PDA

View Full Version : Book Recommendations


Pages : [1] 2

Cyril Tourneur
09-10-2008, 07:58 AM
I've thought about creating a thread about books I'd like to recommend; my first thought was that a social group would be more suitable but there would have been the lack of public acess, so here's my first one...hopefully other members will also contribute

Adrian Ross: The Hole of the Pit

This novel throws you straight into the centre of the English Civil War, that fought between the King and Parliament in the 17th Century. Ross paints a detailed backdrop to the action, told from the perspective of a narrator who has remained neutral through the conflict, and finds himself enlisted by a village to act as their ambassador to his cousin. His cousin, who fights for the king, has been forced by Cromwell's Roundheads to flee to his ancestral home sited at the centre of a mist enshrouded marsh. From there he has ravaged the surrounding countryside, especially the nearby village of Marsham.

The marsh itself is one with a history, one dominated by stories of an ancient evil that dwells beneath it in a pit. The narrator's ancestors built the house, a keep, after several failed attempts at building on the marsh. It is with knowledge of all these stories that he goes to parly with his cousin, only to be taken prisoner. It isn't long before the mystery of the marsh starts impinging on the lives of the narrator and his captors, an oppressive atmosphere hangs over the whole novel, one which becomes more oppressive as time goes on and tragedy increasingly overwhelms them. It is a brilliant work of psychological horror, one where the horror strikes seemingly at random. The sense of claustrophobia increases as those waiting to be besieged by Cromwell's forces find themselves instead beseiged by something altogether different. The conflicts within the walls of the keep only heighten the effect of the horror coming from without, and as the novel builds towards its doom-laiden conclusion, it becomes very difficult to see a light at the end of the tunnel. An early classic of supernatural horror that definately deserves to be rescued from obscurity.

Cyril Tourneur
09-10-2008, 08:36 AM
http://images.barnesandnoble.com/images/14530000/14537684.JPG

"In this world we spent our time killing or adoring, or both together. 'I hate you! I adore you!' We keep going, we fuel and refuel, we pass on our life to a biped of the next century, with frenzy, or any cost, as if it were the greatest of pleasures to perpetuate ourselves, as if, when all's said and done, it would make us immortal. One way or another, kissing is as indispensable as scratching." (from Journey to the End of Night)

"Andre Gide hailed the book as an instant classic, while Leon Trotsky wrote that Celine 'had walked into the pantheon of great literature like walking into his own house.' No less than the stern figure of George Orwell, who described JOURNEY as 'a cry of unbearable disgust, a voice from the cesspool,' still judged it to be one of the best books he had ever read....The simple reason for this is that JOURNEY TO THE END OF THE NIGHT is shocking, powerful, funny, moving and, above all, a great story well told. It is also a journey into the horrors of the 20th century....Reading JOURNEY is a challenge and a threat on every moral, political or philosophical front. It is this aspect of the novel that can make you feel sick, sad and despairing all at the same time. But in the end, it is Celine's language that takes the novel to a higher place, where poetry and vision meet the idiom of the street....And this is what makes Celine--even more than his despised enemy Marcel Proust--the most necessary author of the French 20th century."

Cyril Tourneur
09-10-2008, 09:06 AM
http://a7.vox.com/6a00c22529c4838fdb00f48d0cfb970001-500pi


Only Georges Bataille could write, of an eyeball removed from a corpse, that "the caress of the eye over the skin is so utterly, so extraordinarily gentle, and the sensation is so bizarre that it has something of a rooster's horrible crowing." Bataille has been called a "metaphysician of evil," specializing in blasphemy, profanation, and horror. Story of the Eye, written in 1928, is his best-known work; it is unashamedly surrealistic, both disgusting and fascinating, and packed with seemingly endless violations. It's something of an underground classic, rediscovered by each new generation.

In 1928, Georges Bataille published this first novel under a pseudonym, a legendary shocker that uncovers the dark side of the erotic by means of forbidden obsessive fantasies of excess and sexual extremes. A classic of pornographic literature, Story of the Eye finds the parallels in Sade and Nietzsche and in the investigations of contemporary psychology; it also forecasts Bataille's own theories of ecstasy, death and transgression which he developed in later work.

Cyril Tourneur
09-10-2008, 09:30 AM
http://images-eu.amazon.com/images/P/041505608X.02.LZZZZZZZ.jpg

The Thirst for Annihilation: Georges ... - Google Buchsuche (http://books.google.de/books?hl=de&id=MSQOAAAAQAAJ&dq=the+thirst+for+nihilism&printsec=frontcover&source=web&ots=tt1D_Q7NSt&sig=EpszO37cC54yHLLZdlep2fwnfK0&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=2&ct=result)


A sociologist, philosopher, literary theorist and fiction writer, who referred to himself as "a saint, perhaps a madman," George Bataille made a habit of exploding the categories which we use to order our business of everyday life. This strange yet lucidly written book is not so much an interpretation of his style of thought and ideas, but rather, a no-holds barred attempt to pursue Bataille's ideas to their conclusion. The result is an analysis of Bataille through the application of his style of thought and ideas rather than through more conventional methods of academic argument. Addressing such deviance, political and legal theory, the history of religion or poetry, Land proves that to write discursively about Bataille it is sufficient to be a scholar, but to spread the virulent horror of his writings, it is necessary to be an uncompromising devotee of Bataille's thought.

