Friday, December 22, 2017

Best Wishes for a Happy and Creative 2018 from Moonrise Press!

We wish all our readers, authors, and book lovers the most peaceful and happy holidays, with lots of time for reading and resting, and the most creative and successful New Year 2018!

May your literary, poetic, and artistic interests come to fruition!
May you write, create, and publish what you always dreamed about!
May your readers enjoy the fruit of your efforts and share their delight!

With best wishes,
Moonrise Press

At Moonrise Press, we publish poetry, especially spiritual, and also by women. We also publish non-fiction books about Polish history and culture. Another project is bringing out reprints of classic wisdom texts, such as Ethics by Spinoza that appeared in 2017.

In 2017 the following titles were issued by Moonrise Press, in reverse chronological order.





3rd Illustrated Edition, 2017

Earlier, we have also published the following books of poetry: 





Thursday, September 21, 2017

Our First Fiction Book in Polish - Hanna Kulenty's "Odwrocony Dom" ["The Inverted House"]

Moonrise Press is proud to present its first novel in Polish, written by composer Hanna Kulenty-Majoor and available in the U.S. in paperback format since October 2017. 

Cover of Odwrocony Dom/ Inverted House by Kaja Majoor

ISBN  978-1-945938-12-2  (paperback)

ISBN 9978-1-945938-13-9 (e-book, E-Pub format, in preparation)

You may purchase the paperback here (
Additional booksellers will have this book for you in about two months.


"Time and its dimensions, time squared, time cubed" ... is not only my motto in music, but also in literature. In music I do not try to stop time, but only to "slow down" the flow of time and to give the listener a sense of its other dimensions. Similarly, in the literature I try to do the same.

My first book "Inverted House" consists of two parts: the first part covers the years 2005 - 2008 and the second part is set in the period of a few months of my life in 2015. I started writing this novel around 2012. Initially, it was an attempt to quickly register a collection of my weird dreams and visions. Here, I will add that the dream and the awakened state are inseparable in the novel, and influence its form. It all depends on how we look at it... That is why the title is "Inverted House" - "Odwrocony Dom"  It is "inverted" or reflected in the mirror - as in the Magritte image.

What I have done so far only in music, I began to transpose into the language of literature. Transposition - this is a good term because I actually wrote this book a bit like a music work. "I show" different scenes in it (let's call it conventionally, "scenes") that recur many times. Every time I get the camera closer  to the image (so to speak), showing more and more details. In my music, I use obsessive leitmotives, which evolve into each other in their exterior and interior outlines. I do the same in a book. 

I am animating and extending "frozen movie images" which are a clear record of my dreams and visions; then I provide them with longer narratives. I take these scenes under the "magnifying glass"  not only in my imagination, but as if under the microscope, so you are an eyewitness! In music, I write down what I hear, see, and feel and I have had some practice in doing it. In literature, I write down what I hear, see, and feel with a little less (true) practice. It is, what it is... You have to start somewhere, from something. I write down how time flies, literally, with all the commas and ellipses, without editing, as soon as possible, so as not to forget something, or miss an important detail.


Hanna Kulenty-Majoor, a Polish-Dutch composer, has been working as a freelance writer since 1985, pursuing numerous commissions from major soloists, ensembles and orchestras. An author of more than a hundred compositions - from solo works, through chamber music, symphony, opera, to theater and film - she has created a series of distinctive musical styles, starting from a "polyphony of arcs" technique (developed in the Masters' thesis), then the technique of "trance in European music" (most notably used in the opera "Mother of Black-Winged Dreams" and the technique of "polyphony of space-time" (developed in the doctoral dissertation and used in major symphonic works and operas). 

Her music is recognizable almost from the first note, and sustains listeners interest through its tension, unexpected twists and turns of superimposed layers of music and emotion to last note. Her music now is referred to as "surrealist music" (or "musique surrealistique" - everything sounds better in French!). Her works have been performed on all continents by such ensembles as the Kronos and Arditti String Quartets, ereprijs of the Netherlands, National Philharmonic Orchestra in Warsaw, Poland, and National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice.  Hanna Kulenty-Majoor has taught at major music institutions in the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Denmark, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Lithuania, Poland. She also participated in many juries of music competitions. Currently, she serves as professor of composition at the Music Academy in Bydgoszcz, Poland. 

