Who is Roman Payne?

roman-payne_007_sepia_websiRoman Payne (b. 1977) is a novelist and poet currently living in political exile in Africa, in the kingdom of Morocco.  Payne coined the famous word “wanderess” and is the author of five novels including, “The Wanderess”; which, since its publication in 2013,  has influenced art and cultures all over the world.  In the East, the famous Bollywood designer Masaba Gupta used Payne’s novel as the inspiration for her “Wanderess” collection which opened India’s Fashion Week in 2015.  In the West, “The Wanderess” has been the inspiration for everything from art, to European films, to pop music in America.   The pop star Halsey, who sold-out Madison Square Garden with songs like “Hurricane”—a song based on a quote from Payne’s novel—credits “The Wanderess” as one of her greatest inspirations while writing “Badlands,” the debut album that launched her to fame.  Halsey chose this Roman Payne quote for her song:

 

 

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

 

 

And the following quote by Roman Payne became one of the mantras of billionaire Richard Branson, who named it one of his “top ten favorite quotes about finding happiness”:

 

 

“You must give everything to make your life as beautiful as the dreams that dance in your imagination.”

 

 

Although Payne’s greatest artistic achievements are his novels, he is better known to the world as a poet.  Countless works of art have been based on his poems and quotes.  The author said that one of the things he loves most about being a novelist/poet is the numerous photos sent to him from people around the world who have tattooed his poetry on their bodies.

 

 

Payne is a controversial figure in that he is currently exiled in Muslim Morocco where he is forbidden to leave kingdom until he is tried for treason by the king (Mohammed VI).  Both the US Congress and State Department have failed so far in obtaining the novelist’s release from Morocco.  Payne is spending his days of exile in the souks of the ancient Medina of Marrakech,.

 

 

Roman Payne is known as an adventurer, and the foremost “novelist on wandering.” His novels and poems are the favorites of other wanderers and world travelers.

 

The forty year-old author spent the first half of his life in America (mostly in Seattle where he was born and raised), while he spent his second 20 years wandering Europe and Africa.  He first expatriated to Paris where he lived for fifteen years in the neighborhood of Saint-Germain-des-Prés.  The next three years were spent in Athens, Greece; mainland Spain and the Canary Islands.  Payne moved to Marrakech in February of 2016 and is currently finishing his sixth novel based on his life there.

 

Although Payne writes in English, his 15 years living in Paris where he spoke entirely in French, has greatly influenced his work, giving it a unique Latinate quality and inimitable voice. The themes of his quotes and prose explore love and sexuality, travel and the life of a wanderer (or wanderess), and the struggle to live, what he calls, “the poetic life.” He is heavily influenced by Homeric Epic, as well as 18th and 19th Century French and European literature.

 

Payne is a beloved writer by feminists and women in general because his inspirational words to women remind them that they too, like men, only have one life to live as far as we know, thus they too deserve to experience every single adventure that life can offer them.  He receives a lot of letters from women who write that they found the courage to wander to remote countries after reading quores from him like this one: “Never did the world make a queen of a girl who hides in houses and dreams without travelling” (“Love of Europa”).

 

This is what Halsey wrote about Payne:

 

“I stumbled upon this book when I was a teenager and its words helped to shape my will to be unapologetic, to be unbound by the perimeters of a single place. To write a song like Hurricane. To be like, The Wanderess.” – Halsey, March 2016

CONTROVERSIAL AMERICAN WRITER CURRENTLY DETAINED IN ISLAMIC COUNTRY REFUSED SUPPORT FROM US GOVERNMENT

The US Consulate has put the burden of helping American novelist captive in Muslim, Morocco on the Catholic Church

 

A perfect example of how “life imitates art”:  The writer Roman Payne first became known internationally with the publication of “The Wanderess” in 2013.  The hero of the book, a traveler and adventurer named Saul, has a price on his head in Libya.  Incidentally, the author of “The Wanderess” has also just become a “wanted man” in North Africa.

Roman Payne—an American by birth—is being detained indefinitely by the government in Morocco where his US passport has been confiscated by their authorities.

