Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Occultist John Dee inspires oddball opera collaboration

Sixteenth-century alchemist and occultist John Dee—often referred to as the "conjurer to Queen Elizabeth"—will soon at some point be immortalized in an opera, to be cowritten by the duo behind the cartoon rock band Gorillaz—Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett—and Watchmen author and magician, anarchist, and bearded wonder, Alan Moore. We say "at some point" because, as The A.V. Club reports, the project is in the very early stages of development. Here's a snippet from their latest report:
Albarn confirms that the story will concern the life of famed alchemist John Dee, the 16th-century thinker who blurred the line between science and mysticism with his equal devotion to mathematics and stuff like trying to talk to angels in their own language. But in addition to his dabbling in the occult, Dee was also a pioneer in navigation, a noted astronomer, served as a political advisor to Elizabeth I, and amassed the largest library in England—in short, he’s a real nerd’s nerd, right down to his fascination with the supernatural.
Obviously, a collaboration between Moore and Gorillaz based on the life of John "He Talks to Angels" Dee could turn out to be, as The A.V. Club puts it, "one of the most geek-tastic projects of all time."

Coincidentally, our book John Dee's Occultism: Magical Exaltation through Powerful Signs, by noted Dee scholar Gy├Ârgy E. Szonyi, is newly available in paperback. Renaissance Quarterly said of it:
“The scholar at whatever level interested in understanding the range and scope of occult philosophy in the early modern period, will find Szonyi’s one of the best first books to read.”
In short, it's a perfect companion for those looking to bone up on John Dee and occultism in order to fully appreciate what will surely be an eccentric opera on one of the towering figures of Renaissance mysticism.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Book review: Blows to the Head

Binnie Klein's Blows to the Head continues to garner positive reviews and attention. Here's a sampling from the latest review, from The Jewish Chronicle:

Klein offers a light-hearted, self-deprecating, and entertaining romp through her unusual experiences as a boxer, using them to connect with her current activities, her past, and her Jewish identification.

Read the full review. Also, we're happy to share Binnie's book trailer, below!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Busy busy busy

Spring has sprung in the northeast, and as usual that means our next seasonal catalog—the fall seasonal catalog, mind you—will be dropping soon. We've been busy working on that lately, hence the lack of exciting new blog posts. We hope to remedy this soon, but while you wait, remember to become fans of SUNY Press on Facebook, where you can follow our latest news and notes. Also, get out and enjoy the spring weather!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Holocaust Remembrance Week

April 11-18 is Holocaust Remembrance Week. In light of the timing, we'd like to share some of our books on the topic with you. Click on the book covers to learn more about each title.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Integral Options Cafe

As mentioned in an earlier post, we're taking orders for the Journal of Integral Theory and Practice, plus releasing books in our new companion series on Integral Theory. We've recently discovered the Integral Options Cafe, and thought that readers of our new journal and series might find the blog of interest. Here's how William Harryman at the Cafe describes his mission:

Integral Options Cafe offers a place to discuss all things related to a Buddhist, integral worldview. While theory is important (Buddhism, Ken Wilber, Spiral Dynamics, psychology, and Integral Theory), so is politics, art & poetry, human values, popular culture, and humor. I invite comments, different points of view, and anything that can add to a civil discussion of living in an integral world.

Stan Grof, author of the forthcoming SUNY book Holotropic Breathwork, is actually featured in today's post on the Integral Options Cafe. The article offers a thorough exploration of how Grof helped "launch the dawn of a new psychedelic research era." It's a must-read for anyone interested in Grof, his research, and his impact on the field.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Find us on Facebook

Short but important post for today: SUNY Press is on Facebook! Find us there by clicking on the Facebook link you see on the right side of our blog, just beneath our logo.

Tell your friends!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Prestigious publication grant awarded by French Embassy

SUNY Press has received a prestigious Hemingway Grant from the Cultural Services of the French Embassy supporting the forthcoming publication of Guilty, an important work by the 20th-century French philosopher Georges Bataille. Translated and with an introduction by Stuart Kendall, Guilty will be published in January 2011 in the SUNY series in Contemporary French Thought, edited by David Pettigrew and Francois Raffoul. Check back often to our website for further details on this exciting new translation, the first to include the full text of Bataille's Oeuvres Completes.