She studied composition under the direction of W. Kotoński at the Music Academy in Warsaw and Louis Andriessen at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. In 1990 she was a guest composer of the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (daad) in Berlin. Kulenty-Majoor is a recipient of a number of important awards, of which the most valuable is winning the 50th International Tribune of Composers and receiving the Mozart Medal of the UNESCO International Music Council for the First Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra (2003). She also recently received a lifetime achievement award from the Polish Composers' Union.

Maja Trochimczyk and Hanna Kulenty with "Odwrocony Dom" in South Pasadena, September 30, 2017.
Photo by Lucyna Przasnyski.


Recently I call my music not only "polyphony of space-time", but also "musique surrealistique." Why? Because I am a composer who consciously connects and interlaces particular musical elements in such a way as to change them ... - in time, in multiple layers of time, or "times." I try, for example, to stretch the melody so that the apparent lack of contact with this melody impacts our subconscious. At other times, I try to accelerate that melody so that there is no room for any reflection, and only our super-consciousness guesses the possible prosody or outline of that melody. I change the times (durations and velocity, acceleration and deceleration) of musical elements. I change their states of being, as it were. I'm a music surrealist and not a sur-culturalist, because I do not bury and abandon the convention.

I am a surrealist musician precisely because I convey to the listener the states and emotional gestures that may accompany the musical conventions (but do not have to do so). I am more interested in the imitation and transformation of nature directly than in the imitation of someone's imitation - that is, of musical convention. I am most interested in creating or evoking emotional gestures in my music that should move, touch, inspire my listeners; such gestures have been known from the very beginning of the music. I am  also interested in making these gestures more realistic; to this, the conventions, such as the "human" melody, are secondary. I do not play with the baroque style, but I play with emotional state, or energy which can accompany the baroque style... I am not afraid of emotions, not only because music is made of emotions, but also because music is above all emotions! Is not it?

NOTE: Since the book is in Polish, the information about it is also in Polish. 

"Czas i jego wymiary, czas do kwadratu, czas do sześcianu"… – to nie tylko moje motta w muzyce, ale również i w literaturze. Tak jak w muzyce nie próbuję zatrzymywać czasu, a jedynie ten czas "spowolnić" i dać słuchaczowi odczuć jego inne wymiary, tak w literaturze staram się robić to samo.

Moja pierwsza książka „Odwrócony Dom" składa się z dwóch części. Pierwsza część obejmuje lata 2005 – 2008. Druga część okres kilku miesięcy z mojego życia w 2015 roku.  Zaczęłam pisać tę powieść ok 2002 roku. Początkowo była to próba szybkiego zarejestrowania zbioru moich dziwnych snów – wizji, a tutaj dodam, że sen i jawa są w powieści nierozerwalne, a potem nadawanie temu formy. Dodałam sporo faktów z mojego życia, przemyślenia filozoficzne i sporo fantazji. Taka trochę "literatura faktów". Surrealizm czy realizm?… Zależy z której strony na to spojrzymy… Dlatego "Odwrócony Dom". Odwrócony albo odbity w tafli lustrzanej – jak w obrazie Magritte.

To, co do tej pory robiłam tylko w muzyce zaczęłam więc transponować na język literatury. Transpozycja – to dobre określenie, bo tak naprawdę pisałam tę książkę trochę jak utwór muzyczny. "Wyświetlam" w niej różne sceny (nazwijmy to umownie) wielokrotnie, ale za każdym razem przybliżam (że tak powiem) kamerę, ukazując coraz więcej szczegółów. W utworze muzycznym stosuję obsesyjne leitmotivy, które za każdym razem ewoluują w swoim zewnętrzu i wnętrzu. W książce robię podobnie. Ożywiam i wydłużam "zamrożone klatki filmowe", które są czystą rejestracją moich snów – wizji i nadaję im coraz dłuższe narracje. Biorę pod "lupę" te sceny nie tylko (jak widać) w mojej wyobraźni, ale (w pewnym sensie) przybliżam mikroskop jako naoczny świadek!.W muzyce zapisuję to co słyszę, widzę i czuję i mam w tym niemałą wprawę. W literaturze zapisuję to co słyszę, widzę i czuję z trochę mniejszą (co prawda) wprawą, ale co tam… Od czegoś trzeba zacząć. Zapisuję jak leci, dosłownie, ze wszystkimi przecinkami i wielokropkami, bez edycji, jak najszybciej, żeby czegoś nie zapomnieć albo czegoś nie przeoczyć.


