Jorge Luis Borges
Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges Acevedo was an Argentine short-story writer, essayist and translator, a key figure in Spanish-language and universal literature. His best-known books, Ficciones and El Aleph, published in the 1940s, are compilations of short stories interconnected by common themes, including dreams, philosophy, mirrors, fictional writers, mythology. Borges' works have contributed to philosophical literature and the fantasy genre, have been considered by some critics to mark the beginning of the magic realist movement in 20th century Latin American literature, his late poems converse with such cultural figures as Spinoza, Camões, Virgil. Born in a suburb of Buenos Aires, Borges moved with his family to Switzerland in 1914, where he studied at the Collège de Genève; the family travelled in Europe, including Spain. On his return to Argentina in 1921, Borges began publishing his poems and essays in surrealist literary journals, he worked as a librarian and public lecturer. In 1955, he was appointed director of the National Public Library and professor of English Literature at the University of Buenos Aires.
He became blind by the age of 55. Scholars have suggested that his progressive blindness helped him to create innovative literary symbols through imagination. By the 1960s, his work was translated and published in the United States and Europe. Borges himself was fluent in several languages. In 1961, he came to international attention when he received the first Formentor prize, which he shared with Samuel Beckett. In 1971, he won the Jerusalem Prize, his international reputation was consolidated in the 1960s, aided by his works being available in English, by the Latin American Boom and by the success of García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude. He dedicated The Conspirators, to the city of Geneva, Switzerland. Writer and essayist J. M. Coetzee said of him: "He, more than anyone, renovated the language of fiction and thus opened the way to a remarkable generation of Spanish American novelists." Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges Acevedo was born into an educated middle-class family on 24 August 1899.
They were in comfortable circumstances but not wealthy enough to live in downtown Buenos Aires so the family resided in Palermo a poorer suburb. Borges's mother, Leonor Acevedo Suárez, came from a traditional Uruguayan family of criollo origin, her family had been much involved in the European settling of South America and the Argentine War of Independence, she spoke of their heroic actions. His 1929 book, Cuaderno San Martín, includes the poem "Isidoro Acevedo", commemorating his grandfather, Isidoro de Acevedo Laprida, a soldier of the Buenos Aires Army. A descendant of the Argentine lawyer and politician Francisco Narciso de Laprida, de Acevedo Laprida fought in the battles of Cepeda in 1859, Pavón in 1861, Los Corrales in 1880. De Acevedo Laprida died of pulmonary congestion in the house where his grandson Jorge Luis Borges was born. Borges's own father, Jorge Guillermo Borges Haslam was a lawyer, wrote a novel El caudillo in 1921. Borges Haslam was born in Entre Rios of Spanish and English descent, the son of Francisco Borges Lafinur, a colonel, Frances Ann Haslam, an Englishwoman.
Borges Haslam grew up speaking English at home. The family traveled to Europe. Borges Haslam wed Leonor Acevedo Suarez in 1898 and was father of the painter Norah Borges, sister of Jorge Luis Borges. At age nine, Jorge Luis Borges translated Oscar Wilde's The Happy Prince into Spanish, it was published in a local journal. Borges Haslam was a psychology teacher who harboured literary aspirations. Borges said his father "tried to become a writer and failed in the attempt", despite the 1921 opus El caudillo. Jorge Luis Borges wrote, "as most of my people had been soldiers and I knew I would never be, I felt ashamed, quite early, to be a bookish kind of person and not a man of action."Jorge Luis Borges was taught at home until the age of 11, was bilingual in Spanish and English, reading Shakespeare in the latter at the age of twelve. The family lived in a large house with an English library of over one thousand volumes. In 1914, the family moved to Geneva and spent the next decade in Europe. Borges Haslam was treated by a Geneva eye specialist, while Jorge Luis and his sister Norah attended school.
