A Rondel for Hilo Heroes
By: Joshua Glenn | Categories: HiLo Heroes, Poetry

B

ataille penned smut and highbrow theories of waste;
E

dgar Rice Burroughs mined pseudoscience for low thrills;
H

arpo’s comic silence expressed a saintly goodwill;
E

rwin Schrödinger viewed catachrestic physics with distaste.

R

ube Goldberg’s lowbrow machines were designed to entertain;
M

aurice White delivers smoothly complex musical known-unknowns;
E

zra Pound’s artistic economy wasn’t entirely insane;
N

am June Paik’s high-tech installations? Mind blown.

A

leister Crowley was a modernist wizard of sex magick;
U

rsula K. Le Guin writes highbrow sci-fi;
T

i-Grace Atkinson bids men everywhere an unfond goodbye;
I

an Dury hit lowbrow punks with his fey rhythm stick;
C

hantal Akerman and filmic conventions don’t see eye to eye.

The preceding doggerel celebrates a few figures about whom our talented contributors wrote in 2009. Matthew Battles and I thank Mark Kingwell, Katie Hennessey, Joe Alterio, Douglas Wolk, Sarah Weinman, Ingrid Schorr, Tom Nealon, Peggy Nelson, Greg Rowland, Patrick Cates, David Smay, James Parker, Franklin Bruno, Erik Davis, Tor Aarestad, Jason Grote, Lynn Peril, Luc Sante, Mimi Lipson, Annie Nocenti, and Matthew De Abaitua for their tremendous efforts. Onward and upward!

***

READ MORE essays by Joshua Glenn, originally published in: THE BAFFLER | BOSTON GLOBE IDEAS | BRAINIAC | CABINET | FEED | HERMENAUT | HILOBROW | HILOBROW: GENERATIONS | HILOBROW: RADIUM AGE SCIENCE FICTION | HILOBROW: SHOCKING BLOCKING | THE IDLER | IO9 | N+1 | NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW | SEMIONAUT | SLATE

Joshua Glenn’s books include UNBORED: THE ESSENTIAL FIELD GUIDE TO SERIOUS FUN (with Elizabeth Foy Larsen); and SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS: 100 EXTRAORDINARY STORIES ABOUT ORDINARY THINGS (with Rob Walker).

Each day, HiLobrow.com pays tribute to one of our favorite high-, low-, no-, or hilobrow heroes on that person’s birthday. Click here for more HiLo Hero shout-outs.

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Joshua Glenn is an author, publisher, and semiotic analyst. He is co-author (with Mark Kingwell and the cartoonist Seth) of THE IDLER'S GLOSSARY and THE WAGE SLAVE'S GLOSSARY, co-editor of the object-oriented story collections TAKING THINGS SERIOUSLY and (with Rob Walker) SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS, and co-author (with Elizabeth Foy Larsen) of the family activities guide UNBORED and three forthcoming spinoffs, including UNBORED Games. He is editor of HILOBROW and publisher of the Radium Age science fiction imprint HiLoBooks. Also: Glenn manages a secretive online community known as the Hermenautic Circle; he is founding editor of the e-book club Save the Adventure; and he's a frequent co-host of Boing Boing's podcast GWEEK. In the ’00s, Glenn was an editor, columnist, and blogger for the Boston Globe's IDEAS section, he co-founded the international semiotics website SEMIONAUT, and contributed to CABINET, SLATE, and elsewhere. In the ’90s, he published the high-lowbrow zine/journal HERMENAUT, worked as a dotcom and magazine editor, and contributed to THE BAFFLER, FEED, and elsewhere. His publishing company is King Mixer, LLC; and his semiotic analysis consultancy is Semiovox LLC. He lives in Boston with his wife and children.