Humanism is an idea, it is an ideal; it should remain a goal; it has been a tradition understood and cherished by the Publishing Editor. What has not been abandoned in these pages is a commitment to this tradition of Humanism, uppercase ‘H’ imperative.
It is in its pages that this journal needs to be explored by the readers, and I insist that reading is what needs to be accomplished here. Superficially skimming pages will not do; Melville had once said of Hawthrone’s writing, that Mr. Hawthorne’s writing is meant to deceive the superficial skimmer of pages. Yes, there is a difference between what reading is and what we often do instead. We cannot imagine that what has passed for too long in our schools for literacy, becoming entrenched in our pedagogy, the dogmas of teaching we now accept and receive without question, will help us engage the kind of literacy necessary for our culture and civilization to sustain themselves. Only advancing in literacy will help us maintain the kind of writing necessary for the literary advance of our culture. I know how high minded and handed I am being. I take these truths to be self-evident, though. Their necessity obliges me; I am committed to actualizing them in these pages. Literacy is not alphabetization. The kind of reading and writing supported by bureaucrats and State certified teachers is only what helps sustain control and being in form. Yes, all manners of informing have become the manners by which we put and keep us in form. Dye-cast people.
The Pages section contains essays, essays, and more essays, nearing two hundred at present. The Falling Leaf Review understands that the essay form, that this genre of writing, comes to us from Montaigne, not that there were not exhibitors of the form antecedent to the arrival of Montaigne’s Les Essais, or The Essays. We must remember that the word ‘essay’ comes from the French essayer, a verb that translates to try or to test. Essays are therefore trials or tests of ideas, of arguments, of social positions, et cetera. The etymology is at least residual in every essay written and published here.
The essays themselves are each several or more pages in length. They have the traditions of the literary essay behind them. They are in the manner of what we call higher letters. Our conventions herein will always be literary. The topics herein exposed are many and varied. Exposition seems to be an art reduced to a craft managed by those who defer to the received ideas of, or succumb to the structural demands of the sound-bite dominant in, our media. Even our print media has succumbed to the dogmas of constructing messages that conform with the sound bite. Print media has itself been re-formed (in the worst possible way for the literary and for literacy) by social media. Social media will not bring about the death of the literary; this does not have to happen. Twitter seems the perfect medium for the Haiku, although too much of what we find there is drivel. It also supports Renga with an exchange of posts. We could let the Haiku form affect how we write even our prose. Will we seems the most pressing question because can we is not impossible.
I do not need to ask God to help us . . . God has nothing to do with the writing in this literary review. We who are I; I am who am we . . . I am we herein . . . yes this JVR is the myself and I am myself the author and publisher and editor of all that is contained within. Ma Plume et Mon Droit.
The Publishing-Editor/Author, JVR.
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