He read Thomas Carlyle in English, he began to read philosophy in German. In 1917, when he was eighteen, he met writer Maurice Abramowicz and began a literary friendship that would last for the remainder of his life, he received his baccalauréat from the Collège de Genève in 1918. The Borges family decided that, due to political unrest in Argentina, they would remain in Switzerland during the war. After World War I, the family spent three years living in various cities: Lugano, Majorca and Madrid, they remained in Europe until 1921. At that time, Borges discovered the writings of Arthur Schopenhauer and Gustav Meyrink's The Golem which became influential to his work. In Spain, Borges fell in with and became a member of the avant-garde, anti-Modernismo Ultraist literary movement, inspired by Guillaume Apollinaire and Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, close to the Imagists, his first poem, "Hymn to the Sea," written in the style of Walt Whit
The horse is one of two extant subspecies of Equus ferus. It is an odd-toed ungulate mammal belonging to the taxonomic family Equidae; the horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature, into the large, single-toed animal of today. Humans began domesticating horses around 4000 BC, their domestication is believed to have been widespread by 3000 BC. Horses in the subspecies caballus are domesticated, although some domesticated populations live in the wild as feral horses; these feral populations are not true wild horses, as this term is used to describe horses that have never been domesticated, such as the endangered Przewalski's horse, a separate subspecies, the only remaining true wild horse. There is an extensive, specialized vocabulary used to describe equine-related concepts, covering everything from anatomy to life stages, colors, breeds and behavior. Horses' anatomy enables them to make use of speed to escape predators and they have a well-developed sense of balance and a strong fight-or-flight response.
Related to this need to flee from predators in the wild is an unusual trait: horses are able to sleep both standing up and lying down, with younger horses tending to sleep more than adults. Female horses, called mares, carry their young for 11 months, a young horse, called a foal, can stand and run shortly following birth. Most domesticated horses begin training in harness between the ages of two and four, they reach full adult development by age five, have an average lifespan of between 25 and 30 years. Horse breeds are loosely divided into three categories based on general temperament: spirited "hot bloods" with speed and endurance. There are more than 300 breeds of horse in the world today, developed for many different uses. Horses and humans interact in a wide variety of sport competitions and non-competitive recreational pursuits, as well as in working activities such as police work, agriculture and therapy. Horses were used in warfare, from which a wide variety of riding and driving techniques developed, using many different styles of equipment and methods of control.
Many products are derived from horses, including meat, hide, hair and pharmaceuticals extracted from the urine of pregnant mares. Humans provide domesticated horses with food and shelter, as well as attention from specialists such as veterinarians and farriers. Specific terms and specialized language are used to describe equine anatomy, different life stages and breeds. Depending on breed and environment, the modern domestic horse has a life expectancy of 25 to 30 years. Uncommonly, a few animals live into their 40s and beyond; the oldest verifiable record was "Old Billy", a 19th-century horse that lived to the age of 62. In modern times, Sugar Puff, listed in Guinness World Records as the world's oldest living pony, died in 2007 at age 56. Regardless of a horse or pony's actual birth date, for most competition purposes a year is added to its age each January 1 of each year in the Northern Hemisphere and each August 1 in the Southern Hemisphere; the exception is in endurance riding, where the minimum age to compete is based on the animal's actual calendar age.
The following terminology is used to describe horses of various ages: Foal: A foal of either sex less than one year old. A nursing foal is sometimes called a suckling and a foal, weaned is called a weanling. Most domesticated foals are weaned at five to seven months of age, although foals can be weaned at four months with no adverse physical effects. Yearling: A horse of either sex, between one and two years old. Colt: A male horse under the age of four. A common terminology error is to call any young horse a "colt", when the term only refers to young male horses. Filly: A female horse under the age of four. Mare: A female horse four years old and older. Stallion: A non-castrated male horse four years old and older; the term "horse" is sometimes used colloquially to refer to a stallion. Gelding: A castrated male horse of any age. In horse racing, these definitions may differ: For example, in the British Isles, Thoroughbred horse racing defines colts and fillies as less than five years old. However, Australian Thoroughbred racing defines fillies as less than four years old.
