Osvaldo y Coca – Poema

This old gaffer can sure pull a stunt or two, and the musicality is out of this world! Besides which, Poema is one of the greatest tangos, and one of the hardest to pull off since everyone loves it so much.

Here are two young dancers using the same style but to a different tango  – Mamie y Pipe

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Anthony Howell – Readings and Performances

A selection of performances in various genres – poems read to the background of constant moving images, dance performances by Tango Schumann, solo performance art pieces and performances with the Theatre of Mistakes in the seventies, as well as poems set to music by Batista Pradal and others by Michael Nyman (sung by Alessandro Cortello) – can be found at Readings and Performances

This is a page on my website, where other pages list books published, and links to artists, film-makers and writers I admire, as well as biographical details etc.

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Writing as the plough turns.

anthonyhowelljournal

Very interesting article about Boustrophedon writing

by David L O’Hara.

This relates to research I am doing into the relationship between dance steps and the metrical foot in poetic scansion, with regard to the movement of the chorus in strophe and anti-strophe. More will be revealed when my book on the subject THE STEP IS THE FOOT is published by Grey Suit Editions later this year.

Gortys closeup

O’Hara comments on this 2500 year old inscription in Gortyn, an ancient site in Crete:

“The writing is in boustrophedon style.  Boustrophedon means something like “as the ox turns.”  Today we write in stoichedon style, in which all the letters face the same direction, like soldiers standing in formation.  Boustrophedon is based on an agricultural, not a military ideal: the writer writes as a farmer plows.  Write to the end of the line, and then, rather than returning to the left side of the…

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TACTILE, UNTOUCHABLE

Here is a new review for the Fortnightly Review – Tactile, Untouchable

Looking at three stunning works of visual art on show in London just recently.

I am dedicating this review here to the memory of Mary Maclean

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Consciousness (with Mutilation) – now published.

It’s out.  And do come to our launch at Housmans Radical Bookshop on Wed 24th April at 7 pm.

Housmans – 5 Caledonian Road, King’s Cross , London N1 9DX,

Very excited to have a book published by Odd Volumes

Printed in France, so they have a cool French feel to them.

Consciousness (with Mutilation) is a non-fiction novel. Every sentence that begins any paragraph within it also serves as the concluding sentence of another paragraph. The trigger for the text is an epileptic seizure the author experienced in April 2018. This event prompted an investigation of the meaning of continuity in individuals, families and states. Could we have been somebody else yesterday, or become somebody else tomorrow? Consciousness annexes a Syrian novella – Mutilation – within its pages; a novella by Mamdouh Adwan, first published in Damascus in 1971. Reading this book is to be drawn into whirlpools, perhaps to drown. It is self-analysis, but, since the author’s lineage is both Jewish and Quaker, it evolves into an analysis of Zionism, of which Howell’s grandfather was a proponent, and of the role of the British in the Middle East. Having experienced sudden lapses of consciousness, the author senses that “life is not a river. Life is a collage.” This book takes The Naked Lunch by William Burroughs and Jealousy by Alain Robbe-Grillet for its literary forbears. In the way of ancient tragedy, the dilemma of the individual becomes the dilemma of the state, in this case Israel, and the author carries the reader into a world of smoke and mirrors, sustained by collage mediated through its formal constraint.

Global Distribution: Baker & Taylor

ISBN 9-780- 9991365-3-9

Can be bought at Barnes and Noble

Can be bought at Amazon

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“Anthony Howell is a man of many artistic talents but most importantly of all, for me, is the fact that he has an open mind which he uses to his, and our, great advantage … he is not afraid to ask all the questions that need to be asked and to join all the dots that need to be joined … at this time when we hear so many lies from our mainstream media news purveyors it is more important than ever to listen to what an independent and incisive thinker like Anthony has to tell us … he comes from a background that has given him some amazing insights and I feel privileged that he has shared them with me … now the rest of the world can learn more …”      Elleanne Green

Contact the author for more information, requests for interviews, review copies etc.

howell.anthony1@googlemail.com  0208 801 8577

http://www.anthonyhowell.org/

 

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Writing as the plough turns.

Very interesting article about Boustrophedon writing

which I came across  – by David L O’Hara.

It proved rewarding to research I am doing into the relationship between dance steps and the metrical foot in poetic scansion, with regard to the movement of the chorus in strophe and anti-strophe. More will be revealed when my book on the subject THE STEP IS THE FOOT is published by Grey Suit Editions later this year.