The event happened after a civil dispute in court that was dismissed. Following the dispute, Payne was invited (convoqué) to visit the Préfacture of Police of Marrakech for three different interviews where the police inquired, during the first two, about his activities in the country.  The reason for the third interview was unclear to Payne. Some words in Arabic were exchanged between the police and then Payne was escorted on the back of a motorbike by one of the officers to the “Cour d’Appel” (appellate court). There, he was interrogated for 15 minutes in a small room by two men in business attire. Payne did not learn the roles of these officials since he reported having not understood half of what was said in the room (Payne is fluent in French but does not speak Arabic and the conversations in the room were reportedly half in Arabic).  Following the interrogation, one of the officials said that Payne’s passport was to be taken so that he could not leave the kingdom; and that “his case would be reviewed” in the coming months. They did not encourage him to seek an attorney.

One would expect the US to immediately intervene on behalf of their citizen held captive abroad, but instead, the US Consulate is refusing support, stating that such intervention should be handled by the Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church responded to this insistence with outrage and denied any responsibility whatsoever with helping Payne with his political situation in North Africa.  The Colombian-born official of the Catholic Church stationed in Morocco told Payne that “Affairs regarding American-citizens held captive in Muslim countries are politics that concern the American government only, and not the Catholic Church.”

The US did not respond to this statement but proposed that the Moroccan government and Payne should work together to resolve his forced-exile in their country.  The single gesture they made to help Payne was to supply him with a list of “Suggested Attorneys in Morocco to assist Americans with foreign affairs.”  Payne interviewed all of the Marrakech-based attorneys recommended to him by his consulate and was disappointed by the United States’ apparently haphazard methods of selecting council for Americans abroad, especially in Muslim countries where international relations with the US range from tedious to utterly chaotic.  “These lawyers were inept and confused,” he said.  One attorney did not even know why he was on their list.  “They put me on that list a long time ago.  I am not sure why,” he told Payne.

While the US government had washed their hands of the affair, the writer continued his struggle with the Moroccan government.  This week he met with Samir Merzouki, a Moroccan official working in foreign relations, who received him cordially and was sympathetic to his situation.  Merzouki invited the writer to discuss the matter personally over coffee.  He was shocked by the United States’ lack of involvement in a matter such as this. He said that he had great respect for America and was impressed by their tremendous global power, wealth, and influence.  “Why they do not use their influence to help their citizens in peril abroad is dumbfounding,” he said.

 

As the matter stands today, Payne is still without representation or council, and his government is making no further attempts to remedy this.  His passport is still in the possession of the Moroccan authorities and he is forbidden to leave the kingdom.  He is now living in asylum on the outskirts of Marrakech.

 

For all press inquiries, please email:  contact@wanderess.com or call:  (212) 6.90.29.83.80

 

roman-payne_007_sepia_websi

 

 

THIS SUMMER: FOR THOSE WHO LOVE TO WANDER AND WRITE

New Wanderess Literary Tour & Writers’ Workshop Launches in the Mediterranean

Head to Croatia this summer to live the life of a wanderer or wanderess and create your own story in the process.  For a few select weeks this summer, a maximum of six passengers (per week) are invited to spend seven days with Roman Payne, the author of “The Wanderess,” exploring the Adriatic Sea aboard the luxury sailing yacht, “Gold One.”

Fans of “The Wanderess” will enjoy literary discussions with its author, while writers of all levels will receive expert guidance to help them advance on their own manuscripts.  “It is a sailing adventure meant to inspire and set your creativity free,” says Payne, “and by the end of the week, I will make sure you are on your way towards finishing your novel!”

His novel, “The Wanderess,” is highly-praised for its exceptional literary quality.  It has influenced everything from pop music in America, to film in England, to Bollywood and Fashion Week in India.  Payne’s poetry is considered first-class and has inspired thousands (people around the world even tattoo his words on their bodies!)

The Roman Payne literary cruise dispatches from the Croatian city of Split, and offers some of the best sailing in the world (Croatia is home to over 1,000 islands!).  Passengers also visit Italy on the tour.

For those who love wining and dining in addition to literature, Wanderess Tours offer something doubly-delightful: the best quality natural foods and exotic delicacies (truffles, saffron, gourmet cheeses), together with the inexpensive cost of buying direct from the farmer at the village market.  Each port city that you stop at, the Gold One drops anchor and you’ll have the pleasure of exploring city sights, shopping, and buying the freshest ingredients for your daily meals which you may prepare yourself on board in the yacht’s gourmet kitchen.  If spectacular wines help your creativity and inspiration, you are in luck: Croatia, the birthplace of Zinfandel, has some of the best wines on earth.  Sample some aboard to add festivity to your literary adventure.

