はじめまして! Привет! 你好! მიესალმები! Salutations!
(Fast forward straight to what I would do with the Nobel Prize for Literature here – if I ever received it, I would instantly unreceive it to 735 contemporary female writers as, at the time of writing, there have been 41 Nobel prize awards to women in history and 776 to men. I came to this conclusion one morning as I was trying to negotiate my way out of my pyjamas and I saw a post about Nobel prizes in history by the English chess player Mark Weidman at Facebook and then looked at the numbers and thought “Ah! Look! At! The! Numbers! One is bigger than the other!” before then getting distracted again almost instantaneously by my bowl of porridge and my cup of ginger tea)
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively come and find me at Facebook or at Twitter or at GoodReads or at Mixcloud or at Soundcloud or at LinkedIn or at YouTube or at Scribd or at DeviantArt or at Vimeo or at Flickr or at Google+ or at Tumblr or at Spreaker. Or Skype me at devereuxmatthew. Beyond connections in all these global cybervillages, I particularly look forward to meeting you in the real world, ideally over a nice civilised cup of tea.
Publishers and literary agents are extremely warmly solicited as I appear to have proposals for about 735,735 books in all the rabbit warrens of my internet looking-glass world and the number seems to be constantly rising in the manner of a cloud of computing.
I have created this blog as a way of aggregating together all my publications and activities. At the time of writing (2nd January 2011) I am listening to records by Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix and recordings of compositions by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, drinking jasmine tea and looking at hibernal leaves falling like haiku syllables from trees, but this blogzone also incorporates all the rather more long-term activities and projects I am involved in.As Juvenal didn’t write, because he wasn’t living in the internet age – “who influences the influencers?” To see one estimation of my current internet Kloutscore, please click here. I do not have any information on the total Units of Pleasure so far generated by my writing and am always interested in hearing estimations from luminaries.
Please note: I have adopted the middle name ‘Amadeus’ in order to subliminally project the idea that my work is of the same level of genius as his. It isn’t, but please don’t tell anyone and I won’t either.
My projects, activities, and bloggotozoa are as follows:
* Forthcoming semi-autobiography “Carpe Diadem”
* Chess Fantasia: 1,001 love letters to the game
* My post-Samuel Johnsonian 21st century Dictionary of the English Language. Which is really a proposal for about nineteen quadrillion different films nested inside each other like a Russian matryoshka called “BARON DEVEREUX”. I am currently in negotiations with Hollywood over BARON DEVEREUX involving an abstruce contract with a litany of Bobby Fischer subclauses of byzantine complexity that will keep my descendents in ryvita for centuries. Unfortunately those negotiations are currently only conducted in my dreams.
* My plays VERBUS MAXIMUS and TWEETY PIE IN THE SKY: 140 CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF A PLAY and THE FAIRTRADE WIND OF CHANGE. These form the AUTOBOTTOM TRILOGY named after Autobot Transformer toys and Bottom from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by Shakespeare. Theatre companies are very warmly welcomed to perform them as soon as possible. If you do perform one, two or all three of them, please let me know! If I can get a ‘plus one’ on the guest-list too then I will be over the moon as then I can invite one of my many imaginary friends and help fill up your presumably normally half-empty theatres.
These are PLAYS OF IDEAS because the form of history I am most interested in is the history of ideas (and in particular in its relationship to economic history). For my next play, “THE AMDRAMADA GALAXY”, which will be about amateur dramatics, I plan to develop more properly rounded human characters and put the ideas to the background. The Amdramada Galaxy will be set in the enchanted Forest of Garden, Stratford-upon-Maiden, east London, where the amateur thespians have to produce a play called “A Midslummer Night’s Dream”.
* Without really consciously choosing to do so, on 6th April 2011 I followed up a comment to a book reviewer called Paula at Good Reads with yet another proposal for a book after she pointed out that my review of “Trouble on the Heath” by Terry Jones is nothing but a melange of mendacity. This book proposal is called “Trouble on the Heath” and is about a Russian matryoshka doll that gets superglued to somebody who has changed their name by deed poll to Hampstead Heath.
* Forthcoming poetry collection “The Odes of Mars”
* The Football Haiku World Cup
* The Gambler: A Shakespearean-Dostoevskyian-Reizsian Take on the 2010 S.Africa World Cup. Please note: for people who don’t like football, this isn’t really about football, it’s about 21st century relationships. For people who don’t like 21st century relationships, it’s about football.