Hanna Kulenty, kompozytor polsko-holenderski, od 1985 r. pracuje jako wolny twórca, realizując liczne zamówienia. Autorka ponad stu kompozycji – od utworów solowych, poprzez kameralistykę, symfonikę, opery, a kończąc na muzyce teatralnej i filmowej. Charakterystyczny styl muzyczny, z jej techniką „polifonii łuków” (opracowaną w pracy magisterskiej), następnie techniką „transu w muzyce europejskiej” i w końcu techniką „polifonii czasoprzestrzeni” (opracowaną w pracy doktorskiej), jest rozpoznawalny niemalże od pierwszej nuty, a trzymający w napięciu do ostatniej. Swoją muzykę obecnie nazywa „turbulencjami harmonicznymi” lub „muzyką surrealistyczną”. Jej utwory są wykonywane na wszystkich kontynentach. Hanna Kulenty wykłada w iu instytucjach muzycznych (USA, Kanada, Wielka Brytania, Dania, Holandia, Niemcy, Hiszpania, Litwa, Polska). Uczestniczyła również w pracach jury konkursów muzycznych.

Studiowała kompozycję pod kierunkiem W. Kotońskiego w Akademii Muzycznej w Warszawie i Louisa Andriessena w Królewskim Konserwatorium w Hadze. W 1990 roku była przez rok guest composer Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (daad) w Berlinie. Jest laureatką szeregu nagród, z których najbardziej ceni pierwszą lokatę na 50. Międzynarodowej Trybunie Kompozytorów UNESCO oraz Medal Mozartowski Międzynarodowej Rady Muzycznej UNESCO za I Koncert na trąbkę i orkiestrę (2003).


Ostatnio nazywam swoją muzykę nie tylko "polifonią czasoprzestrzeni", ale też: "musique surrealistique". Dlaczego? Dlatego, że jestem kompozytorem, który świadomie łączy i łączyć będzie poszczególne elementy muzyczne w taki sposób, aby zmienić im... (właśnie) – czasy. Próbuję np. rozciągnąć melodię tak, aby pozorny brak kontaktu z tą melodią uderzał w naszą podświadomość, albo próbuję przyspieszyć ową melodię tak, aby nie było miejsca na żadną refleksję, a tylko nasza nadświadomość odgadywała ewentualną prozodię tej melodii. Zmieniam czasy elementom muzycznym. Zmieniam ich stany. Jestem surrealistką muzyczną, a nie surkonwencjonalistką, bo ja nie grzebię w konwencji – tak dla zasady czy techniki kompozytorskiej, ale jedynie się o konwencję ocieram – jeżeli mam oczywiście taką potrzebę.

Jestem surrealistką muzyczną właśnie dlatego, że przekazuję słuchaczowi stany i gesty emocjonalne, które mogą konwencji towarzyszyć, ale nie muszą. Bardziej interesuje mnie naśladowanie i przekształcanie bezpośrednio natury, niż naśladowanie czyjegoś naśladowania – czyli konwencji. Gesty emocjonalne, które powinny poruszać, wzruszać, itd, które znane są od początku istnienia muzyki najbardziej mnie interesują. Interesuje mnie to, żeby te właśnie gesty odrealnić po mojemu, a że są przy okazji elementy konwencji, takie jak np. "ludzka" melodia, to sprawa wtórna. Ja nie bawię się np. barokiem, ale bawię się stanem emocjonalnym, energią, która może barokowi towarzyszyć... Nie boję się emocji, bo muzyka to również, czy przede wszystkim emocje! Czyż nie?…