Gortys closeup

This photo was taken in Crete by O’Hara, who comments on this 2500 year old inscription in Gortyn, an ancient site in Crete:

“The writing is in boustrophedon style.  Boustrophedon means something like “as the ox turns.”  Today we write in stoichedon style, in which all the letters face the same direction, like soldiers standing in formation.  Boustrophedon is based on an agricultural, not a military ideal: the writer writes as a farmer plows.  Write to the end of the line, and then, rather than returning to the left side of the page, turn the letters to face the opposite direction and write from right to left.  When you read boustrophedon, your eye follows a zig-zag across the page — or the stone.”

Later in his article, he says:

“The code at Gortyn records (in Column IX, around the middle, if you’re curious) the presence at court of someone in addition to the judge: the mnemon.  You can see by the word’s resemblance to our word “mnemonic” that it has to do with memory.  The mnemon’s job was to act as a witness to previous judicial decisions, and to remember them and remind the judge of those decisions.  The mnemon’s job was not to decide cases but to be a kind of embodiment of the law and therefore an embodiment of fairness.”

I write about Crete in my forthcoming book:

“With the emergence of the maze dances on the threshing-floor came the establishment of the chorus. Initially there may have been one lead singer, and the dancers linked to each other were the chorus, perhaps stepping in unison to the refrain voiced by the community. It’s here that we arrive at the fusion of the dance step with the foot of poetic metre. Linking hands, the chorus stepped out the rhythm of the strophe in one direction and the anti-strophe in the other, mapping the trajectory of a plough in a field, and it is worth noting that in the early versions of the alphabet, the Greeks adopted the Phoenician practice of writing from right to left with the letters having a left-facing orientation unlike their own archaic script. This was followed by a period of bidirectional writing, which means that the direction of the writing was in one direction on one line but in the opposite direction on the next, a practice known as boustrophedon – which means “the turning of the ox” – as when the ox-drawn plough reaches the end of a furrow. Such writing matches the left to right, right to left progress of the chorus line.”

So this is the background to a notion I wish to introduce, which is that of Boustrophedon Literature. Precedents in modern writing which might be cited should  include Raymond Roussel and Bioy Casares, the “time plays”of J. B. Priestley, the novels of Alain Robbe-Grillet and the films he scripted for Alain Renais, together with the cut-up novels of William Burroughs. This is a literature which only reads from A to B in the sense that one page follows another (as the plough gradually turns over the soil of the entire field). But, when we watch the movement of the team dragging the plough, we see that going back is the same as going forward. Progress and its reverse are in equilibrium. In this literature one paragraph may just as well precede another as follow it. Actual time and flash-back are continually juxtaposed. Yes, you might read any one paragraph from its first capital letter to its last full stop. But you could read the entire book backwards, paragraph by paragraph, and get as much out of it as you would if you read it from its first page to its last. It’s because memory is inscribed in the action of writing, or that the book is like a jig-saw puzzle, complete when the last piece is put in place – without requiring that the pieces be put together in any set order, for that is left to chance. It could also be described as mnemonic writing.

It defies the King’s dictum to Alice – “Begin at the beginning, and go on till you come to the end: then stop.” It suggests that a book may be opened in the middle, or  anywhere. “Read as much as you wish to read, then close the book, re-open it and start from another page.”

Boustrophedon literature questions the ethos of progress. It suggests, rather, an ethos of timelessness within completion, the share cleaving the turf as it has done for centuries, as it will do for centuries. It perceives “progress” as leading to Armageddon. Life, however, may be a Moebius strip, forever returning us to our beginnings.  As a wave rises and falls, forwards incorporates backwards; falls follow rises, waves advance, retire; backwards returns to where forwards had been. As Lefebvre might contrast a work to a product, the ploughman might contrast completion to progress.

One could think about the notion of Boustrophedon time: that when he ploughs the field, the ploughman is constantly coming back to the same place from the opposite point of view. And this is almost true, but not utterly true – as the turning of the turf gets completed.

I have written three novels in this style:

The Distance Measured in Days (unpublished),

Consciousness (with Mutilation) published recently by Odd Volumes,

The Lynx Effect (unpublished).

 

 

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Homage to the Horses of Saint Petersburg 1998

A performance by Anthony Howell in 1998.

Homage to the Horses of Saint Petersburg

This performance can also be found at vimeo

And it can also be found on this page Readings and Performances

on my website – which also features poems read to constantly moving images and other performances, including The Theatre of Mistakes and Tango Schumann.

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