Other activities besides the literary discussions and writers’ workshops include sunbathing, swimming, and kite surfing.  There are double cabins available.  The cost is 1,300€ per person. To book a week’s Wanderess Tour, please send an email to contact@wanderess.com.

 

Tours are organized in part by Travel Writers’ Network.

 

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

 

 

 

Wanderess Fans and their Tattoos…

I am thankful for all of the photos I have received from women around the world who tattoo words from my books and poems, or simply inscribe the title of my novel The Wanderess anywhere from their breasts to their dimples of Venus; or on their wrists,  ankles, and toes.

 
A special ‘Thank You’ to this young woman (below) who sent me this testimony of her body’s permanent appreciation of my art. I only hope that she doesn’t grow to hate me before her skin withers from age and dies.

tatoo_wanderess

…In any case, by tattooing my words on your delicate self, I am obliged to love you for your entire life, you realize… to answer all of your letters (though otherwise I almost never answer readers’ letters [simply because I am lazy]). Yet now, I am obliged, you understand, to treat you always with profound kindness, replying with courtesy to every message you send me. For I would never forgive myself if a woman started to hate one of her body parts because she found out just how selfish, idle and monstrous the author of her tattoo is in real life. So for you, My Loves, I will offer my eternal affection, and I will pretend that I am a good person – God forbid you should learn that my soul is dirty and I am only “slightly” better than the Devil.

Yours Forever,

Roman Payne

Morocco, 2016

 

COMMENTS FOR ROMAN PAYNE?  PLEASE FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW:

 

“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)

 

 

LITERARY-FICTION WRITER REMOVED FROM AMAZON KINDLE STORE FOR NOT ACCEPTING “EROTICA” LABEL

Has Amazon Grown too Powerful? Amazon vs. Roman Payne

Click to Enlarge

Amazon.com: the world’s largest bookstore and literature’s most powerful decision-maker.  They seem to have now assumed the position of the Minister of Cultural and Judge of Public Decency… but is this business powerhouse capable of justice in the domain of Art & Culture?  It appears so, as they have just banished a work of literature from their Kindle Store with the accusation that it is “Erotica”

France-based, American literary-fiction author, Roman Payne, and his publisher, Aesthete Press, have been tried, judged, and convicted in the past few days, (without defense permissible), of publishing a novel of “Erotica.”  The content of the novel, which critics agree is nowhere near erotic, is not the question.  The question is the cover of the book, which displays two identical naked representations (sculptures) of a nude woman.  This cover is hardly racy compared to other books that Amazon categorizes as “Classics,” “Literary-Fiction” or others of a more respected nature.

Amazon’s Kindle team has already condemned his novel, The Wanderess, to the category of “Erotica.” And they refuse to budge.  Up until today, the book was available on Kindle with an Adult-Warning” attached.  Now, the Kindle book is no longer for sale anywhere on Amazon.

Payne who comments, “I have absolutely nothing against Erotica, although it is not my art.  I am a literary-fiction author, pure and simple,” declares that he refuses to be listed on Amazon or anywhere else under the heading “Erotica.”  Amazon responded to this refusal in writing to tell him that he has no choice:  “The  cover image of your book contains mature content, and therefore won’t surface in our general product search,” they wrote, and added that if he couldn’t accept the label of “Erotica,” he would be forced to be removed from Amazon’s Kindle Store. 

            “The damage has already been done,” wrote Payne before today’s removal, “My publisher and I have been refused on multiple occasions, (and I have written proof of this), to have my novel publicized by press agencies on the basis that these agencies ‘will not publicize erotica.’  These missed opportunities have cost me a lot. […] What I expect for the near-future?  I will refuse the label of “Erotica” and my book will be removed from Kindle, and possibly from Amazon USA altogether.”

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… for one, they are not photographic nudes, but only artistic representations; secondly, 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—who emigrated to France in 1999 and has ever since lived in Paris—had high hopes for The Wanderess (his fifth novel), which he considers “his first great masterpiece.”  The Wanderess is 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).

