“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Hell: Another Book

 ...along with The Stuff of Life, I'm working on quite a different kind of book. Different, I mean, from every other one I've published. I really didn't know for whom I was writing it, which is a first, and come to think of it, I really didn't know what I was writing either! 

This isn't showing off. I write like I sneeze. Often I've had a thought just before I type it. Occasionally I've had thoughts simultaneous with typing them. 

But a lot of this book, I kid you not, was typed before I thought the idea. I know people describe writing as a form of reading (I do), but this was ridiculous. Like reading someone else. 

It's a book I've written "with" William Blake. "About" seemed wrong. I've been trying to write a "Blake book" since I was nineteen. it took me until last year to figure out that "about" wouldn't work. How could I sit in judgment, however slight, over Blake? Or, how could I write a book filled with the verbal equivalent of arrows: "Now check out this line, it's totally rad!" 

Besides, this is a book about the underworld. OOO believes that everything has an underworld. Having an underworld, come to think of it, is a prerequisite to existing at all. 

Underworlds require a guide. It's true in Homer, Virgil, Dante, Milton and Blake himself. And any number of religious traditions such as the rolog tradition in Tibet, where people give accounts of near-death experiences. 

And I have a companion too: Laura Mvula, my absolutely very very favorite contemporary lyricist and singer. Much analysis of her work in here. 

It's called Hell: How to Dance with the Devil on Your Back

Race is a foundational topic. Race and ecology. 

Columbia University Press love it, in fact they loved on it harder than anyone on anything else I've ever done. 

They say that among many other things, it's actual theology. (!!!!!) They're going to promote it in all kinds of religious fora along with the regular ones. 

Yeah, this is my Fragile Absolute

Expect more and more on this. I'm really really into it. 

The subtitle is from: 

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