We publish Scriptable, an e-journal that reflects a surreal aesthetic toward reviewing recent research in the humanities, arts and social sciences. Our purpose recreates contexts for reading publics through juxtaposition of disparate texts, discussions in recent books and articles in order to remake and break customary modes of reference and thought. If done well this procedure provides foraging in divergences and congruencies that exposes false binaries as well as hidden resources.
Scriptable is experimental and playful. We essay to explore through the ruffage of a surfeit of literatures and creative scholarship to invite our readers outside their comfort and competencies to document emerging trends in the humanities, arts and social and physical sciences. This canvas is extensive. We should expect the unexpected. If we do not expect the unexpected, we cannot discern, for the unexpected cannot to be shot, hunted or trekked: bought, sought, or thought. “To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect,” says Oscar Wilde in his play, An Ideal Husband.
Following Aristotle, and in stark contrast to Plato who views poetry as morally subversive, the Roman poet, Horace suggests a didactic purpose to poetry. Chaucer in The Parliament of Fowls distinguishes between 'lust' (pleasure) and 'lore' (learning). Sir Philip Sidney follows in this wake with a defense of poetry as both pleasure and moral edification.
Likewise, Shelley claims that poetry has a primary use-value: “whatever strengthens and purifies the affections, enlarges the imagination, adds spirit to sense, is useful.” The translation of use-value, gebrauchswert, opens up our postmodern commodifying the imagination, as a tangible trait that may gratify some human necessity, some want or need, or which serves an expedient objective that situates use-value in contrast to the open-thinking that is poetic aspiration.
This insight is found in the essay “The Origin of Work of Art” by Heidegger who mentions that poetry has the function to “reveal the true” through what he referred to as “projective saying”, a form of vibrant language that offers the potential for the disclosure of truths by bringing forth articulations which are ordinarily hidden.
In the 1950s, Dylan Thomas declared that a poem was able to “change the shape and significance of the universe, helps to extend everyone's knowledge of himself and the world around him.”
According to this tradition, poetry reveals an innate complementarity of speaker and environment, where all transactions are possible. Unlike prose that generally follows the streams of cultures and institutional discourse in well-worn rivulets of behavior and thought, poetry’s distinctive properties or affordances moves into imaginative spaces for subjective self-realization and the capacity to act on and to shape the world.
We apply this concept playfully to design our essays to see the world with fresh eyes.
We expose the paradoxographical interface between rational, expository features of exposition and explanation in our books against a surreal aesthetics that questions and reframes. Instead review with summary and surmise, we provide revue that sketches in contrasts and dissimularities.
Paradoxography exposes vulnerabilities by moving beyond the binary opposition between ‘rational’ and ‘non-rational’ modes of thinking.
rtreview is an independent review agency serving the public, scholars, libraries, and booksellers.
rtreview publishes a USA based e-newsletter, Scriptable.
It covers the humanities and sciences as reflected in recently published books, periodicals, and current events.
Our reviews rely upon the content of the book to tell you what the book is about.
Scriptable is our principal publication which focuses on imaginative selection and interpretations of the titles under discussion.
We sometimes reproduce summary excerpts from some titles so you may get a feel for the author's style and the contents of the book.
We make editorial revisions and deletions from our sources that are not noted in our copy. Our essays are to entertain whereas our bibliographies are meant to offer objective accounts of the books' contents and purposes. This juxtaposition between whimsy and fact we hope will attract readers to the books under discussion. They are not meant to substitute for critical evaluation of the volume.
We do rely upon reviewers for basic feedback on the titles we suggest. We find it is harder than expected to get timely copy from people but will continue to provide you with solid information about recent titles as soon as possible.
Two levels of Scriptable content: