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SCV Newsmaker of the Week | Ep. 205: Journalist-Author Willy E. Gutman

Uploaded 12/09/2007

Ep. 205: Journalist-Author Willy E. Gutman

Taped November 20, 2007 | Televised December 9, 2007


About Willy E. Gutman

Born in Paris, educated in Europe, Israel and the U.S., W. E. Gutman is a seasoned and widely published journalist and essayist. He has been reporting from Central America since 1991 and is the author of two books of nonfiction. The former international editor of the late-great futurist magazine, OMNI, his columns have appeared in scores of mainstream and special interest newspapers and periodicals in the U.S. and abroad.


About Nocturnes: Tales From The Dreamtime (2006):

Exulting in polemic and moral disobedience, disquieting and politically charged, NOCTURNES swings dizzyingly between parody and horror, wry humor and paradox. Denouncing predigested notions of life and death, compassion and bestiality, justice and inequity, sanity and psychosis, this thinly veiled allegory casts an acerbic, often savage eye at society’s most cherished convictions. Implicit in this cautionary parable is a haunting but strangely tenable premise: Imagine a realm that spies on dreamers, a social order in which “forbidden” musings, nightmares, chimeras and heretical concepts — whether seized in one’s sleep or evoked in a wakeful state — are intercepted and wayward dreamers are hunted down and silenced. The “dreams” woven in NOCTURNES are aimed to stupefy, disconcert. Bent on distracting society from its utilitarian yoke and reconciling irrationality with the rigors of conscious thought, the author argues that knowledge of the world is inextricably shaped and conditioned by the opinions we inherit — or that we perfunctorily manufacture along the way. A penchant for deconstructionist philosophy leads the author to argue that the only valid foundation for knowledge is an attitude that, on one hand, rejects “truth” based on blind trust or coerced doctrine [“any truth that owes its existence solely to faith is a lie”], and, on the other, proposes that reality comes directly from our experience of what it is to perceive it [“We are what we think.”] NOCTURNES is literature at its most surreal — perhaps the storybook equivalent of a Hieronymus Bosch painting or an Escher ink drawing that defies the laws of perspective and fools the senses Anyone requiring booster shots of cynicism, the kind that deliver dreamers from groundless hope, idealists from pointless fancies, will savor W. E. Gutman’s new opus. All others, the straitlaced and the faint-of-heart, are enjoined to abstain lest they succumb to its melancholy spell.

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