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Donald Sidney-Fryer, and his "Atlantis Fragments"
Posted by: K_A_Opperman (IP Logged)
Date: 28 August, 2011 06:22PM
For those of you who are familiar with DSF only as editor and scholar (and a prolific editor and scholar he is), it is well worth discovering his poetry as well. He is very much a student of CAS--and yet his verse is not dominated by CAS's influence; Mr. Sidney-Fryer is truly his own poet--a true original. Fans of CAS's verse are sure to enjoy DSF's immaculate poetry: the bejeweled imagery, the antique patina, the remote exoticism of the past--it's all there, folks. And more. Not only is his "Atlantis Fragments" a book of verse (3 books of verse, actually), it is a book of short prose pieces, chronicles of Atlantean history, and a few translations, as well. Truly, it is a mesmerizing tome--there is no other quite like it.

Contrary to the implication of the title, not all of the poems are about Atlantis--many are, but not all. For DSF, Atlantis is much more than a fabled city of old, it is "A Symbol for All Splendor Lost"--the title of one of his poems.

For those of you who are curious (by this point, you should be), a good sampling of DSF's poetry can be read for free here: [alangullette.com]

And for those of you who would hold witness to his dramatic reading style, witness him reading some REH (poetry)here: [www.youtube.com]

Re: Donald Sidney-Fryer, and his "Atlantis Fragments"
Posted by: calonlan (IP Logged)
Date: 29 August, 2011 10:37AM
May I second the motion from our young friend here - Having been a friend of Don's since I was 18 and he 23 and just out of the Marines, and assisting him in finding Clark's place on his first visit to Auburn, it has given me a great deal of joy to have closely followed his literary career - and, indeed, his work is superb - I might add his skill as a translator from the French is also quite extraordinary - If you haven't found him yet, do so.

Re: Donald Sidney-Fryer, and his "Atlantis Fragments"
Posted by: Martinus (IP Logged)
Date: 29 August, 2011 12:29PM
Don't miss Donald's Atlantis novel The Atlantis Fragments: The Novel, currently available at Lulu.com, along with his The Golden State Phantasticks.

Re: Donald Sidney-Fryer, and his "Atlantis Fragments"
Posted by: K_A_Opperman (IP Logged)
Date: 2 October, 2011 09:04PM
Hey, you--the 'poetry fan'! No, not you, behind you, to the left a little. Yes, you--no, not you--ah, yes, you, there we are.

Now that I've got your attention--no, not you, sit down, please, sir, thank you!--I want to ask you a question: do you know who Donald Sidney-Fryer is? No?--then how the hell did you get into this class? Ah, well, I suppose we're all here to learn....

So--who else of you Fritos-munchin' jelly-brain hippies wants to tell me who the last member of the California Romantics was? Did I hear CAS?--you fail! Leave, now! Sidney-Fryer is the most recent member, and unless you imbibe that fact--and his poetry--well, you can just get up, walk out the door, bring me back a coke, then leave again, right now. Forever. Do you HEAR me!

One of you--you're still here?--mentioned CAS. Well--I might as well mention to you slackers that if you like CAS's poetry, you'll find something to like in Sidney-Fryer's Atlantis Fragments. They are quite different poets, yes--you're bringing me a coke back, remember?--but they are both part of a proud and august tradition which reaches back to Ambrose Bierce. And despite their differences, there are ample similarities--similarities which are going to be on the TEST, I might mention....

Now get the hell out of my classroom and read some DSF poetry! Move it, move it, move it! Don't pick him up--he'll learn more from the bottom of your feet than he's been able to learn from my coursebook.

Everyone needs to have written 5 poems by tomorrow, all influenced by CAS and DSF--and you'll need to point out the overlap!

Re: Donald Sidney-Fryer, and his "Atlantis Fragments"
Posted by: Radovarl (IP Logged)
Date: 3 October, 2011 08:31AM
Sorry, Professor, I think I'm in the wrong class :). I've never been much of a poetry fan, but since I'm here already and I like CAS's stories, what are the required textbooks for the course?

Re: Donald Sidney-Fryer, and his "Atlantis Fragments"
Posted by: K_A_Opperman (IP Logged)
Date: 3 October, 2011 01:43PM
If you like CAS's fiction, give the poetry volume "The Last Oblivion" a try. It's inexpensive, and offers a generous selection of CAS's fantastical verse. As I hardly need mention, CAS was foremost a poet; one who wants to understand CAS should read some of his poetry as well.

