Introduction to the Editors: Geoffrey Edwards – Writing that Transgresses
As a fledgeling writer and editor, as well as an (almost-retired) scientist, I am feeling my way into the business of editing, critiquing, choosing. I have eclectic tastes. I read just about anything, and voraciously. I review everything I read—you can read my reviews on goodreads. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, plays, scripts, essays. I love writing that gives an unusual perspective, but the writing itself has to be topnotch as well. I relish writing that transgresses—genres, styles, communities. I look for emotional impact, but a good intellectual argument wrapped up in something else may also pass muster. I adore embeddings, multiple layers, palimpsests. Oracles. No need to follow traditional forms, but the work has to hold me to my seat. I prefer long form writing, but am learning to like short form as well. The challenge with short form writing is that you have to make it easy for the reader to enter your world, and then make it hard for him/her/they to leave it, all in the space of a dime. Long form writing has similar demands, but also requires that you hold onto the reader in the middle, often across multiple reading sessions. You have the space to say something more complex, but you may as easily tie yourself in knots. For me, nuance is king (or queen!), I am allergic to truths that are too directly proclaimed!
I am also sensitive to -isms, with special awareness of ableism, transgenderism (is that a word?), indeed, alienisms in general (rejection of the other!). I try to be aware of racism and sexism, although as a white male, I sometimes fall into darkness.
Writers I admire include, among the classics, Homer, Milton, Hardy, Tolstoy, Proust, and Austen, of course, but also the Bronte sisters, Lady Murasaki, Woolf. My own writer sensitivities are grounded in the science fiction of Herbert, Le Guin, Asimov, and Delany, but also Joanna Russ, Connie Willis, Andre Norton, A.E. Van Vogt, Cordwainer Smith, and M.A. Foster, the fantasy writing of Tolkien and Lewis but also David Lindsay, Elizabeth Haydon, Mervyn Peake, and so on. I read historical fantasy (G.G. Kay) and romance (A. Seton), spy thrillers and mysteries (P.D. James, C. Carr, R. Van Gulik), and, occasionally, horror or westerns. I read philosophy, spiritual works (Aurobindo), religions (the Vedas, Bible, Koran, Lao Tzu, the Torah, etc.). And science scholarship. You could say I am ‘all over the map’. My favorite poets? Dylan Thomas, T.S. Eliot, E. Dickinson, W. Whitman, W.B. Yeats, John Keats, Pablo Neruda, Susan Musgrave. cummings.
I notice from the set of existing submissions to Metapsychosis that more than half of these are spiritually themed. I consider that a success for Metapsychosis, doubly so since publishing such material is often challenging. However, as our new Call for Submissions highlights, we are as interested in pieces that highlight our ecological, social and economic crises as well as our challenges in the spiritual register, that focus on the urgent need for new visions and understandings of the world, in whatever ways these may become manifest. We are looking for broad, but also highly personal perspectives. The world we want to engender, through our own creative acts, is first and foremost a lived world, a place where we as individuals can flourish and thrive in all our diversities.