Wiecej informacji na stronie:


Hanna Kulenty-Majoor appeared in a series of lectures and one concert during her tournee in Southern California in the fall of 2017. The program included the following events:

  • Wednesday, September 20 at 3 p.m.
  • LECTURE for Composition Forum, introduced by Dr. Maja Trochimczyk, Cal State Long Beach 3:15-4:30 in room C-402 in the University Music Center. With Prof. Alan Shockley 

  • Friday September 22 at 11 am
  • LECTURE USC Composers’ Forum. Introduced by Dr. Maja Trochimczyk
  • Ramo Recital Hall, Thornton School of Music. FREE 

  • Saturday September 23 at 6:30 pm
  • GUEST at Krzysztof Zimowski – Violin & Jarosław Gołębiowski – Piano ADORATIONS FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO  concert at the Residence of Poland, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

  • Sunday September 24 at 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm 
  • GUEST at Village Poets Poetry Reading at Bolton Hall Museum with Cece Peri and Ambika Talwar. FREE

  • Monday September 25 at 6:30 pm
  • GUEST The Zookeeper's Wife: Screening and Q&A with Producers and Screenwriter Laemmle Music Hall - 9036 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90211

  • Wednesday September 27 at 10 am
  • LECTURER 10am to 10:50am Composers Lecture. Introduced by Maja Trochimczyk.
  • Music Building at Cal State LA, room 120 (on the first floor). With Prof. Sara Graeff.

  • Wednesday  September 27 at 3 p.m.
  • REHEARSAL AND CONCERT from 3pm to 4:30pm researsal from 5 p.m. concert
  • Ramo Recital  Hall Music @ Rush Hour Concert. USC Polish Music Center. FREE.

  • Friday, September 29, at 7 p.m.
  • LECTURE  -  INTERVIEW with Dr. Janusz Supernak
  • Polish Club of San Diego, Dir. Jerzy Barankiewicz, FREE

  • Saturday September 30 at 5 p.m.
  • LECTURE - INTERVIEW with Dr. Maja Trochimczyk
  • Modjeska Club Lecture,  South Pasadena Public Library, 
  • 1115 El Centro Street, South Pasadena, CA 91030. FREE

Maja Trochimczyk and Hanna Kulenty-Majoor, Long Beach, September 2017

Maja Trochimczyk and Hanna Kulenty at the Getty Center.

Maja Trochimczyk and Hanna Kulenty with "ODwrocony Dom" at Modjeska Club Meeting, 
South Pasadena. Photo by Lucyna Przasnyski.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Announcing "Gorecki in Context: Essays on Music" Edited by Maja Trochimczyk

The volume of interviews and studies of the music by Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki (1933-2010) is finally  seeing the light of day. The project was initiated in 2011, after the composer's death, as a tribute to him, and a way to present a more diverse image of the composer and his work as seen by Polish scholars, whose research is not well known in the English-speaking world.

The collection of interviews grew to seven texts, from 1962 to 2008, the studies include translations of Polish research and three essays of the editor, Maja Trochimczyk - an overview of his life and music, a study of his concept of "motherhood" and a description of his visit to Los Angeles in 1997. All these aspects were previously either unknown, not available in English, or neglected in Gorecki scholarship. So far, so good. We are waiting for the music publishers to respond with the copyright permissions, at which time the page numbers will be finalized and the book published.

Gorecki "sekunduje" (plays the second fiddle) in goralska kapela for the 50th anniversary
of the Tatra Eagle in New Jersey, September 1997. L to R: Prof. Thaddeus Gromada, Andrzej Bachleda, 
H. M. Gorecki, Jane Kedron. Used by Permission of Thaddeus Gromada

Below, you will find a reprint of the preface by the editor, and the table of contents listing the articles that "made the cut" and will highlight the diverse aspects of Gorecki's music in its Polish context.
Here are more links and pictures:  Trochimczyk's poem in his memory was published on the same Chopin with Cherries blog, in 2010: Excerpts with his interview about Chopin are also posted there.



