The print version of Leviathan: The Biographia Isocratica of Adrian Kun (ISBN 978-8-9950966-0-8 is available (see sidebar for pricing).
Written and collected primarily by the light of a coal-oil lamp over the course of twenty-five years, Leviathan is a mix of allegorical blank verse, allusive haiku and updated sonnet forms. Leviathan is geographically rooted in Ontario from the boreal forests of Thunder Bay, Ottawa and Sault Ste. Marie to the Carolinian forest and Erie lake-shore areas of Southwestern Ontario.
Leviathan is an integrated work which explores extended personal and political metaphors. Rooted in personal experience and observations, the poetry and its underlying thought is influenced by John Donne, Al Purdy, Kobayashi Issa, William Blake, Thomas Hobbes, S.T. Coleridge, William Wordsworth, Lewis Carroll, Epictetus, William James and John Dewey.
Adrian Kun is the rhetorical alter-ego of the author, Eric Adriaans. Kun is a creature drawn from Chinese mythology which is construed as an the analogue of the sea-dwelling Bible-myth Leviathan. In Chinese mythology, the air-borne form of Kun is Peng, making the complete full name the Kunpeng.
The book is divided in sections bearing geological terms as headings. The geological terms are intended to complement the large scales required by mythologies and human development.
Every poetry-bearing page, excepting the introductory and closing poems, include a single poem and a haiku written to complement the themes of the poem.
On the cover of the book is a photo of the Canada Southern Railway Station in St. Thomas, Ontario. The photograph was taken by Eric Adriaans.
Leviathan, the Poem
The collection of poetry initially drew its name from the title of the poem, Leviathan. The title of the poem was derived from Thomas Hobbes’ political philosophy book of the same name. In Hobbes’ treatise, the collective population of the commonwealth is the Leviathan.
In the poem, leviathan is intended to invoke the massive, and typically submerged collective of instincts, emotions and other heritable traits which compose an individual. The poem attempts to invert Hobbe’s use of the Leviathan metaphor to perceive not collective society as a leviathan, the the individual as a representative leviathan within collective society.
Beneath a perfect blue sky and a friendly sun
I heard you commenting on the gentle breeze and promising horizon.
With your fantastic careless smile, you seemed
To conquer the limitless moment which I feared.
And I wondered if you knew that
Though you tried to bury its enormity
Beneath blue and heavy waters,
Still it breathed – “I am massive,
I am leviathan.”
On a political level, the inversion of Hobbes’ leviathan implies an isocratic condition rather than a democratic or monarchic ideal.
The term Biographia Isocratica is an imitation of S.T. Coleridge’s famous literary autobiography titled Biographia Literaria. In his Biographia Literaria, S.T. Coleridge puts forward his recollections of his literary life and opinions. Included in this extensive work of literary criticism are several chapters exploring his perspectives on the poetry and controversy surrounding his collaborative work with William Wordsworth, The Lyrical Ballads (1798).
The Druthers Press
The print version of Leviathan is the first title of The Druthers Press, a micro-publishing project oriented to production of creator-driven published works.
References and Citations
All content on www.ericadriaans.com, the Erickipedia, is updated and revised based on new information, further consideration, reader feedback and whim. To recommend updates, provide feedback or comment please use the contact and feedback form.
- Original draft April 23, 2017
- Updated July 17, 2018
- Updated July 20, 2018