Cyril Tourneur
09-10-2008, 09:44 AM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/617KHS5R5JL._SS500_.jpg

Posthuman departs from the usual art books because it isn't about representation of an artist's work - it's a work of art in itself or, perhaps more accurately, an exhibition of art. A lot of the pictures or collages probably don't 'exist' outside the book, and unconventional close-ups are used to highlight details. Many people must view Joachim Luetke's sculptures and pictures as nightmarish or obscene, but to me they represent true beauty. Machines become human, humans become machines, visits to the western lands, Egyptian mythology creeping in through the grey room. I can see echoes of Wiener Aktionismus and NSK in Joachim Luetke's art. Luetke shares with the former a fascination with death and katharis, and with the latter the use of metal blades and imagery from the Third Reich. He has, however, created his own universe. For instance 'Dark Karma' is a sculpture of small children holding their chicken claws together as hands looking like mummies from the future, wholly on top of a TV with a cutting blade as a gloria. At the same time the children have an eerie beauty to them, a stillness that transcends any definition of time or space. Joachim Luetke's art has been a revelation to me because he has managed to combine so many elements that fascinate me: darkness, innocence, medicine, machines...I urge everyone who is interested in the subject matter at least to check out his web site and get a copy of Posthuman.

Cyril Tourneur
09-10-2008, 09:51 AM
ok...now two classics which are a must have...

http://picture.yatego.com/images/459e7444576940.4/necronomicon1.jpg

http://www.stuartngbooks.com/giger_necronomicon.jpg

H.R. Giger's work has, in my opinion, the distinction of being the most disturbing art embraced by the public since that of Hieronymous Bosch. Here is a great introduction (if you don't mind the price tag) to the work of such an artist.

This book is not for the young or the easily disturbed. The world of Giger is quite intentionally the world of nightmares, with Freudian symbolism, decay, and perverse sexuality abounding. But there is also a beauty behind it all, in the metallic shine of his futuristic nymphs or the strange landscapes of endless babies' faces which make us realize the strangeness inherent in the everyday. Instead of using art to try and transcend reality, Giger pulls us down into the darkest parts of what we see around us, and refuses to let us go. In this way he shows us that perhaps that darkness is not so terrifying as it may seem, and he accustoms us to facing that in ourselves. Not only is such confrontation healthy, it may very well be essential, and Giger is a skilled tour guide when it comes to areas of the mind and psyche that not many artists have dared to explore.

The second Necronomicon volume is a worthy companion to this one, but if you must have only one Giger book this is the one I recommend.

Ilsa
09-10-2008, 09:59 AM
Oh...There are SO MANY books i would reccomend, but i'll start with two titles which are pretty bizarre and controversial:

-Apocalypse culture
-Apocalypse cultures II (both edited by Adam Parfrey)

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51dQ1Mz7XSL._SL500_AA240_.jpg

http://ak.buy.com/db_assets/prod_lrg_images/710/30527710.jpg

There's also the "search inside" option, so you can get an idea of the contents

Amazon.com: Apocalypse Culture: Adam Parfrey: Books

From Wiki (sorry!! :eek: )
Apocalypse Culture is a book edited by Adam Parfrey. It is a collection of texts showcasing a variety of examples of, and reactions to, eschatological madness, extreme perversion, "conspiracy theories", and aesthetic nihilism.
First published by Amok Press in 1987 (ISBN 0-941693-02-3), an Expanded & Revised Edition was published by Feral House (2) in 1990 as a paperback (ISBN 0-922915-05-9).
It features a cover painting by Joe Coleman.

Apocalypse Culture was awarded Best Nonfiction Work of the Year by Readercon in 1987.
A sequel to it, titled Apocalypse Culture II (3), was published in 2000 (ISBN 0-922915-57-1).

Cyril Tourneur
09-10-2008, 10:13 AM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61FZFR3FCFL._SL500_.jpg

Djuna Barnes: Nightwood
(wikipedia)

Barnes's reputation as a writer was made when Nightwood was published in England in 1936 in an expensive edition by Faber and Faber, and in America in 1937 by Harcourt, Brace and Company, with an added introduction by T. S. Eliot.

The novel, set in Paris in the 1920s, revolves around the lives of five characters, two of whom are based on Barnes and Wood, and it reflects the circumstances surrounding the ending of their relationship. In his introduction, Eliot praises Barnes' style, which while having "prose rhythm that is prose style, and the musical pattern which is not that of verse, is so good a novel that only sensibilities trained on poetry can wholly appreciate it."

Due to concerns about censorship, Eliot edited Nightwood to soften some language relating to sexuality and religion. An edition restoring these changes, edited by Cheryl J. Plumb, was published by Dalkey Archive Press in 1995.

Dylan Thomas described Nightwood as "one of the three great prose books ever written by a woman," while William Burroughs called it "one of the great books of the twentieth century." It was number 12 on a list of the top 100 gay books compiled by The Publishing Triangle in 1999.

Cyril Tourneur
09-10-2008, 10:21 AM
http://www.researchpubs.com/Blog/wp-content/plugins/wp-shopping-cart/product_images/tgfull.jpg


“The universe appears to me like an immense, inexorable torture-garden…Passions, greed, hatred, and lies; social institutions, justice, love, glory, heroism, and religion: these are its monstrous flowers and its hideous instruments of eternal human suffering.”


