marți, 22 decembrie 2009

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! LA MULTI ANI!


THANKS

The editorial staff of the LITERARY & CONTEMPORARY HORIZON magazine wishes to give thanks to all its collaborators and readers for the interest and support shown in 2009.
The staff also wishes to give special thanks to the following collaborators and readers of this (multi) cultural magazine, people who have provided us with their constant moral support, subscriptions and donations:
From the U.K.: CAROLINE GILL (Swansea), PETER HART (Cambridge)
From France: HELENE GLEHEN (Paris), MATHIEU MERCIER (Lyon)
From Romania : ELISABETA ISANOS (Bucharest), DORINA GACI (Constanţa), TATIANA RĂDULESCU (Bucharest), ALINA-OLIMPIA MIRON (Bucharest)
From the U.S.A : MARY DENISE COSTELLO (Dallas), LAUREN HAWKINS (Philadelphia)
Thanks to them, we have had nine issues this year, issues which have reached our readers, more than 1600, only two months after the magazine’s website had been launched again. For those who don’t know, we’d like to mention that, although professionally, consistently and honestly promoting cultural Romanian and European values, in an official agreement with the University of Bucharest, the LITERARY & CONTEMPORARY HORIZON magazine does not benefit from any subsidies from any Romanian or European cultural institutions.
Our collaborators and readers are our most precious capital, constantly making our cultural actions worthwhile, actions which we will continue with every available means in the year to come. The magazine’s editorial staff thanks you and wishes you all HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Daniel Dragomirescu, Editor-in-Chief of LITERARY & CONTEMPORARY HORIZON
________________________________________

MULŢUMIRI

Redacţia revistei “Orizont Literar Contemporan” adresează calde mulţumiri tuturor colaboratorilor şi cititorilor săi, pentru interesul cu care au urmărit şi susţinut revista în cursul anului 2009.
Redacţia revistei le mulţumeşte în mod special următorilor colaboratori şi cititori care, pe lângă sprijinul lor moral constant, au susţinut proiectul (multi)cultural al publicaţiei prin abonamente şi donaţii:
Din Marea Britanie: CAROLINE GILL (Swansea), PETER HART (Cambridge)
Din Franţa: HELENE GLEHEN (Paris), MATHIEU MERCIER (Lyon)
Din România: ELISABETA ISANOS (Bucureşti), DORINA GACI (Constanţa), TATIANA RĂDULESCU (Bucureşti), ALINA-OLIMPIA MIRON (Bucureşti)
Din Statele Unite ale Americii: MARY DENISE COSTELLO (Dallas), LAUREN HAWKINS (Philadelphia)
Datorită lor revista “Orizont Literar Contemporan” a putut avea 9 apariţii în cursul acestui an, de care au beneficiat cei peste 1600 de cititori, câti numără în prezent revista noastră, la numai două luni de la relansarea sa pe website. Facem precizarea, pentru cei care nu stiu, ca deşi promovează în mod profesionist, consecvent şi onest valorile culturale româneşti şi europene şi are un acord oficial de parteneriat cu Universitatea din Bucureşti, revista “Orizont Literar Contemporan” nu beneficiază de nici o subvenţie din partea nici unei instituţii de cultură din România sau din Uniunea Europeană.
Colaboratorii şi cititorii revistei “Orizont Literar Contemporan” sunt capitalul nostru cel mai preţios şi ne oferă sentimentul legitimităţii acţiunii noastre culturale, pe care o vom continua cu toate mijloacele disponibile în anul care vine. Tuturor echipa redacţionala a revistei “Orizont Literar Contemporan” le adresează un sincer şi calduros LA MULŢI ANI!

Daniel Dragomirescu, redactor-şef al revistei “Orizont Literar Contemporan”

sâmbătă, 19 decembrie 2009

CONTEMPORARY HORIZON MAGAZINE - SPECIAL CHRISTMAS ISSUE


CONTENTS

Caroline Gill (United Kingdom) – “Welsh Dialogues (3)”
Mike Essig (UNITED STATES) – “Two Poems for Two Poets”
Mathieu Mercier (FRANCE) – “Neither Flourishes Nor Big Words”
Rolando Pulido (CUBA-UNITED STATES) – “Cuban Diaspora and Democracy”
Venkata Ramanan (INDIA) – “Communism Needed, a More Humane One”
Tatiana Rădulescu (ROMANIA) – “In Don Quixote’s Shadow”
William Jackson (AUSTRALIA) – “Life by Remote Control”
Burt Rashbaum (UNITED STATES) – “The Indifferent Sun”
Marina Centeno (MEXICO) – “The Oppression of Rain”
Daniel D. Peaceman (ROMANIA) – “Logos and Poetry”
Katerina Kostaki (GREECE) – “The Great Journey of Artists into Eternity”
Michelle Brooks (UNITED STATES) – “The Last Days of Our Pompeii”
Mark Murphy (UNITED KINGDOM) – “Conversation Between the Heron and the Holy Man, Rasputin”
and other poems
Abhimanyu Shankhdar (INDIA) – “The Three Legged Travesty”
Ernest Williamson III (UNITED STATES) – “Today, Afternoon & After Class” and other poems
Mihai Cantuniari (ROMANIA) – “Their Unique Way” and other poems
Don Riggs (UNITED STATES) – “Craving” and other poems
Biola Olatunde (NIGERIA) – “Oronshen, the Venus of Owo”
Wayne Visser (SOUTH AFRICA & UNITED KINGDOM) – EURAFRICA (poems)
Vinisha Nambiar (INDIA) – “Brave-Heart”
Marius Ştefan Aldea (ROMANIA) – “Mail to My Friends” and other poems
Allan Stevo (SLOVAKIA) – “The Jingling of Keys”
Rita Dahl (FINLAND) – “Last Melancholic”
________________________________

56 PAGES, 17 TRANSLATORS AND 32 AUTHORS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD

PRICE PER COPY (SHIPPING INCLUDED): ONLY 8 EUROS, VIA WESTERN UNION

BUY NOW! THE INDEPENDENT JOURNAL "CONTEMPORARY HORIZON" NEEDS MORAL AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM ITS FOLLOWERS (CONTRIBUTORS, READERS, CULTURAL DONORS)

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"CONTEMPORARY HORIZON" - A MULTICULTURAL MAGAZINE FOR ALL VALUABLE READERS

marți, 15 decembrie 2009

LYRIC HORIZONS: DON RIGGS (UNITED STATES)