This volume gathers interviews and studies of the music of the Polish composer,  Henryk Mikołaj Górecki (1933-2010). Contributors include the composer himself – in a series of interviews spanning his entire career, from 1962 to 2008 – as well as leading Górecki scholars from Poland, the U.K., the U.S., and Australia. The collection includes a list of works, music examples, portraits, photographs, and a bibliography. The value of gathering five interviews in one place cannot be overestimated, as these encounters portray the mind of the composer and capture the changing interests that preoccupied him at various stages in his career.

The project brings together different views at the composer’s oeuvre, highlighting three of the four symphonies, each honored by a separate chapter: the Second Symphony Copernican (Kinga Kiwała), the Third Symphony  The Symphony of Sorrowful Songs (Maja Trochimczyk) and the Fourth Symphony Tansman Episodes (Andrzej Wendland). Two studies were contributed by an eminent Polish scholar and Górecki’s long-time personal friend, Prof. Teresa Malecka of Kraków, including an extensive review of the composer’s links to Polish musical traditions, and an overview of his piano music.  The studies are rounded up by an introductory overview of Górecki’s life and career and a case study of his visit to Los Angeles in 1997, when he conducted his Third Symphony for the first time outside of Poland, and made a huge impact on the musical life of California.

As one of the organizers of the 1997 Górecki Autumn Residency at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and the composer’s personal translator and guide, I had an unusually close contact with the reclusive composer and was able to present his views in two interviews and several articles, with a focus on the Third Symphony.

I hope that this volume will serve to stimulate further research into the life and music of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki whose oeuvre goes well beyond the world-famous maverick of a piece, his Third Symphony, beloved and misinterpreted in equal measure.

Maja Trochimczyk

Jane Kedron, Andrzej Bachleda and Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki, October 1997, Los Angeles

⦾   ⦾   ⦾


⦾ Maja Trochimczyk – Introduction

⦾ Luke B. Howard – Why Love Górecki?

⦾ Maja Trochimczyk – Mountains of Grief (Poem)

⦾  ⦾  ⦾

⦾ PART I ⦾


⦾ Chapter 1 ⦾ — Page 3

Conversation with Henryk Górecki: Leon Markiewicz, July 1962  — Translated by Anna Maslowiec

⦾ Chapter 2 ⦾ — Page 12

“I Am Always Myself” – Says Henryk Mikołaj Górecki in Conversation with Mieczysław Kominek (December 1993)  —  translated by Maja Trochimczyk

⦾ Chapter 3 ⦾ — Page 22

 About Life and Music: A Conversation with Henryk Mikołaj Górecki (Zakopane, 16 July 1997) — Maja Trochimczyk

⦾ Chapter 4 ⦾ — Page 45

“Composing is a Terribly Personal Matter:” A Conversation with Henryk Mikołaj Górecki (April 1998) —Maja Trochimczyk

⦾ Chapter 5 ⦾ — Page 66

“There’s More to Life than the Arranging of Sounds” – Henryk Mikołaj Górecki in Conversation with Małgorzata and Marcin Gmys

 ⦾ Chapter 6 ⦾ — Page 80

“Music? A Visitor from Another World,” (15 October 2008), Henryk Mikołaj Górecki in Conversation with Małgorzata and Marcin Gmys

⦾ Chapter 7 ⦾ — Page 87

“Music is a Conversation.” Henryk Mikołaj Górecki Talks to Anna Wieczorek and Krzysztof Cyran (29 April 2008) —edited by Małgorzata Janicka-Słysz



⦾ Chapter 8 ⦾ — Page 101

Górecki’s Life and Music: A Bird’s Eye View — Maja Trochimczyk

⦾ Chapter 9 ⦾

Henryk Mikołaj Górecki’s Symphony No. 2 Copernican:  Word and Sound and the Sublime — Kinga Kiwała  — Translated by Maja Trochimczyk

⦾ Chapter 10 ⦾

Mothers and Motherhood in Górecki's Third Symphony and Other Works  — Maja Trochimczyk

⦾ Chapter 11 ⦾

Górecki and the Polish Musical Tradition. Wacław of Szamotuły, Chopin, Szymanowski, Polish Folk and Church Music — Teresa Malecka