Octave Mirbeau: The Torture Garden

Following the twin trails of desire and depravity to a shocking, sadistic paradise - a garden in China where torture is practiced as an art form - a dissolute Frenchman discovers the true depths of degradation beyond his prior bourgeois imaginings. Entranced by a resolute Englishwoman whose capacity for debauchery knows no bounds, he capitulates to her every whim amid an ecstatic yet tormenting incursion of visions, scents, caresses, pleasures, horrors, and fantastic atrocities. The Torture Garden is exceptional for its detailed descriptions of sexual euphoria and exquisite torture, its political critique of government corruption and bureaucracy, and its revolutionary portrait of a woman - which challenges even contemporary models of feminine authority. This is one of the most truly original works ever imagined. Beyond providing richly poetic experience, it will stimulate anyone interested in the always-contemporary problem of the limits of experience and sensation. As part of the continuing struggle against censorship and especially self-censorship, it will remain a landmark in the fight against all that would suppress the creation of a far freer world. Written in 1899, this fabulously rare novel was once described as "the most sickening work of art of the 19th century."

1kgGehacktesBitte
09-10-2008, 10:23 AM
Very nice books you are presenting here. I know most of them, especially the Necronomicon books and The story of the eye by Bataille. I can remember that the story of the eyes had such a dusturbing impact on me, when I read it in younger days, and the affiliation of death and sexuality has something to do with religious experience I think.
But the first time I read it, it was like having an alternative for a pornographic movie.

Here is a book I´d like to recommend

http://www.spinebreakers.co.uk/PublishingImages/Features/My%20penguin%20bands/300%20wide/FINAL%20Steppenwolf%20-%20GOLDSPOT.jpg

Hermann Hesse -Steppenwolf

A paperback edition from the 1960s begins with a brief note from the author, dated 1961. In this note, Hesse states that Steppenwolf was "more often and more violently misunderstood" than any of his other books. Hesse felt that his readers focused only on the suffering and despair that are depicted in Harry Haller's life, thereby missing the possibility of transcendence and healing. This might be due to the fact that most Western readers at that time were not very familiar with Buddhist philosophy. The notion of a human being consisting of myriad fragments of different souls completely contradicts Judeo-Christian theologies. Also in the novel, the character Pablo instructs the protagonist Harry Haller to relinquish his personality--at least for the duration of his journey through the corridors of the Magic Theater. Harry needs to learn to use laughter to overcome the tight grip of his personality, to literally laugh at his personality until it falls away into many small pieces. Again, this concept runs counter to the ego-based culture of the West.

This book is also one of my greatest litarary discovery. Hesse himself was much diffenrent than his contemporaries and had to duffer under this circumstances. This book belongs to those, that showed me the way I think in an more versed language, the same way Ligotti did.

Ilsa
09-10-2008, 10:25 AM
http://www.librabooksandart.com/bookimages/nr.240.jpg

This book is hilarious! I don't agree with her "thesis" but reading the manifesto is an experience (and very funny)
plus the italian edition is aesthetically appealing http://www.lafeltrinelli.it/static/images-1/l/75/2548075.jpg

SCUM Manifesto (Society For Cutting Up Men) is a tract written in 1968 by Valerie Solanas that calls for a violent revolution to create an all-female society by KILLING ALL MEN.

Solanas advocating the elimination of males:

"Life in this society being, at best, an utter bore and no aspect of society being at all relevant to women, there remains to civic-minded, responsible, thrill-seeking females only to overthrow the government, eliminate the money system, institute complete automation and destroy the male sex."

Assertion that males are inherently inferior to females, and her account of genetic differences between males and females:

"Retaining the male has not even the dubious purpose of reproduction. The male is a biological accident: the y(male) chromosome is an incomplete x(female) chromosome, that is, has an incomplete set of chromosomes. In other words, the male is an incomplete female, a walking abortion, aborted at the gene stage. To be male is to be deficient, emotionally limited; maleness is a deficiency disease and males are emotional cripples."

On the role of the individual in society:

"A true community consists of individuals - not mere species members, not couples - respecting each other's individuality and privacy, at the same time interacting with each other mentally and emotionally - free spirits in free relation to each other and co-operating with each other to achieve common ends. Traditionalists say the basic unit of "society" is the family; "hippies" say the tribe; no-one says the individual."

Describing her vision of a coming revolution:

"SCUM will keep on destroying, looting, ####ing-up and killing until the money-work system no longer exists and automation is completely instituted or until enough women co-operate with SCUM to make violence unnecessary to achieve these goals."

"The sick, irrational men, those who attempt to defend themselves against their disgustingness, when they see SCUM barreling down on them, will cling in terror to Big Mama with her Big Bouncy Boobies, but Boobies won't protect them against SCUM; Big Mama will be clinging to Big Daddy, who will be in the corner ####ting in his forceful, dynamic pants. Men who are rational, however, won't kick or struggle or raise a distressing fuss, but will just sit back, relax, enjoy the show and ride the waves to their demise."

On sexuality:

"Sex is not part of a relationship: on the contrary, it is a solitary experience, non-creative, a gross waste of time. The female can easily -- far more easily than she may think -- condition away her sex drive, leaving her completely cool and cerebral and free to pursue truly worthy relationships and activities; but the male, who seems to dig women sexually and who seeks out constantly to arouse them, stimulates the highly sexed female to frenzies of lust, throwing her into a sex bag from which few women ever escape. The lecherous male excited the lustful female; he has to -- when the female transcends her body, rises above animalism, the male, whose ego consists of his penis, will disappear."

Describing her understanding of medicine and mortality:

"All diseases are curable, and the aging process and death are due to disease; it is possible, therefore, never to age and to live forever. In fact the problems of aging and death could be solved within a few years, if an all-out, massive scientific assault were made upon the problem. This, however, will not occur with the male establishment"

Asserting that all 'un-creative' labor in society could become easily automated, despite the then non-existence of sophisticated computers:

"A completely automated society can be accomplished very simply and quickly once there is a public demand for it. The blueprints for it are already in existence, and its construction will take only a few weeks with millions of people working on it. Even though off the money system, everyone will be most happy to pitch in and get the automated society built; it will mark the beginning of a fantastic new era, and there will be a celebration atmosphere accompanying the construction."

