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Shameless Self-promotion Sunday

Here’s to a Shameless 2011!

Again, it’s been a while, so let’s make this a good one.

Round here, the past few weeks have mostly been about taking stock, cleaning up, and preparing. I’ve got talks coming up in February and March (more on which, soon), new work to start on for the new year, and some outstanding obligations that I need to get on top of and get cleared out. I have an article on Tucker’s Four Monopolies which is in the works; I’ve also been chasing a couple of fascinating rabbit-holes — like the seven days or so that this 3 character correction to Wikipedia has led me to spend digging through archives, gathering sources, and putting up new material online. (For a quick overview of some of the results, see the gradually accumulating collection of information at From the Margins: C. L. James and at the Fair Use Blog. James — who was tirelessly prolific and incredibly erudite — was once an intellecutal heavy in the movement; but he’s now almost entirely forgotten, by both Anarchists and the mainstream. But he deserves better than that; and if the Internet is good for anything, it is good platform for some diligent un-forgetting of marginalized figures. If any of y’all, or anyone you know, has good access to archives of the Alarm, by the way, be sure to let me know. I am informed that James wrote some labor-songs for the Knights of Labor, and I’m avidly seeking the chance to find some samples.)

And you? You know the deal. What have you been up to since the New Year? Write anything? Leave a link and a short description for your post in the comments. Or fire away about anything else you might want to talk about.

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  1. Gary Chartier

    Continuing the thankless task of trying to find a publisher for The Conscience of an Anarchist, while simultaneously working on the remaining chapters (concerned with left-libertarian anarchism and the common good, anarchy and culture, and rectifying injury in a stateless society) of Anarchy under Law or The Shape of Freedom or whatever my law-and-anarchy project ends up being called.

  2. Shawn P. Wilbur

    The second series of The Alarm, when Lum was editing it, is all here. The remainder has been microfilmed, at it looks like the Wisconsin State Historical Society may have it for sale. I’m interested in making an order from them for some references works, and that would be on the shortlist. Good catch and nice work on C. L. James. He was a pretty eccentric heavy. I’ll have to find and send you his history of anarchism, from the Twentieth Century, where he includes Marx in the genealogy, and Henry Cohen feels the need to deliver a bit of a smackdown.

    I’ve been working on too many things at once, trying to establish a “small batch” routine for Corvus Editions, binding hardcovers in batches of 6-12 copies, and formalizing the binding styles for series like the New Proudhon Library and Blazing Star Library. I’ll be having an informal book release/retail space launch next weekend in Portland, featuring some Calvin Blanchard titles on Thomas Paine’s birthday. I’m revising the Philosophy of Progress translation, and posted the key passages on philosophy and method, with some thoughts about what it takes to really engage with Proudhon’s work. And the recent writing on mutualist land tenure has pretty well prepared me to sit down and write the second Mutualist, “Owning Up,” which will try to answer the challenge I laid down for myself in the “property must justify itself or disappear” blogpost.

    I expect I’ll be wrapped up in this until about March and the Bay Area Bookfair, but I’ve been doing the translation-prep on more French socialist-feminist writing and a bunch of the non-Proudhon propaganda for the Bank of the People for some spring projects. If I can just get a routine, there’s a lot of translation work thiiiis clooose to finished.

    • Rad Geek

      Shawn,

      Excellent news on the upcoming launch. I wish I could convey my congrats in person at the Bookfair, but will probably not be able to make it this year, between the price hike for table space and the cross-country trips I’m already going to have to make this Spring. Argh. Anyway, I’ll be eagerly looking forward to seeing Mutualist #2.

      On the Alarm archives — fantastic, and thanks. I’ve started browsing already, and will try to start doing some indexing in a day or two when I have a chance. Unfortunately the bibliographical reference I have for a confirmed James labor song-poem is from the Parsons era, so not yet covered. On the eccentricity: for sure. A lot of the material I’ve been working on lately has been working from the Liberty index, most of which (other than one approving quotation, and a lot of out-and-out smack-talking) is about James’s quixotic efforts to rehabilitate Malthus for Anarchistic social science. On the subject of James’s rather odd historical reconstruction, there’s also Tucker’s brief reaction, which I just put up last night. I’d definitely love to see the original history, if you get a chance to send it along.

      On microfilms — I may be able to help you out with that, depending on the timeline. I’ll drop you a line off-list to discuss.

  3. Gary Chartier

    Mr. Civil Libertarian,

    I think it’s entirely possible I’ll end up using a POD option. Lulu seems to have some built-in constraints that make it an unappealing option; ditto for CreateSpace. (Is there anyone else in the POD world you’d recommend?) I’m still waiting to hear from some traditional publishers. Bottom line: I’m not sure what will make the most sense.

    Meanwhile, if you want to read the book in ms., feel free to email me. Just be aware that it’s not a programmatic statement–it’s really intended to be the sort of thing you might hand to a friend or relative who voted for Obama and is now realizing what a horrid mistake that was, or to one who’s figured out that Tea Partiers are largely uninterested in liberty and wonders if there’s another option. And I try very hard to avoid getting involved in various intra-anarchist squabbles.

  4. Gary Chartier

    Shawn: you’ve mentioned before you might try to make it to the book fair in LA next month. Any chance this is still an option?

    Charles: ditto for you–it was great to see you at last year’s event–but I assume you may have too much on your plate for this to be realistic.

  5. Shawn P. Wilbur

    Gary, I still haven’t heard if there’s a date for the LA fair. I sent an email about tabling and/or presenting, and got a nice “we’ll keep you posted” reply, but nothing since. Have you heard anything more definite? I would love an excuse to get down to southern California. It’s been close to 20 years since I visited any of my old haunts.

    As far as your book is concerned, have you considered self-publishing, and funding through Kickstarter or something similar? Kevin’s books are effectively trapped inside publishing channels that exclude them from distribution through anarchist channels. It would be a shame to have your book stuck in the same narrow channels. Drop me a line if you want to brainstorm options at all. I would certainly be happy to help make an independent publication happen.

    Charles, send me the citation for the earlier Alarm piece, and I’ll see if maybe I have it in the bits and pieces I have from the first series.

    • Rad Geek

      Shawn,

      Sure; thank you. The example song-poem (from footnotes in Clark Halker’s book on labor song-poems) is “Voltaire,” from The Alarm for 23 January 1886. If you have it around, great; if not, no worries.

  6. Ctmummey

    I second kickstarter. Not to get your hopes up but look at this example: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/coppiceagroforestry/dave-and-mark-write-a-coppice-agroforestry-book

    • Gary Chartier

      Very impressive. Thanks for passing this on. I haven’t given up hope that an existing publisher–a real publisher, one that doesn’t want any cash from me–may, indeed, take the book. Even if that happens, though, kickstarter could be a great source of revenue for promotion.

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