“Amazon’s decision not only surprised me, it blew my mind completely!” said Payne, “I’ve always tried to ignore the puritanical label people put on America.  In France, where I live, nudity showing the naked breasts and backsides of women are used in the posters that advertise health & beauty products on the windows of pharmacies and perfumeries.  And this 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 and his publisher are asking for readers opinion of this.  Please log-in to the active discussion at culturalbook.com.  Payne is also happy to provide interviews on the subject.  To request an interview, please email office@aesthetepress.com.

UN AUTEUR DE FICTION LITTERAIRE BANNI DE LA LIBRAIRIE KINDLE D’AMAZON POUR N’AVOIR PAS ACCEPTE D’ÊTRE CLASSIFIE DANS LEUR CATEGORIE “EROTICA”

Has Amazon Grown too Powerful? Amazon vs. Roman PayneAmazon.com: la plus grande librairie du monde, le décideur le plus puissant en matière de littérature. Le géant américain semble à présent avoir également adopté la position de Ministère de la Culture ainsi que le rôle de juge de moralité publique… mais cette “usine à gaz” a-t-elle légitimité quand il s’agit de rendre la justice dans les domaines de l’Art et de la Culture ? Cela apparaît bien comme tel, puisqu’ils viennent de bannir une œuvre littéraire de leur librairie Kindle sous le prétexte qu’elle serait “Erotica”.

L’auteur de fiction littéraire Roman Payne, résidant en France, et sa maison d’édition Aesthete Press, ont étés examinés, jugés puis finalement condamnés au cours des derniers jours, par ailleurs sans pouvoir se défendre, pour avoir publié un roman “érotique”. La teneur du roman, que les critiques s’accordent à dire qu’elle n’a absolument rien d’érotique, n’est pas en remise en question. La question réside en fait dans la couverture du livre, qui met en scène deux reproductions (de sculptures), identiques, d’une femme nue.  Cette couverture est à peine plus osée, si ce n’est moins, que d’autres œuvres pourtant catégorisées dans leurs divisions “Classiques”, “Fiction Littéraire” ou tout autre section d’un genre respectable.

Le personnel de la librairie Kindle d’Amazon avait d’ores et déjà condamné son roman, The Wanderess, à cette catégorie “Erotica”. Et ils refusaient de changer de position.  Un peu plus tôt aujourd’hui, le livre était encore disponible dans la librairie Kindle avec un avertissement quant à son contenu réserve aux adultes. A présent, l’édition Kindle du roman n’est plus en vente sur Amazon, où que ce soit.

Roman Payne commente : “Je n’ai absolument rien contre le genre érotique, seulement ce n’est pas mon Art. Je suis un auteur de fiction littéraire, purement et simplement.” et déclare qu’il refuse d’être listé sur Amazon ou n’importe où ailleurs sous cette bannière. A son refus, à Amazon de répondre par l’argument qu’il n’a pas le choix : “L’image de couverture de votre livre renferme un contenu adulte, et en conséquence n’adhère pas à notre politique générale de recherche de produit,” et d’ajouter que s’il ne pouvait accepter cette catégorie “Erotica”, ils se verront forcés de retirer son titre de la librairie Kindle d’Amazon. 

            “Le mal était déjà fait,” écrivait Payne plus tôt avant que son roman ne soit retiré, “Mon éditeur et moi-même avions déjà été refusés à de multiples occasions (et j’en ai des preuves écrites), d’être assures de la promotion de mon roman par des agences publicitaires au motif que ces dernières ‘ne pratiquent pas la promotion d’œuvres érotiques’. Ces occasions manquées m’ont coûté cher. […] Ce que je prévois dans l’avenir proche ? Je refuserai ce label “Erotica” et mon roman sera retiré de la liste des titres de la librairie Kindle, et tout compte fait, peut-être aussi du site d’Amazon aux USA.

Qu’est-ce qui est « acceptable » ? Que peut-on montrer aux citoyens de tous âges en 2014 quand il s’agit d’art ? Evidemment, il existe des modes d’expression modernes flagrants qui se doivent  d’être réservés aux adultes. Mais quand il s’agit de classiques ? Les sculptures, les nus en marbre par exemple… Certes, ce ne sont pas vraiment de vrais nus, car ils en sont seulement la  représentation.  Mais ces sculptures et la nudité qu’elles représentent sont exposées aux yeux de tous, au quotidien, sans regard d’âge. Elles ornent fièrement les squares de nos jardins publics, de nos places publiques, de nos musées publics… Pourquoi donc ces mêmes sculptures ne sont pas autorisées sur les couvertures de livres destinés au grand public?