* Devereux & Onians Productions: The Forebroadcast Project
* My plan for a long-term creative writing business or foundation. This is probably the first idea for a long-term business or foundation I have ever had where I didn’t think of the title first (based on some silly pun or play on words) but instead thought of the idea first. So it has a provisional title of CREATIVITY LTD that might be changed at a later date.
* I also have a long-term plan for a company offering literary tours on MAD LITERARIBUSES. I know literary tours already exist but suggest, at the risk of hubris, that they are unlikely to be as crazy as mine will be. I will obviously delegate the ‘health and safety’ aspects of the enterprise to somebody with an ability to sensibly appraise risks. Note: the LITERARIBUS is named in honour of the nouns ending in ‘ibus’ in the dative and ablative cases in Latin.
* I also have a long-term plan for a clothes shop and a chess shop – these plans are currently on ice. In terms of the first, the motto of the shop will be “THE COSTUMIER IS ALWAYS RIGHT.”
Currently I am also starting to create notebooks for a future piece of experimental literature which will be primarily historical fiction called “MONEY”. It will begin in the 21st century era as described by Chrystia Freeland: the first part of “Money” will look at the enormous division of wealth today between the global super-rich and the rest of the world and will be called “A TALE OF TWO ECONOMIES” in honour of Charles Dickens and the “Tale of Two Cities”. That is, of course, assuming that my natural tendency to get sidetracked does not take over and I end up writing a story about a unicorn that is made out of old yoghurt pots instead, which is probably quite likely to be honest.
Assuming I manage to keep on track, at a deep and subtextual level I would like “Money” to be a project that explores correlations across time between climate and weather on the one hand and financial and economic systems on the other. What makes me think of that project is four things: firstly the work of Giambattista Vico, who drew connections between culture and climate; secondly my memories of 1987 when I was nine years old and there was both a great storm in the UK (which certain meteorologists said wouldn’t happen) and a serious stock market crash; thirdly the rise of carbon trading and markets and the ramifications for our wider macroeconomic system; and finally the Annales school of French history and their expansive historical writing over what was known as the ‘longue duree’ or long time period. The meteorologist view, which was an example of the black and white binary thinking that we can all succumb to (“a storm cannot happen”) makes me think that there is, ultimately, a limit to human knowledge particularly of dynamic and non-linear systems such as climate or an economy (and particularly if the two are interconnected) – this is the Devereuxian Uncertainty Principle named after Werner Heisenberg‘s principle in physics.
One cannot know the position and velocity of the elements of a dynamic non-linear system simultaneously, so the best we can do is formulate ideas which have as high probabilities as possible whilst always keeping an open mind to new information. I have proved this by observing empirically that I can never quite know the position and velocity of any of the socks in my sock drawer simultaneously. What appears to be a fully formed and matched pair of socks can all too quickly disappear into thin air. With that caveat, I predict the potential for a potentially vibrant real economy over the next few years – so long as there is a redistribution of power back to the grassroots, so that problems and solutions can be properly explored by everyday people at everyday level since a vibrant real economy occurs when people converse freely and openly and therefore diagnose problems and good solutions to them as well as brainstorming new ideas for enterprises and organisations. The relocalisation that is a necessity of more limited aggregate resources is a process that is clearly disruptive and challenging, but one that also provides the potential for more dignity in labour and in a resurgence of crafts and skills of many kinds, should we choose to adopt a positive rather than nihilistic response to this great transition from one historical era to another.
