Archive for the ‘R J Dent’s essays’ Category

A Collaboration of Unlike Minds: William Blake’s and Robert Graves’ The Tyger by R J Dent

April 15, 2016

 

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The Tiger

 

Tiger tiger burning bright

In the forests of the night

What immortal hand or eye

Could frame thy fearful symmetry

 

In what distant deeps or skies

Burnt the fire of thine eyes

On what wings dared he aspire

What the hand dared seize the fire

 

And what shoulder and what art

Could twist the sinews of thy heart

Did he smile his work to see

Did he who made the lamb make thee

 

Tiger tiger burning bright

In the forests of the night

What immortal hand or eye

Dared frame thy fearful symmetry

 

Robert Graves

 

Even the most cursory glance will reveal some fundamental differences between the above two poems. Graves’ rewrite came about due to a number of flaws he felt existed in Blake’s poem. He writes of these in ‘Tyger, Tyger’, an essay collected in The Crane Bag and Other Disputed Subjects. In the essay, Graves is particularly scathing of Blake’s tendency to mix his tenses, remain ‘imprecise and ambiguous’, ‘grammatically incoherent’ and to not care about the rhetorical focus of the poem.

More importantly, however, Graves neglects at any time to mention that he has ‘made his own arrangement of The Tyger’. After interviewing Graves, Christopher Burstall claims that Graves’ ‘arrangement’ includes ‘cutting out two verses and putting the whole poem in the past tense’, so that it is grammatically correct and more structurally cohesive. Read more…

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A Collaboration of Unlike Minds: Robert Graves’ and William Blake’s The Tyger

Copyright © R J Dent (2007 & 2016)

 

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An Untitled Piece of Writing by R J Dent

April 4, 2016

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Text:

 

Huh nee… mm mm… ow ryu…hrn ee… yeh… mm hm… mtu… ths gd… wzs tht thn… bh cs… mmm… i fl lk… mm mm… skn… lkn… fkn… yr ck… yd oo dyr… ys iyd oo… wl i fl lk lkn… skn… fkn… yr cn t… du yu rly… yr id oo… mm… ino… hm hm… yu wn tha… ym mm… oh… an tha… mmm… ye ye… oka… thn dw tha… ohh… fme… yeh… mmm… thas fkn byu tfl… oh… oh oh… ye… ye… yeh… jee sus… yr fkn lv lee… ah… nd yr fkn lv lee tu… ah… tk dty tu me… hwd ym een… kmon y no… dty wds… tht srt oth ng… oka… bnd ovr bch… oh… oka… nw gwon… sprd m wd… oh… f me… mm mm… gw on bby… pt yr fce thr… mm mm… thas t… stk yr tng rt upt… ths t… o yh… gwon… lkit… hrd… ye ye… o… ye… dwit fm ee… sy mr dty wds… whl i sk yu… yu va lvl ee cnt… a byu tfl… lv lee… tst ee cnt… o… ar… yss… sy mr… cll m… nms… y slt… ah yss… mr… y byu tfl fkn lvl ee chp sl te hr… o yss… ths it… n ow… rm tn… yra… byu tfl… fkn bch… hhh… ng… gg… cl me a byu tfl hr gn… yu byu tfl fkn hr… lv lee… lv yu… lv yr boh dee… suh byu tfl… hr… oh ye… oh yeh… k moh vrm ee… k minm ee… ths it…. yeh o… ah… oh… ah… oh… yss… ll vu… gv… it… t… me… hrd… slm tn… aa… aa… ys… fk… fk… ah… fk hrd rr… ys… ys… fk m… fk m… ohh hhh… yssss… hg gh… hh hg gh… yaa… yaa… hg… gh… fr… haaa… huhu… hu… yehh… mmm hmm… hmm mmm… yu ka ym… mm… me tu…

 

 

Commentary:

 

And so, if you should happen to find writing of the type that is taking up the space above these expositional lines, examine it carefully for what sort of text it might be – and what it might be doing. Does it have a purpose? A meaning? Are there any messages in it? Is it of any practical use? Do we learn anything from it? Is it English (Standard, I mean)? Does it conform to the grammatical and lexical rules we all know so well? If not, why not? Read more…

An Untitled Piece of Writing

Copyright © R J Dent (2016)

 

 

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Voodoo Excess (Rolling with the Stones) by Jeremy Reed

April 21, 2015

 

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Voodoo Excess

(Rolling with the Stones)

by Jeremy Reed

with an introduction by R J Dent

 

Voodoo Excess, Jeremy Reed’s latest collection, is a history of the Rolling Stones in verse, prose and prose-poetry.