Her predictions regarding the economic basis of male-power, potential simplicity of scientific education, and the ultimate decline in heterosexuality:

"After the elimination of money there will be no further need to kill men; they will be stripped of the only power they have over psychologically independent females. They will be able to impose themselves only on the doormats, who like to be imposed on. The rest of the women will be busy solving the few remaining unsolved problems before planning their agenda for eternity and Utopia -- completely revamping educational programs so that millions of women can be trained within a few months for high level intellectual work that now requires years of training (this can be done very easily once our educational goal is to educate and not perpetuate an academic and intellectual elite); solving the problems of disease and old age and death and completely redesigning our cities and living quarters. Many women will for a while continue to think they dig men, but as they become accustomed to female society and as they become absorbed in their projects, they will eventually come to see the utter uselessness and banality of the male."

Cyril Tourneur
09-10-2008, 10:30 AM
http://images.contentreserve.com/ImageType-100/1314-1/%7BF94142D1-EBFF-41A3-AC4F-D94300D03CDB%7DImg100.jpg



"The edge of a colossal jungle, so dark-green as to be almost black, fringed with white surf, ran straight, like a ruled line, far, far away along a blue sea whose glitter was blurred by a creeping mist. The sun was fierce, the land seemed to glisten and rip with steam."

Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, written in 1899 is a seminal work about the ills of colonialism, as well as a postmodern look at the subject of mankind. Conrad's book had a crucial influence on five important works of the twentieth century: J. G. Frazier's book The Golden Bough. Jessie L. Weston's book From Ritual to Romance, T. S. Elliott's poem the Waste Land and Joseph Campbell's Hero with a Thousand Faces.

Just a taste of the plot reels you in! Marlow, the narrator of Heart of Darkness and Conrad's alter ego, is hired by an ivory-trading company to sail a steamboat up an unnamed river whose shape on the map resembles "an immense snake uncoiled, with its head in the sea, its body at rest curving afar over a vast country and its tail lost in the depths of the land" (8). His destination is a post where the company's brilliant, ambitious star agent, Mr. Kurtz, is stationed. Kurtz has collected legendary quantities of ivory, but, Marlow learns along the way, is also rumored to have sunk into unspecified savagery. Marlow's steamer survives an attack by blacks and picks up a load of ivory and the ill Kurtz; Kurtz, talking of his grandiose plans, dies on board as they travel, downstream.

Sketched with only a few bold strokes, Kurtz's image has nonetheless remained in the memories of millions of readers: the lone white agent far up the great river, with his dreams of grandeur,his great store of precious ivory, and his fiefdom carved out of the African jungle. Perhaps more than anything, we remember Marlow, on the steamboat, looking through binoculars at what he thinks are ornamental knobs atop the fence posts in front of Kurtz's house and then finding that each is "black, dried, sunken, with closed eyelids-a head that seemed to sleep at the top of that pole, and with the shrunken dry lips showing a narrow white line of the teeth"

Cyril Tourneur
09-10-2008, 10:48 AM
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/b3/Notes_from_underground_cover.jpg


Notes From The Underground is Dostoevsky's grand look at the human condition from the perspective of a man living on the fringes of society. The short novel provides the key to much of the author's later and more fleshed out novels.

Presented in two parts the novel tells the story of the unnamed Undergound Man who is forced into a life of inaction by the reason driven society that he finds himself in.

Part I of the novel is a long monologue to an invisible audience which explains how the Underground Man came into existence. It is a masterpiece of Existentialist fiction and has been the cornerstone for many later writers including Freud and Camus. The ideas expressed in this part of the novel deal with the character's interactions with himself. This is also the mother of all anti-hero literature. Through the Underground Man's speech we identify him as an over sensitive man of great intelligence. We begin to identify with the character and understand him. While this part of the novel is idea laden it presents one of the great characters of modern fiction.

Part II of the novel is much more accessible to today's reader. This part of the novel deals with the Underground Man's interactions with the society around him. It is in this section that we see that he incapable of reacting in a normal way with the persons that he comes into contact with. He is not the rational man of Part I but a person driven to inaction by his own personal circumstances. He is spiteful, mean spirited and incapable of giving or receiving love to or from others.

Ilsa
09-10-2008, 11:40 AM
Tobias recomended Céline's Journey to the end of the night
I also recomend the more controversial

