmagoriana), and wrote their own. Percy Shelley wrote ‘A Fragment of a Ghost Story’ and five ghost stories recounted by Matthew “Monk” Lewis. Mary Shelley wrote what would become ‘Frankenstein’, and Byron wrote ‘A Fragment’, on which Polidori based ‘The Vampyre’ (decades before Bram Stoker’s 1897 ‘Dracula’). That same month Byron visited Chillon Castle with Percy Shelley. ‘Prisoner of Chillon’ (1816) was Byron’s gothic classic, full of haunting morbidity.

Then Byron visited Venice, where he acquainted himself with Armenian culture aided by monks. He also carried on a long romance with the Countess Teresa Guiccioli. ‘Manfred’ (1817) dramatizes independence, and the nature of intellectual integrity for personal responsibility. ‘Cain’ (1821) is similar to Manfred, challenging divine will as people interpret it in their own ideas of right and wrong. ‘Don Juan’ (1820) might be his most famous poem. It is a satirical master-piece written in a colloquial, brilliant, and flexible style. It makes an epic hero of a legendary lover, who has epic comic moments. Most importantly Byron tells his story with shifting emotional tone; expressing anger at deceptions and cruelty, sadness over loss, and hope despite incarceration. Lord Byron became involved in revolutionary politics in Italy.

In 1823 Byron (like many others) decided to join the Greeks in their war for independence from the Turks. On April 19th of 1824, after a brief but fatal fever sickness, Lord Byron died without witnessing the success of the Greek revolution. As a romantic revivalist, Lord Byron clearly set the stage for later liberal arts leaders like Poe, Morris, Ruskin, Romantic painters, and other Victorians.



My hair is grey, but not with years,

Nor grew it white ⁠⁠In a single night,

As men’s have grown from sudden fears:

My limbs are bowed, though not with toil,

⁠But rusted with a vile repose,

For they have been a dungeon’s spoil,

⁠And mine has been the fate of those

To whom the goodly earth and air

Are banned, and barred—forbidden fare;⁠

But this was for my father’s faith

I suffered chains and courted death;

That father perished at the stake

For tenets he would not forsake;

And for the same his lineal race

In darkness found a dwelling place;

We were seven—who now are one,

⁠Six in youth, and one in age,

Finished as they had begun,

⁠Proud of Persecution’s rage;

One in fire, and two in field,

Their belief with blood have sealed,

Dying as their father died,

For the God their foes denied;—

Three were in a dungeon cast,

Of whom this wreck is left the last.

Arts & Literature Seasonal Gathering

Posted in Education / Schools, Events / Celebrations, Individuals / Members / Monsters / Creative Writing, jobs, news, Services, Sales or Trade, Society Clubs or Social Groups, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2018 by Drogo

Day, Month, Year, Time – Arts & Literature Seasonal Gathering – You are invited to the Victorian Townhouse of the Honorable S.P. (near Market Street) __ Third Street, downtown Frederick, MD; to read anything of your choice for apx.10 minutes, and our informal group will discuss for about the same time as the reading. Tea will be served.

Democratic voting on name of group, which selections to read, whether to record, and date of next meeting.

[for actual current details contact SCOD members]

JRR Tolkien Essays

Posted in Book Reports, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on October 15, 2016 by Drogo

Reports on Tolkien

St. John’s at Prospect Hall – Catholic High School 1990-94

Taken from old reports by Walton Stowell, Robert Trainor, & Chris Chromey


Middle-Earth: Our History? – based on Rob Trainor’s highschool paper 1993

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born in Bloemfontien, South Africa; on January 3, 1892. His father worked there as a banker, although both of his parents were from England. When John was only 4 years old, his father died. His mother Mabel then took young John and his younger brother, back to her native home in Birmingham, England. John was raised there and attended the King Edward School.