⦾ Chapter 12 ⦾
Górecki at the Keyboard: The Piano in his Compositional Output — Teresa Malecka

⦾ Chapter 13 ⦾

Górecki in Los Angeles, 1997 — Maja Trochimczyk

⦾ Chapter 14  ⦾

The  Phenomenon and Mystery of Górecki’s Fourth Symphony – Tansman. Epizody” —Andrzej Wendland (translated by Maja Trochimczyk)

⦾  ⦾  ⦾

⦾ Henryk Mikołaj Górecki - List of Works

⦾ Bibliography

⦾ Notes about Contributors

⦾ Index

⦾  ⦾  ⦾

Maja Trochimczyk with Gorecki in Context and other Moonrise Press books, 
at Modjeska Club Meeting, South Pasadena. Photo by Lucyna Przasnyski.

And here's the classic video with Gorecki listening to his Third Symphony with his favorite soprano, Zofia Kijanowicz as the soloist. From TVP Kultura.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Our Author, Marlene Hitt, the Grand Marshall at the Parade and Featured Poet in Montrose, July 22 at 3pm

Marlene and Lloyd Hitt, Grand Marshalls of the Independence Day Parade, 2017

Congratulations to Marlene Hitt, author of Clocks and Water Drops. She was the Grand Marshall of the Independence Day Parade, with her husband Lloyd Hitt, and will be featured on July 22, at 3pm at the Montrose Library.  The reading will present Dorothy Skiles and Marlene Hitt, in a double feature of Village Poets. Montrose Library is located at 2465 Honolulu Avenue, Montrose where the Village Poets reading will start at 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 22, 2017.  Two segments of open mike will also be available for those who wish to read their poems. See you all there!

Marlene Hitt is a Los Angeles poet, writer and retired educator with local history as an avocation. She has served for many years as Archivist, Museum Director and Historian at the Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga. She is a native Californian and a graduate of Occidental College. She also studied at CSUN, USC, UCLA, Glendale College and Trinity College in Ireland. As a member of the Chupa Rosa Writers of Sunland for nearly 30 years, she has worked with this small group of poets from whom has sprung readings at the local library, the Poet Laureate Program of Sunland-Tujunga, and the currently popular Village Poets. Her poetry received several first place prizes in annual competitions of the Women’s Club, San Fernando Valley, and many awards from the John Steven McGroarty Chapter of the California Chaparral Poets. Congressman Adam Schiff declared Marlene Hitt to be the Woman of the Year 2016 and her name was entered into the Congressional Record.

Her work appeared in Psychopoetica (UK), Chupa Rosa Diaries of the Chupa Rosa Writers, Sunland (2001-2003), Glendale College’s Eclipse anthologies, two Moonrise Press anthologies, Chopin With Cherries (2010) and Meditations on Divine Names (2012),Sometimes in the Open, a collection of verse by California Poets Laureate, and The Coiled Serpent, anthology of Los Angeles poets, edited by Poet Laureate, Luis Rodriguez (2016). She published chapbooks Sad with Cinnamon, Mint Leaves, and Bent Grass (all in 2001), as well as Riddle in the Rain with Dorothy Skiles, a stack of poetry booklets for friends and family, and most recently a critically acclaimed poetry volume, Clocks and Water Drops (Moonrise Press, 2015). 

More information: 


Please, come home.
Walk into the door of the kitchen
where stew and wheaten bread
steam, where a fire warms.
Your father will tune the strings,
unwrap the bohdran.
I will uncover the harp.
The stew will simmer.
With hands wiped on my apron
I will open my arms
to you, my firstborn child
so long traveling. Your sisters 
will dance. The old ones will smile
through brown, gapped teeth,
will smile blue into your eyes.
Wrapped around you, the old songs,
the scent of turf fire, the smell
of our own wool and you will sing.
While you sleep
I will wrap around you a woven shawl
to shield you. Please come home
to bleating lambs,
to the resting place of love.