RAFINAMENT ŞI FORŢĂ EXPRESIVĂ
Don Riggs este un poet de un rafinament aparte, şi în egală măsură un artist înzestrat cu o forţă expresivă care nu poate rezulta decât din talentul şi din forţa personalităţii sale. Revista “Orizont literar contemporan” găzduieşte, în numărul special pe lunile noiembrie-decembrie 2009, o selecţie din creaţia sa literară, din care le oferim cititorilor de pe internet ai revistei noastre acest text reprezentativ. (Daniel Dragomirescu)

REFINMENT AND FORCE OF EXPRESSION
Don Riggs is both a poet whose work displays a special refinement and an artist endowed with a force of expression which can't stem but from the talent and force of his personality. “Orizont literar contemporan” / “Contemporary (Literary) Horizon” magazine is publishing a selection from his literary creation in the special issue for November-December 2009, a selection from which we offer our Internet readers a representative fragment. (Alina-Olimpia Miron)
_______________________________________

CRAVING

Concupiscence means having a little
Cupid inside each of us, even when
we’ve just been born, desiring what we’ve just
been jerked from, maybe, or the very first
fruits hanging to slake our thirst, which we had
never known before, back when we were in
the Garden where we had no needs, unless
our mother, the universe herself, did.

So now we’ve had to improvise techniques
from foraging to gardening to field
work to hydroponics to distilling
brandy from fruit juice and whiskey from grain
and sticky black resin from alkoloids
in flowers refined into heroin.

But what about the yearning for union
with the divine? the abnegation of
the self, the body, the will – unless it’s
will that drives one to fast, ignore hunger
– or, better, to focus on that feeling
like a flame the chela gazes into,
subtly shifting, not too brilliant, a bit
of blue or even blackness near the wick.

Exempla abound: the nun who only
ate one consecrated wafer a week,
the guru who must have had chlorophyll
in his epidermis, living on air,
sunlight, and moisture that dripped in his cave.
The hiker who froze to death in winter.

___________________________

INSAŢIETATE

Concupiscenţa înseamnă să avem în noi
un mic Cupidon, chiar şi-atunci
când abia-am fost născuţi, cu dorinţa
să fi fost smuciţi poate. Sau ca
primele fructe coapte să ne-astâmpere setea
ce n-am mai cunoscut, atunci când eram
în Grădina unde n-aveam nevoie de nimic, doar dacă
mama noastră, universul însuşi, avea nevoie de ceva.

Aşa c-acum a trebuit să improvizăm tehnici
de la a săpa la a planta la a munci
pământul la a creşte artificial la a distila
coniac din suc de fructe şi whiskey din grâne
şi răşină neagră greţoasă din alcaloide
în flori rafinate în heroină.

Cum rămâne cu dorul de uniune
cu divinul? Cu abnegaţia sinelui,
a trupului, a dorinţei – doar dacă nu cumva
dorinţa ne-ndeamnă la abstinenţă, la ignorarea hranei

sau şi mai bine la surprinderea intensă a acelei senzaţii
precum o flacără spre care priveşte chela
foindu-se abia simţit, nu prea aprinsă,
cu mucul albăstriu şi chiar negru.

Exemple din belşug: călugăriţa
ce mânca o singură napolitană sfinţită pe săptămână,
un guru care pesemne c-avea clorofilă
în epidermă, care trăia cu aer,
cu soare, cu lâncezeala ce i se scurgea din căpăţână.
Alpinistul ce-a îngheţat iarna de viu.

Romanian version: Sînziana MIHALACHE

marți, 8 decembrie 2009

THESES AND ANTITHESES


Two collaborators of the Literary & Contemporary Horizon magazine have sent several texts for publication, texts which are partially reproduced here. The first essay belongs to Indian Venkata Ramanan and deals with communism as a still viable model of organizing the world; the second one, written by Rolando Pulido, a Cuban immigrant to the U.S.A., evaluates communism from the perspective of Fidel Castro's historical experience. We hope both texts to evoke our readers' interest and generate a discussion regarding the problem of a better societal organization (approached from ancient times by Plato in Republic) and human perfectibility. (Daniel Dragomirescu)
_______________________________

Doi colaboratori ai revistei Contemporary Horizon ne-au trimis spre publicare textele pe care le reproducem partial in cele ce urmeaza. Primul eseu este scris de indianul Venkata Ramanan si se refera la comunism ca un model inca viabil de organizare a lumii, cel de-al doilea, scris de Rolando Pulido, cubanez emigrat in Statele Unite, evalueaza comunismul prin prisma experientei istorice din Cuba lui Fidel Castro. Speram ca ambele texte vor fi primite cu interes de cititorii revistei noastre si ca vor genera o discutie in legatura cu problema - prefigurata inca din antichitate de catre Platon in dialogul „Republica” - a unei mai bune organizari a societatii si a perfectibilitatii umane. (D. D.)

VENKATA RAMANAN: COMMUNISM – NEEDED, A MORE HUMANE ONE

Communism stood for certain principles, namely equality, eradication of the difference between the Have’s and Have nots, distribution of wealth, work accoding to capacity and be provided for what you need, classless society.
The collapse of Communism is mainly due to the fact that it assumed work and needs can be quantified. They can never be for needs are subjective, and ‘work according to capacity ‘ can not be defined-who defines capacity? Secondly it assumes human beings are mere numbers.No doubt man needs material comforts the most; however that is not the Summum Bonum of His existence. He has his feelings,emotions and ambitiuons and a constant desire to to move up. Thirdly, the premise that ‘That all are born equal’ is a wrong one. Human beings are similar, not identical. No two individuals are equal in that their predispositions, drives, level of competency, and their definitions of needs and happiness.This communism has failed to make allowance for. Fourthly, too much of academic discussion on the means to achieve their ends, socialism, democracy, revolution etc; while achieving, the goal should have been accorded priority by sticking to one process, say Socialism and not dithering because of impatience, and switching over to Arms. Fifthly, Distribution of wealth without creating it. Sixthly, confusion as to which comes first, their Nation or their ideologies. This led to international friction among the practitioners of the same system. Seventhly, dogmatic adherence , bordering on Religious fervour that anything other than communism is evil. Eighthly, systematic destruction of the fundamental units of Society, Family, Religion, Philosphy, free thought and criticism.While creating classless society, they have created elite in the form of members of the party, politburo Members and the common man.Yet the principle of communism is sound and is needed even today-especially to day-as Keynesian Economics is not delivering the goods and the divide between the Rich and the Poor is widening. What is needed now is the elimination of the mistakes mentioned above and provide Communism with a more Human face; fight for injustice, in a democratic way, without being impatiennt.Lastly what was the quip about’oriental despotism’-Typical Occidental reaction; if things go right, it is due to them; if wrong, orientals.USSR, oriental?
Story.
Few occasions are more propitious for forgetting the past than moments of historical commemoration. Amidst fond recollections of the fall of the Berlin wall, and in a time of, at least temporary, improvement in relations between Russia and the west, few may spare a thought for what it was that ended two decades ago. On two issues history has given its ultimate verdict: the cold war, the third and longest of the three chapters that made up the great global civil war of 1914-91, will not return; the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), as a multinational state and as a global ideological and strategic challenge to the west, is indeed dead. However, on a third component of this story – the worldwide communist movement – the verdict is, as yet, less clear (…)
____________________________________________