In 1904 when John was 12, his mother passed away. From then on he and his brother were raised by a Roman Catholic priest. Tolkien went from King Edward’s school, to Exeter College at Oxford. Before he got his degree, World War I broke out. In 1915 at the age of 23, John Tolkien entered the army, with the Lancashire Fusiliers regiment. The next year he married Miss Edith Bratt, who later became the mother of his children. Tolkien served with the Fusiliers from 1915 until 1918. At the end of WW1, he returned home and went back to college. John got his Masters Degree in 1919.

John studied many languages and knew a number of languages including Latin, German, Gothic, French, Greek, and Middle English. He developed his own hybrid languages, which would be the basis for his novels. John worked for a short time on the famous Oxford English Dictionary. He also became a ‘reader’ professor in English at Leeds University from 1924-25. His first publication was A Middle-English Vocabulary. Then he and E.V. Gordon published a critical text on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, analyzing the infamous old 14th-Century anonymous poem; John later translated it into modern English verse.

In 1925 John Tolkien left Leeds, and went to Pembroke College at Oxford; where he remained for the next 20 years, as Rawlison and Bosforth ‘Professor of Anglo-Saxon’. John’s imaginary languages led to him forming lands and stories around them. He sorted out places where his languages would be spoken, and what their attitudes might be culturally. John became an Oxford ‘fellow’ and ‘don’. He published Chaucer as a Philologist in 1934. Next came Beowulf: Monster and Critics. Tolkien himself had become a respected philologist. Philology is the study of written words, their origins, and meanings.

He wrote stories for his children, as ‘letters from’ Father Christmas. While grading college papers, John Tolkien began day-dreaming and sketching notes about a ‘hobbit’. In 1937, when Tolkien was 45 he was urged by his colleagues and children to publish his book called The Hobbit. It took him 12 more years to write the Lord of the Rings. It took John his life-time to write the Silmarillion, which was post-humously finished for him by his son, Christopher Tolkien.

‘Middle-Earth’ is the setting for The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. Tolkien describes Middle-Earth using familiar objects and concepts, that make it seem like it could have existed in the distant past of England. This is how Tolkien conceived many of the ideas, and to many fans there are many charming and philosophical allegories and parallels. According to Tolkien, Middle-Earth (Arda) is ultimately its’ own world set in a fictional past of Earth, and not just mere metaphor.

Tolkien wanted to create a fictional mythology for the English, as they didn’t really have one before (besides the Mabinogion, Book of Kells, Beowulf, and the legends of King Arthur and Robin Hood). He certainly achieved his goal of creation. Middle-Earth should perhaps best be considered a fantasy time period, set in the distant pre-historic past of Europe. The anachronisms and races are very much fantasy, and the themes are mythical.

References where Tolkien compared the reality of modern Europe and the fiction of ancient Middle-Earth include: the landscape and habits of Hobbiton (like Welsh), Hobbiton’s position north-west, general geography, astronomy changes, language roots, and flora and fauna (including insects). “It is plain indeed, that in spite of later estrangement, Hobbits are relatives of ours: far nearer to us than elves, or even than dwarves.” (LOTR I, 20) The land is similar to Europe, but much has changed by years of ‘wind and wave’. The significance of the comparison, is that it gives us familiarity with the setting. These descriptions also add believable gravitas; that the lands have been there for a long time, and slowly changed over time. Things like tobacco, clothing, and chimneys are clearly taken out of time and place and dropped in for amusement.


JRR Tolkien – based on Chris Chromey’s research paper, English 11, 1992

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell; nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit hole, and that means comfort.” – 1st paragraph of The Hobbit

In 1938 the world was introduced to its first hobbit. Somehow we fell in love with this short round creature who lives in a hole with a life of comfort and a friendly manner. Throw in an adventure of dwarves, magic treasure, and evil monsters; and you come up with a tale so enchanting that its popularity breaks new ground in literature and pioneers the way of fantasy writing.