http://pagesperso-orange.fr/d-d.natanson/celine_bagatelle.jpg
(Trifles for a massacre)
Céline was accused of antisemitism during the Nazi period and subsequently lived in exile for a number of years. While he did not collaborate with the Nazis in any fashion[13], the climate of blame in the aftermath of World War II led to his imprisonment in Denmark for eighteen months from 1945-1947 with the Danes even refusing an extradition request from France citing insufficient proof that he actively collaborated with the Nazis.[14][15] During the rise of Nazi Germany, he wrote three typically cynical and misanthropic pamphlets interpreted to be antisemitic: Bagatelles pour un massacre (Trifles for a Massacre) (1937), L'École des cadavres (School of Corpses) (1938) and Les Beaux draps (The Fine Mess) (1941), the last one published during the occupation of France. These led to the widespread blame and hatred encountered and even predicted by Celine in the postwar years.[16]
The massacre that Céline had in mind when he entitled his first overtly antisemitic pamphlet Bagatelles pour un massacre was that of the "goďms," or Gentiles, who he thought would be led in slaughter once again in another great war.[17] Céline had been mobilized during the First World War where he received a serious arm injury[18] in the course of a mission for which he had volunteered. In later years he was to claim that he had undergone trepanation at the hands of army surgeons in 1915. This claim is complicated because the fictional character Robinson claims to have undergone this procedure in Journey to the End of the Night. This was a false claim invented for reasons that grew out of Céline's desire to picture himself as an unjustly persecuted loner.[19] Records from the Paul Brousse Hospital in Villejuif on the outskirts of Paris tell us that only his arm was operated on.[20]
Although Céline's political ideals here appeared to have commonalities with the Nazis, he was publicly critical of Adolf Hitler, whom he called a "Jew", and of "Aryan baloney".[21][22] His fascist views are evident in L'Ecole des cadavres where he calls for a Franco-German alliance in order to counter the alliance between British intelligence and "the international Jewish conspiracy"[23]
Céline was a friend of the German-French sculptor Arno Breker. He visited Breker last time in Germany in 1943 at Brekers Castle Jaeckelsbruch near Berlin. After the Vichy regime fell in 1944, Céline escaped judgment by fleeing to Sigmaringen, Germany, accompanying the Vichy Chief of State, Henri Phillipe Pétain, and President, Pierre Laval. For a brief time Céline acted as Laval's personal physician. A fictional account of this period can be found in Céline’s novel "D'un château l'autre" (Castle to Castle), published in 1960.
After the fall of the Nazi government Céline subsequently fled to Denmark (1945). Branded a collaborator, he was convicted in absentia (1950) in France to one year of imprisonment and declared a national disgrace. He was subsequently granted amnesty and returned to France in 1951.

(Thanks again Wiki)

bendk
09-10-2008, 12:49 PM
Great thread! I love book recommendations. I am familiar with most of the books. I have even read a few of them.

Neurospaston
09-10-2008, 01:31 PM
Ilsa, an original 1938 copy of Bagatelles pour un massacre lies here in my library together with Voyage au bout de la nuit but I hesitate to read them as Céline's writing is famous for its use of "argot" making it hard to understand even for French people... I think it's worth trying reading it in French though...
In my turn I recommend:
Confessions of a Mask by Yukio Mishima

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/153/412949688_f78a5cc795.jpg?v=0

trieffiewiles
09-10-2008, 06:14 PM
Thank you Neurospaston, I was beginning to wonder if anyone else here liked Mishima.

Cyril Tourneur
09-10-2008, 06:37 PM
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/ef/Themagus_cover.jpg

The story concerns young and intelligent Oxford graduate Nicholas Urfe, who takes up with Alison Kelly, an Australian girl he meets at a party in London. In order to get away from an increasingly serious relationship with her, Nicholas accepts a post teaching English at the Lord Byron School in the Greek island of Phraxos. This provides a convenient "escape" for Nicholas as the affair with Alison gets more serious than he had hoped for. Bored, depressed, disillusioned, and overwhelmed by the Mediterranean island, Nicholas contemplates suicide, then takes to long solitary walks. On one of these walks he stumbles upon the wealthy Greek recluse Maurice Conchis, who may or may not have collaborated with the Nazis during the Second World War and apparently lives alone on his island estate.

Nicholas is gradually drawn into Conchis's psychological games, his paradoxical views on life, his mysterious persona, and his eccentric masques. At first these various aspects of what the novel terms the "godgame" seem to Nicholas to be a joke, but as they grow more elaborate and intense, Nicholas's ability to determine what is real and what is not vanishes. Against his will and knowledge he becomes a performer in the godgame, and realizes that the enactments of the Nazi occupation, the absurd playlets after de Sade, and the obscene parodies of Greek myths are not about Conchis's life, but his own.

The novel presents an extraordinary series of descriptions of both places and events, and paints an unusually vivid picture of the surroundings in which the action takes place.

trieffiewiles
09-10-2008, 06:50 PM
http://images-eu.amazon.com/images/P/0802131808.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg

'The Blind Owl' by Sadegh Hedayat is an overlooked classic of madness. Since my peers of age (early 20's) are quickly becoming incapable of reading anything but text messages, the only way for it to become recognized, if this is at all important, would be to have it serialized, it being such a slim novel that its every aspect is important, by a talented director like Lynch, or Polanski, or Fincher. Also seeing as how people are capable of being frightened by off-the-wall 'torture porn' as David Cronenberg refers to it (another possible candidate), like SAW or Hostel, this book being faithfully adapted by one of the mentioned artists of vision would, and could only, cause mass hysteria . . . but this will never happen.

It basically revolves around a solitary artist-by-trade who harbors an absolutely fatalistic opium addiction, and world view for that matter. In the depths of his reflections, events occuring in the present are interwoven with those of his actual, or feverishly imagined past, as he is repeatedly visited by a man enshrouded 'neath shawls and turbin, whose visible features are unmoving and mask-like, who at unprecedented moments breaks the silence with a sinister, elemental sounding laugh that seems to issue not from his lips but somewhere deep within his body. Also and angelic archetype of feminine perfection who either dies or disappears when he reaches her, an wanted wife who is both revered and despised in equal measure, and some other more so surreal and blackly humorous characters populate this book.

