GOD, the first in Brendan Graham Dempsey's multi-volume work, the Icon, presents readers with a future civilization's epic poem in scholarly edition. Fitting its role as the foundation of a new mythology, it narrates the death of the elderly God of Western civilization, followed by a young radical's quest into the underworld to bring back a renewed sense of Sacredness.

N E W

Palimpsest Press

8.25" x 10.75"

292 Pages, Color

We hear it all from Joel, a former angel who sided with the insurrectionists after Heaven failed him. Singing on his mandolin by the grave of God, Joel offers his account in memory of Sacredness: a final song to eulogize Spirit. From the ancient origins of religion, then, to the modern disenchantment of the world, Joel narrates the West's epochal transformation, overseen and led by an iconoclastic intellectual named John Faust. 

 

The fallout from this existential war, and the personal quest it sets in motion for the speaker, are taken up in the poem's sequels, DESCENT (winter 2020) and RESURRECTION (summer 2022).

GOD is presented in the form of a critical edition by this culture's scholars. In addition to Julian's poem DEATH, then, are over 150 pages of supplementary material. This includes:

  • two prefaces and marginal notes by the poem's original editor, A. Severan;

  • introduction, additional marginalia, and appendices of extended notes, discussion questions, and literary criticism by the critical edition's editor, M. M. Greenwood;

  • the Corpus Julianicus, a (probably pseudepigraphal) collection of texts purported to be those of the author, from which his traditional biography has been abstracted;

  • a musical liturgy from this imagined culture's catechism-esque work, the Praxipoetica;

  • a collection of discovered manuscript fragments that develop material from Julian's work; and, finally,

  • the first in a triptych of philosophical essays called The Oil & The Lamp.

OVERVIEW

 

With growing ecological, economic, and political instability, one wonders how long things can continue as they are. Don't we seem overdue for some fundamental restructuring of our systems? Our society? Ourselves? What other worlds are possible?

In my project, the Icon, I am trying to imagine a future civilization through its canon of sacred scriptures. This multi-media work (incorporating writing [in various genres], illustration, music, and other art forms) will offer a glimpse into an imagined culture, an entire tradition of myths, rituals, songs and ceremonies, philosophy, criticism and commentary. And just as every civilization has its epic literature, so GOD, a 500-page pentameter poem written by a mysterious figure named Julian, is theirs.

DEATH as book.png
 

N E W

Palimpsest Press

8.25" x 10.75"

310 Pages, Color

The conclusion to this profound and timely endeavor will be taken up in the poem's final installment, RESURRECTION.

GOD is presented in the form of a critical edition by this culture's future scholars. In addition to Julian's poem, then, are over 100 pages of supplementary material. This includes:

  • an address and marginal notes by the poem's original editor, A. Severan

  • introduction, additional marginalia, and appendices of extended notes, discussion questions, and literary criticism by the critical edition's editor, M. M. Greenwood

  • canto-by-canto analysis of the poem's "hero's journey" motifs by psychologist and comparative mythologist Sadie Alwyn Moon

  • manifestos and other literature by two important interpreters of the poem, Alesky Varian and Leaf

  • the second in a triptych of philosophical essays called The Oil & The Lamp.

OVERVIEW

 

DESCENT is the second installment in the GOD trilogy, picking up where DEATH left off. Humanity, having won their war against Heaven, now sets about building a new world in the ashes of the old. However, after proving unable to come together over a shared vision or purpose, mankind soon fractures into discord. Into the bedlam steps the Salesman, who calms their unease through easy consumption. Now, a City rises, led by the Salesman and loomed over by his colossal Beast fed by humanity's insatiable industry-a series of developments that Joel, former angel and the speaker of the poem, comes to deem even worse than the troubled religion all this has overthrown. In desperation, he decides to risk a mad descent into the underworld-to see if he might be able find God in the abyss and bring him back.

DESCENT as book.png
 

ENTER THE WORLD OF

THE ICON