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was the brilliant inventor of the hobbit race (and Middle-Earth). The Hobbit, his first book concerning this magical world, started out as a story Tolkien told to his children in the form of letters he would give them every Christmas (via ‘Father Christmas’ mail), which contained a chapter of hobbit Bilbo Baggin’s adventures and illustrations. Later on in life Tolkien read the hobbit tales to his literary chums, in a jolly writing group called the Inklings. The Inklings were a group of scholars who met with C.S. Lewis in his Magdalen college apartments, and later in old local English taverns. They would talk, read excerpts, and drink with an air of romanticism. Tolkien enjoyed these meetings, perhaps like Bilbo gathering with friends in the Shire of Middle-Earth.

Tolkien’s academic credentials help to explain why he was able to create such wonderful literature. Tolkien studied mythology and languages, with a focus on Celtic and Germanic lore. Tolkien loved English legends, and wanted England to have more of its own mythological literature. He began creating his own languages also, and used characters (like dwarves, valkyries, and elves) from Teutonic folk-lore. Dwarves were like vikings with their Norse beards, weapons, and armor. Elves were like elegant thin human-sized medieval English style faeries. The tree-ents were like dryads, and the wild ‘wose’ men were like Gaels; both of Celtic origins.

His re-imaginings of old ideas became the basis for the modern ‘medieval-fantasy’ genre. Tolkien published the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings few books during his life-time, but he was not able to finish the Silmarillion which was his large bible of Middle-Earth mythology. Pieces of the Silmarillion were edited and published after JRR Tolkien died, by his son Christopher Tolkien. It shows his father’s genius for synthesizing imagination, literature, language, and mythology in extraordinary detail.

Although Tolkien did not use the term ‘fairy’ in his Middle-Earth books, he did create a “fairy world”, or to be more specific an old world of faeries, that humans had begun to colonize and spread into by more rapidly populating. Humans had shorter lives than the other races, so they clearly were procreating faster, and elves were leaving into the West (much as they did in Celtic myths and legends).

About JRR Tolkien’s youth, we know he had a playmate besides his brother when he lived in Africa; named Hillary. They would play fantasy adventures based on stories. When JRR was about 7 years old, he began to compose his own story about a dragon. He recalled a ‘philological fact’ that his mother was more interested in his grammar, than the story or the characters. She pointed out that he should not say “a green great dragon”, but rather “a great green dragon”. This incident ‘put him off’ from writing for many years, and he became ‘taken up’ with language.

JRR Tolkien wrote an essay (similar to Frank Baum’s intro to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz) called ‘On Fairy Stories’, to explaining the relationship between reality, fiction, and folk-lore. Tolkien’s essay also addressed Andrew Lang’s ‘fairy-tales’, and what constitutes stories about the land of ‘Faerie’ and what does not (in the mind of Tolkien). Here is an excerpt:

On Fairy-Stories

Probably every writer making a secondary world, a fantasy, every sub-creator, wishes in some measure to be a real maker; or hopes that he is drawing on reality: hopes that the peculiar qualities of this secondary world (if not all the details) are derived from reality, or are flowing into it. If he indeed achieves a quality that can fairly be described by the dictionary definition: “inner consistency of reality”, it is difficult to conceive how this can be, if the work does not in some way partake in reality. The peculiar quality of the ‘joy’ in successful fantasy can thus be explained as a sudden glimpse of the underlying reality or truth. It is not only a ‘consolation’ for the sorrow of this world, but a satisfaction, and an answer to that question, ‘is it true?’. My answer to this question (that all children ask) was at first (quite rightly): “If you have built your little world well, yes: it is true in that world.” …

To summarize Tolkien’s point here, the art of literature acts as an enchantment upon our minds. A well constructed world of words that tells a story, invites us to believe that the lore is ‘real’. Every writer making a secondary ‘fantasy’ world, wants the reader to desire to believe it is real. This ‘believable’ quality is achieved by using real ‘primary world’ references or characters that can view the fiction through our perspective (and vice-versa). The joy of reading realistic fantasy, is not just escapism, but the thrill of believable travel to that world; by defining its’ own reality. If fiction is well created, it has its’ own consistent truth; which reflects our own reality, each version of every story a magic mirror. The world consistency can change, but it should be reflected on in some way, as in ‘Alice and Wonderland’ stories, the consistency is to be inconsistent with the ‘rules’; with self-exposed unpredictability, as commented on by characters or narration.