ROLANDO PULIDO: CUBAN DIASPORA AND DEMOCRACY

As Cubans at liberty we can seldom write or speak about Cuban issues without stirring discussion amongst ourselves. Not surprisingly we savor conversation over these matters; debate is quintessential Democracy. Although many differences and potent sentiments exist within the global Cuban community as to various policies affecting our homeland we all love and miss our island. As freedom loving people, we all agree on one fundamental goal: the return to a free and prosperous Cuba.
The Cubans as a people have found refuge, made homes and put down roots in many nations throughout the world. Cubans have maintained their national cultural traditions while assimilating the customs of the cities, towns and neighborhoods that have accepted and welcomed them as immigrants. We have embraced and enjoyed the social, political and economic freedoms offered in various Democratic nations where we have flourished as contributing members of society. This has not been limited to the fortunate ones who managed to escape or were expelled from post-Castro Cuba, but those who emigrated of there own free will as well, before the nation began moving down the tragic path of an oppressive collective dictatorship half a century ago.
My island was the first major European colony established in the New World, because of it's geographical location became known as the key to the Americas. As a vital hub for Renaissance trade routes the people of Cuba absorbed the culture, education and characteristics not only of Spain but also France, England, Holland and other European countries. These were some of the numerous ingredients that contributed to the rich culture that we Cubans are notably proud of and cherish so much. Centuries later, in 1902, after the island achieved independence as a consequence of the Spanish-American War the United States began to have considerable influence in our culture in addition to economic growth of the nation as result of expanded trade, tourism and investment on the island. Those contributions, that partnership, were instrumental in developing a strong foundation during the first years and decades of a truly new nation.
Inarguably, it was a catastrophic step on the path of the relatively young Cuban Republic when Fulgencio Batista seized power in 1952. While having served honorably as the elected president from 1940 to 1944 in a span which has been noted for economic growth as well as social reforms his new term as self-appointed leader was met with popular resistance which was strongly repressed as his regime became infamous for its decadence and malfeasance. The Cuban people, understandably, resisted against the government and eventually brought down the dictatorship. The new leadership of Fidel and Raul Castro, the interloper, Ernesto Che Guevara, and many other bad actors betrayed the people and the revolution against the ruthless Batista. Those who confronted the new authoritarian regime with its duplicity, including those who had fought against Batista, were dealt with harshly: imprisonment or execution. By the following year, 1960 , Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDRs) were formed to discover (or fabricate) information about those who acted or spoke against the new dictatorial administration. Local CDRs were employed to keep records of activities and associations that might be considered suspicious or counter-revolutionary, such as: sexual behavior (homosexuals were and are still brutally persecuted), friends, spending habits, criticism of the government, etcetera. Informing the CDR became popular very quickly as an easy way to curry favor with the members of the tyrannical regime. The Committees for the Defense of the Revolution continue today as does the extreme deprivation that the Communists vowed to eliminate. Proper nutrition, housing, education, medical care, employment opportunities do not exist in Cuba. The promises of 1959 never materialized. Cuba is essentially a parasitical welfare state. The Cuban people of today due to influences from without and from within the island continue with their travail and a steady diet of mendacity and exploitation (…)

(See the complete version of these articles in „Orizont literar contemporan” / „Contemporary Literary Horizon”magazine, issue no 9/2009)

vineri, 4 decembrie 2009

CONTEMPORARY PERSPECTIVES. ALLAN STEVO: THE JINGLING OF THE KEYS


The jingling of keys is the sound that so many Slovaks in the year 2009 associate with the fall of the communist regime in 1989. Just a few days here give the visitor the impression that this is a much less violent place than the lands West of here. Much less violent than my south side of Chicago home. In a very non-violent way, the presence of the communist government was, among other ways, protested in 1989 with gathering of people, many thousands of people pulling their keys out of their pockets and jingling them. There were some things that might be dangerous to say aloud in public. To jingle your keys in a call for the fall of your government was a much harder to prove offense. Imagine for a moment, if you will, the glorious sound created by being surrounded in all directions by people gently, and so defiantly so, jingling their keys. This was the last tolling of the bell for the dead. This jingling of keys was the last tolling of the bell for the communist government.

THIS IS THE DAY OF THE BLOODLESS

This is the day of
the bloodless
revolution that didn’t
happen
among the slavs of
Yugoslavia

This is the day that
brought forth the philosopher
king of Plato’s dreams

And somehow,
this November
became glorious, the
kind of day where
you can see the
light is what
became of the 17th
A day of revolution,
of fire, one that does
not burn, but refuses
only slightly threateningly
to cooperate
Either a day to see
the light or a
day to practice
forgetting, and somehow
when I stepped out, I
knew it was a day to
see the light.
______________________________________________

Sunetul cheilor ciocnindu-se una de alta este sunetul pe care atâţia slovaci din anul 2009 îl asociază cu prăbuşirea regimului comunist din 1989. Doar câteva zile lasă asupra vizitatorului impresia că asta e o ţară mult mai paşnică decât cele occidentale. Mult mai puţin violentă decât partea de sud al Chicago-ului în care eu trăiesc. În 1989, într-o lume non-violentă, s-a protestat, printre altele, împotriva prezenţei guvernului comunist, cu o mulţime de oameni, mii de oameni, care şi-au scos cheile şi le-au scuturat în aer. Unele lucruri erau prea periculoase pentru a fi spuse cu voce tare în public. A-ţi scutura cheile în semn de apel pentru căderea guvernului a fost o ofensă mult mai greu de dovedit. Dacă vreţi, imaginaţi-vă preţ de o clipă sunetul fenomental atunci când eşti înconjurat în toate părţile de oameni care-şi scutură cheile paşnic, şi totuşi atât de înverşunaţi. A fost ultimul clopot tras pentru cei morţi. Sunetul cheilor a fost ultimul clopot tras pentru guvernul comunist.

