I'm going to be teaching about my books and the comics books in general in this university in Bangkok. The 21st of Jan has a free event open to the public. Nice!
All this week i will be 'taking over' our publishers Instagram to promote our new book, just out with them - the illustrated version of TAO TE CHING.
Adapted by myself (in this case rather poetically interpreted), and illustrated by Hong Kong artist in the UK Cary Kwok
Wise words from V.
Poor food diet = poor physical development.
Poor cultural diet = poor mental development.
Proud to announce that my new book is published today and it's an unusual one.
We've made an illustrated version of the Chinese classic of poetic philosophy, TAO TE CHING.
We being myself (hi, its me!) and Hong Kong artist living in the UK, Cary Kwok. He is a professional artist of long standing who has exhibited all over the place, but this is his first comic book style collaboration. Exciting!
Based on translations of the esteemed William Scott Wilson who for his more than 40 years of work has rightly received the Order of the Rising Sun from that well known anarchist the Japanese emperor.
Not forgetting the important contribution of Ben Dickson who lettered the right side pages - a much underrated skill.
This book is unusual in that its the first of my books that is not really a comic book (despite the publisher labelling it as a graphic novel for marketing reasons). It features Bill’s translations of each of the 81 poem-passages of the Tao Te Ching book on each left side page of the book and a visual/textual interpretation by myself and Cary on each right side page. So its really a collection of 81 double page text and art spreads. Each sets some aspect of the poem-passage on the left in a modern setting and/or a timeless interpretation on the right, with new text by me and wonderful illustrations by Cary. With such an ancient and poetic classic, the subject of analysis for more than 2000 years, there is bound to be people who think our efforts here are way off the 'correct' Tao. But that's ok... ours is just one more look at it. One I’m very happy with.
“This bold, visually surprising, and completely unique interpretation of the Tao Te Ching—the poetic classic that is the philosophical and religious basis of Taoism—brings its teachings into a modern light in a completely fresh way. Each of the 81 poem-passages of the Tao Te Ching is reinterpreted by award-winning graphic novel writer Sean Michael Wilson and brought to life by the artful illustrations of London-based artist Cary Kwok, who sets the text in various historical and contemporary scenes to bring out the modern relevance—in ways that are both unsparing and hopeful.”
Check it very much out on my page HERE
A snippet of history worth considering: an important war that is rarely known was the ‘Seven Years War’ of 1756 to 1763. It was such an important and global conflict that its sometimes called ‘World War Zero’. The consequences of it shaped a lot of history since then:
1. The establishment of Britain as the dominant colonial power for almost 200 years.
2. Britain becoming the largest power in North America, which had important consequences as it meant the American colonists no longer had to fear French or Spanish invasion and so they felt they needed Britain less, which increased the inclination towards independence. Had France won the SYW then the American colonies might have stayed with Britain for a lot longer.
3. France helped the Americans partly to get revenge for losing the SYW. Without French help America may well have lost its struggle for independence, thus keeping the colonies in the British Empire well into the 19thc. The US may even never has developed into republic. It could have developed, like Canada or Australia, into a dominion and then independent member of the commonwealth!
4. The war also increased Prussia at the expense of Austria, which later feeds into the dominance of Prussia in the German world in the late 19thC, and indirectly into the causes of both WW1 and WW11.
5. It weakened French power and royalty in way that fed into both the French revolution and the rise of Napoleon.
6. It was the first major war in which a genuinely united United Kingdom took part. Scotland and England had there last war only 11 years before the SYW started. So that some Scottish and English soldiers fighting against each other in 1745 may well have been fighting side by side in 1756.
Quite a conflict then!
The 3rd and final volume of our book THE STORY OF LEE is done and dusted (well, a little bit dust remains).
It's listed now in the distributors December Previews catalogue for ordering.