The height of horses is measured at the highest point of the withers. This point is used because it is a stable point of the anatomy, unlike the head or neck, which move up and down in relation to the body of the horse. In English-speaking countries, the height of horses is stated in units of hands and inches: one hand is equal to 4 inches; the height is expressed as the number of full hands, followed by a point the number of additional inches, ending with the abbreviation "h" or "hh". Thus, a horse described; the size of horses varies by breed, but is influenced by nutrition. Light riding horses range in height from 14 to 16 hands and can weigh from 380 to 550 kilograms. Larger riding horses start at about 15.2 hands and are as tall as 17 hands, weighing from 500 to 600 kilograms. Heavy or draft horses are at least 16 hands (64 inches, 16
Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its motion, behavior through space and time, that studies the related entities of energy and force. Physics is one of the most fundamental scientific disciplines, its main goal is to understand how the universe behaves. Physics is one of the oldest academic disciplines and, through its inclusion of astronomy the oldest. Over much of the past two millennia, chemistry and certain branches of mathematics, were a part of natural philosophy, but during the scientific revolution in the 17th century these natural sciences emerged as unique research endeavors in their own right. Physics intersects with many interdisciplinary areas of research, such as biophysics and quantum chemistry, the boundaries of physics which are not rigidly defined. New ideas in physics explain the fundamental mechanisms studied by other sciences and suggest new avenues of research in academic disciplines such as mathematics and philosophy. Advances in physics enable advances in new technologies.
For example, advances in the understanding of electromagnetism and nuclear physics led directly to the development of new products that have transformed modern-day society, such as television, domestic appliances, nuclear weapons. Astronomy is one of the oldest natural sciences. Early civilizations dating back to beyond 3000 BCE, such as the Sumerians, ancient Egyptians, the Indus Valley Civilization, had a predictive knowledge and a basic understanding of the motions of the Sun and stars; the stars and planets were worshipped, believed to represent gods. While the explanations for the observed positions of the stars were unscientific and lacking in evidence, these early observations laid the foundation for astronomy, as the stars were found to traverse great circles across the sky, which however did not explain the positions of the planets. According to Asger Aaboe, the origins of Western astronomy can be found in Mesopotamia, all Western efforts in the exact sciences are descended from late Babylonian astronomy.
Egyptian astronomers left monuments showing knowledge of the constellations and the motions of the celestial bodies, while Greek poet Homer wrote of various celestial objects in his Iliad and Odyssey. Natural philosophy has its origins in Greece during the Archaic period, when pre-Socratic philosophers like Thales rejected non-naturalistic explanations for natural phenomena and proclaimed that every event had a natural cause, they proposed ideas verified by reason and observation, many of their hypotheses proved successful in experiment. The Western Roman Empire fell in the fifth century, this resulted in a decline in intellectual pursuits in the western part of Europe. By contrast, the Eastern Roman Empire resisted the attacks from the barbarians, continued to advance various fields of learning, including physics. In the sixth century Isidore of Miletus created an important compilation of Archimedes' works that are copied in the Archimedes Palimpsest. In sixth century Europe John Philoponus, a Byzantine scholar, questioned Aristotle's teaching of physics and noting its flaws.
He introduced the theory of impetus. Aristotle's physics was not scrutinized until John Philoponus appeared, unlike Aristotle who based his physics on verbal argument, Philoponus relied on observation. On Aristotle's physics John Philoponus wrote: “But this is erroneous, our view may be corroborated by actual observation more than by any sort of verbal argument. For if you let fall from the same height two weights of which one is many times as heavy as the other, you will see that the ratio of the times required for the motion does not depend on the ratio of the weights, but that the difference in time is a small one, and so, if the difference in the weights is not considerable, that is, of one is, let us say, double the other, there will be no difference, or else an imperceptible difference, in time, though the difference in weight is by no means negligible, with one body weighing twice as much as the other”John Philoponus' criticism of Aristotelian principles of physics served as an inspiration for Galileo Galilei ten centuries during the Scientific Revolution.
