Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Housmans: Talks, 12 and 19 June

Book Launch and Talk: Clara Zetkin
12 June 2013, 7.00pm
Speakers John Partington and Marilyn Boxer, who contributed to Socialist History Society Occasional Publication 31 on Clara Zetkin, will discuss her life and legacy.

Venue Housmans Bookshop, 5 Caledonian Road, London N1 - near King’s Cross Station
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase 
Poor Man's Heaven:
the Land of Cokaygne and other utopian visions’

A talk by Omasius Gorgut

Wednesday 19th June, 7pm

Housmans Bookshop, 5 Caledonian Road, London, N1

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

“We’ll eat all we please from ham and egg trees
that grow by a lake full of beer…
The landlord well take and tie to a stake
and we won’t have to work like a slave..."

In the face of a life defined by exploitation, endless work, and
suffering, the poor of the Middle Ages dreamed up a fantastical land where
their sufferings were reversed; where people lived in idleness and plenty
- and the rich were barred.

This myth of a free earthly paradise was expressed in a popular song, The
Land of Cokaygne, in whch rivers ran with wine and milk, the houses were
made of pasties and tarts, and animals ran around cooked and ready to eat.

From 14th-century Europe to 20th-century USA, this dream emerges in songs,
poems, folk tales. But it wasn’t just a popular fantasy – the dream was
linked to the culture and tensions of the times, and time and again rebels
and heretics tried to turn dream into reality…

Omasius Gorgut will relate some of the elements of Cokaygne, why the dream
was continually being restated, and play some popular songs that emerged
from this fantastical land.

Omasius Gorgut's book, Poor Man's Heaven, is now available from past tense.

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