Dear dedicated readers of Five 2 One,
This is my first recommendations column and as such, I will refer you to a few things worth that I believe are worth reading. But, before I get to some goodies I’ve found around the net and a couple of books, let me just introduce you to my two current reading obsessions that I am slowly consuming and savoring, bit by bit.
First up is Christopher Norris’ Hilary Putnam Realism, reason and the uses of uncertainty. I came across Hilary Putnam while listening to The Partially Examined Life podcast. I was at work and looking for something to listen to about the philosophy of language that wasn’t about Wittgenstein. Since then I’ve been digging more and more into Putnam who has a deep understanding of Gottlob Frege and Samuel Kripke. In this book, Norris, breaks Putnam down into a few different sections and then picks away at each section by dealing with the subject matter as Putnam did in the various stages of his philosophical life. Putnam was interesting in that he didn’t mind returning to an idea and vigorously disagreeing with it later and then possibly even re-agreeing at another point later on. As a philosopher he might have been a flip-flopper but in doing so he crafted new ways of devaluing meaning and thus putting emphasis on understanding intensions and how this all relates to an internal realism. I, as a fervent disliker of Wittgenstein, Putnam comes along as a prophet with more than enough knowledge to take down Ludgwig as necessary.
Second up is Jean Baudrillard’s Cool Memories IV 1995-2000. If Baudrillard took to twitter, this is what he’d sound like as constructed in quick notes and memos on the world surrounding him and even the occasional insight into the real Jean, living his life. Always interesting and sometimes problematic but eye-opening. I have a sincere appreciation of diaries and as such, this is one the best I read.
Now, onto to some newer stuff worth taking a look at.
I’ll begin with Binti by Nnedi Okorafor. This book has won the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award for best novella so I won’t try to sell you too hard on it but to say if you somehow skipped over this one, then you missed out big time. Sci-fi isn’t always my thing especially when it comes to off-world and space-based afrofuturism but Binti was born with “mathematical sight” and I am here for that.
Oddly enough, my next pick also sends us to space which where the event takes place in Catalyst Prime. This is the origin story comic written by Priest and Joe Illidge which sets in motion a whole universe of comics written by writers such as David Walker (Shaft) and Amy Chu (Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death). If you’re looking to get away from the big two comic book companies and support POC writers, the Catalyst Prime universe is for you. You can start by reading the initial comic for free on Kindle and then follow up with Noble, Superb, Accel, Kino, Astonisher, Incidentals and Summit. All available from Lion Forge.
To bring us back to earth, I hope you’ll take a look at Martine Syms’ The Mundane Afrofuturist Manifesto (http://martinesyms.com/the-mundane-afrofuturist-manifesto) which brings us to a more realistic view of the future:
The undersigned, being alternately pissed off and bored, need a means of speculation and asserting a different set of values with which to re-imagine the future. In looking for a new framework for black diasporic artistic production, we are temporarily united in the following actions.
The Mundane Afrofuturists recognize that:
We did not originate in the cosmos.
The connection between Middle Passage and space travel is tenuous at best.
For fans of poetry, I have been all about Agnes Martin’s Captain Fly’s Bucket List. This volume includes some very serious wordplay and linguistic structuring along with a metering and rhythmic lyricism not often seen in a lot of “experimental” poetry. Yet, it is also deeply emotive at times.
(Pre-) (Post-) Tremor. Power is shifting,
joins and separates. Grief:
items trapped in the door might cause delay.
What’s there to miss? No time to explain.
Nothing left but the soothing speed
to replace lif-laffing around.
Turbulence sometimes is a balm.
And finally, some stuff from around the internet:
On instagram there’s:
@poetryamano where you can read some of José Angel Araguz’s wonderful erasure poems.
@zaharaesque, you can read the distilled and poignant poetry of Scherezade Siobhan such as:
i sleep quilted in your timezone
i comb through your sunsign
before mine in the daily horoscope
@mandydesandra check out a little erotic and bizarro poetics by Mandy de Sandra.
At Obsidian (https://obsidianlit.org/from-home-is-a-collaboration-by-laura-goldstein-and-nikki-wallshlaeger-experiments-in-joy/) we get a sample from Laura Goldstein & Nikki Wallshlaeger’s home is a collaboration.
she congratulates mothering in all its forms. in the next sentence she says the planet is far too back so the plant books dominate since their reasoning is that no one wants a communist bookstore. plants are the safest way to start a conversation, i guess. especially today. the phones will be busy discussing which daughter spent the most money on floral arrangement caterers, and which victory garden has the best social connections.
Finally, if you missed it, Moss Angel gives us this excerpt and so much more in the new issue of Dreginald (http://dreginald.com/index.php/issues/issue-twelve):
<someone>: They will wake up & this will be over. This time will be lost to them & they will come out of it in pain & beauty.
Sea-Witch: & fucking.
<someone>: Eventually, yes.
Sea-Witch: But there are limits.
<someone>: There are so many limits. We’re trying to make fewer limits. I mean sometimes we are trying to make more, but most of the time we are trying to make fewer.
Thanks for reading and enjoy. I’ll be back in a couple weeks with more for you to check out so you’ll never miss out.
The struggle is surreal,
Kenyatta JP Garcia