Galileo cited Philoponus in his works when arguing that Aristotelian physics was flawed. In the 1300s Jean Buridan, a teacher in the faculty of arts at the University of Paris, developed the concept of impetus, it was a step toward the modern ideas of momentum. Islamic scholarship inherited Aristotelian physics from the Greeks and during the Islamic Golden Age developed it further placing emphasis on observation and a priori reasoning, developing early forms of the scientific method; the most notable innovations were in the field of optics and vision, which came from the works of many scientists like Ibn Sahl, Al-Kindi, Ibn al-Haytham, Al-Farisi and Avicenna. The most notable work was The Book of Optics, written by Ibn al-Haytham, in which he conclusively disproved the ancient Greek idea about vision, but came up with a new theory. In the book, he presented a study of the phenomenon of the camera obscura (his thousand-year-old
Asemic writing is a wordless open semantic form of writing. The word asemic means "having no specific semantic content", or "without the smallest unit of meaning". With the non-specificity of asemic writing there comes a vacuum of meaning, left for the reader to fill in and interpret. All of this is similar to the way. Where asemic writing differs from abstract art is in the asemic author's use of gestural constraint, the retention of physical characteristics of writing such as lines and symbols. Asemic writing is a hybrid art form that fuses text and image into a unity, sets it free to arbitrary subjective interpretations, it may be compared to free writing or writing for its own sake, instead of writing to produce verbal context. The open nature of asemic works allows for meaning to occur across linguistic understanding. Multiple meanings for the same symbolism are another possibility for an asemic work, that is, asemic writing can be polysemantic or have zero meaning, infinite meanings, or its meaning can evolve over time.
Asemic works leave for the reader to decide how to explore an asemic text. In 1997 visual poets Tim Gaze and Jim Leftwich first applied the word asemic to name their quasi-calligraphic writing gestures, they began to distribute them to poetry magazines both online and in print. The authors explored sub-verbal and sub-letteral forms of writing, textual asemia as a creative option and as an intentional practice. Since the late 1990s, asemic writing has blossomed into a worldwide literary/art movement, it has grown in the early part of the 21st century, though there is an acknowledgement of a long and complex history, which precedes the activities of the current asemic movement with regards to abstract calligraphy, wordless writing, verbal writing damaged beyond the point of legibility. Jim Leftwich has stated that an asemic condition of an asemic work is an impossible goal, that it is not possible to create an art/literary work without meaning, he has begun to use the term "pansemic" to describe this type of work.
Others such as author Travis Jeppesen have found the term asemic to be problematic because "it seems to infer writing with no meaning." Asemic writing exists in many different forms. It is created with a pen or brush, but can range from being hand drawn in the sand with a stick and documented by photography, or to works on canvas, computer images, animations; the key to asemic writing is that though it is traditionally "unreadable" it still maintains a strong attractive appeal to the reader's eye. Various asemic writing includes pictograms, or ideograms the meanings of which are sometimes suggested by their shapes, though it may flow as an abstract expressionist scribble which resembles writing but avoids words. Asemic writing, at times, exists as a shadow of conventional writing practices. Reflecting writing, but not existing as a traditional writing system, asemic writing seeks to make the reader hover in a state between reading and looking. Asemic writing has no verbal sense. Through its formatting and structure, asemic writing may suggest a type of document and, suggest a meaning.
The form of art is still writing calligraphic in form, either depends on a reader's sense and knowledge of writing systems for it to make sense, or can be understood through aesthetic intuition. True asemic writing occurs when the creator of the asemic piece cannot read their own asemic writing. Relative asemic writing is a natural writing system that can be read by some people but not by everyone. Most asemic writing lies between these two extremes. Influences on asemic writing are illegible, invented, or primal scripts, but instead of being thought of as mimicry of preliterate expression, asemic writing may be considered to be a global postliterate style of writing that uses all forms of creativity for inspiration. Other influences on asemic writing are alien languages in science fiction, artistic languages, undeciphered scripts, graffiti. Uses for asemic writing include mental and creative idea stimulation, non-verbal communication and general authorial self-expression. Asemic writing occurs in avant-garde literature and art with strong roots in the earliest forms of writing.