In Voodoo Excess, Jeremy Reed chronicles the Stones’ progress from the early days at the Crawdaddy Club in 1962 to the fiftieth anniversary in 2012; he explicates Mick Jagger’s dance steps and his accent; he examines the Rolling Stones’ logo; and the different ways Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood angle their cigarettes; he describes the emotional impact of the Stones’ Hyde Park performance; he details the Redlands bust and the anti-establishment stance and attitude of the band; and he looks unflinchingly at the violence of Altamont and the inevitable death of the summer of love.

Voodoo Excess is far more than a Rolling Stones biography and it is far more than a collection of Rolling Stones-themed poems and prose-poems – what Jeremy Reed has achieved with Voodoo Excess is to provide an incredibly in-depth, up-close and intimate chronicle of the life and times of a group of musicians who have – for fifty years – collectively and individually continued to define the term ‘rock and roll rebels’.

 

Product details:

Title: Voodoo Excess

Author: Jeremy Reed

Format: Paperback

Pages: 224 pages

Publisher: Enitharmon Press

Published: 12 June 2015

ISBN-10: 1907587500

ISBN-13: 978-1907587504

 

Contents

INTRODUCTION: The Rolling Stones and Jeremy Reed (by R J Dent)

PART 1 – THE GREATEST ROCK AND ROLL BAND IN THE WORLD

PART 2 – THE BRIAN JONES YEARS: 1962–1969

PART 3 – THE MICK TAYLOR YEARS: 1969–74

PART 4 – MEMORABILIA/BONUS MATERIAL

PART 5 – THE RONNIE WOOD YEARS: 1975–

 

Voodoo Excess is available at:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Voodoo-Excess-Jeremy-Reed/dp/1907587500

and at:

http://www.amazon.com/Voodoo-Excess-Jeremy-Reed/dp/1907587500

and at:

https://www.waterstones.com/book/voodoo-excess/jeremy-reed/9781907587504

 

Follow Jeremy Reed’s work on http://www.jeremyreed.co.uk/

Follow R J Dent’s work on:

Website: http://www.rjdent.com/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/R.-J.-Dent/e/B0034Q3RD4

Blog: https://rjdent.wordpress.com/

twitter: https://twitter.com/RJDent

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rjdentwriter

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 LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/r-j-dent-29a8a724?trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

 

Sade: Sex and Death – The Divine Marquis and the Surrealists (translated by R J Dent)

August 22, 2014

 

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SADE: SEX and DEATH

The Divine Marquis and the Surrealists

Edited by Candice Black

Cover Art: René Magritte – La Gâcheuse (The Bungler) 1935

Translated into English by R J Dent

 

“SADE IS SURREALIST IN SADISM”

André Breton, Surrealist Manifesto (1924)

 

The Marquis de Sade (1740–1814), best known for his violent, erotic novels, such as 120 Days of Sodom and Justine, was also one of the key inspirational figures identified by André Breton in his Surrealist Manifestos. De Sade’s importance to the Surrealists and their close affiliates is reflected in the sheer volume of art and writing dedicated to, or inspired by, his life, philosophy, and writings. Sade documents this body of Surrealist work, including many key texts and bizarre and erotic images never before assembled in one volume.  Included in Sade: Sex and Death are more than fifty rarely seen transgressive illustrations by some of the most famous names associated with Surrealism, including Dalí, Hans Bellmer, Magritte, André Masson, and Man Ray. The book also features analytical texts by writers of the period such as Bataille, Breton, Bunuel, Eluard, and Klossowski.

 

Also included is the first-ever English translation (by R J Dent) of ‘The Divine Marquis’ by Guillaume Apollinaire, which was the first modernist appraisal of Sade and remains one of the best concise biographies of its subject, and “Sade and the Roman Noir” by scholar Maurice Heine, in which Heine posits Sade as inventor of the gothic novel. Putting the works in context is an extensive history by Candice Black that details the relationship between the Surrealists and Sade.

 

The Marquis de Sade was one of the key figures identified by André Breton in his Surrealist Manifestos as inspirational to the whole Surrealist movement. Sade’s importance to the Surrealists and their close affiliates is reflected in the sheer volume of their art and writing dedicated to, or inspired by, his life, philosophy and work.

 

Sade: Sex and Death documents this body of work, and features many key texts as well as a host of bizarre and erotic Surrealist images never before assembled in one volume.

 

Including texts, paintings, photography and drawings by: Guillaume Apollinaire, Georges Bataille, Hans Bellmer, André Breton, Luis Buñuel, Salvador Dalí, Robert Desnos , Paul Eluard, Max Ernst, Leonor Fini, Maurice Heine, Valentine Hugo, Pierre Klossowski, Felix Labisse, René Magritte, André Masson, Roberto Matta, Man Ray, Toyen, Clovis Trouille and others.