Anyway, Mr. Hedayat, a Persian of aristocratic birth I believe, eventually ended his life while staying in some European city, probably Paris, I just don't want to say 'I believe again, -woops never mind. By the time one finishes the book, he or she probably wouldn't be surprised. Cheers :)

trieffiewiles
09-10-2008, 06:53 PM
You put 'Magus' up as I was writing the last one, and though mine was good, 'The Magus' is much better. That's a great cover as well. :cool:

Daisy
09-10-2008, 07:00 PM
A thoroughly brilliant book by a scholar in the tradition of Erich Auerbach and Lionel Trilling:

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41CCSE4EMVL._SS500_.jpg

From Publishers Weekly
This is the book culture critic Said was completing when he died in 2003. The critical survey had its genesis in a popular course Said taught at Columbia University, "Late Works/Late Style," examining "artists... whose work expresses lateness through the peculiarities of its style." Writing with insight and meticulous phrasing, Said studies the output of creative talents during their final years. The passing parade of artists, writers and composers includes Beethoven, Mozart, Jean Genet, Glenn Gould, Arnold Schoenberg and Richard Strauss. In one piece, Said details dramatic contrasts between Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa's The Leopard and Luchino Visconti's film adaptation of that novel; in another, he compares Thomas Mann's Death in Venice (1911) with Benjamin Britten's 1973 opera of Mann's novella, composed near the end of Britten's career. While "late works crown a lifetime of aesthetic endeavor," Said concludes there also is "artistic lateness not as harmony and resolution, but as intransigence, difficulty, and unresolved contradiction." As Said examined the effect of impending death on artists, leukemia led him to his own final pages, resulting in this erudite collection.

Ilsa
09-11-2008, 04:26 AM
http://www.zaalbooks.nl/BookImages/15444.jpg

Otto Weininger (April 3, 1880 – October 4, 1903) was an Austrian philosopher. In 1903, he published the book Geschlecht und Charakter (Sex and Character) which gained popularity after Weininger's suicide at the age of 23. Today, the book is generally viewed as misogynistic and antisemitic in academic circles; however, it continues to be held up as a great work of lasting genius and spiritual wisdom by others.

Ilsa
09-11-2008, 04:35 AM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41SATNAHJ3L._SL500_AA240_.jpg


Ernst Jünger (March 29, 1895 — February 17, 1998)
Storm of Steel

Ernst Jünge was a German writer. In addition to his many novels, he is well known for Storm of Steel, an account of his experience during the First World War. Many regard him as one of Germany's greatest modern writers and a hero of the conservative revolutionary movement following World War I. Others dismiss him as a militarist or reactionary.

Jünger was born in Heidelberg and grew up in Hannover as the son of a pharmacist. He went to school between the years of 1901 and 1913 and was member of the "Wandervogel" movement. He ran away from home to join the French Foreign Legion where he served in North Africa. During World War I he served with distinction in the Imperial German Army on the Western Front. In the first week of January 1917 he was awarded the Iron Cross First Class and in September of 1918 was awarded the German Empire's highest military decoration of that time, the Pour le Mérite (informally known as the "Blue Max"). Received as a Lieutenant at the age of 23, he was one of the youngest soldiers ever to be given this award.
His war experiences are described in Storm of Steel (German title: In Stahlgewittern) which was published in 1920. The book has been seen as tending to glorify war, especially in comparison to the other major German WWI work, All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque. However, Storm of Steel never rejects nor extenuates war brutalities. Jünger served as a lieutenant in the army of the Weimar Republic until his demobilisation in 1923. He studied marine biology, zoology, botany and philosophy and became a well-known entomologist. He married Gretha von Jeinsen (* 1906 - † 1960) in 1925; they had two children, Ernst (1926-1944) and Alexander (1934-1993).
In the 1920s Jünger published articles in several right-wing nationalist journals, and further novels. As in Storm of Steel, in the book Feuer und Blut (1925, "Fire and Blood") Jünger glorified war as an internal event. According to Jünger war elevates the soldier's life, isolated from normal humanity, into a mystical experience . The extremities of modern military techniques tested the capacity of the human senses. He criticized the fragile and unstable democracy of the Weimar Republic, stating that he "hated democracy like the plague." Although never a member of the National Socialist movement around Adolf Hitler, Jünger never publicly criticized the regime before the war. Jünger however refused a chair offered to him in the Reichstag following the Nazi Party's ascension to power in 1933, and he refused the invitation to head the German Academy of Literature (Die deutsche Akademie der Dichtung). Even though he never endorsed the Nazi Party, and indeed kept them at a careful distance, Jünger's Storm of Steel sold well into the six-figure range by the end of the 1930s

Ilsa
09-11-2008, 04:39 AM
http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/n3/n15046.jpg

Gustav Meyrink was born in Vienna, Austria-Hungary (now Austria) on January 19th (sixty years earlier another mystic writer, Edgar Allan Poe, had been born, as emphasized by some admirers) 1868. He was the illegitimate son of Baron Karl von Varnbüler von und zu Hemmingen and actress Maria Wilhelmina Adelheyd Meier. (In 1919, when Meyrink had already become a renowned writer, the Varnbülers are said to have offered Meyrink the use of the family name. The offer was politely rejected.). Meyrink's role in Austrian literature is similar to that of Poe in American literature.

trieffiewiles
09-11-2008, 09:48 PM
Thank you. There ought to be more mention of Meyrink on this site. I honestly think that his mastery of language, atmospherics (particularly when applied to disturbed or, more often than not, supernatural mindsets), and what-have-you are even better than the best of Poe's. Meyrink was definitely a writer that one could classify as a true 'psychonaught' - explorer of inward dimensions, the mind, inner space. Add that to find that his temperament reveled in adjectives like eerie, perverse, labyrinthine, gloomy, mysterious- how much more could the people on this board be looking for?

trieffiewiles
09-11-2008, 10:06 PM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51HjCPQFW1L._SS500_.jpg

http://www.komabookstore.com/dispatch1.gif (http://www.komabookstore.com/order.html)http://www.komabookstore.com/ajournal.jpg (http://www.komabookstore.com/order.html)
Ilsa, since you recommended the Apocalypse Culture books, I think you might enjoy (and I recommend them to everyone else) 'Art that Kill . . .' by George Petros, 'Amok Fifth Dispatch' by Stuart Swezey, and 'Amok Journal: Sensurround Editon' by Swezey again. They go in a similar direction as the Apocalypse Journals in that they are compendia of unknown, forbidden, and often knowingly obscured esoterica from the fringes of past and contemporary sub-cultures.