This will only be the case if institutions are not run in too top-down a fashion and hence people’s autonomy over their own lives is not limited to tiny levels. It will also happen, based on Whorf’s hypothesis, as we tell each other positive narratives and share positive ideas rather than having conversations based on how frightening the future is, which it isn’t. This is my theory of Qualitative Pleasing. QP is based on a very simple equation: the greater the level of autonomy per capita, the happier, and the greater number of matching pairs of socks found in the sock drawer per annum, the snappier:
H = A/C x S/annum
In my books, what we are going through is not simply a ‘recession’ or a dip in the trade cycle but is instead a transition from one era to another – and a transition to an era that is potentially more open and one that is more closely tuned into basic and fundamental realities rather than the illusions created by credit provision that is beyond the scope of those fundamentals. In an economic or financial system, openness is closely correlated to sanity and sustainability. Using a kind of extended and augmented double entry book-keeping, we clearly face enormous challenges in the 21st century relating to the questions of ecological credit and debt. On one side of the equation is ever dwindling physical resources and commodities and on the other ever rising human population (close to seven billion at the time of writing, and constantly increasing). This has sharpened the central question at the heart of economics – the relationship between finite resources and infinite wants. That macrocosmic and global situation is therefore one that will test us and our collective ability to create, structure and organise – but there are manifold and multiplicitous opportunities at the same time, and we should be as open as possible to them as we can be. And if we have economies and societies that are relatively open, then we can maximise our collective intelligence in finding solutions to problems through open and respectful dialogue.
Below is a diagram showing my philosophy of “It is always being done”-ism to counter nihilism and cynicism. Human history is filled with quadrillions of examples of ideas and projects that went from the initial idea stage and grew to fruition and completion and worked well. I have tried to show how the process of things actually working out often comes as a result of exponential progression after an initially difficult and resistant early phase in the graph below. If you can’t read all the writing on it, please click on it and you should be able to read a bigger version. Thanks incidentally to Dana Herbert for teaching me about the anicent Chinese saying that the person not doing something who says the something in question cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it, which is a core element in the philosophy of “It is always being done”-ism. Although to be fair it is true that sometimes people interrupting with practical solutions to some of the problems in the initial ‘Taking Time’ phase (TT) is very much needed. That is more a contribution than an interruption and it is vital. I cannot comment on other people’s creative processes but if I am being honest the major obstacle I have always faced whenever trying to conduct any project is that the initial eureka moment provides a vision of the full, completed project – and then you have to go out into the world and try to make it happen in reality, which has to be broken down into thousands of little steps, and sometimes it is hard to stay tuned into the initial vision and not lose faith in it. Also you have to make sure that the initial eureka vision is not too dogmatic or fixed but is flexible enough to be adapted to circumstances and external realities. That is where the support of others comes into play, or the interconnection of people with different abilities in a team, without whom projects rarely make it to the hallowed ‘take-off point’ and then go into exponential hyperdrive. The graph obviously applies to all manner of individual projects, but it also applies to major paradigm shifts in art, cultural, or economics and finance. We are living through a long-term shift from traditional economics to ecological economics or ecolonomics which is as profound as the Copernican revolution. These intellectual changes do not happen overnight and they don’t happen without conflicts although the fewer of those and the more harmony the better.
The philosophy of “It can’t be done-ism” often becomes entrenched or ingrained at times dominated by political and economic systems that are run on far too top-down a basis.
Such periods of time in history are not fixed forever, however, and things can change. One of the other major problems of the philosophy of “It can’t happen”-ism is that it relies on a fixed and often fundamentalist view of the world rather than a view which sees economies and cultures as living, breathing, non-linear and self-organising dynamic systems. So good luck to everybody going for it and making this a beautiful world. Let’s look forward – there are LOTS of OPPORTUNITIES to create lots of exciting and successful projects of all sorts of different kinds!
1) 1978: Birth, Kingston-upon-Thames, England (not Kingston, Jamaica). The magi were otherwise engaged. There were no particular correspondences between the birth and any astral developments. Kingston Hospital was unburdened by gold, frankincense and myrrh and adoration was thin on the ground.
2) 1996-9: Modern History, St.Anne’s college, Oxford University. I would talk about my study there, but it’s history.
3)1999-2000: As rapid emigration as possible as a method of postponing the transition from the shelter of student life to the brutal realities of the adult world. One year scholarship to learn Japanese at Fukuoka Keizai University, Kyushu, Japan.
4) 2000-: Return to the brutalist realities and occasional panglosses of the adult world. As many forays as possible into the floating world of cyberspace (or, if you will, the non-linear hypetextual curvaspace). Occasional artistry of the floating world.
5) 25th April 2013: Holiday on the moon. I am looking forward to a swim in the Sea of Tranquility. I hope that the space elevator back home is a bit quicker than it was on the way up as there was a delay pedal as a result of intergalactic leaves on the line and the wrong kind of snow patrol.