Marlene Hitt, published in Clocks and Water Drops (2015)  


That old threadbare word – love
flows in a fabric patterned
with shades of crimson colors,
whispers of mauve and the yellow of dry sun.
Chopin wove love into the air,
Monet stroked it onto canvas.

That word so often patched
nearly falls apart, its meaning frayed –
until a newborn cries 
or a daughter becomes a bride,
until the lace of fifty years together
fully knits. Love unravels
until a friend perceives and cherishes,
until there is an ear ready to listen, 
a shoulder to cry on. Love is repaired
with the consecration of all the threads.

Then, there is delight in love’s stitching,
the worn word renewed
into the One Love.

Marlene Hitt, published in Clocks and Water Drops, 2015

Marlene  and Lloyd Hitt as Grand Marshalls. Photo by Bill Skiles.

Pam Shea, Dorothy Skiles and Joe DeCenzo with Village Poets in the Parade.

Moonrise Press publisher, Maja Trochimczyk, in the 2017 Parade.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Two Versions of Spinoza's Ethics Start a Classic Wisdom Book Series

Benedict Spinoza: Ethics, 292 pages, $20.00

EPub EBook, $8.00 available on, BarnesandNoble, Nook, Kobe and other distributors:

Moonrise Press has started a new book series of reprints of classic texts in English translation, entitled Classic Wisdom. The first volume in this series is Benedict Spinoza's Ethics. This is a reprint of a 19th century translation of "Ethica Ordine Geometrico Demonstrata" by Benedict de Spinoza (Baruch Spinoza, 1632-1677) first published in 1677. The  translation by William Hale White (1831-1913), published in 1883, was prepared for publication by Dr. Maja Trochimczyk.  The book is available in paperback and EPub ebook formats.

The book consists of five parts: I. Of God; II. Of The Nature and Origin of the Mind, III. Of The Origin and Nature of the Affects; IV. Of Human Bondage, or of the Strength of the Affects; And V. Of the Power of the Intellect, or Of Human Liberty.

Born in a Jewish-Portuguese family in Amsterdam in 1621, at 23, Spinoza was expelled from the Jewish community and is buried in a Christian Nieuwe Kerk, The Hague (he died at 44, in 1677). He was neither Jewish nor Christian in his views, and, from today’s perspective may be called one of the early Classics of Awakened Wisdom, aware of the intrinsic unity of the Universe with God, the Source of all.


The more things change, the more they stay the same. After taking a philosophy class way back in college and not caring one way or another for Spinoza whose geometric way of presenting his philosophical, religious, ethical, ontological and epistemological views did not appeal to me at all, I finally discovered his immensely significant, timeless wisdom and decided to share it by reprinting the Ethics in an 19th-century English translation by William Hale White, in convenient paperback and EBook formats. This is the first in our new reprint series, Classic Wisdom.

This wisdom is evident starting right in the first Part, on God: “PROP. XI. — God or substance consisting of infinite attributes, each one of which expresses eternal and infinite essence necessarily exists. PROP. XV. — Whatever is, is in God, and nothing can either be or be conceived without God.”

Thus, God by virtue of being infinite, cannot be outside of this world (transcendental), God has to be and is immanent, God is in everything that exists. Everything that exists is in God, i.e., Divine. This, of course, is a path straight to the modern understanding of the united Universe, permeated by the creative energy of its Source, the One Divine Being that is all in all. This of course, is not compatible with the dogmas and teachings of any temple or church that separate the One into Many, or cut-off the Divine Spirit from matter. What an amazing revolution, hidden in plain sight! To obfuscate things, Spinoza’s theories have been called “Philosophical Monism,” “Pantheistic” or “Rationalist” and engendering ideas that gave the birth to  Enlightenment.

Born in a Sephardic Jewish-Portuguese community in Amsterdam in 1621 (his ancestors excepted the Inquisition), he was expelled from the Jewish community at 23 years old, and is buried in the courtyard of a Christian Nieuwe Kerk in The Hague (he died at 44 years old in 1677). He was neither Jewish nor Christian in his views, and, from today’s perspective may be called one of the early Classics of Awakened Wisdom: the awakening is to the intrinsic unity of all that exist with God, the immortality of the human spirit, and the primacy of Love over all, Divine Light and Love guiding humans along their individual paths towards awakening, increased awareness and wisdom.