I assure you, in case you feel the same way- otherwise I hope I don't offend you, that the man on the front of 'Art that Kills' is NOT the main, or even A main focus of the book, Petros or the publisher probably just thought the picture was cool (it is Richard Kern I believe) and that it might help sell the book. :) :mad:

paeng
09-12-2008, 01:34 AM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51TZhUaSgzL._SS500_.jpg[/URL]

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2007/sep/16/society.art (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51TZhUaSgzL._SS500_.jpg)

[URL]http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2007/09/08/boextract108.xml

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v30/n02/eagl01_.html

Also, Modern Times, Modern Places.

Cyril Tourneur
09-12-2008, 06:31 AM
one of the things I'd like reading when I was a teenager...mmm...maybe I should look for some invaluable first edition (and this is the first real gothic novel in my opinion, not Walpole's Otranto) when I think about it, I discovered him at the same time when I was reading CAS

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/c2/Vathek.jpg

Vathek (alternatively titled Vathek, an Arabian Tale or The History of the Caliph Vathek) is a Gothic novel written by William Thomas Beckford. It was composed in French beginning in 1782, and then translated into English by Reverend Samuel Henley in which form it was first published in 1786 without Beckford's name as An Arabian Tale, From an Unpublished Manuscript, claiming to be translated directly from Arabic. The first French edition was published in 1787. A notable modern edition was issued in paperback by Ballantine Books as the thirty-first volume of the celebrated Ballantine Adult Fantasy series in June, 1971. This edition, edited by Lin Carter, was the first to incorporate into the main text The Episodes of Vathek, scenes omitted from the original edition that had later been published separately.

Vathek capitalised on the 18th century obsession with all things Oriental (see Orientalism), which was inspired by Antoine Galland's translation of The Arabian Nights (itself re-translated, into English, in 1708). Beckford was also influenced by similar works from the French writer Voltaire. His originality lay in combining the popular Oriental elements with the Gothic stylings of Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto (1764). The result stands alongside Walpole's novel and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818) in the first rank of early Gothic fiction.

Vathek was written by William Beckford when he was 21, in the year 1782. The language in which it was originally written is French. He often stated that Vathek was written as an emotional response to “the events that happened at Fonthill at Christmas 1781”, and that it took him two days and a night, or three days and two nights. He gives two accounts of how long it took him. Vathek was written during a time when the European population was entranced by orientalism. It is both an Arabian tale because of the oriental setting and characters and the depiction of oriental cultures, societies, and myth, as well as a Gothic novel because of the emphasis on the supernatural, ghosts, and spirits, as well as the terror it tries to induce on the reader.

The main character of the story, Vathek is inspired from a real life Caliph named Al-Wathiq ibn Mutasim, an Abbassid Caliph who succeeded his father on the same day he died. He had a great thirst for knowledge and became a great patron to scholars and artists. During his reign, a number of revolts broke out, and he joined the parties to quell these revolts personally. He died on August 10, 847, due to an extremely high fever.

Vathek’s narrative uses a third person, omniscient, semi intrusive narrator. While the narrator is not omniscient in the sense of knowing what the characters feel, he hardly talks about the feelings of the characters, he is omniscient in the sense that he knows what is happening everywhere; and while it may not be intrusive to the point of telling the reader how to feel, it is certainly intrusive in the way it takes the reader from place to place, the most obvious instance being on page 87 when, after a narrative focusing around Gulchenrouz the narrator tells us "But let us return to the Caliph, and her who ruled over his heart". The narrative is often made up of lists that chronicle the events one after the other, without emphasis on character development. Characters and events are introduced forcefully at times. One such example is the introduction of Motavakel, Vathek’s brother. Up to the point when he is introduced in the novel as the leader of a rebel army, the reader is not even aware of Vathek having a brother. The reader is also never treated to Motavakel’s character, except through Carathis mentioning him. The novel, while it may lend itself to be divided into chapters, is not. It is one complete manuscript without pause.



after reading this novel, I looked up the biography of Beckford, and the interesting thing is that he used the protagonist of the story as a 'role model' for his life

William Thomas Beckford - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cyril Tourneur
09-12-2008, 06:50 AM
and cos i started talking about CAS in my last post, I recommend his 'Tales of Zothique'...if you can try to get your hands on the Necronomicon Press Edition

http://www.eldritchdark.com/files/galleries/books-of-cas/zothique-n.gif

http://www.eldritchdark.com/files/galleries/books-of-cas/morthylla-neo.jpg

http://www.eldritchdark.com/files/galleries/books-of-cas/potter_page_34.jpg

http://www.eldritchdark.com/files/galleries/books-of-cas/morthylla.jpg

http://www.eldritchdark.com/files/galleries/books-of-cas/jk_potter_the_lamia1993.jpg