ZIUA FĂRĂ SÂNGE

E ziua
revoluţiei
fără sânge care
nu s-a
întâmplat pentru slavii
din Iugoslavia

E ziua
care l-a promovat pe filosoful-rege
din visele lui Plato

Într-un fel sau altul,
acest noiembrie
a ajuns glorios
genul de zi cand vezi
că ziua de 17
a devenit una luminoasă
o zi a revoluţiei flăcărilor
care nu ard, care refuză
oarecum ameninţător
să colaboreze
e fie-o zi în care
vezi lumina
fie una în care
poţi să exersezi senzaţia de uitare, şi
nu stiu cum, când am ieşit,
am ştiut că e o zi
în care trebuie să văd lumina.
_______________________________________________

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Allan Stevo is a writer living and working in Bratislava, Slovakia. He is currently working on a book.

DESPRE AUTOR
Allan Stevo e un scriitor care locuieşte şi–şi desfăşoară activitatea în Bratislava, Slovacia. În prezent lucrează la o carte.

Versiunea românească / Romanian version: Sânziana MIHALACHE

joi, 3 decembrie 2009

CONTEMPORARY LITERARY HORIZON, SPECIAL ISSUE


No.9 / November - December 2009

Price: 8 euros per copy (via Western Union)

Over 30 authors from all over the world!

Poems by Elo Viiding (Estonia), Allan Stevo (Slovakia), Mihai Cantuniari, Cassian Maria Spiridon, Marius Stefan Aldea (Romania), Wayne Visser, Mark Murphy (U.K.), Marina Centeno (Mexico), Burt Rashbaum, Don Riggs, Mike Essig, Michelle Brooks (U.S.A.), Mark William Jackson (Australia ) etc.
Issue no.9 / 2009 also contains an excellent short story about a new Fantine: Contretemps by Catherine Rakose (Grenoble, France), an original essay on communism by Indian professor Venkata Ramanan, the new literary manifesto Ni fioritures ni grands mots by French writer Mathieu Mercier from Lyon, Welsh Dialogues (part III) by Caroline Gill (Swansea, Wales) and many other interesting and excellent contributions.

CONTEMPORARY LITERARY HORIZON, No. 9 / 2009 - an independent and multicultural magazine for all our valuable and faithful readers!

sâmbătă, 28 noiembrie 2009

LIBRO ABIERTO. RUDY SPILLMAN: AUTO TIPS FOR LIFE


Do not try to please others; you will be moving away from yourself.

Live your life doing what you want with only three limitations: do not injure your neighbor, do not injure yourself and do not allow anyone to harm you.

Cultivate your inner and no adversity will be able to bend you.

Do not try to show who you are not, not pretended authenticity will bring you an inner peace that is worth everything.

After an austere and objective (to the extent possible) analysis, only you decide on your blame and responsibility.

Take responsibility for your actions (errors) without considering the cost. Speculate with gains and losses in these cases, in the future, always ends in losses.

Do not let others manipulate you. Leave your limits set out clear and precise from the outset.

Try to know yourself every day a little more accurate with the idea that anything you discover will be good or at least better than keeping it hidden in the subconscious.

Do not pretend to be right, no one does. On these issues, who wins, always looses.

Do not need to explain your truths. If you understand them it's enough.

Relate yourself with others like if it was with you.

Learn to enjoy the solitude and silence. Train yourself to meditate on daily basis as if it was a biological need.

After having exhausted the means to enjoy complete health, accept your ailments without sterile protests that will only aggravate your situation. The disease is part of our health. Distance yourself from it. When it should be, better if it stays only in your body.

Live your life with consistency and respecting your own principles and death will come to you as a friend who helps you take the following steps and you will wrap yourself fearless in its arms.

The author apologizes for possible errors appearing in the text above
regarding that English language is not his mother tongue.

____________________________________


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Writer, publicist and thinker from Israel, born on May 7, 1950 in Buenos Aires, Rudy Spillman spent his childhood and first youth in Argentina. He graduated the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences at the University of Buenos Aires.
Since 1989 he lives in Israel with his family, in the city of Eilat.
Spanish speech writer (as mother tongue), Rudy Spillman has published many books: “Palmeycore’s Legend”, “Establishment Dvorak”, “A Life Dream”, “Reducing the Distances” (1999), “Guli Case” (2002), “Girafe’s and Snail’s Fable”, “Goma Queen”, “Pornocto and Rosirupta (two souls in the World Where Nothing Matters)” (2003), “The Paradise Hidden in the Back of Our Misfortunes” and his continuation, “Picking Reflections. Where Are We Going?” (2007), “A Matter of Sizes”, tragicomic satire and “MediMente – Meditation for Beginners” (2009).
Obviously, Rudy Spillman has all qualities to be appreciated as a good representant of Hebrew thinking and spirituality in contemporary world (D.D.).

marți, 24 noiembrie 2009

CONTEMPORARY WORLD: ERNEST WILLIAMSON III


WARNINGS FROM THE WARD

to what end is the end a riddle with spores of mild minions
sweltering in a Trojan Horse
ensued by the government
I've never walked under a bridge without blessing the sounds
of the fowl
yet millions of dollars are groping every dishonest wound
from Wall Street to the moon
and so poetry mounts atop Mt. Kilimanjaro
as vapor and ringworm
exposed and irked
as nerves cringe
as mouths laugh
as pundits analyze
as death surmounts
as poverty grows weary
as anarchy takes her foot out of the quicksand
singing of revolution
though your arms are weak
her mind stomps the malefaction of America
a great idea drifting into factions and
fractals of stumbling ice caps


THE REAPER OF COWARDLY DEEDS

Constantinople has fallen again
like a rank towel beaded with imitations of algae
in the worst winter of 1678
Constantinople had revealed a ghastly shadow
until the Danes in Northeastern Europe
where the waltz of the corroding winds
hummed up and down the ridges of the great verdant mountains
but now I have traveled into the astounding waste of 1912
bondsmen carry me from African precious stones
within their indestructible nuclei
awaiting my disgruntled cry
for a replenished sitting
while Constantinople reaches for precious Eastern balms
for the extant anguish in furrowed brows
of molested plankton
in all of the human seas of arrogant
bleeding
seeds
and sadly winning is not an option
for walking dead men
with grand ideas
irking inertia
with no time to spare
here nor there

_______________________

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ernest Williamson III is an American poet. He has published poetry and visual art in over 200 online and print journals. He is a self-taught pianist and painter. His poetry has been nominated twice for the Best of the Net Anthology. He holds the B.A. and the M.A. in English/Creative Writing/Literature from the University of Memphis. Ernest is an English Professor at Essex County College. Professor Williamson is also a Ph.D. Candidate at Seton Hall University in the field of Higher Education, and a member of The International High IQ Society based in New York City.
His poetic creation brings an original and significant voice in contemporary world.
Published in many prestigious periodicals from United States, Ernest Williamson III is contributor to Contemporary Horizon magazine (D.D.)

