The official website of Brandon Black.

Shakespeare and the New Steampunk Aesthetic

I posted Shakespeare’s Sonnet 127 to my facebook page and my friend, Eva Caye, thought it was one of mine. It’s great work to be sure, but it’s not my great work. When I said that to her, she said I needed to label it because “here I was thinking you took steampunk to this whole celestial literary level!!!”

So now I have a new goal — to take steampunk to a whole new celestial literary level.

Here’s the sonnet by the way:
In the old age black was not counted fair,
Or if it were, it bore not beauty’s name.
But now is black beauty’s successive heir,
And beauty slandered with a bastard shame.
For since each hand hath put on nature’s pow’r,
Fairing the foul with art’s false borrowed face,
Sweet beauty hath no name, no holy bow’r,
But is profaned, if not lives in disgrace.
Therefore my mistress’ eyes are raven black,
Her eyes so suited, and they mourners seem
At such who, not born fair, no beauty lack,
Sland’ring creation with a false esteem.
Yet so they mourn, becoming of their woe,
That every tongue says beauty should look so.
— William Shakespeare (Sonnet 127)

I posted it to my facebook page because one of the ongoing themes of my work is to re-engineer Western imperialist colour symbolism and fight the idea that “Black = Bad/Evil.” Black means rich depth, beauty, and mystery to me and that’s something I try to convey in my work.

And in trying to promote that, I’ve gained a whole new goal for my work — to bring steampunk to a whole new celestial literary level.

How am I going to accomplish that?

I’ve no idea.

I’ll take suggestions. Really.

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