By providing linguistic and historic backgrounds, Tolkien gave us the essence of his characters. We can find out more about them, just as we look into non-fiction books for facts about our historical figures. Tolkien thrived on the fact that language is the basis to all communication, and therefore knowledge. Fantasy novels after Tolkien, often imitate his settings and plots, without the depth.

Tolkien’s work feels timeless, like by reading his words we can escape Time. Yet his words also remind us of the power of Time; as with the riddle from the Hobbit:

This thing all things devours;

Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;

Gnaws iron, bites steel;

Grinds hard stones to meal;

Slays kinds, ruins town,

And beats high mountain down.

Tolkien’s narration language seems ancient, and yet timeless because we can still understand it. One critic* accused his ‘boring’ writing of being a ‘syncretic antiquarian collage’. The critic goes on to say that Tolkien’s “ignorance of all he so conscientiously is trying to transmit” … “definitely leaves his writing lacking”. Clearly, the critic was wrong. To me this is a perfect example of how critics that go beyond factual summary, often show their own ignorance and childishness.

* Essays In Memorium; Catherine Stimpson; Salu & Ferrell (editors); Cornell University, 1979

Tolkien loved children, spent time with them, and made sure to be home at night to tuck in his own children. It was his love for children that drove him to write books for them, built upon college graduate level (adult) education and his child-like imagination (which apparently he never lost). He was not content with the children’s fairy tales he had, when he was a child. Tolkien wanted to give children books that he felt they deserved, that even their adult minds’ could grow into with maturity. The age orientation of his books seems to be progressive. The Hobbit is child-like, the Lord of the Rings is for teens, and the Silmarillion is for adults; but because Tolkien was a scholar, the books are really more advanced, always seeming to be one step ahead of the reader, transcending age at every turn.




Posted in Book Reports, Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels, Critical Commentary of Civilization with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 26, 2013 by Drogo

Utopias are communities or places possessing highly desirable or perfect qualities. The word was coined in Greek by Sir Thomas More for his book Utopia, describing a fictional island society in the Atlantic Ocean. The term has been used to describe both intentional communities that attempt to create an ideal society, and fictional paradises. It has spawned other concepts, most prominently dystopia. There are different types of utopias: ecological, political, economic, etc… and combinations of those.

The first recorded utopian proposal is Plato’s Republic. Plato’s Utopia is part conversation, part fictional depiction, and part policy proposal, it proposes a categorization of citizens into a rigid class structure of “golden,” “silver,” “bronze” and “iron” socioeconomic classes. The golden citizens are trained in a rigorous 50-year long educational program to be benign oligarchs, the “philosopher-kings.” The wisdom of these rulers will supposedly eliminate poverty and deprivation through fairly distributed resources, though the details on how to do this are unclear. The educational program for the rulers is the central notion of the proposal. There is a general pacifism or pacifist attitude. However, the people of the Republic are all ready to defend themselves or to compete militarily for resources (such as land) if necessary. Plato’s Utopia has few laws, no lawyers and rarely sends its citizens to war, but hires mercenaries from among its war-prone neighbors (these mercenaries were deliberately sent into dangerous situations in the hope that the more warlike populations of all surrounding countries will be weeded out, leaving peaceful peoples).

– from Wikipedia



by Sir Thomas More written between 1515-1516

the definition of the word implies that the perfectly “good place” is really “no place.”

the island is located off the coast of Brazil, founded by King Utopos

Raphael Hythloday spends five years observing the customs of the natives.


More = the author (beheaded 1535)

Giles = Humanist thinker Peter Giles

Morton = former Chancellor of England Cardinal John Morton

Jerome de Busleydan = Counselor of Charles V

Raphael Hythloday = a sailor and voyager

More travels to Antwerp as an ambassador for England and King Henry VIII.

Hythloday has been on many voyages with the noted explorer Amerigo Vespucci, traveling to the New World, south of the Equator, through Asia, and eventually landing on the island of Utopia.

