WastelandRunes, publishing in Asheville, North Carolina, is the literary equivalent of a tailgate vendor at the farmer’s market. We aim to make homegrown labors of love available for readers not satisfied by standard corporate flavors. Books from WastelandRunes are the same but different. Some will behave in familiar ways. Others challenge readers to learn anew how to read.
The Age of Enlightenment altered man’s standing in the world. Technological civilization became possible with the subordination of faith to reason. But enlightened souls lost the prospect of an intervening God. Secular authors from Melville, Dostoevsky and T. S. Eliot (whose Waste Land metaphor we borrow), to Cormac McCarthy have explored the consequences of that loss.
For those who awaken in the mind’s existential landscape, the sweet water of connection is always in short supply. Personal compasses go haywire. Landmarks won’t hold still. Travelers are on their own, lost in a terrain strewn with bones, potsherds, and ruined shelters. Trails grooved by ancient feet now lead nowhere in particular and, here and there, messages have been pecked in stone, the meanings weathered to mystery by ages of shifting context.
And yet the best of these artifacts, these runes, remain numinous. Whether meant to warn of danger or proclaim the existence of a greener land beyond the last parched rocks, they reconnect us at a level unknown to faith or reason and impervious to the vicissitudes of place and time. WastelandRunes honors such relics, those who create them, and those who, discovering evidence that someone else once passed this way, pause for a cool drink of water.
Or maybe the syllables just sound good together . . .