Please put it into an advanced state of check-ification, folks:
The wonderful writer Borges on why he preferred English to Spanish:
“English is both a Germanic and a Latin language…so for almost anything you take it has two words…regal is not exactly the same thing as saying kingly…those two words are not exactly the same…it would make all the difference in the world in a poem if I wrote the holy spirit or the the holy ghost… ghost is a fine dark saxon word, but spirit is a light latin word. Another reason, of all languages English is, i think, the most physical of languages. for example ‘he loomed over’, you can’t say that in Spanish. And in English you can do almost anything with verbs and prepositions, for example ‘to laugh off’, ‘to dream away’,’to live down’ something… ‘to live up to’ something - you can’t say those things in Spanish.”
- Jorge Luis Borges, on ‘Firing Line’ TV programme 1977.
Yet another example (on top of the 3,582 other examples - count em!) of how capitalism is not good for culture, art and for most of us...
"New rules demand that the self-employed prove they are in businesses “with a view to achieving a profit”, but Solomon said that the nature of professional writers’ earnings, which fluctuate from month to month, meant it was hard to prove they were commercial enterprises."
That is a key issue and at the centre of why capitalism is not a good enough system, per se - because most efforts, in any area, not just artistic culture, need to be made to create profit. Therefore various efforts that dont create enough profit fall away...therefore we are deprived of the wider beneficial aspects they may have. yep!
As with 2018 Man Booker prize winner Anna Burns and JK Rowling, that the article mentions, i also was given a chance to develop my writing (and reading and my self in general) by such periods on 'the dole' in my 20s in Scotland. Without that it would have been much harder, probably impossible.
(oh, and by sheer chance i did this in exactly the same place and the same time as JK Rowling - as we both went to read and write in the Elephant House cafe near the university in Edinburgh).
Basically, the equation is: less capitalism = more culture.
I've always had a hard time remembering the names of all those Greek philosophers and mathematicians, so I thought I'd make a list of joke ways to pronounce the names and remember something about them:
HE RA CLITE US weeped and
said wha's like us?
damn few and their ah died.
Could they nae step in the same river twice?
Nah, they were that fucking pissed
they couldnt even find it.
ARCHIE, ME and DES o’connor calculated that
you couldn’t analyse yer way oot a paper bag.
PLU! its TARK in here!
Dont you mean dark?
Aye, its like ROMANing in the gloomin!
HER ROAD AT US
with a mighty fury,
- the father and her had history.
All the PIEs,
went to his THIGHs,
so he could not GO
on the run with the rest oh RUS.
Give a PIE to THAG OR IAN
- or the 3 sides will no be even.
DE MO CRI TUS,
laughed and said
“Nothing exists except atoms
and empty space”
...then bashed his hied
on a low bookcase.
That's democracy fer ye!
DIE OH FAN TIS
Unless i pass my algebra test
I will die, oh fan - thus!
He had a total EPPY, i dont know why, its CURIOUS.
Perhaps he despaired of death and thought there no god
Ach, there's nae need to be sae serious!
ANA RAX SA GO LIS,
was told to go out without a kiss
for telling the Athenians
the seed of everything,
was in his anorak.
Wit a trainspotter!
Who YOU calling a CLID, ya bamstick?
12. Apollonius Pergaeus
A PO LONI US
put a cone on us,
then circled all aroond it.
He's a right tube!
THAY greek’s widdnae pay the LEASE,
they theorised that rent was theft,
hypothesised that it should be free,
- then they nicked the bleedin cutlery!
Never trust a philosopher...
they'll think ye oot oh house and hame.
This is my first sociology type comic book out in Spanish. Published today by the publisher AKAL in Madrid, who have also put out books by Theodor Adorno, Edward Said, Virginia Woolf, Perry Anderson, etc. Nice company to be in.
The original book is Portraits of Violence, that i made in association with Dr Brad Evans of Bristol University and several lovely artists from various countries.
SOBRE SEAN MICHAEL WILSON
Sean Michael Wilson es un premiado escritor de cómics de Escocia, que actualmente vive en Japón. Es también editor de la colección AX:alternative manga. Entre los libros en los que ha participado cabe mencionar Fight the Power y Goodbye God?
Welcome to the latest news about the books and activities of Sean Michael Wilson, professional comic book writer from Scotland.
Sean Michael Wilson - Wilson's Web