Friday, May 1, 2009
the port of diminishing returns -- Miranda Lake
Send your poems, prose, photos, videos
etc. to the upcoming qarrtsiluni issue:
Economy has its roots in Greek — oikos and nomos — meaning the principles necessary to maintain the household. It’s a thoughtful word. The study of economics, until the 18th century, was a branch of philosophy.
And it’s the word of the moment. It dominates the evening news. It’s determining how we spend or save; whether we remain in our homes, keep our jobs. It has governments around the globe cutting, bailing and re-thinking spending plans. It’s full of associations: think Wall Street bull or bear or greed. Think sub prime mortgage. Then there’s the technical jargon: quantitative easing, collateralized debt obligation and the fallacy of composition all seem ready for metaphor.
With this in mind, we urge you to think broadly, associatively and imaginatively about this touchstone word. Consider economy of movement, expression or effort. Think fuel, cash or gift economy. In your investigation, remember the epigram and the epitaph, both concerned with the economics of composition. Think about how the subject might inform style, as well as content.
However, don’t be burdened by the word’s current negative connotations. For Hannah More, a 19th century British religious writer and philanthropist, the word resounded with hope. She described “the economy of the heart, which saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, the waste of spirits.”
I'm co-editing with Anna Dickie.