Le romancier Roman Payne, auteur d’origine américaine qui a émigré en France en 1999 et qui vit depuis à Paris, fondait de grands espoirs pour The Wanderess (son cinquième roman), qu’il considère comme « son premier grand chef-d’œuvre ». The Wanderess est une œuvre littéraire et poétique relatant l’histoire d’amour de « deux âmes perdues » qui vagabondent à travers l’Europe à la recherche entre autres d’une « mystérieuse fortune », ainsi que les choses qu’ils ont perdu dans ce monde. Payne, avant de trouver le succès en tant que romancier, a travaillé en tant que graphiste. Et pour créer sa couverture de livre, a utilisé comme modèle une statue de marbre d’une femme nue, pour la transformer ensuite en une couverture extrêmement convaincante. La couverture ne montre aucune nudité agressive, explicite, frontale. Elle ne montre pas plus de pleine nudité arrière (les fesses sont camouflées et un bras dissimule les seins).

«La décision d’Amazon, non seulement m’a surprise, mais m’a complètement sidérée! », a déclaré Payne, «J’ai toujours crédité l’Amérique d’une approche progressiste, comme la France, où je vis. En France, la nudité est montrée au quotidien, des seins dévoilés, des fesses sont affichées dans les vitrines des pharmacies et des parfumeries. Et ce sont des images bien réelles! Non des “représentations” de la nudité comme la sculpture. Oui, j’étais, et je suis mystifié par la réaction d’Amazon. » Une curieuse coïncidence est que Payne et Amazon devraient partager les mêmes valeurs : Ils sont tous deux de Seattle.

Payne et son éditeur vous demandent votre opinion, à vous lecteurs, et vous remercient de vous connecter sur culturalbook.com pour une discussion interactive. Roman Payne se fera également un plaisir de vous donner une interview sur le sujet. Pour demander une entrevue, merci d’adresser votre demande par mail à office@aesthetepress.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

Manon Lescaut vs. The Wanderess …comparison of nudity on book covers

In this image I’ve displayed Four book covers: three of the classic,
Manon Lescaut, that are currently live on
Amazon in the General Search, “Classics”
category. The fourth: The Wanderess, will
be placed in the category called “Erotica.”

manon lescaut versus The Wanderess
…IN RESPONSE TO ALL WHO SAY THAT THE COVER DOESN’T REPRESENT THE STORY:  This in itself is an interesting story.  I started writing the novel in late 2009 and it is the only novel I worked on between 2009 and 2014 (which is to say it is the sole thing that occupied my thoughts during this period).

And the first thing I created – after creating, in my head, a rough outline of the story, which I knew would center around a youngish man and a girl… some masculine heroic type, an adventurer; as for the girl all I knew was she would be what I coined was “a wanderess – the first thing I created was the cover!  That is to say that I’ve carried that same cover around with me all these years “knowing” that this would be the cover of The Wanderess… whatever The Wanderess would be!

 

(Pour diffusion immédiate) LA CENSURE DE L’ART AUX ETATS-UNIS : AMAZON COUPABLE DE BANNIR DES ŒUVRES LITTERAIRES

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Bienvenue au 21ème  Siècle : Nous tenons pour acquis que ce sont des « temps éclairés », et spécialement par les Américains, qui considèrent leur pays parmi les plus éclairés. Là-bas, c’en est fini de la discrimination raciale en politique, de la prohibition contre les homosexuels, et tout  particulièrement…  de la censure dans les arts et les médias. Vrai ?

Faux …

Alors que les industries américaines du film et de la télévision se réjouissent que leurs réalisateurs bénéficient de plus de liberté artistique dans notre siècle, et peuvent à présent dévoiler des corps nus, le monde de l’art et de la littérature ne peut malheureusement pas se vanter d’une telle liberté « artistique ». Certes, en matière de littérature, les livres qui contiennent des éléments de sexualité « de bon goût » ne sont plus rassemblés en place publique pour y être brûlés. Les livres ne sont plus « physiquement » retirés des étagères. En 2014, les œuvres ne sont pas carbonisées, mais c’est tout comme, elles sont estampillées « électroniquement » par le distributeur le plus puissant du monde de la littérature : le plus grand libraire de la planète, Amazon.

