William Morris (1834-96) regarded beauty as a basic human birthright. In this fascinating book, which accompanies a major exhibition, Morriss biographer Fiona MacCarthy looks at how his highly original and generous vision of a new form of society in which art could flourish has reverberated through the decades. In 1860 Morris moved into the now famous Red House at Bexleyheath in Kent. Here his ideas found practical expression in its decoration, undertaken with the help of his artistcraftsman friends Edward Burne-Jones, Ford Madox Brown and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who envisaged the project as the first stage in a campaign against the debased artistic standards of the mid-Victorian age. From these beginnings, MacCarthy charts the development of a revolution: the setting-up of Morriss shop (later Morris & Co.), his embracing of radical ideas of sexual freedom and libertarianism, and the publication of his visionary novel News from Nowhere (1890), in which he advanced his hopes for a dismantling of the stultifying structures of society and their replacement by a more equable and fluid way of life. Later chapters explore how Morriss ideas came to influence the Arts and Crafts movement in Britain, Europe and the USA, the Garden City movement, and numerous artists and craftspeople who sought to negotiate a viable place within the modern world in the troubled years that followed the First World War. Finally, MacCarthy explains the continuing relevance of Morriss ideals, as expressed in the planning and execution of the Festival of Britain in 1951, a regenerative project of the post-war Labour government that inspired a number of young designers such as Terence Conran with a direct sense of mission to bring the highest design standards within the reach of everyone.

anonymous asked:

Favorite Nick Cave songs ?

Well, since you said Nick Cave and not Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, I’m including Grinderman and The Birthday Party. 

I Had A Dream, Joe, Stagger Lee, Deanna, From Her To Eternity, Hamlet (Pow, Pow, Pow), Honey Bee (Let’s Fly To Mars), Tupelo, Get It On, The Mercy Seat, Jack The Ripper, Electric Alice, More News From Nowhere.

10 March 2014

The English actor, writer, and technology enthusiast, Robert Llewellyn, was born on this date. He has worked in British television, with an early success in 1989 as Kryten on the show, Red Dwarf.

He has written a dozen books, but it wasn’t until he worked with that he produced his first science fiction novel, News from Gardenia [2012].

I’ve struggled for 3 years to come up with a term that properly describes what I’m trying to do with the News from trilogy.

Although I was originally inspired by re-reading the utopian novel News from Nowhere [1890] by William Morris, that was only a starting point.

I originally set out to describe a possible world 200 years in the future that was simply better than the one we live in now. A world where people had stopped burning things to make or do other things, a world where the human race lived with the planet, not from it.

Writing the books has made me appreciate long term thinking, how the technology we are wedded to is utterly outdated and short term and how our current actions are increasingly likely to affect the future.

So I never wanted to use the term ‘Utopian’ to describe the worlds I was creating, they were not intended to be ‘perfect worlds where all was in harmony’ (that last phrase to be read in the ‘High Kryten’ style as depicted in Red Dwarf V episode ‘Demons and Angels’)

I simply used the description, ‘not dystopian’ to describe what I was attempting to do.

When explaining the books to an audience I would get a few cheap laughs by saying ‘there are no zombies, no earth shattering meteors, no post apocalyptic nightmare where one man, played in the movie by Mel Gibson, Bruce Willis or Denzel Washington has to walk across a burning world shooting people to save his daughter.’

But I didn’t have a word to describe what the stories were. […]

In [an interview with Kevin Kelly] I heard he used the term ‘Protopian.’

Thank you Mister Kelly, that’s the term I’ve been looking for.

A protopian novel is set in a future that is not set in aspic, it is better than today but still developing and changing. Protopia is Progress Utopia; as Mister Kelly states, ‘today is a little better than yesterday, not much, but it is a little better, and tomorrow will be a little better than today.’

His latest book is News from the Squares [2013]. He is preparing the third book in the News from trilogy, News from the Clouds, which is, on his birthday, a little more than half-funded at

…but woke up again not long after in that curiously wide-awake condition which sometimes surprises even good sleepers; a condition under which we feel all our wits preternaturally sharpened, while all the miserable muddles we have ever got into, all the disgraces and losses of our lives, will insist on thrusting themselves forward for the consideration of those sharpened wits.
—  William Morris, News From Nowhere