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES


CONTEMPORARY HORIZON MAGAZINE has published, and continues to seek quality literary and non-literary texts by some of the finest writers, whether they are established, new or lesser-known authors.
Unsolicited submissions are accepted year-round. There are no set guidelines as to content or length. Anyone wishing to submit some of his or her work should first become familiar with the work previously published by the magazine. Our standards for acceptance are quite high. Sample copies and subscriptions are available for sale on our current site:
http://contemporaryhorizon.blogspot.com

All submissions must be original and previously unpublished (if they have been published before, the author should obtain the publisher's agreement). All manuscripts must be typed and double-spaced, with the author's name, address, e-mail at the top of the first page, and numbered throughout. Send only your best work.
We are not accepting paper submissions at this time. All manuscripts must be written in English. Translations are acceptable, but must be accompanied by a copy of the original text.
We will read and consider simultaneous submissions, on the condition that the author notify us immediately, by email, if the manuscript is accepted for publication elsewhere.
For other informations, please contact the editor: drgdaniel@yahoo.com (A.-O. M., D. D.)

______________________________

SUBSCRIPTIONS AND DONATIONS are accepted via WESTERN UNION to the following address:

Dragomirescu C. Daniel-Florian
Str. Nicolae Bălcescu, no 77, bl. 77, sc. B, et. IV, ap. 32
Of. poştal no 1
Cod poştal 730131
VASLUI – ROMÂNIA / EUROPEAN UNION

PRICE PER A COPY / ISSUE: 8 EUROS (POSTAL SHIPPING INCLUDED)
SUBSCRIPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE FOR 3 OR 6 MONTHS
ANY DONATION IS WELCOME AND WILL BE NOTIFIED IN THE JOURNAL
_______________________________

joi, 12 noiembrie 2009

CONTEMPORARY HIGHLIGHTS. RAYMOND WALDEN: THE COSMONOMIC MANIFESTO


The right for freedom of thought is manifested in twelve Cosmonomic Theses.
They are an invitation to reasonably respect every single person. In addition, dignity demands a firm stand against the destructiveness that is ruling archaically over the globe as the selfish power struggle of single persons, cliques or even misled peoples.

PREAMBLE
Nature follows evolutionary developments according neutral laws. This means that there are life protecting as well as life destroying principles. In this view, nature is without mercy and without compromise. But the human brain is enabled by education to humanize the laws of nature and gain profit from them to enjoy life and ease the natural and convenient death. This is a particular understanding that egoism can’t be the basis of humanity. Instead an individualism is needed, which is essential to an improving human society that regards the human being superior to any created ideal.

1st Cosmonomic Thesis: Human Dignity. There is no higher value than human dignity. It is unimpeachable.

2nd Cosmonomic Thesis: Equal Rights. All people have equal rights from the very beginning of life. Peerage is anachronistic; clerical and military rankings as well as academic degress give information about functions within the world of labour, but don’t play any role in public life. Complete gender emancipation does not indicate equalization of men and women but the appreciation of their supplemtary gender-specific differences.

3rd Cosmonomic Thesis: Non-killing Commandment Nobody has the right to kill a person except in self-defence.

4th Cosmonomic Thesis: Dying with Dignity. Everybody is entitled to a dignified death by choosing ease of pain and death granted preferably after an early decree during lifetime.

5th Cosmonomic Thesis: Sexuality. Human sexuality is originally a private affair and depends only on human dignity under free control by the partners involved.

6th Cosmonomic Thesis: Social Care. Society is obliged to grant health-care, education and labour to every person.

7th Cosmonomic Thesis: Personal Success. There is a fair competition of talent and ability for professional success. Cartels and combines take advantage without justification.

8th Cosmonomic Thesis: Economy of Participation. Properties and merits that were established by honest work must be respected. The laws of inheritance have to be put into perspective in order to avoid big landowners and encourage in any concerns the middle-classes. Honesty stands for provability and transparency of the whole economic system and rejects the exploiting capitalism to establish a human economy of participation that reduces and finally defeats poverty.

9th Cosmonomic Thesis: View of the World. There might be democratic discussions about the views of the world, they have to be tolerated as far as they are free from violence. Indoctrination and missionary work come into conflict with the individual development of the intellectual mind.

10th Cosmonomic Thesis: Environment. The enviroment belongs to all people in the same way as all people belong to the environment. The result of that is: Protection of animals, plants and landscape and the condemnation of the exploitation of natural resources just for some individuals' benefit.

11th Cosmonomic Thesis: Causality. Considering all methods of thinking, it is to say that the causal-logical, scientific method is by far the most reliable one to support human dignity and to give respect to the individual. Religion and esoterism are well-known patterns of subduing and oppressing the believers via man-made “Gods” and their representatives.

12th Cosmonomic Thesis: Democracy. Comparing the systems of states, democracy is the most favourable constitution; nevertheless there is an urgent need for further developments. Parliaments must get rid of any lobbies of various groups. Members of parliament, elected democratically, have to follow their own conscience and must be free from compulsion of party-spirit. The state and churches (religions) have to be separated. Public media must be independent from political control, from influences taken by editors. Media concentration, forced by mighty editors, are not compatible with democratic societies. Election campaigns are nothing better than subtle manipulations. Money is absolutely no reason for coming into any political position.

REMARKS IN ADDITION:
Life follows natural laws which are present everywhere in the universe. The new philosophy of Cosmonomy is based on this: Cosmos = universe, nomos = law.
The world can be explored, evaluated and explained without the necessity of any “Gods” or wonders. So Cosmonomy stands for cosmopolitan, pacifism and democratic humanity – possible only by adequate education.
It is very obvious that, by far, most people in the world cannot share these views because of traditional and political reasons.
When discussing, cosmonomers should be sensitive and careful.
_____________________________________________________

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Raymond Walden (alias Reinhard Wiechoczek) is a German author, born 1945 in Jena.
Founder (1971) of the Paderborn Public Observatory and chairman until 2002
Initiator of the international sun observing programme INTER-SOL (1976)
His work contains the following writings:
• Astrologie – Das falsche Zeugnis vom Kosmos (Astrology – the Wrong Witness of the Cosmos), 1984
• Uranus lächelt über Hiroshima – Die horoskopierte Gesellschaft (Uranus Smiles over Hiroshima – The Horoscoped Society), 1992
• Sentenzen von Freiheit – Kosmonomisches Manifest (Sentences of Freedom – Cosmonomic Manifesto), Angelika Lenz Verlag, Neustadt am Rübenberge, 2005
• Menschliches Glauben (Human Believing), Novumverlag, Neckenmarkt, Wien, München, Sopron, 2008
• Many articles in newspapers about popular astronomy and debunking astrology and other pseudo-sciences
Founder (2002) and chairman of a 'planetarium society' that is looking for money to hopefully build a planetarium one day.
____________________