 

CONTENTS

 

Candice Black: Sade and Surrealism: An Illustrated History

Guillaume Apollinaire: The Divine Marquis (Trans. R J Dent)

Georges Bataille: The Use Value of De Sade (Trans. Allan Stoekl)    

Maurice Heine: De Sade and the Gothic Novel (Trans. R J Dent)

Pierre Klossowski: A Destructive Philosophy

Andre Masson: Notes on the Sadistic Imagination (Trans. R J Dent)        

Paul Eluard: Sade: A Revolutionary Intelligence (Trans. R J Dent)

 

SOLAR EROTIK ARCHIVE:

 

SADE: SEX and DEATH

The Divine Marquis and the Surrealists

Edited by Candice Black

Translated into English by R J Dent

ISBN-13: 978-0-9820464-9-4

 

Available from:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sade-Divine-Marquis-Surrealists-Archive/dp/0982046499

http://www.amazon.com/Sade-Divine-Marquis-Surrealists-Archive/dp/0982046499

http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/distributed/S/bo11334062.html

http://www.solarbooks.org/solar-titles/sadesexanddeath.html

 

www.rjdent.com

 

Credit Where Credit’s Due by R J Dent

May 15, 2012

 R J Dent’s article on plagiarism – based on a real incident.

 

 

Plagiarism may be a dirty word, but there’s always someone ready to steal it…

(Note: The names of the musicians, groups and albums in this article have been changed in order to avoid anyone being libeled.)

It’s every writer’s dream: the brilliant and famous singer of the world’s greatest group gets in touch with you and says: “We’re writing a new album, so can you help us with the lyrics?” You’ve started to make a bit of a name for yourself with your writing, so you graciously accept the offer, and within a year you are fully valued, recognized and rewarded (artistically, philosophically, spiritually, socially and financially) for your ability to write perfect and succinct lyrics on important subjects.

That’s the summary of a dream of many aspiring poets/lyricists.

That’s nothing like the version that happened to me.

First of all, it wasn’t anywhere grand, like backstage at the O2 Arena, Earl’s Court, or even the MAN for that matter. No, this was an introduction by a friend in a café. Read more...

 

R J Dent says: ‘Credit Where Credit’s Due is a cautionary tale, based on a real event.’

Credit Where Credit’s Due was recently published in Writer’s Muse.

 

 

Credit Where Credit’s Due

Copyright © R J Dent (2010 & 2016)

 

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Website: http://www.rjdent.com/

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The King Pearl Divers by R J Dent

December 13, 2009

 

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My title refers to a small group of people who, here on Hawaii, dive for ‘King Pearls’. These rare pearls are a bluish-grey colour and are about twice the size and value of the largest one on your Auntie Winnie’s favourite pearl necklace. Last year, oceanographers predicted that the king pearl oysters would settle in the territorial waters of Hawaii in December, ready to be harvested at the beginning of this year. January in Hawaii is hot.

I arranged an interview with one of the King Pearl divers. Despite my reservations, it was scheduled to take place on a desolate beach at an ungodly hour of the morning. I arrived early, sat and watched the sunrise, then saw my interviewee arrive. He was Lukie, a 19 year old who had been a King Pearl diver since he was 10. Although he had agreed to the interview, I noticed that he was, at first, slightly reticent. When I asked him if this was because of pre-dive nerves, his face broke into a huge grin and he suddenly looked ten years old again.

“There’s no such thing,” he said. Sometimes, when particularly animated, he managed to look very young. At other times, especially when talking about some of the other King Pearl divers, he seemed to age by about twenty years. I asked him what the attraction of diving for the King Pearls held for him. Read more…

 

The King Pearl Divers

Copyright © R J Dent (2009 & 2016)

 

Painting: The Pearl Diver by Carol UK

Copyright © www.caroluk.org/gallery/page148.html

 

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The Short Story by R J Dent

March 22, 2009


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A brief look at the history of the short story

Traditionally, the short story is a fictional prose tale of non-specified length, although a story of more than 20,000 words is usually considered to be a novella, a novelette or a short novel. The short story is generally too short to be published as a volume on its own, as in the case of the novel or the play. Dramatically, the short story usually concentrates on a single event involving only one or two characters. Here then, is a brief history of the beginnings of the short story as a recognized literary form.

The world’s oldest extant short story is Chabuki Yun’s Hop Ten Yato, usually translated as Green Tea. This 5000 word Chinese folk story is believed to have been written by Chabuki in 1100BC. Green Tea concerns itself with the meetings which take place between a princess and a Genji. The steam of the green tea of the title is the medium by which the Genji visits the princess and informs her of other-worldly realms. The princess grows weary of her day-to-day existence and of her Earth-bound form and decides to leave them behind.