The history of today's asemic movement stems from two Chinese calligraphers: "crazy" Zhang Xu, a Tang Dynasty calligrapher, famous for creating wild illegible calligraphy, the younger "drunk" monk Huaisu who excelled at illegible cursive calligraphy. Japanese calligraphers subsequently expanded upon Chinese abstract calligraphic expression by Hitsuzendō, allowing their works to move past formal presentation and "breathe with the vitality of eternal experience". In the 1920s Man Ray, influenced by Dada, created an early work of wordless writing with his poem Paris, Mai 1924, nothing more than dashes on a page. In the 1920s, Henri Michaux, influenced by Asian calligraphy and Automatic writing, began to create wordless works such as Alphabet and Narration. Michaux referred to his calligraphic works as "interior Gestures"; the writer and artist Wassily Kandinsky was an early precursor to asemic writing, with his linear piece Indian Story exemplifying complete textual abstraction. In the 1950s there is Brion Gysin (whose calligraphy was influenced by Japanese
M. C. Escher
Maurits Cornelis Escher was a Dutch graphic artist who made mathematically-inspired woodcuts and mezzotints. Despite wide popular interest, Escher was for long somewhat neglected in the art world in his native Netherlands, he was 70. In the twenty-first century, he became more appreciated, with exhibitions across the world, his work features mathematical objects and operations including impossible objects, explorations of infinity, symmetry, perspective and stellated polyhedra, hyperbolic geometry, tessellations. Although Escher believed he had no mathematical ability, he interacted with the mathematicians George Pólya, Roger Penrose, Harold Coxeter and crystallographer Friedrich Haag, conducted his own research into tessellation. Early in his career, he drew inspiration from nature, making studies of insects and plants such as lichens, all of which he used as details in his artworks, he traveled in Italy and Spain, sketching buildings, townscapes and the tilings of the Alhambra and the Mezquita of Cordoba, became more interested in their mathematical structure.
Escher's art became well known among scientists and mathematicians, in popular culture after it was featured by Martin Gardner in his April 1966 Mathematical Games column in Scientific American. Apart from being used in a variety of technical papers, his work has appeared on the covers of many books and albums, he was one of the major inspirations of Douglas Hofstadter's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1979 book Gödel, Bach. Maurits Cornelis Escher was born on 17 June 1898 in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands, in a house that forms part of the Princessehof Ceramics Museum today, he was the youngest son of the civil engineer George Arnold Escher and his second wife, Sara Gleichman. In 1903, the family moved to Arnhem, where he attended primary and secondary school until 1918. Known to his friends and family as "Mauk", he was a sickly child and was placed in a special school at the age of seven. Although he excelled at drawing, his grades were poor, he took piano lessons until he was thirteen years old. In 1918, he went to the Technical College of Delft.
From 1919 to 1922, Escher attended the Haarlem School of Architecture and Decorative Arts, learning drawing and the art of making woodcuts. He studied architecture, but he failed a number of subjects and switched to decorative arts, studying under the graphic artist Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita. In 1922, an important year of his life, Escher traveled through Italy, visiting Florence, San Gimignano, Volterra and Ravello. In the same year, he traveled through Spain, visiting Madrid and Granada, he was impressed by the Italian countryside and, in Granada, by the Moorish architecture of the fourteenth-century Alhambra. The intricate decorative designs of the Alhambra, based on geometrical symmetries featuring interlocking repetitive patterns in the coloured tiles or sculpted into the walls and ceilings, triggered his interest in the mathematics of tessellation and became a powerful influence on his work. Escher returned to Italy and lived in Rome from 1923 to 1935. While in Italy, Escher met Jetta Umiker – a Swiss woman, like himself attracted to Italy – whom he married in 1924.
The couple settled in Rome where their first son, Giorgio Arnaldo Escher, named after his grandfather, was born. Escher and Jetta had two more sons – Arthur and Jan, he travelled visiting Viterbo in 1926, the Abruzzi in 1927 and 1929, Corsica in 1928 and 1933, Calabria in 1930, the Amalfi coast in 1931 and 1934, Gargano and Sicily in 1932 and 1935. The townscapes and landscapes of these places feature prominently in his artworks. In May and June 1936, Escher travelled back to Spain, revisiting the Alhambra and spending days at a time making detailed drawings of its mosaic patterns, it was here that he became fascinated, to the point of obsession, with tessellation, explaining: It remains an absorbing activity, a real mania to which I have become addicted, from which I sometimes find it hard to tear myself away. The sketches he made in the Alhambra formed a major source for his work from that time on, he studied the architecture of the Mezquita, the Moorish mosque of Cordoba. This turned out to be the last of his long study journeys.