Hythloday describes a dinner he once shared in England with Cardinal Morton and a number of others. During this dinner, Hythloday proposed alternatives to the many evil civil practices of England, such as the policy of capital punishment for the crime of theft. His proposals meet with derision, until they are given legitimate thought by the Cardinal, at which point they meet with great general approval. Hythloday uses this story to show how pointless it is to counsel a king when the king can always expect his other counselors to agree with his own beliefs or policies. Hythloday then goes on to make his point through a number of other examples, finally noting that no matter how good a proposed policy is, it will always look insane to a person used to a different way of seeing the world. Hythloday points out that the policies of the Utopians are clearly superior to those of Europeans, yet adds that Europeans would see as ludicrous the all-important Utopian policy of common property.

General Utopus, conquered the isthmus on which Utopia now stands and through a great public works effort cut away the land to make an island. Next, Hythloday moves to a discussion of Utopian society, portraying a nation based on rational thought, with communal property, great productivity, no rapacious love of gold, no real class distinctions, no poverty, little crime or immoral behavior, religious tolerance, and little inclination to war.

The island of Utopia is 200 hundred miles across in the middle part, where it is widest, and nowhere much narrower than this except towards the two ends, where it gradually tapers. These ends, curved round as if completing a circle five hundred miles in circumference, make the island crescent-shaped, like a new moon.

The island was originally a peninsula but a 15-mile wide channel was dug by the community’s founder King Utopos to separate it from the mainland.

The island contains 54 cities.

Each city is divided into four equal parts.

Each city has 6000 households, consisting of between 10 to 16 adults.

The capital city, Amaurot, is located directly in the middle of the crescent island.

Thirty households are grouped together and elect an archon.

200 archons of a city elect a Prince in a secret ballot.

The Prince stays for life unless he is deposed or removed for suspicion of tyranny.

People are re-distributed around the households and towns to keep numbers even. If the island suffers from overpopulation, colonies are set up on the mainland. Alternatively, the natives of the mainland are invited to be part of these Utopian colonies, but if they dislike it and no longer wish to stay they may return. In the case of under-population the colonists are re-called.

Utopia is a common-wealth collective, where almost everything is open to the public. There is no private ownership on Utopia. Public Goods in storage are accessed by people as needed. No locks on house doors. All are taught agriculture. In addition to farming, all must pick a second vocation: weaving, masonry, carpentry, or metal-smithing. All that are able work 6 hours daily on average. Those who love to learn become scholars, and scholars can be ruling officials and priests. No sexism, men and women are equal, although there are gender stereotypes. Clothing is simple. Utopia is also a welfare state. Free hospitals allow euthanasia.

There is a class system. Archons and old get best food. Middle Class rotates turns of households feeding the community in dining halls. Slave class made of immigrants and criminals. Slave chains and chamber-pots are made of gold, which attaches shameful psychological associations to gold; producing a dislike of gold. Gold and Jewels have no economic value within Utopia.

Several Religions: Moon, Sun, Planet, Ancestor, and Monotheists. All are tolerant of eachother, only Atheists are distrusted because they may lack morality.

Priests marry and divorce. Premarital sex is punished by celibacy. Adultery punished by enslavement.

Travel on the island is restricted by internal passport, with penalty of enslavement.

No lawyers because the laws are simple.

Utopians do not like to engage in war because war is uncivilized. If they feel countries friendly to them have been wronged, they will send military aid. However they try to capture, rather than kill, enemies. They are upset if they achieve victory through bloodshed.

Privacy is not regarded as freedom in Utopia. Even private gatherings and pubs are not allowed to keep all people together in full view, when not sleeping at home, for good behavior. Much like later visions of socialist communism.



Other Utopian Concepts in Literature:

The City of the Sun by Tommaso Campanella, Description of the Republic of Christianopolis by Johannes Valentinus Andreae, New Atlantis by Francis Bacon and Candide by Voltaire.


