‘Kubla Khan, Or, A Vision in a Dream. A Fragment.’ by Samuel Taylor Coleridge foregrounds it’s own falsity in order to tell me about the private worlds within worlds that we all carry within us. The secret places that we ourselves never really entirely know. Xanadu – fiction and reality. The wakeful dream.
Xanadu was the historic capital of Khublai Khan’s empire. Marco Polo travelled there, and it has acquired and almost mythic status. It was a videogame, made in 1985, a pioneer of the RPG genre. It is also a bright feature on the surface of Saturn’s moon, Titan.
This blog, Letters from Beyond Xanadu, is likewise a place of many things, fictive, factual, and somewhere in between. But primarily, it is intended as a place where I can share some of the hidden worlds which occasionally poke out of quotidian – and not so quotidian – reality. Here, you’ll find smatterings about museums and literature, my central academic foci, but also about film, art, theatre, music and games, as and when the interest in them arises.
I want this to be a place which is dynamic and active. I want to stimulate reflection. There’s no set schedule or format or length. Things will be raw. This is a blog for stimulation: for me, as well as you.
I hope we argue about the content. I hope I hate a lot of it. I hope that it will be an experiment in the exploration of varied cultural performances. And I hope your time here is provocative and twitchy.
Travel well, and dream with open eyes,