English version revised by Alina-Olimpia MIRON

joi, 5 noiembrie 2009

ROMANIAN PERSPECTIVES: MARIUS STEFAN ALDEA


MAIL TO MY FRIENDS,
THOSE ABOUT TO COMPLETE


God forbid that you should cry at my funeral,
you, sentimental bums,
you’d better cheer up my mom
and don’t forget to fill up
my brothers’ glasses,
or else I’ll skin you like calves,

I will be missing for sure,
I will have been away on business in the hereafter for a long time,
some will speak highly of me, I know,
what a pity, he was a great poet
yet don’t swallow it and don’t be sad,
you are drunk and sensitive,
it’s a funeral, after all ;
others will laugh up their sleeve
like in gellu naum’s poem,
as for you, bare your teeth,
dazzle death
with your healthy smile,
laugh while covering me in soil,
I’ll know then that you have loved me ;

should an old woman mourn
don’t be angry with her, she is old-fashioned
that’s the way old people are,
so was my old lady...
don ‘t let any priest touch me
and shoot the breeze,
read a couple of poems,
light a cigarette,
belt a few bottles of wine down,
it hasn’t been that bad after all,
there have also been good times,
look up in the archives

and don’t let sadness subscribe to you,
the monster may as well take the tram,
a big kiss as always, farewell !

______________________________________

MAIL CĂTRE PRIETENII MEI,
CEI PE CALE DE DISPARIŢIE


Să dea dracu să plângeţi la înmormântarea mea,
derbedei sentimentali,
poate nu o înveseliţi puţin pe mama
ori poate uitaţi să le umpleţi paharele
fraţilor mei,
că vă belesc ca pe viţei, mă,
desigur, eu voi lipsi,
voi fi plecat de mult cu afaceri dincolo,
ştiu, unii mă vor vorbi de bine
păcat, a fost un mare poet
dar nu puneţi botul şi nu vă întristaţi,
sunt beţi si sensibili,
aşa e la înmormântări;
alţii vor râde pe ascuns
ca în poemul acela al lui gellu naum,
voi să nu vă ascundeţi beliţii dinţi,
orbiţi-o pe moarte
cu zâmbetul vostru sănătos,
râdeţi când m-acoperiţi cu pământ,
voi şti că m-aţi iubit;
iar dacă vreo bătrână se jeleşte
nu vă supăraţi pe ea că e de modă veche,
dar aşa-s bătrânii,
aşa a fost şi bătrâna mea…
nu lăsaţi niciun popă să se atingă de mine
şi să-mi cânte verzi şi uscate,
citiţi nişte poezii
aprindeţi câte o ţigară
radeţi câteva sticle de vin,
la urma urmei n-a fost chiar aşa rău,
au fost şi zile bune,
căutaţi în arhivă
şi nu lăsaţi tristeţea să-şi facă abonament la voi,
pocitania poate să ia şi tramvaiul,
vă pup ca de fiecare dată, cu bine!

_________________________________


A SELFPORTRAIT


My name is Aldea Marius-Ştefan, born (not made) out of my mother’s love for my father, on the 23rd of June 1987, in Cancer, taking after this strange creature the talent to progress while regressing according to the famous dance steps ”2 steps forward and 3 steps back”.
Literary contributions to the following magazines: ”Amfitrion", "13 Plus", "Oglinda literară"
Literary debut in 2006, after having won the debut prize in the ”Meaning of Love“ festival in Dr. Tr. Severin, with the volume of poems entitled ”The Third Eye“
I live in Timisoara (România) at present and I make a living by selling my poems from door to door; I have met a foolish girl who washes my shirts, I have no children, I live on the first floor as a lodger to a family of dentists, yet I have a toothache which gives me a soul ache every couple of weeks; I am a hypochondriac, the doctors say I will live for a long time.

_____________________


UN AUTOPORTRET


Mă numesc Aldea Marius-Ştefan, născut(nu făcut) din dragostea lui tata pentru mama, pe 23 iunie 1987, în zodia Racului, împrumutând de la ciudata creatură talentul de a progresa în regres prin celebrii paşi de dans “2 în faţă, 3 înapoi”
Colaborări literare cu revistele: "Amfitrion", "13 Plus", "Oglinda literară"
Debut literar în 2006, în urma câştigării premiului pentru debut din cadrul festivalului”Sensul Iubirii”din Dr.Tr. Severin, cu volumul de poezie
“Al treilea ochi”.
În prezent locuiesc în Timişoara (România), îmi asigur traiul vânzându-mi poeziile din uşă-n uşă; am întâlnit o toantă care să-mi spele cămăşile, nu am copii, locuiesc la etajul 1 în chirie la o familie de medici dentişti, cu toate astea o dată la câteva săptămâni mă doare foarte tare o măsea, direct în suflet; sunt ipohondru, doctorii îmi dau mult şi bine de trăit.



Translated by: Lorena Clara FOTA

duminică, 1 noiembrie 2009

INDIAN HORIZONS. VENKATA RAMANAN: DOES GOD HAVE NAME AND FORM?


One would find many Gods in Hinduism. We have Vishnu, Siva, Ganesha, Kaarthikeya, Saraswathi, Krishna, Rama et all. One who worships a particular God feels and is taught to believe that his God is superior. We also find clashes between Gods. How rational is this?

It is not prevalent only in Hinduism. We have the same in Pagan worships in Europe, in Nordic mythology, in Maya civilization, in Greek civilization. In Christianity one worships Holy Father, His Messiah; In Islam, Allah and regards for Sal. Jainism and Buddhism deny the existence of God and condemn idol worship. Buddhists worship Lord Buddha and have erected statues. So is the case with Jainism. In Christianity, people worship Jesus, Infant Jesus, Mary. In Islam we find people worshiping at Dargha though it is proscribed in Islam.

