Payne’s “The Wanderess” Makes Headlines in Billboard Magazine

My poetry and my novel “The Wanderess” has made the news in Billboard Magazine :) …The world-famous pop-star, Halsey (a young singer who read and was inspired by “The Wanderess” before she became famous last year) She was inspired to the point that she said to the press that she developed the qualities that made her famous because of my writing). Halsey based her song “Hurricane” (with its Exclusive Premiere promoted here on Billboard Magazine) on my book, “The Wanderess.”

I just read: One of her new songs is currently #1 on the “top 10 songs and albums on the iTunes Store.” Not bad ;)

(Click here for the Billboard page)

halsey-billboard-roman-payne

 

 

 

Eudaimonia: “Flourishing” Adults Live Flourishing Lives

A treatise in favor of “mind and body” arts, antidepressant medications, psychotropic drugs, and scientific procedures to alter the human mind and change consciousness; as well as an article in favor of religious practice (of any and all faiths)

By Roman Payne

Why do so many humans invest a considerable portion of their fortunes on, and are so appreciative of, the advancements in neuroscience?  It used to be assumed that the goal of neuroscientific studies were to cure dementia, Alzheimer’s, memory loss, and overall: to cheat death.  

In 2016, however, we no longer kid ourselves privately or publicly.  Today it is as acceptable to tell a stranger or a new acquaintance that you are on antidepressant drug or other psychotropic substances; or that you perform anything from yoga and meditation, to Catholic rituals or Muslim prayer.

Twenty-First Century literature, popular media in Western countries, and articles by learnéd scholars and the intelligentsia tend to agree that a fully-realized human being is someone who is not afraid to die. *

*Epicurus, for example, regarded “the unacknowledged fear of death and punishment as the primary cause of anxiety among human beings”; while Saint Augustine believed that “the fear of death makes a happy life impossible. […] The true, happy life,” Saint Augustine wrote, “requires immortality. The true life is one that is both everlasting and happy.”  Scholars and writers from Plato onward wrote similar doctrines.   Every man and woman may have “once have had” a fear of death.  In fact, “almost all” humans feared death during childhood, and many later on.  But those of us who live more or less: “contemplative lives”; those of us who devote part of each day to such activities as: introspection, self-improvement; philosophy, morality and religious practice, or the intake of pharmacological or natural psychotropic medicines, have either come to the point (and if they have not, they hopefully will, for such is the entire goal of everything from philosophy to magic to religion) where they are and can be considered “A fully-realized,” or a “flourishing,” adult.

A “flourishing” adult lives a “flourishing life”—(more specifically, a “eudaimonic” life).

(TO BE CONTINUED AFTER A FEW HOURS OF RESTFUL SLEEP)

“The Dawning of the Age of The Wanderess” – From “Literature Monthly” Magazine

The Dawning of the Age of the Wanderess: How Modern Culture is Encouraging Young Women to Travel the World Alone and Free

 

“The Wanderess,” Roman Payne’s latest novel, is experiencing a boom in viral activity. The subject of the book resonates with our internet culture, which allows and encourages women to brave the world on their own

 

In the world of literature, it is extremely difficult to find novels with titles like: “The Portrait of an Artist as a Young Woman.” And even if a woman comes of age in a novel, she may be an artist, but never an adventuress. Writers of coming-of-age novels about young adventurous men have a well-worn, established path to follow through the centuries-old genre of the: “Bildungsroman.”  This German word, made popular by writers such as Goethe, refers to a “tale of initiation” where a boy, through worldly experience (usually involving solitary travel), becomes a mature man who is successful in the world.  Female initiation tales in novels are much more rare, and when we do see them, they almost never involve solitary travel.  Up until now, it was a social taboo for a woman to travel alone. Beyond concerns for their safety, there was the general opinion that “women just don’t do that.” Fortunately, times have changed.

“A girl travelling alone” is the subject and setting of Roman Payne’s new novel “The Wanderess” (Aesthete Press, November 2013). Payne coined the term: “wanderess,” which before the novel’s release was unfound in Google. Now, a popular quote from Payne’s novel containing this word is found in Google on over 200,000 webpages. The quote reads:

“She was free in her wildness. She was a wanderess, a drop of free water. She belonged to no man and to no city.”