‘Common Sense’ was a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine. It was first published anonymously on January 10, 1776, at the beginning of the American Revolution. Common Sense was signed “Written by an Englishman”, and it became an immediate success. It contrasted a dystopian vision of England, with a future Utopian vision of America, as propaganda for the purpose of rebellion.


Tolkien’s Middle Earth Utopias & Dystopias – Lothlorien, West, Shire, Rivendell, Bombadil’s House, Ranger Collective / Mordor, Misty Mountain Goblin Caves



One similarity between ‘Brave New World’ and ‘1984‘ is that both futures believe that ‘History is bunk’, and the controllers constantly erase even yesterday’s news while using confusing hypocritical propaganda. Trump seems to have a regime that believes in this idea of Double-speak, according to the changes going on in all departments.

Huxley wrote critical satire of HG Wells’ utopian books

HG Wells wrote a few Utopian ‘science fantasy’ novels – based in ‘Parallel Worlds’ using concepts of democratic socialism (Fabian Society): Anticipations (1901 non-fiction); Mankind in the Making (1903 New Republic non-fiction); ‘A Modern Utopia’ (1905 fiction), ‘Men Like Gods’ (1923 fiction)

‘A Modern Utopia’ (1905) – Parallel World named Utopia. – a voluntary order of nobility known as the Samurai could effectively rule a “kinetic and not static” world state so as to solve “the problem of combining progress with political stability.” , vegetarian ascetic Rule ; mandatory annual one-week solitary ramble in the wilderness ; social theory of Utopia, four “main classes of mind”: The Poietic, the Kinetic, the Dull, and the Base ; Economics – The world shares the same language, coinage, customs, and laws, and freedom of movement is general. Some personal property is allowed, but “all natural sources of force, and indeed all strictly natural products” are “inalienably vested in the local authorities” occupying “areas as large sometimes as half England.” The World State is “the sole landowner of the earth.” Units of currency are based on units of energy, so that “employment would constantly shift into the areas where energy was cheap.” Humanity has been almost entirely liberated from the need for physical labor: “There appears to be no limit to the invasion of life by the machine.”

‘Men Like Gods’ (1923) – Parallel World named Utopia. “Our education is our government,” a Utopian named Lion says (men like gods 1923), set apx. 3,000 years in our technological future on a parallel world ; Several characters in the novel are directly taken from the politics of the 1920s. Rupert Catskill probably represents Winston Churchill, as he was seen at that time: a reckless adventurer. Catskill is depicted as a reactionary ideologue, criticises Utopia for its apparent decadence, and leads the attempted conquest of Utopia. ; Earthlings are quarantined on a rocky crag after infections they have brought cause a brief epidemic in Utopia. There they begin to plot the conquest of Utopia, despite Mr. Barnstaple’s protests. He betrays them when his fellows try to take two Utopians hostage, forcing Mr. Barnstaple to escape execution for treason by fleeing perilously. ; Life in Utopia is governed by “the Five Principles of Liberty,” which are privacy, free movement, unlimited knowledge, truthfulness and free discussion (allowing criticism).


Island  –  Novel by Aldous Huxley

Island is the final book in a series of utopian science-fiction commentaries by polymath Aldous Huxley, published in 1962. It advocates peaceful harmonious living with Nature in a blending satire of Eastern and Western ideologies and traditional ways of life. The plot is an exploration of the Island of Pala by an outsider named Will Farnaby, a cynical journalist who is shipwrecked on the utopian island of Pala. The main conflict is internal corruption by foreign greed, as Pala is confronted by modern commercial Capitalism.



Beatniks “The Beat Generation”

Posted in Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Individuals / Members / Monsters / Creative Writing, Philosophy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 13, 2011 by Drogo

The Beat Movement: Beats and Beatniks

Beatniks (or Beats) are counter-culture bohemians born from a reaction to the 1950’s. The word ‘Beatnik’ is a combination of “The Beats” (from Jack Kerouac’s “The Beat Generation”) and the Russian suffix “nik” (as in Sputnik). The term ‘Beat’ as “beaten, down-trodden, tired” came first, derived from the street slang used from 1910-48. Because of the Communist association, the label “Beatnik” was derogatory when used by the mainstream ‘Red Scare’ automatons.