Philosophers love Spinoza for the elegance of his writings and the depth of his logical analysis of theorems and dogmas that he, time after time, proves absurd.  The book consists of five parts: I. Of God; II. Of The Nature and Origin of the Mind, III. Of The Origin and Nature of the Affects; IV. Of Human Bondage, or of the Strength of the Affects; and V. Of the Power of the Intellect, or Of Human Liberty.

Just like the ancient Gnostics, Pythagoras, Plotinus, Hermes Trismegistos ( many who wrote under his name), Giordano Bruno, and, to skip half a millennium, modern deep ecologists (Arne Dekke Eide Næss, and James Lovelock of the Gaia hypothesis), Spinoza found and shared the unified understanding of nature, humanity and divinity that dispels darkness, sorrows and doubts, while crowning the human being with the unperishable Divine Light that exists within. As he said: “The affect of Joy and its offspring increases the perfection of the mind and therefore is good; the affect of Sorrow and its offspring decreases the perfection of the mind and therefore is not good.” Thus, to seek Joy and intellectual Love that unites the seeker with the Divine is the ultimate goal of human life.

This idea reminds casual readers of the recently popular “The Secret” teaching millions about the power of  positive thinking, based on a premise that the “Universe” gives the individual an exact response to what that person thinks or feels like – the haters will be hated back and hurt, the lovers will be loved, the fearful –  scared, and  the joyous will have a lot more to en joy. Who knows how it really works, but there are many things worth doing less than reading Spinoza.

For convenience of those who did not grow up studying Latin, we added Arab numerals to the Propositions and other numbered lists. We also added more paragraph breaks to make the text easier to follow on the page. The  index, due to changed pagination, had to be redone, only the main entries were preserved, and additional items added. Finally, the title was changed to plural, Ethics, not Ethic as White had it, following the original.

Spinoza’s wisdom will reach you if you are patient and read this volume with a discerning mind.


~ Maja Trochimczyk

Benedict Spinoza, Ethics: An Outline, edited by Maja Trochimczyk
156 pages, $12, paperback

This is an abridged reprint in gender-neutral language of a 19th century translation of "Ethica Ordine Geometrico Demonstrata" by Benedict de Spinoza (Baruch Spinoza, 1632-1677) first published in 1677. The 1883 translation by William Hale White (1831-1913), was rendered gender-neutral by Dr. Maja Trochimczyk. This second volume of Moonrise Press's Classic Wisdom Book Series, consists of five parts: I. Of God; II. Of the Nature and Origin of the Mind, III. Of the Origin and Nature of the Affects; IV. Of Human Bondage, or of the Strength of the Affects. And V. Of The Power of the Intellect, or Of Human Liberty.

The Editor writes about the purpose of the shortened version as follows:

"For convenience of those who did not grow up studying Latin, we added Arab numerals to the Propositions and other numbered lists. We also added more paragraph breaks to make the text easier to follow on the page. The  index, due to changed pagination, had to be redone, only the main entries were preserved, and additional items added. Finally, the title was changed to plural, Ethics, not Ethic as White had it, following the original. Spinoza’s wisdom will reach you if you are patient and read this volume with a discerning mind. In this abbreviated version, we took out most of the scholastic arguments about the nature and attributes of God, substances, and the like. Instead, we kept all the conclusions and lessons about ethical living, affection, and virtues, because of their practical applications."

"For practical use as a guide to ethical life, the demonstrations and arguments why the Propositions are true are not needed. But it is important to easily number and find them, as well as to be able to read it and apply to a personal life, whether the reader is a man or a woman. In accordance with the principles of gender-neutral language that does not discriminate against women, the use of “man/men” was replaced with “human being,” “person” and “people” throughout. Similarly, since God in Spinoza’s concept is not a male, the pronouns He and His have been replaced throughout by God and God’s respectively. This infinite, eternal Being that is immanent in the Universe is the same Being as that known in Awakened circles as Father-Mother-God, or Source, or the One. The use of just the word “God” is more convenient in this case."