Tim Gilmore discusses The Klan in Jacksonville, FL – Its Repugnant Rise and Hysterical Collapse

Tim Gilmore

Tim Gilmore, Author/Speaker/Educator

The Coniferous Cafe was packed Tuesday night, June 13th,  with every chair filled, many more people standing, and the crowd actually spilling out the door onto the sidewalk. I love this kind of motivated crowd, sincerely and lovingly united against bigotry and racism, ready to stand up for human rights. There aren’t many words I can use to describe the event other than to repeat the original announcement for the event:

This event was the first in a new Coniferous Cafe series called A People’s History of Jax with FSCJ Professor Tim Gilmore. You can also follow his seven-story series on the Klan in Jax at Jax Psycho Geo, starting here: https://jaxpsychogeo.com/all-over-town/ku-klux-klan-in-jacksonville/

Tim is the author of a wide variety of books and articles. Including but not limited to
* The Devil in the Baptist Church
* In Search of Eartha White, Storehouse for the People
* Central Georgia Schizophrenia
* Stalking Ottis Toole: A Southern Gothic

You can read Tim’s articles here -> https://jaxpsychogeo.com/

Suggested $5 – $10 donation
Complimentary libations.

I would also like to bring your attention to the Jacksonville Progressive Coalition, organized by Wells Todd, and Karen who was present at the event.

Also present was Karen Roumillat of the Stetson Kennedy Foundation.

Wells Todd, Jacksonville Progessive Coalition

Wells Todd, Jacksonville Progressive Coalition

Coniferous Cafe_ Mike Todd_Meri Read_Leiah Ann Gustavus_Kristen_Mieman

Mike Todd, Meri Read, Leiah Ann Gustavus, Kristen Kiernan

Coniferous Cafe Kristen Tia Samuels_Downtown Obi Brown 2

Tia Samuels,  “Downtown” Obi Brown

 

Coniferous Cafe_Hurley Winkler_Lisa Brown Buggs

Hurley Winkler, Lisa Brown Buggs

Kristen Kiernan, Taylor Ashey

Kristen Kiernan, Taylor Ashey

 

Connell Crooms, Mike Todd, Leiah Ann Gustavus, Cheri Jones

Connell Crooms, Mike Todd, Leiah Ann Gustavus, Cheri Jones

Connell Crooms, Mike Todd, Leiah Ann Gustavus, Cheri Jones

Connell Crooms, Mike Todd, Leiah Ann Gustavus, Cheri Jones

Coniferous Cafe_Connell Crooms_Mike Todd_Leiah Ann Gustavus

Connell Crooms, Mike Todd, Leiah Ann Gustavus

Tim Gilmore, Karen Roumillat

Tim Gilmore, Karen Roumillat

The Hardest Working Man in Weird Fiction: A Jeff VanderMeer Interview

Jeff VanderMeer collage Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer

This interview first appeared on Literary Kicks on December 19, 2008. In 2018, Paramount pictures will release Annihilation, a film based on the novel by Jeff VanderMeer, starring Natalie Portman and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

In close proximity to primordial Florida swamps, branch-shrouded canopy roads, and Kafkaesque state capital intrigues, Jeff and Ann VanderMeer are Tallahassee’s greatest unnatural resource. At the time of this interview, Ann was the fiction editor of Weird Tales Magazine, its continuing mission to publish brilliantly strange original material unavailable anywhere else. Jeff is on the cutting edge of the “New Weird,” infusing literary proficiency back into Gothic fantasy and science fiction with such novels as Veniss Underground, City of Saints and Madmen, Shriek, and most recently, Finch. Together, Ann and Jeff have edited a number of anthologies, most recently, the pirate-themed Fast Ships, Black Sails, in which, according to Publisher’s Weekly, “Saintly pirates, loony pirates, pirate cooks and talking animal-buccaneers slash and swagger through the Caribbean, the Internet, the perpetually frozen Atlantic and the seas of distant planets in this collection of 18 original stories.”

Winner of the World Fantasy Award, Jeff VanderMeer has been compared to Jorge Luis Borges, Mark Z. Danielewski, Edgar Allen Poe, and Vladimir Nabokov. His novels are sublime mixtures of genre, meta-, and literary fiction, books within stories within other books where the characters provide commentary via footnotes, illustrations, and other appendixes. If that sounds dry, it’s because it doesn’t convey the absurdist humor, nightmarish fear, and sweeping epic drama of VanderMeer’s secret history of the city of Ambergris. Tragic poets and artists populate dark cafes, naked holy men and furtive mushroom people menace hapless wanderers in alleys and alcoves, and once a year, the Festival of the Freshwater Squid plunges the city into decadent mayhem.It was hard to catch Jeff when he had time to answer questions. He pours his energy into writing with a perfectionist’s drive.

Bill Ectric: Congratulations on finishing your latest novel, Finch. Is this another Ambergris novel?

Jeff VanderMeer: Finch is the third in the Ambergris Cycle, set 100 years after Shriek. It features a detective.

Bill: I understand you’ve been hunkered down, hard at work on Finch for quite a long time. Are you in a state of decompression?

Jeff: I am in a state of severe imaginative withdrawal in the sense that I need to recharge before the next novel.

Bill: When did you first read Nabokov’s Pale Fire and what effect did it have on you?