Why so? To understand these phenomenon, one has to understand the evolution of religion and also human psyche. Man started worshipping first what he could not understand, could not control. He saw lightening. He was scared. Saw rains, gale, fire, Deluge that he could not control. He ascribed powers to them which he did not possess. This was the beginning of belief in Supernatural. (In Hinduism, there is nothing Supernatural as such; every thing is Natural).These entities were given Name and Form. Man believed that these could alter their behavior that would be beneficial to Man. But this does not happen. The variations of behavior of these entities affect each individual differently. An umbrella manufacturer prays for rain; depending on the state of the crop, agriculturists do not want rain (if it is harvest time). Office goers prefer rains, after they have reached their offices or after they are ensconced safely at home in the evening. Based on the benefits one gets, the individual believes his prayers have been answered and his faith grows stronger. Others feel let down and some turn Agnostics or even Atheists. Nothing is farther from Truth.

Elements behave the way they do according to Cosmic Principles, which we are trying to discover / decipher. Our Prayers / hopes / disappointments have no relevance. Then why worship at all?
The Reality is The Principle. It is a teleological. It has no Name and no Form. We call it by different names and visualize by various Forms.

Man, by nature is controlled by first and foremost by the instinct of survival. It is followed by thirst, hunger, gregariousness and sex. When any thing happens that threatens the satisfaction that would he attain by satisfying these instincts, he becomes nervous. He starts believing in things that are beyond him. Hence he starts worshipping. At times when things happen the way he wants, he has his faith reinforced. But when it does not happen to his liking, he blames himself or assigns it to Fate. This is not correct at the macro level. When Prayers are to be answered it should have been answered for all those who pray. If not, and only prayers of a few are answered, God is unjust and He does not deserve to be called God. This again is incorrect understanding of God.

God is a principle which has no name, no form, no likes, and no dislikes. Principles do not behave erratically; if they do so, they would not remain Principles. Why then we give name and form and worship? Human mind needs an anchor to cling to in times of desperation, especially when things go wrong for them. They need an explanation or excuses for things gone awry. They need some things to hang their boots on. It is a psychological necessity. So we believe in symbols and later in Human forms. (Why is it we describe God only as a Human Being? Is it because we are human beings and we feel we are superior to other living things on earth? If an ass were to conceive God, it would describe Him as a Superior Ass. Is there any thing wrong in this? As God, is common to all living things, why should He have only a Human Form? In fact, He is Nameless and Formless.
And again each individual has emotional / sentimental attachment (many may deny; let them ask themselves whether they have sentiments / emotional attachments. Fact is they do have. Let them know that it not unseemly to have sentiments and attachments. Some are attached to mother; some to father; yet some to friends; some to Beauty; some to valor. As many Gods are possible as there are likes in Humans. One finds easy to relate to them. We feel comfortable when we assign a Form and express ourselves to that Form. It has a healing touch when things go wrong. As one slowly develops this feeling of togetherness with the Form, one realizes gradually that he is a part of the Absolute Reality and one would not be disturbed when things go wrong. Again, when one whole - heartedly transfer one’s emotions / sentiments / problems to a Form, slowly the positive thought that he is only an instrument in the cosmic nature of things, will ensure that he attains what he yearns for and if he does not attain what he wants, he would have developed the fortitude to weather the problem. Remember, mind can not contemplate on ‘NOTHING’. It can not operate in a vacuum.

This is the first step in Realization of Self. Though the Reality has no Name and Form, worshipping names / Forms (various Gods), leads one gradually to the realization that these names and forms do not really exist and that they are only one of the many processes to realize the Ultimate Principle.
One may ask - why believe in something, which we are going to find out to be irrelevant at a later time? For any journey, first step must be taken. After reaching the Destination, the First step may seem irrelevant. But it is essential. After attaining PhD, nursery class seems to be irrelevant. But without nursery class, one would not have obtained PhD.

In a Nut-shell, God does not have Name and Form. But we need to have name and Form to realize the Reality. So, different forms and names are best left to individuals as they know best what they like.
How come then God appears to People in the Form they worship?
____________________________________


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Venkata Ramanan (born in 1951, India) is a retired senior management professional. Currently he is management consultant in education and visiting professor to Varsities on management conducts courses in soft skills, stress management. With degrees in philosophy and psychology, Venkata Ramanan spent many years in learning „Vedas”, sacred books of Hindus. He is interested in philosophy, psychology and in anything that stimulates the mind.

sâmbătă, 31 octombrie 2009

CONTEMPORARY PERSPECTIVES: LENA VANELSLANDER - INHUMAN HUMANITY


Let your heart speak
and don't obey society's orders
For humanity is no longer human
As inhumanity reigns over the ruins of past lives, ideals and dreams.

In a world without universal healthcare
In a world where censorship reigns
In a world without empathy
Your mind is no longer free
Free from society's jug, rules, norms and values ...

Make up your own
And let us become human again
Where poverty is but a bad dream ...
Let a revolution begin!

joi, 29 octombrie 2009

CONTEMPORARY LITERARY HORIZON - Issue No 8 / SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER 2009

BIOLA OLATUNDE (Nigeria): PEACE


PEACE

He who cannot walk away
From his anger,
Cannot in trust
Approach the peace of Love.

Those who betray us,
Those who revile us,
Those who hate us,
Show through their ugliness,
The awesome beauty,
Of Light’s compassion,
As they mirror to us,
What we must never be.

_____________________________

PACE

Cel ce nu poate să se despartă
De mânia lui
Nu poate
Să se apropie de pacea Iubirii.

Cei care ne trădează,
Cei care ne insultă,
Cei care ne pizmuiesc,
Prin urâţenia lor arată
Frumuseţea copleşitoare
A milei pentru Lumină,
Aşa cum ni se oglindesc -
Ceea ce nu trebuie să fim niciodată.

Versiunea românească: Anton SCUTARU

MULTICULTURAL HORIZONS. KHEM GURAGAIN: "AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERARY TRADITION AND TONI MORRISON'S AESTHETIC PERSPECTIVES"


African American writers are preoccupied with the notion of blacks as marginalized and black literature as the non-canonical literature. Their literary careers start with the crisis of their identity as the respectable American citizens. They strive to redefine white/black hierarchy of mainstream discourse. Mainstream hegemonic discourse always undermines black's presence in the making of American literature and culture.
The first African American writer to win the Nobel Prize for literature in 1993, Toni Morrison is a leading voice in current debates about the construction of race and black marginality in literature and culture. As a prominent writer of the age she refuses to allow race to be marginalized in literary discourse. Throughout her writing Morrison uses narrative forms to express African Americans' dislocated, marginalized oral tradition, and culture, and reclaim African American's historical experiences.
She profoundly uses the fictive narratives to transfigure the old south – the bedrock of black dehumanization, degradation and sorrow into an archetypal black homeland, a cultural womb that lays claim to history's orphaned, defamed and disclaimed African children. In her novels Morrison humanizes black characters in fictions that strive to overcome and excavate enforced invisibility of African Americans' social reality.
Morrison critiques the mainstream thinking and acclaims that black writers and black characters are the relative means by which text demonstrates to be human and superior. Imagination is possible in the presence of black characters and black contents. At the same time talking African discourse is inferior and submissive tends to impoverish cultural interpretation of reality. Morrison questions the validity and vulnerability of a set of assumptions conventionally accepted and taken for granted among literary historians and critics.
Africanist presence, in a constitutive part in the entire history has been rejected. Morrison in Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and Literary Imagination proposes, "The contemplating of this black presence in central to any understanding of our national literature and should not be permitted to hover at the margins of the literary imagination." Morrison argues that American culture is built on, premised by, and always includes, the presence if blacks' as slaves and outsiders.
She likens the unwillingness of academics in a racist society to see the place of Africanism in literature and to the centuries of unwillingness to see a favourite discourse, concerns and identity. She posits whiteness as the 'Other' of blackness, a dialectical pair, each term both creates and excludes the other: no freedom without slavery, no white without black.
The major themes of Toni Morrison's writing is to redefine the notion of white American canonical texts and their idea of African American writing as being non-canonical or inferior. She demonstrates the idea of racial superiority and hegemonic culture in her writings. Morrison, in the preface of her critical work Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and Literary Imagination says she is "struggling with and through a language that can powerfully evoke and enforce hidden signs of racial superiority, cultural hegemony and dismissive 'Othering' of people and language which by no means marginal or already and completely known and knowable in my work."
Toni Morrison decenters the whiteness and its domination over blackness in America. She opines that whiteness always sees black or Afro-American [people as dead, impotent or, under complete control but this is lacking very important part of black people and their construction of social realities. Unlike the notions of white American Morrison claims that black slavery enriched the country's creative possibilities.
Morrison in "Afro-American Presence in American Literature" figures out that race does not exist (Bloom 203). When race does not exist there is no question of racial superiority and inferiority as such. The notion of white American as being superior is not true. She says that those who created the hierarchy of race do not accept that there is indeed Afro-American culture. Afro-American culture exists but it is poorly recognized or understood (Bloom 203).
Morrison focuses that contemporary Afro-American literature addresses the attitudes that have silenced the autonomy of Afro-American literature since the seventh century. The change of "There is no Afro-American art" is buried by the rediscoveries of Afro-Americans' works and their appropriateness to the present context (Bloom 208). Afro-American literature counters the label of Afro-American literature being inferior so that non-canonical texts can be incorporated into existing.
It is clear that Morrison's writing is different from that of mainstream white discourse, which always observes that African American literature is subsidiary product. Her intention, thorough her writing , is to reinterpret and redefine the hidden, dislocated and alienated Afro-American presence in American mainstream discourse and claim that Afro-Americans are no more inferior human beings.
Toni Morrison's fiction demonstrates a central interest in the issues of boundary, attachment, and separation. Her characters experience themselves as wounded, or imprisoned by racial and economic divisions within American culture. The boundaries that circumscribe black people are not only the prejudices and restrictions that bar their entry into the mainstream but the psychological ones they internalize as they develop in a social structure that historically has excluded them. Toni Morrison draws from a rich store of black oral tradition as well as from her own imaginative angle of vision to illuminate the potentialities for both annihilation and transcendence within black experience.
Black lore, black music, black language and all the myths and rituals of black culture are the most prominent elements in Toni Morrison's writing. She feels a strong connection to ancestors because they were the culture bearers. She thinks that it is the responsibility of African American writers to dig out that annihilated history and secure the importance of it in the making of American civilization.
Toni Morrison's first novel, The Bluest Eye (1970) examines the experiences of a young black girl as she copes up with the ideal of beauty and the reality if violence within the black community. She tries to demonstrate that people hurt each other when they are chained to circumstances of povertyand low social status. The ideal experience of white world and the actual experience of black people is portrayed in the novel. After being raped by her drunken father, deceived into believing god had miraculously given her the bluest eye she prayed for, suffering a miscarriage and being ridiculed by the other children Pacola Breedlove loses her sanity. Pacola's determination to achieve beauty and acceptance by acquiring blue eye never succeeds.
Morrison's second novel Sula (1973) is about the theme of the friendship of two black girls. One Nel Wright follows the pattern of life society has laid out for her, and the other, Sula Peace, tries to create her own pattern to achieve her own self. It is not only about Nel Wright ad Sula Peace but also about the cultures that spawn them. Her third novel Song of Solomon (1977) basically draws upon the concern for the quest for identity of a black family, which is disinherited and has lost its name in black America. Morrison presents her concern for African Americans and their black tradition, which is disregarded and marginalized in America.
In her fourth novel Tar Baby (1981) a successful black model and a young black male who rejects middle-class American values are at centre stage in a work that examines the relationship between men and women, as well as between blacks and whites. Her fifth novel Beloved (1987) is set in rural Ohio after civil war. It centers on Sethe Suggs, proud and beautiful woman, who escaped from slavery and kills her own daughter to save her from the torments of it but is haunted by its heritage. It unearths the historical realities of horrifying experiences during Middle Passage, Slavery, Emancipation and its aftermath.
Morrison's Jazz (1992) is based on the theme of music in the lives of her characters. It is a manifestation of the conditions of life among migratory Negroes, their family love, romantic love and desire. Jazz describes the consequences that result from migration, integration and geographic dislocation.
Toni Morrison ranks among the most highly regarded and widely read fiction writers and cultural critics in America. As a critic she refuses to allow race to be relegated to the margins of literary discourse. She focuses on the importance of African American's oral and musical culture and to reclaim black historical experiences. Morrison says that African American have rediscovered texts that have long been suppressed or ignored, have sought to make places for African American writing within the canon, and have developed ways of interpreting these works.
Morrison recalls the ubiquitousness of African American culture rituals in her childhood and adolescence; the music, folklore, ghost stories, dreams, signs and variations that are so vividly evoked in her fictions have been shaping and empowering presence in her life as well. The impact of these forces in her life has inspired her to capture the qualities of African American cultural expression in her writing. Morrison has described the influence of oral tradition, call and response, jazz and dance in her narratives. Yet the presence of myth, enchantment, and folk practices in her work never offers an escape from the sociopolitical conditions that have shaped lives of African Americans. Cultural dislocation, migration and urbanization provide inescapable contexts within which her explorations of African American past are located.

NOTE

This article was first published in "African Executive" journal



KHEM GURAGAIN is a lecturer in Ratna Rayja Laxmi Campus, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, and main contributor to C&LH for Nepal.

(from the issue no 7 / August 2009 of "Contemporary Literary Horizon")