Writing, Publishing and Design

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Peter Good
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Apr 6 2008 11:49
Writing, Publishing and Design

The Anarchist seminar on Writing, Publishing and Design is to be held in the Albert Meltzer Library at the 1in12 Club, Bradford on 18th May 2008 (10.30-4pm).

Some intial observations. Building up to a "handout" on the day.

Writing
There is an enduring genre in Anarchist writing that is well practised in sifting through its own history. Big-bearded heroes from the past are regularly called upon to rescue current uncertainties. A nostalgic desire exists for a time when certainties were imposed by dramatic revolutionary events. It's a genre encumbered with a recognisable jargon.

We are looking for writing that inspires with its curiosity and discovery rather than doctrinal pronouncements: a writing evoking mood as well as conveying ideas. Taking risks to look at what is being born instead of what is dying.

What happens when the state takes an interest in a specific journal (speaker)

Publications
Various class-struggle groups occasionally call for a united publication. Is the movement better served by an impressive single journal or by a wide diversity of publications?

Has the internet come to replace the printed word?

The new role of regional book fairs. Distribution. Finance. Mutual Aid.

Design
A need to connect with the reader on both an aesthetic and emotional level. We are bombarded with so much printed matter that it's easy to become jaded with what's on offer. The look and the feel IS part of the appeal of any publication.
William Burroughs puts it best: "If you can't feel your subject, taste it, see it, smell it, touch it - don't expect your reader to"

The format of the seminar is to give speakers (we have three confirmed so far) 20 minutes to put across their message and then lead the ensuing discussion for up to an hour.

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Rob Ray
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Apr 6 2008 12:47

Who have you got talking?

Peter Good
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Apr 6 2008 17:20

I don't think I've got their consent to use their names on the site.

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Rob Ray
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Apr 6 2008 18:58

Shame, well good luck with it anyway.

martinh
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Apr 6 2008 19:30

Hi Peter,

Hopefully our West Yorks and Manchester comrades will be along to this. I was curious about this bit:

Peter Good wrote:
Writing
There is an enduring genre in Anarchist writing that is well practised in sifting through its own history. Big-bearded heroes from the past are regularly called upon to rescue current uncertainties. A nostalgic desire exists for a time when certainties were imposed by dramatic revolutionary events. It's a genre encumbered with a recognisable jargon.

We are looking for writing that inspires with its curiosity and discovery rather than doctrinal pronouncements: a writing evoking mood as well as conveying ideas. Taking risks to look at what is being born instead of what is dying.

Did you write this? What sort of writing do you mean? It's easy enough to find things that you don't like from the movement, but some examples of writing that you consider meets this criteria would be good,

Regards,

Martin

Peter Good
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Apr 7 2008 08:26

Martin,
This must be a fairly subjective response because writing across the Anarchist spectrum contains both good and bad writing. Some of the 60's alternative press had some excellent (and terrible) writing. While the second series of "Anarchy" was excrutiatingly bad in writing, design and reliability.

Hopefully there will be enough examples on the day. If I had to use a contemporary example then MAYDAY No 1 carries both risk-free predicatable writing and a couple of articles that made me sit up and take notice.

Be good to see you there.

Peter

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Django
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Apr 17 2008 23:22

As something of an amateur design nerd i always find it depressing that in libertarian publications the quality of content is always in inverse correlation with the quality of design. So Crimethinc stuff looks great but is full of shite wheras Aufheben looks like a printer manual.

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Rob Ray
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Apr 18 2008 09:49

Try Black Flag and Freedom, design and content in prefect harmony wink