“This quote especially resonates with young women,” says Payne’s publisher, “They post this quote on their WordPress and Tumblr blogs. Many are even titling their blogs ‘The Wanderess’ now.” The infatuation with this quote is partly due to the jealousy women feel towards men who travel alone. Editor of Salon Magazine, Sarah Hepola, described her jealousy in an article in Salon titled “Every Woman should Travel Alone.” In it, she recounts a scene in a movie that inspired her to travel the world: A dying mother tells her daughter, “I never got to be in the driver’s seat of my own life […] I always did what someone else wanted me to do. I’ve always been someone else’s daughter or mother or wife. I’ve never just been me.” Later, after traveling the world, Hepola wrote that it was “the best thing she had ever done.”

Besides literary and magazine claims supporting this lifestyle, our culture and society as a whole has changed in a way that urges women to go alone on the road… “Women have never experienced the freedom they do today,” says social anthropologist, Sophie Reynolds, “As menopause onset and marriage customs have changed, women are no longer expected to get married and have babies at a young age. And due to workplace globalization, corporations have begun to put high value on world travel in candidates for positions within their firms.” In addition to those points, women have more financial independence than they used to, airplane fares are now cheaper than ever, and safety concerns for woman travelling alone have relaxed because there is more emphasis now on women’s quality of life than before. As Payne argues, “An increase in safety risk is a small price to pay where it concerns depriving women of their right to experience a life that is as beautiful and meaningful as the lives we men experience.”

Critical reception to Payne’s novel has been entirely positive. The average Amazon review gives it five stars, and claims it is his best novel ever. Like any great novel, “The Wanderess” has a great romance.  It begins when the life of the book’s heroine, Saskia (the “wanderess” in the novel) gets tangled up with the life of an adventurer named Saul, whose pursuit of pleasure and fortune is abandoned to help Saskia’s quest for her long-lost friend and her own “fortune.”

The back cover description reads: “The two find themselves on a picaresque path that leads them through Spain, France, Italy and beyond; their adventures weaving them deeper and deeper into a web of jealous passion, intrigue, betrayal, and finally, murder.”

Writer, photographer, and adventurer, Lauren Metzler writes on the subject:

“If I had let the fact that I was a woman keep me from traveling, I would’ve never lived in Thailand for nearly three years or traveled to Australia on my own, backpacked around Europe, wandered Southeast Asia, motorcycled across Italy or trekked across the Great Wall in China! I would have missed out on the most incredible adventures of my life! I believe that everyone can and should travel alone, at least once in their lifetime. Rewards from traveling are such that you will never be the same, and you will never view the world in the same way again.”

Payne receives numerous fan letters everyday from readers, mostly women, who say that “The Wanderess” has been an enormous inspiration in their lives. Many say that they take the book with them on their travels and read and re-read the novel several times, each time they need to refuel their inspiration.

“The Wanderess” is available in many bookstores worldwide, as well as on Amazon in either paperback or Kindle formats. Roman Payne greatly welcomes reader feedback. You can email him directly at roman@wanderess.com.

 

Above: Roman Payne on the bank of the Seine in Paris, December 2013.  Photo credit: Mimi Bildstein Photography.

Above: Roman Payne on the bank of the Seine in Paris, December 2013. Photo credit: Mimi Bildstein Photography.

Article About Roman Payne on “Books World”

Capture_195The Dawning of the Age of the Wanderess: How Modern Culture is Encouraging Young Women to Travel the World Alone and Free

“The Wanderess,” Roman Payne’s latest novel, is experiencing a boom in viral activity. The subject of the book resonates with our internet culture, which allows and encourages women to brave the world on their own

In the world of literature, it is extremely difficult to find novels with titles like: “The Portrait of an Artist as a Young Woman.” And even if a woman comes of age in a novel, she may be an artist, but seldom an adventuress. Writers of coming-of-age novels about young adventurous men have a well-worn, established path to follow through the centuries-old genre of the: “Bildungsroman.” This German word, made popular by writers such as Goethe, refers to a “tale of initiation” where a boy, through worldly experience (usually involving solitary travel), becomes a mature man who is successful in the world. Female initiation tales in novels are much more rare, and when we do see them, they almost never involve solitary travel. Up until now, it was a social taboo for a woman to travel alone. Beyond concerns for their safety, there was the general opinion that “women just don’t do that.” Fortunately, times have changed.

“A girl traveling alone” is the subject and setting of Roman Payne’s new novel “The Wanderess” (Aesthete Press, November 2013). Payne coined the term: “wanderess,” which before the novel’s release was not found in Google or the dictionary. Now, a popular quote from Payne’s novel containing this word is found in Google on over 200,000 webpages. The quote reads:

“She was free in her wildness. She was a wanderess, a drop of free water. She belonged to no man and to no city.” (- Roman Payne, “The Wanderess”)

More:  Click Here to Read the Full Article on Books World

Pour La France !! (“For France!”)