His art correspondingly changed from being observational, with a strong emphasis on the realistic details of things seen in nature and architecture, to being the product of his geometric analysis and his visual imagination. All the same his early work shows his interest in the nature of space, the unusual and multiple points of view. In 1935, the political climate in Italy became unacceptable to Escher, he had no interest in politics, finding it impossible to involve himself with any ideals other than the expressions of his own concepts through his own particular medium, but he was averse to fanaticism and hypocrisy. When his eldest son, was forced at the age of nine to wear a Ballila uniform in school, the family left Italy and moved to Château-d'Œx, where they remained for two years; the Netherlands post office had Escher design a semi-postal stamp for the "Air Fund" in 1935, again in 1949 he designed Netherlands stamps. These were for the 75th anniversary of the Universal Postal Union. Escher, who had
Luigi Serafini (artist)
Luigi Serafini is an Italian artist and designer based in Milan. He is best known for creating the Codex Seraphinianus, an illustrated encyclopedia of imaginary things in what is believed to be a constructed language; this work was published in 1981 by Franco Maria Ricci. During the 1980s Serafini worked as an designer in Milan, his objects were defined by a metalanguage aptitude, like the chairs Santa and Suspiral or the lamps and the glass for Artemide. He has created scenery and costumes for the ballet "The Jazz Calendar" by Frederick Ashton at Teatro Alla Scala and worked for the Piccolo Teatro di Milano, he has created set designs acronyms/logos for RAI, worked with Federico Fellini on La voce della luna. He has a laboratory of ceramics in Umbria, exhibits his work especially in the Netherlands, he has been a visiting artist at the Banff Centre, has exhibited at the Fondazione Mudima di Milano, the XIII Quadriennale, the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna in Rome, Futurarium in Chicago, Didael Gallery in Milan.
In 2003 he made a polychrome bronze sculpture, Carpe Diem, other bas-reliefs for the Materdei subway station in Naples. In July 2008, he completed a polychrome installation "Balançoires sans Frontières" in Castasegna, Switzerland. In May 2007, he held Luna Pac, at PAC in Milan, his work has been profiled in many Italian media and art publications, The Codex Seraphinianus was released in a limited edition of 5000 copies in 1981. It has been reprinted on five occasions, first in a 1983 English language edition. In 2013, Serafini released a deluxe and numbered limited edition of 600 copies. Roland Barthes was interested in the Codex. In 1984 Italo Calvino wrote an essay on it; the French choreographer Philippe Decouflé was inspired by it. Douglas Hofstadter wrote about it at length. In a talk at the Oxford University Society of Bibliophiles held on 11 May 2009, Serafini stated that there is no meaning hidden behind the script of the Codex, asemic. In 1984 Serafini illustrated Pulcinellopedia, under the pseudonym P. Cetrulo, with a suite of pencil drawings about the Neapolitan masque of Pulcinella.
It was reprinted in 2016. The catalogue from Serafini's Italian retrospective, Luna-Pac: Serafini, remains the only comprehensive publication of his oil paintings, sculptures and landscape art. Serafini has illustrated books, including an edition of Franz Kafka's story "In the Penal Colony" and a 1988 book entitled Etimologiario by Maria Sebregondi in the style similar to the Pulcinellopedia. In 2009 Serafini illustrated Le Storie Naturali, a reinterpretation of Les Histoires Naturelles by Jules Renard, published by Rizzoli in a signed, limited edition of 600; this book features numerous pockets containing leaves of fantastic plants printed on heavy paper stock and die-cut to leaf shape. Other unpublished works and illustrations are reported to exist, but aside from the occasional exhibit of art, they are not available or publicly catalogued. Serafini started working on his own website, luigiserafini.com, in the mid-2000s but since 2009 it only shows a blank page. Metropolitana di Napoli, Stazione Mater dei, 2003 LUNA-PAC SERAFINI-Milano, maggio 2007 on YouTube LUNA-PAC SERAFINI-Milano, maggio 2007 on YouTube
Automatic writing or psychography is a claimed psychic ability allowing a person to produce written words without consciously writing. The words purportedly arise from a spiritual or supernatural source. Scientists and skeptics consider automatic writing to be the result of the ideomotor effect and proponents of automatic writing admit it has been the source of innumerable cases of self-delusion. Automatic writing is not the same thing as free writing. An early example of the practice is the 16th century Enochian language dictated to John Dee and Edward Kelley by Enochian angels and integral to the practice of Enochian magic; the language is said to be detailed and complex with its own grammar and rules. Dee claimed that the Enochian instruction included information regarding the elixir of life in the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey. Parapsychologist William Fletcher Barrett wrote that "automatic messages may take place either by the writer passively holding a pencil on a sheet of paper, or by the planchette, or by a'ouija board'."