I wasn't really a poetry fan either--until I discovered CAS's poetry.... If anyone can turn someone into a poetry fan--especially if you already like his fiction--it's CAS. Avail yourself of the huge free selection here, and if you begin to succumb to the spell, seek out that volume. Not only did CAS turn me into a lover of poetry, he turned me into a writer of it--need I say more? Read "The Hashish Eater" and try not to be mesmerized....

And once you graduate from CAS, seek out George Sterling--there is a huge selection on the net. Don't pass over Nora May French, either--also on the net (though she is far less fantastical than the other two). And then--then you must investigate Donald Sidney-Fryer. He has only a small web presence--but he makes up for that by still being alive--a presence in the world. These four poets represent the principle members of what DSF calls the California Romantics ('founded' by Ambrose Bierce). Collectively, they are quite an original phenomenon--a good bridge for fantasy fiction fans to get into poetry. I worked for me!

Note: DSF, in his humble way, never--to my knowledge--describes himself as one of the Romantics--but it's obvious that he is. He is a profound scholar and student of his predecessors, and it shows. He has lived in California for the majority of his life (still does), and writes in the 'archaic' style favored by the tradition. And who but a member of such a tradition would be bold enough to translate Atlantean literature?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 3 Oct 11 | 01:49PM by K_A_Opperman.

Re: Donald Sidney-Fryer, and his "Atlantis Fragments"
Posted by: Radovarl (IP Logged)
Date: 3 October, 2011 01:52PM
Thanks for the recommendation. Actually, I just returned from a trip to my favorite local small bookseller (Colophon Books in Ithaca, NY, they have a pretty impressive small press horror section as well as a whole shelf of Tolkien criticism), and had intended to purchase that very title, but unfortunately forgot that they aren't open on Mondays... Maybe tomorrow.

Re: Donald Sidney-Fryer, and his "Atlantis Fragments"
Posted by: K_A_Opperman (IP Logged)
Date: 3 October, 2011 02:18PM
I wish I had a bookstore like that near me....

Yeah, you can't go wrong with "The Last Oblivion." If you like CAS in general, you should like that book. You just might find yourself a fan of poetry before long....

And who knows? Perhaps you'll find yourself attempting to pen a few of your own...?

Re: Donald Sidney-Fryer, and his "Atlantis Fragments"
Posted by: Radovarl (IP Logged)
Date: 3 October, 2011 07:00PM
K_A_Opperman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I wish I had a bookstore like that near me....

I didn't, until recently. I just moved here (where there are multiple used and specialty bookstores and a B&N) from BFE (yes, that's a technical term, and it was a military town), so I'm loving life at the moment aside from being 300 miles away from all of my friends. I still find myself buying most of my books from the usual suspects (eBay, Amazon, ABE, alibris).

> And who knows? Perhaps you'll find yourself
> attempting to pen a few of your own...?

That's unlikely to ever happen, but it's a thought.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 3 Oct 11 | 07:02PM by Radovarl.

Re: Donald Sidney-Fryer, and his "Atlantis Fragments"
Posted by: K_A_Opperman (IP Logged)
Date: 3 October, 2011 07:39PM
Why not write a poem? Piece together some vivid words, weave some imagery, make it rhyme (if it please you)--it's easy! Anyone can do it! And a poem needn't be long--even just 3 or 4 lines can constitute a finished piece. Smith wrote several like this.

Writing poetry allows you to see the world in a different way...nothing will ever be quite the same again... If diligent, and wholly dedicated, the poet can discover the hidden world that lurks behind all... There are things hidden everywhere that only poets can see--and I am not saying that entirely figuratively. The very act of writing poetry gradually trains the mind too see and experience what it could not before--things it may have vaguely sensed, and clumsily grappled with, but been able to see clearly or make sense of.

So you see, it's quite beneficial to the mind to write poetry. Everyone ought to at least try it a few times.

Re: Donald Sidney-Fryer, and his "Atlantis Fragments"
Posted by: Martinus (IP Logged)
Date: 18 December, 2015 05:55PM
Hippocampus Press will publish Donald Sidney-fryer's autobiography in 2016:

[www.hippocampuspress.com]

Re: Donald Sidney-Fryer, and his "Atlantis Fragments"
Posted by: K.A. Opperman (IP Logged)
Date: 24 December, 2015 01:55AM
Also worth noting--all DSF stuff is half off at Hippocampus Press right now!

(Man, I can't believe how utterly ridiculous my posts from 4 years ago were. Ah, well, I was quite a bit younger, and probably very bored.)



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