 

Cliquez sur l'image pour l'agrandir.

Cliquez sur l’image pour l’agrandir.

Incipit de la version française du roman Wanderess, (bientôt disponible en France !) http://www.wanderess.com (infos, email : francais@wanderess.com)

 

 

HAS AMAZON GROWN TOO POWERFUL ? (Roman Payne vs. Amazon)

Today, March 19th, 2014, my book The Wanderess was removed from the Kindle Store on Amazon.  Click and you will find a broken link:  http://www.amazon.com/The-Wanderess-Roman-Payne-ebook/dp/B00H00JQZS

HAs Amazon Grown to Powerful? Amazon vs. Roman Payne

CENSORSHIP IN ART: AMAZON GUILTY OF BANNING BOOKS OF LITERATURE

(Press Release)

JPG_press-release-img01Welcome to the 21st Century: We take it for granted that these are “enlightened times.”  And we Americans especially consider our country to be among the most enlightened.  Gone is racial discrimination in politics, prohibition against gays; and especially, censorship in art and the media.  Right?

Wrong…

While the film and televisions industries are joyful that their directors have more artistic freedom in our century where they can show the naked backsides of the human body, the art-world cannot brag of such “artistic” freedom.  True, in literature, books that contain elements of “tasteful” sexuality are no longer amassed into piles in public squares where they are set ablaze.  Books are no longer “physically” taken off of shelves.  Yet in 2014, books are being burned all the same.  They are being banned “electronically” by the world’s most powerful decision-maker in literature: the Earth’s largest bookstore.

Just what is acceptable in 2014 to show to citizens of all ages when it comes to art?  Of course there are modern modes of flagrant expression that should be reserved for adults.  But what about the classics?  Marble sculptures of nudes, for example… one, they are not really nudes, but only representations; and two, they have to be shown to all people in real life (for the very reason that these sculptures are in public gardens, public squares, public museums)?  Why are these same sculptures not allowed on the covers of mainstream books?

Novelist, Roman Payne—an American-born author who emigrated to France in 1999 and has ever since lived in Paris—is celebrating the successful release of what he considers “his first great masterpiece.”  It is a  novel called “The Wanderess’: a poetic, literary-fiction love-story about “two lost souls” vagabonding in Europe where they search for a mysterious “fortune” as well as things they’ve lost in this world.  Payne, who before finding success as a novelist worked as a graphic designer, used a marble statue of a nude woman as a model to create an extremely compelling book cover.  The finished cover doesn’t show frontal nudity, and it doesn’t show full backside nudity (the buttocks are concealed and an arm conceals the breasts).  Despite its beauty, this book cover is the reason his book isn’t going to be allowed by the bookselling powerhouse Amazon.com to reach a large audience through their search engine, nor through other means of Amazon promotion that targets a “general audience.”

“Amazon’s decision not only surprised me, it blew my mind completely!” said Payne, “I’ve always given America as much credit for progressive-thinking as France, where I live.  In France nudity showing the naked breasts and the rear-ends of women are used in the posters that advertise health & beauty products on the windows of grocery stores.  And that is real-body nudity—not representations such as sculpture.  Yes, I was and am mystified by Amazon’s reaction.”  A curious coincidence is that Payne and Amazon have a reason to share similar values: they are both from Seattle.

Payne’s publisher and Payne himself first grew angry when they discovered that The Wanderess had fallen from the “contemporary-fiction” category on Amazon, into the category, “erotica.”  As according to them, the novel nowhere fits into the category “erotica,” they wrote to Amazon to have the category changed.

“Amazon wrote directly to Payne the following day,” said his publisher, Aesthete Press, “to tell him the following—and this is word-for-word: “‘the  cover image of your book contains mature content, and therefore won’t surface in our general product search.’” 

Payne asked Amazon to specify to what extent the ban will be enforced and they declined to specify.

But this “general product search” where The Wanderess is no longer found, is responsible for millions of titles sold worldwide.  The novelist, as well as his publisher, fear that this prohibition of mainstream exposure is going to make it very hard for the book to sell and to gain a large audience.”

We’re asking for readers opinion of this.  Please write to office@aesthetepress.com to share your thoughts, or log-in to the active discussion at culturalbook.com.