Qu’est-ce qui est « acceptable » ? Que peut-on montrer aux citoyens de tous âges en 2014 quand il s’agit d’art ? Evidemment, il existe des modes d’expression modernes flagrants qui se doivent  d’être réservés aux adultes. Mais quand il s’agit de classiques ? Les sculptures, les nus en marbre par exemple… Certes, ce ne sont pas vraiment de vrais nus, car ils en sont seulement la  représentation.  Mais ces sculptures et la nudité qu’elles représentent sont exposées aux yeux de tous, au quotidien, sans regard d’âge. Elles ornent fièrement les squares de nos jardins publics, de nos places publiques, de nos musées publics… Pourquoi donc ces mêmes sculptures ne sont pas autorisées sur les couvertures de livres destinés au grand public?

Le romancier Roman Payne, auteur d’origine américaine qui a émigré en France en 1999 et qui vit depuis à Paris, célèbre actuellement le lancement réussi de ce qu’il considère comme « son premier grand chef-d’œuvre ». Il s’agit d’un roman intitulé « The Wanderess ».  Une œuvre littéraire et poétique relatant l’histoire d’amour de « deux âmes perdues » qui vagabondent à travers l’Europe à la recherche entre autres d’une « mystérieuse fortune », ainsi que les choses qu’ils ont perdu dans ce monde. Payne, avant de trouver le succès en tant que romancier, a travaillé en tant que graphiste. Et pour créer sa couverture de livre, a utilisé comme modèle une statue de marbre d’une femme nue, pour la transformer ensuite avec Photoshop en une couverture extrêmement convaincante. La couverture ne montre aucune nudité agressive, explicite, frontale. Elle ne montre pas plus de pleine nudité arrière (les fesses sont cachées et un bras dissimule les seins). Malgré la beauté de cette couverture, parce que nudité il y a, le roman est banni de la librairie générale, des moteurs de recherche et des moyens de promotion d’Amazon.com, le géant disant viser un « public généraliste ».

«La décision d’Amazon, non seulement m’a surprise, mais m’a complètement sidérée! », a déclaré Payne, «J’ai toujours crédité l’Amérique d’une approche progressiste, comme la France, où je vis. En France, la nudité est montrée au quotidien, des seins dévoilés, des fesses sont affichées dans les vitrines des pharmacies et des parfumeries. Et ce sont des images bien réelles! Non des “représentations” de nudité comme la sculpture. Oui, j’étais, et je suis mystifié par la réaction d’Amazon. » Une curieuse coïncidence est que Payne et Amazon devraient partager les mêmes valeurs : Ils sont tous deux natifs de Seattle.

L’éditeur de Payne, et Payne lui-même, ont été envahis par la colère lorsqu’ ils ont découvert que « The Wanderess » avait été transférée sur Amazon de la catégorie « fiction contemporaine » vers la catégorie « Erotica ». Comme, selon eux, le roman ne s’inscrit de nulle manière dans cette catégorie « Erotica », ils ont écrit sur le champ à Amazon afin de voir sa catégorie modifiée.

« Amazon a écrit directement à Payne le lendemain, déclare son éditeur, Aesthete Press, pour lui dire mot pour mot : « l’image de couverture de votre livre contient un contenu “mature”, et ne pourra donc pas apparaître dans notre moteur de recherche ” générale ” ».

Payne a demandé Amazon de préciser dans quelle mesure l’interdiction sera appliquée mais ils ont refusé de préciser.

Mais ce moteur de recherche de produit « généraliste » dans lequel « The Wanderess » n’apparaîtra plus porte la responsabilité de millions de titres vendus dans le monde entier. Le romancier, ainsi que son éditeur, craignent que cette interdiction et la restriction de son exposition va rendre le livre extrêmement difficile à vendre et il sera ardu d’atteindre son public, l’œuvre s’adressant pourtant à une large audience.

Nous vous demandons, vous lecteurs, votre opinion sur ce sujet.  Vous pouvez nous écrire à office@aesthetepress.com pour partager vos pensées, ou vous connecter sur www.culturalbook.com pour une discussion interactive.

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.