In spiritualism, spirits are claimed to take control of the hand of a medium to write messages and entire books. Automatic writing can happen in a waking state; the Surrealist poet Robert Desnos claimed. Some psychical researchers such as Thomson Jay Hudson have claimed no spirits are involved in automatic writing and the subconscious mind is the explanation. Automatic writing as a spiritual practice was reported by Hyppolyte Taine in the preface to the third edition of his De l'intelligence, published in 1878. Besides "ethereal visions" or "magnetic auras", Fernando Pessoa claimed to have experienced automatic writing, he said he felt "owned by something else", sometimes feeling a sensation in the right arm he claimed was lifted into the air without his will. Georgie Hyde-Lees, the wife of William Butler Yeats claimed she could write automatically. Sri Aurobindo as well as The Mother practiced Automatic writing. A prominent alleged example of automatic writing is the Brattleboro hoax; when Charles Dickens died in 1870 he left The Mystery of Edwin Drood unfinished.
According to the itinerant printer T. P. James this angered Dicken's spirit so much that he channeled the rest of the novel through James's hand; this is supposed to have begun on Christmas Eve 1872 and continued in thrice weekly sessions until completion. Shortly after his 1917 marriage to Georgie Hyde-Lees the poet W. B. Yeats came to be influenced by her delving into what they referred to as "the automatic script"; the medium Pierre L. O. A. Keeler had an alleged spirit writing communication from Abraham Lincoln exhibited at the Lily Dale Museum. Despite Lincoln being a well known skeptic and Keeler having been known to employ magician's tricks this is used as one of the many examples of skeptics purportedly endorsing spiritualism—posthumously. Skeptical investigator Joe Nickell who made a detailed examination of the "spirit" writing concluded it had no resemblance to Lincoln's handwriting and described the message as "bogus". Arthur Conan Doyle, in his book The New Revelation, wrote that automatic writing occurs either by the writer's subconscious or by external spirits operating through the writer.
Doyle and his wife led an automatic writing séance with Harry Houdini where Lady Doyle wrote fifteen pages of purported messages from Houdini's mother although this information was discounted as fraudulent by Houdini. Paranormal investigator Harry Price exposed the supposed automatic writing in the Borley Rectory as the wall-scrawling of a housewife attempting to hide an extramarital affair. There was an apocalyptic cult led by a lapsed Scientologist named Keech, he and his followers were waiting for an alien ship to take them to the nonexistent planet Clarion and save them from a worldwide flood, to commence at midnight on December 20, 1954. When that didn't occur Keech got an automatic writing message from God calling the whole thing off. In 1975, Wendy Hart of Maidenhead claimed she wrote automatically about Nicholas Moore, a sea captain who died in 1642. In 1975 the CIA attempted to employ remote viewing through the Stargate Project. In the spring of 1989, Angela Dellafiora, a member of Stargate Project's remote viewing unit, claimed to be guided by spirits moving her hand in writing responses about the location of a fugitive DEA agent named Charlie Jordan.
In reviewing the matter, Joe Nickell states, "he Charlie Jordan case, touted as one of the most successful examples... in the U. S. government’s psychic-spying project is not convincing evidence of anything-save folly.... T illustrates the limitations of anecdotal evidence: conflicting versions, selective reporting, lack of documentation, together with additional manifestations of faulty memory and other human foibles."David Icke claims to have been alerted he was a Son of the Godhead through his automatic writing. Vassula Ryden claims to receive and transcribe messages from her guardian angel Daniel, Yahweh, she has provoked both skepticism and credulity from Catholic laity and clergy, as well as the skeptical community at large. Alleged cases of automatic writing have included Joseph Smith, Patience Worth, Aleister Crowley, Jane Roberts, Helen Schucman and Neale Donald Walsch. Crowley, for instance, compiled the Collected Works over time, which included The Book of the Law as well as transcripts of his visions of the first two Enochian Aethyrs.
Scientists and skeptics consider automatic writing to be the result of the ideomotor effect. According to skeptical investigator Joe Nickell, "automatic writing is produced while one is in a dissociated state, it is a form of motor automatism, or unconscious muscul