LETTER FROM THE EDITOR.
Poetry is not an expression of the party line. It's that time of night, lying in bed, thinking what you really think, making the private world public, that's what the poet does. --Allen Ginsberg, from Ginsberg: A Biography
In an advertising blurb announcing a recent poetry event sponsored by the New York Society for General Semantics, NYSGS President Lance Strate stated: "Alfred Korzybski, founder of general semantics, wrote that, 'poetry often conveys in a few sentences more of lasting values than a whole volume of scientific analysis' (Science and Sanity, p. 437)" (NYSGS website, 2018). Prof. Strate goes on to say the Korzybski "understood that poetic language provides us with a set of tools for understanding, evaluating, and relating to our environment in ways that are different from and complementary to scientific language" (NYSGS website, 2018). Thus, poetry is part of the fundamental DNA of both general semantics and the pages of ETC throughout the journal's 70-plus years of existence.
The NYSGS poetry event mentionedabove featured some of the most prominent GS practitioners and poets living in the greater New York area including Institute of General Semantics President, Dr. Martin H. Levinson; Patricia Carragon, an active member of the online poetry group brevitas and the PEN Women's Literary Workshop; New York-based Canadian poet, performer, cultural theorist, and media artist Adeena Karasick; and the aforementioned Lance Strate, who besides being the NYSGS President, is a trustee of the Institute of General Semantics, editor of Exploration in Media Ecology, a founder, and past president of the Media Ecology Association, Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University, and a very active poet whose book of poetry, Thunder at Darwin Station, was published by NeoPoiesis Press in 2014.
Poetry is a big part of this issue of ETC as well in that we are fortunate to have 11 new poems from our very own Lance Strate to grace the pages of issue 73-3. These 11 poems represent a broad array of themes, including walking in San Francisco, the "Big Bang," and the art of facts. These poems, like all good poetry, are simultaneously suggestive, reflective, and thought-provoking.
But poetry is a part of this issue you hold in your hands. This edition of ETC also contains many wonderful articles such as Carl Bernstein's study of the behavior of monkeys and the possible implications for the evolution of psychiatric disorders. IGS President, Martin Levinson, provides two articles of note--the first discuss the general semantics device of "dating," and the second provides a case study that focuses on general semantics and worker supervision. Barry Liss provides a discussion on aesthetic creativity in his article titled In Defense of the Athenian Way: Neil Postman and Eric Hoffers' Arguments Regarding Aesthetic Creativity; and Janelle Wilson's essay titled Peripheral Vision: Re-Imagining Marginality explores the "conceptual playground we find ourselves on when we consider the various meanings and dimensions of marginality." English professor Stan Kozikowski laments the "lowest common denominator" of our English language in his essay titled Oceanic Gyres, Grammatical Gyres: What We Do Not Know That Has Hurt Us, and Tim Lyons tackles the topic of fragmentation through language use in his essay Astrology, Divination, And General Semantics: A Critique Of Postman (And Others) Along With Some Intimations About The Unus Mundus.
So, while the bulk of this issue was worked on during the month of April, which is designated as National Poetry Month, the material you will find herein will not only stimulate your poetic muse but will also challenge your cognitions on language, thought, and action. Hmmm--that sounds like a good title for a book!
Saint Mary's College of California
Korzybski, A. (1933). Science and Sanity: An Introduction to Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics. New York, NY: Institute of General Semantics.
Miles, B. (2001). Ginsberg: A Biography, 2nd ed. New York, NY: Virgin Books/Random House.
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|Publication:||ETC.: A Review of General Semantics|
|Date:||Jul 1, 2016|
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