About A Motley Vision:
A Motley Vision is a group blog devoted to exploring the world of Mormon arts and culture. Or to be more specific: Mormon literature, criticism, publishing and marketing — plus film, theater, art, music, and pop and folk culture. Founded by William Morris, AMV was launched June 2, 2004, as a solo Blogger blog. It has since moved to its own domain, added several contributors, and continues to be the leading blogosphere destination for Mormon arts and culture commentary, discussion and news. All posts and pages on this blog are the copyright of their individual authors.
In 2005, A Motley Vision received an Award for Criticism from the Association for Mormon Letters.
About the name:
A Motley Vision takes its name from “Love and the Light: An Idyll of the Westland” a rather didactic verse epic written by Orson F. Whitney. Published in 1918, the work was intended to combat the secularism and “Higher Criticism” which Whitney felt was creeping into Utah society. At one point the hero of the poem, a Harvard man who converts to the LDS Church, visits the Grand Canyon while traveling by train to Utah. Whitney launches into an extended description of the Canyon, drawing upon vivid imagery and wild Classical- and Christian-inspired metaphors to present a complex portrait of its sublime beauty. It’s the best passage in the entire work.
Several stanzas into the passage, the hero describes the Canyon at sunset:
Glorious and grotesque presentment,
Good and ill, a motley vision,
Half-alluring, half repelling;
Rainbow-hued, yet shorn of radiance,
Like to Lucifer the Fallen;
Beautiful, though sadly brilliant,
Blazing with satanic splendor
In the sunset’s dying glory;
All the hues of hell and heaven
In one blare of lurid blazoning,
In one master stroke commingled.
Photo of Grand Canyon courtesy of National Park Service.
Like most book bloggers and pretty much all newspaper reviewers, A Motley Vision bloggers occasionally accept printed or electronic review copies of books. Starting in Dec. 2009, we will mention when that is the case. Print copies will be kept by the reviewer for his/her personal library, or passed on to other interested parties.
And here is an all-purpose conflict of interest disclosure: William Morris and other AMV bloggers have ties to many of the players in the Mormon arts community. Some of what we blog about may or may not benefit people we like (or dislike). Some of these people may at times be our submitters, editors, advisers, advisees, critics, readers and/or collaborators. And, of course, the opinions on this blog are not those of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.