Jan 112016



=By=   Gaither Stewart

“Any nation’s victory against imperialism is our victory, as any defeat is also our defeat.”

The short biography: Ernesto Guevara was born in Rosario in western Argentina on June 14, 1928 of well-to-do, leftwing parents, the oldest of five children. He died in the Bolivian village of La Higuera on October 9, 1967 at the age of 39. His family moved to Buenos Aires when he was 17. He learned chess from his father of Irish heritage, read from the family of library of 3000 books and was home-schooled by his radical mother. He read Pablo Neruda, John (I want to do the world some good) Keats, Walt Whitman, Jack London, Federico Lorca, Faulkner, Gide, Camus, Sartre, Freud, Bertrand Russell, Marx, Engels, Lenin and many Latin American writers. He studied medicine and motorcycled through much of Latin America. He studied Marxism also while in the youth brigades in Guatemala during the Jacobo Arbenz leftwing government before it was crushed by a CIA-organized coup d’état. In 1955 he joined Fidel Castro in Mexico where the Cubans began calling him el Che because of his constant use of the common Argentinean interjection, Che, that means something like Hey! Or, Eh? Argentineans use the interjection so often that other Latin Americans sometimes use the word for a man from Argentina. In effect, “Che” Guevara came to imply also something like “our comrade from Argentina.”. Despite their contrasting personalities he and Fidel formed a “revolutionary friendship to change the world”, which expressed their common desire. He sailed with the Castro brothers and Cienfuegos on the Granma to Cuba where they overthrew the corrupt Batista regime—the four who made the Cuban Revolution. Twelve years later, as a commander of the guerrilla movement in Bolivia, he was wounded, captured and executed by a Bolivian soldier on orders from the CIA.

Continue reading »

Jan 092016

Kafka Prozes cover

=By= Gaither Stewart

I think of the modern citizen who knows that he is at the mercy of a vast machinery of officialdom whose functioning is directed by authorities that remain nebulous to the executive organs, let alone to the people they deal with. Walter Benjamin (1892- 1940 in Illuminations, in reference to Franz Kafka’s novel Der Prozess, (The Trial) written, 1914-1915.

So as not to lose any potential readers of these columns before I have even gotten started, I offer d’emblée an apology for these ‘thoughts about fiction writing’, which I promise not to repeat. At least not frequently. But it seems important to spell out at the beginning and admit that my preference for writing fiction over non-fiction has ever less significance in modern times (explained in more detail below), and nonetheless to show some of the reasons for that preference in the first place and how I see the current situation of the literary composition in change.

Continue reading »

Jan 062016
Walter Benjamin

Walter Benjamin (1892-1940)

=By= Gaither Stewart

The Editor-in-Chief and the Managing Editor of The Greanville Post, of which I am an editor, have informed me that I now have my own column on our satellite site, Punto Press, the literary (press) arm of The Greanville Post Group. Punto Press is also the publisher of several of my books, which are discussed, analyzed and advertised on this same site. I have been told that I can write here anything I want here: fiction, non-fiction, reviews, thoughts, ruminations, meditations, absurdities and stupidities.
Continue reading »

Jan 012016

horiz grey line

=By=  Gaither Stewart

Hubris in ancient Greek referred to excessive behavior or lack of measure, transgressions for which the gods punished offenders.

Hubris referred to actions that humiliated the victim for the pleasure of the abuser. In modern usage, hubris means extreme pride, a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one’s own capabilities, usually of persons in positions of power. Political writers apply it also to groups and in a special way to the United States of America and its leaders. Personally I try to avoid words which are being widely used, sometimes, it seems, at random. When I use the word hubris I have in mind the meaning of arrogance; in any case I intend a despicable quality.

An expressive Greek word I have come to love is hamartia. The meaning I attach to the word is a character FLAW. Though hamartia, especially in ancient Greek literature, is a negative quality that leads to tragic consequences, I also use hamartia as a character weakness such as drug or alcohol addiction, a flaw to be overcome after a life-and-death struggle, a struggle, if won, that molds and strengthens character. I conceive of hamartia as a necessary quality in a positive literary protagonist or in a hero in real life. The person you love and admire most has most probably struggled and overcome his hamartia, which most of us have somewhere in our being.

Though ancient Greeks as a rule applied these dramatic words to the individual—Antigone’s flaw was her stubborn loyalty for which she paid with her life—we today apply these words also to entire societies or nations. We can label Europe’s hubris its Eurocentrism; its hamartia (for which the ancient Greeks would perhaps punish it collectively), is its destructive nationalisms on the one hand, and its contemporary subservience to America on the other. Continue reading »