Jeff: I can’t remember when I read it but it has had a profound effect. It showed me that using an experimental structure didn’t mean you couldn’t also achieve an emotional response in the reader. I think Nabokov’s formal brilliance blinds some critics to the emotional resonance in his work.

Bill: Are any of the artists, writers, and musicians in Ambergris based real people or real groups of people, for example, the Lake Poets, the Beats, or the Romantics?

Jeff: A lot of them are loosely based on the Decadents. Some are based on Chagall and Arcimboldo. The rest are based on contemporaries and thus I cannot divulge who…

City of Saints and Madmen by Jeff VanderMeer   Vertemnus by Arcimboldo

Bill: Is there a reason you do some rewrites in longhand? Doesn’t your hand get tired?

Jeff: No, my hand doesn’t get tired any more than my wrists do typing on a computer. Longhand allows me to get into the fictive dream more easily. I also will break a scene back down into longhand after it’s been typed up if I need to radically revise it. I tell writing students who only have laptops that they’re missing out. You’re ignoring a potent tool in seeing your fiction in a new light. A lot of beginners are doing light edits, not revision, and they also allow the computer, through IM and other things, to fracture their attention while writing.

Bill: J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan refused to grow up and H. P. Lovecraft feared that reaching adulthood meant “growing too old for pleasure.” Is it important for a writer of weird fantasy to stay in touch with childhood feelings and intuition? How does one balance that with the responsibilities of real life?

Jeff: Every writer needs to see the world fresh. Lovecraft, for all of his brilliance, was trapped in an adolescence fearful of women and foreigners and unable to live a fulfilling normal life. That’s definitely not necessary.

Bill: We hear about indie bands having their CD “picked up” by a major label. Do major publishers ever “pick up” independent and/or self-published books?

Jeff: Sure. I’ve had the majority of my books picked up by majors after being out first from indies. That’s how I finally got on people’s radar.

Bill: Fantasy author Ekaterina Sedia suggested I ask what your favorite dark beer is.

Jeff: Heh. It is Delirium Nocturnum followed closely by Arrogant Bastard.

Bill: How did it come about that you wrote a Predator novel?

Jeff: I think you write from love, mental illness, money…or some combination of the three. Predator I wrote for fun (love) and money. Brian Evenson got me an audience with Dark Horse and they liked my pitch.The challenge I set myself was to write the Predator movie I would want to see. I actually think both Predator movies are good action movies. So it is meant to be fun and exciting … with a few signature VanderMeerisms as part of that.

Predator by Jeff VanderMeer book cover   Finch by Jeff VanderMeer book cover

 

Will Self Writes in the Morning

Author Will Self, photographed by Karen Robinson for The Guardian

Author Will Self, photographed by Karen Robinson for The Guardian

Again, someone who recommends writing in the morning. I’ve only written in the morning twice. Both times were to record lucid dreams before I forgot them. I keep saying I’m going to try it for my fiction writing. Maybe tomorrow.

From The Guardian:

When I’m working on a novel I type the initial draft first thing in the morning. Really: first thing. For preference, I have a cigarette ready-rolled and a coffee percolator loaded the night before; then I simply roll out of bed, fuel up and set to it. I believe the dreaming and imagining faculties are closely related, such that wreathed in night-time visions I find it possible to suspend disbelief in the very act of making stuff up, which, in the cold light of day would seem utterly preposterous. I’ve always been a morning writer, and frankly I believe 99% of the difficulties novices experience are as a result of their unwillingness to do the same. Narrative structure, mise en scene, characterisation − you can’t get to grips with these problems unless you’ve put the words on the page.

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Dark Glories and Edge Zones

This is from a blog called A Year in the Country:

The Films of Old Weird Britain

Recent years have seen a ‘rural turn’ in British cultural studies. Artists have wandered into an interior exile and a re-engagement with the countryside – its secret histories, occult possibilities. Psychogeographers are drawn to its edgezones and leylines, fringe bibliophiles are rediscovering the dark glories of writers such as Alan Garner, John Wyndham and Nigel Kneale, while organizations such as English Heretic and Lancashire Folklore Tapes exult in mystical toponymies and wiccan deep probes.

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Moore on Lovecraft

Providence01-WomenofHPL-600x927  Providence04-portrait

From The Quietus, Nick Talbot , August 31st, 2014:

Towards the end of a recent interview with Alan Moore on his relationship with the writer Iain Sinclair our conversation drifted towards another topic: Moore’s upcoming Lovecraftian work Providence. A huge number of writers, including Ramsey Campbell, Colin Wilson, Steven King and Robert Bloch have contributed to the ‘Cthulhu Mythos’, the shared fictional world created by H.P. Lovecraft, in a tradition Lovecraft himself encouraged via voluminous correspondence with younger acolytes. As a result of his creative generosity, Lovecraft occupies a rare status as a writer whose vision has taken on a life of its own. While much written work suffers a reductive blow when undergoing adaptation, by respectfully borrowing elements from Lovecraft’s world, new comics, games and films contribute to its expansion, and the Cthulhu Mythos creeps further into popular culture every year.

Yet Lovecraft has rarely been judged a good writer, and many decades of critical derision – often objecting to his tendency for baroque adjectives – relegated him to the status of an eccentric hack in an already ghettoised genre. But as the Cthulhu cult became too popular to ignore, the last decade has seen a growing stream of Zeitgeist-wary cultural theorists publishing analytical works focusing on various aspects of his vast imagination, and Lovecraft is now finally taken seriously as a writer of ideas.

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