If the mundane mainstream 1950’s were cookie-cutter suburbanites, where men wore suits and talked straight, and women had bee-hive hairdos and talked innocent; then the Beats were trying to break out of that box by any means. According to the mainstream that means was by drugs, violence, and communism. According to actual Beats, being Beat was a state of mind; which by thinking different just so happened to also often led to dressing different, being around jazz music, being a free thinking poet, an artist, and feeling alive. Being Beat can also be described as being in rhythm with the Beat of Life, or playing off of it. “Everyone plays to the beat of a different drum”.

The Beatnik style can include: sunglasses, berets, turtle necks, goatees, congo drums, coffee, smoking, jive talk slang, abstract poetry about a zeitgeist, zen satori attitude, bumming, hitch-hiking, fast talking, fast cars, fast women, beat-up cars, artsy clothing, black clothing, and an open mind. Some famous Beatniks included: Allen Ginsburg, Alan Watts, Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady, Ken Kesey, Gregory Corso, Herbert Hunke, Lucien Carr, William S. Burroughs, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Ken Kesey formed the Merry Pranksters in 1964 with Tom Wolfe, Ken Babbs, Neal Cassady, Carolyn Garcia, Wavy Gravy, Paul Krassner, Stewart Brand, Del Close, Paul Foster, and the Kentucky Fab Five authors. The Merry Pranksters were an occasion in the 1960’s where Hippies were led by Beatniks.

The Beatnik Movement became characterized as a superficial fashion trend, a fate similar to the Hippie Movement of the 1960’s (Peaceniks). Just as with other serious movements, there are still many Beatniks who may not even call themselves Beatnik because of the negative associations with the word, but many of the attributes of the movement are a way of life for them. Some cats are square, and some cool cats are like hipsters, ya dig? Beatniks are people that are just totally Beat, man.

Note:  The term “Bohemian” was used to refer to alternative artists, dancers, writers, actors, and musicians much earlier. Bohémien’ was a common term for the Romani gypsies of France, who had reached Western Europe from Bohemia. In the early 19th century working classes became better documented, so we know all types of bohemians lived in low-rent, lower class gypsy or mixed-ethnic neighborhoods. Bohemians practiced unconventional lifestyles; including hermits, vagabonds, prostitutes, prophets, gypsies, hippies, or beats.

Harpers Ferry Literature

Posted in Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels, Individuals / Members / Monsters / Creative Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 11, 2010 by Drogo

Harpers Ferry Literature is dedicated to publishing those that want their work published without the hassle of paying agents and submitting endless sacrifices to big publishing companies. The time has come that us little people can have our work published, without big bucks. Based in the spirit of sharing with neighbors that we have in Harpers Ferry, WV; this concept of publishing is open to all applicants around the world.


Must be your own work, or the work of someone that wants you to publish it for them.

Must give full application information requested.

Yes it can be writing from any year, any style, any genre, and any reading level from anywhere in the World.

Yes you retain copyright as the noted author of your piece, allowing for unlimited printing of our book, but contributing authors do not receive any royalties.

Yes you and others will be able to order copies directly from and




1. Full Name (for publishing credits)

2. Contact information

3. “I permit my work (as submitted to you) to be published by ‘HF Literature’, for unlimited printing.”

4. Optional personal or work info (Biographical blurbs)

5. Attach or paste the work you want published.

Note: Once your work is published, it will not be unpublished because of individuals that change their minds. Like a tattoo, consider the work permanent once it is published. Also like a tattoo, you as the author can always make more in other locations, even copies of the same one. If there is a chance you will regret it, simply do not publish.

Cost of Publishing: Currently there is no cost to the authors for publishing in this book. However if you would like to send a donation to ensure your work is published, simply make this known in your application, and we will work out the details.


Thank you for your interest!

Publisher: Walton Stowell II

Sponsored by SCOD.