“There is still so much to be done. Things cannot continue as they are for much longer. This world of ours must change!” Princess Hitami paused, and then announced: “No! We must change!” Read more…

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R J Dent says: ‘The Short Story is an experiment. It’s an essay about the short story that just happens to be a short story; it’s a fiction in the form of an essay (a fictional essay), or it’s a non-fiction short story. It’s a hybrid form of writing – part essay/part short story. I wanted to push fiction to its limit, to lower the threshold to the floor in terms of what can be done with the short story form. My initial idea was to write a history of the short story – and to make the whole thing fictional, with the appearance of it being factual – which is why I used the essay form as the mode of presentation. Readers generally accept the essay – the most fictional form of writing – as the most factual; the most truthful; the most non-fictional. I thought I’d use that acceptance to tell a story.’

 

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Violence and Exquisite Beauty in Roy Campbell’s Poetry by R J Dent

March 15, 2009

 

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Many of the biographical details of Roy Campbell’s life have contributed to his exquisitely beautiful poetry being willfully ignored by most of the publishing world.

In her introduction to Campbell’s translations of the poems of St John of the Cross, Campbell’s wife, Mary states:

‘The violent side of his character was used as a cloak for a vulnerable, contemplative soul. The tough soldier, the crack shot, the jouster, the convivial story-teller were all so many masks covering the retiring, gentle, creative spirit from a too brutal contact with everyday life.’

This claim is in some way confirmed by a close look at Campbell’s poetry and translations, rather than by reading any of the available biographies. Read more…

 

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R J Dent says: ‘In my opinion, Roy Campbell’s poetry deserves much wider recognition that it currently receives. Campbell is a gifted poet, and a sensitive translator of the work of others, especially Baudelaire, Lorca and St. John of the Cross.’

 

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 Violence and Exquisite Beauty in Roy Campbell’s Poetry

Copyright © R J Dent (2007 & 2016)

 

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The Life, Death and Afterlife of Richard Bachman by R J Dent

March 12, 2009

Richard Bachman

A study of Richard Bachman, Stephen King’s dead alter-ego.

 It is now fairly common knowledge that best-selling horror novelist Stephen King sometimes uses the pseudonym Richard Bachman for publishing his novels. So far, the novels Rage, Roadwork, The Long Walk, The Running Man, Thinner, The Regulators and Blaze have all been published by King as Richard Bachman.

Long before Stephen King’s “official” first novel, Carrie was published he had written two novels called Getting It On and The Long Walk, which he couldn’t quite manage to get published. After the successes of Carrie and ’Salem’s Lot, King (obviously in a stronger position) decided to resurrect what he considered were his other good books.

On the advice of his publishers, who cautioned King on the dangers of over-saturating the market, Getting It On (renamed Rage) was published under the pseudonym of Richard Bachman, and a new author was born. Read more…

Richard Bachman

R J Dent says: ‘I wrote The Life, Death and Afterlife of Richard Bachman because I was intrigued by the way Richard Bachman started out as a simple pseudonym and evolved into a semi-living person with his own life and death and posthumous ‘story’; his own biography that was carefully constructed/ invented/ created by King; and finally, his own (ongoing) bibliography. In many ways, Richard Bachman is Stephen King’s most fully realised character.’

 

Books by Richard Bachman:

Rage

The Long Walk

Roadworks

The Running Man

Thinner

The Regulators

Blaze

 

The Life, Death and Afterlife of Richard Bachman

Copyright © R J Dent (2009 & 2016)

 

The Life, Death and Afterlife of Richard Bachman

Copyright © R J Dent (2007 & 2015)

 

Follow R J Dent’s work on:

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J G Ballard and the Fiction of Enclosed Space by R J Dent

March 12, 2009

 

J G Ballard

J G Ballard

 

How incarceration as a child affected JG Ballard’s fiction.

 

It wasn’t until the publication of his novel, Empire of the Sun – and its subsequent adaptation to film by Stephen Spielberg – that the literary world started to take notice of J.G. Ballard.

Prior to that, he’d been erroneously regarded as a science fiction author – therefore not a “serious” writer. Either that, or he was labeled “pulp author with a cult following” – and therefore not a “serious” writer. Ballard has, however, always been a serious writer. Prophetic too.

Of course, now that Ballard writes novels that appear to be more “naturalistic” than they were prior to Empire of the Sun, the literary establishment regularly lauds him. “The science fiction writer who came in from the cold,” was how one critic described him. Despite this change in the attitude of critics, there is no discernible change in Ballard’s modus operandi; his fiction is still concerned with the themes it’s always been concerned with; Ballard’s subject matter is still uniquely his own – and he still writes about what he knows best – enclosed space. Read more…

 

J G Ballard and the Fiction of Enclosed Space

Copyright © R J Dent (2009)

 

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