Clark Ashton Smith himself described the Zothique cycle in a letter to L. Sprague de Camp, dated November 3, 1953:

Zothique, vaguely suggested by Theosophic theories about past and future continents, is the last inhabited continent of earth. The continents of our present cycle have sunken, perhaps several times. Some have remained submerged; others have re-risen, partially, and re-arranged themselves. Zothique, as I conceive it, comprises Asia Minor, Arabia, Persia, India, parts of northern and eastern Africa, and much of the Indonesian archipelago. A new Australia exists somewhere to the south. To the west, there are only a few known islands, such as Naat, in which the black cannibals survive. To the north, are immense unexplored deserts; to the east, an immense unvoyaged sea. The peoples are mainly of Aryan or Semitic descent; but there is a black kingdom (Ilcar) in the north- west; and scattered blacks are found throughout the other countries, mainly in palace-harems. In the southern islands survive vestiges of Indonesian or Malayan races. The science and machinery of our present civilization have long been forgotten, together with our present religions. But many gods are worshipped; and sorcery and demonism prevail again as in ancient days. Oars and sails alone are used by mariners. There are no fire-arms—only the bows, arrows, swords, javelins, etc. of antiquity. The chief language spoken (of which I have provided examples in an unpublished drama) is based on Indo-European roots and is highly inflected, like Sanskrit, Greek and Latin.

Stories in the Zothique Cycle

* "The Black Abbot of Puthuum"
* "The Charnel God"
* "The Dark Eidolon"
* "The Death of Ilalotha"
* "Empire of the Necromancers"
* "The Garden of Adompha"
* "The Isle of the Torturers"
* "The Last Hieroglyph"
* "The Master of the Crabs"
* "Morthylla"
* "Necromancy in Naat"
* "The Tomb Spawn"
* "The Voyage of King Euvoran"
* "The Weaver in the Vault"
* "The Witchcraft of Ulua"
* "Xeethra"

Introduction to 'Tales of Zothique' by Will Murray (http://www.eldritchdark.com/articles/reviews/68/introduction-to-%27tales-of-zothique%27)

Cyril Tourneur
09-12-2008, 08:55 AM
we had some talk about the Watchmen comics which I recommend

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/b/b9/Watchmencovers.png/250px-Watchmencovers.png

Watchmen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

and I also want to add the Sandman series...

http://images.barnesandnoble.com/images/11990000/11990711.jpg

http://www.neilgaiman.com/works/images/AbsoluteSandmanVol2.jpg

http://www.slgcomic.com/assets/images/coverimages/miscs/sandmanc.gif

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandman_(Vertigo)

probably I'm going to add further comics here, later

Cyril Tourneur
09-12-2008, 09:53 AM
http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/images/full13/9780300107517.jpg


Karl Kraus (1874-1936), flamboyant satirist of turn-of-the-century Viennese society and culture, is but slowly gaining recognition in the English-speaking world. A contemporary of Freud, Schnitzler, Wittgenstein, Canetti, Schonberg, and Kokoschka, Kraus was most influential as an editor, publisher, and writer of the polemic journal Die Fackel (1899-1936). Drawing both on published texts and unpublished materials, Timms presents a fascinating portrait of Kraus as a complex and paradoxical figure within the broad cultural context of his times. Timms's book is a significant contribution to the study of early 20th-century European culture as well as to Kraus scholarship and thus should appeal to generalist and specialist alike. Recommended. Ulrike S. Rettig, German Dept., Wellesley Coll., Mass.

Karl Kraus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cyril Tourneur
09-12-2008, 10:07 AM
http://orweblog.oclc.org/musil.JPG


The central character in this book, Ulrich, a modern man, wonders what to do with his life (fortunately a private income gives him various choices!). He gets drawn into elaborate and seemingly endless preparations for an event suitable to mark the 70th anniversary of the Emperor of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Before long he finds himself drawn into a world of committees and their members, and this provides Musil with the opportunity to reflect (at great length) on meaning in a meaningless world.

Musil's characters are human in every sense. In addition to their commitment to their "work" (celebrating the great anniversary), they have relationships of varying depth and quality, and as they are drawn into their work, they are attracted or repelled by one another, with inevitable consequences. Musil delights in showing the hidden motives in human relationships and satirises the tendency of the most high-minded people to spiritualise basic human conflicts: extra-marital affairs have a tragic and heroic gloss put on them enabling the lovers to see themselves as participating in a high-minded tragedy rather than the usual philanderings of those who are less-exalted.

Musil digresses at length on philosophical matters and most readers will need to skim through some of the hundreds of pages where the main characters get lost in their train of thought. And of course, in the back of the readers mind is the thought that all the preparation will be brought to nought by the onset of the First World War. However, an underlying sense of humour pervades this book and there are a number of more comic characters who's antics bring light relief to what is on the whole an extremely dense narrative.



The Man Without Qualities - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Daisy
09-12-2008, 01:14 PM
Those of you who have posted in the “Horror Philosophy” thread might be interested in this fascinating post-structuralist study:

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/518K66GFGYL._SL500_.jpg

In her opening paragraph, Kristeva writes: “There looms, within abjection, one of those violent, dark revolts of being, directed against a threat that seems to emanate from an exorbitant outside or inside, ejected beyond the scope of the possible, the tolerable, the thinkable. It lies there, quite close, but it cannot be assimilated. It beseeches, worries, and fascinates desire, which, nevertheless, does not let itself be seduced. Apprehensive, desire turns aside; sickened, it rejects. A certainty protects it from the shameful—a certainty of which it is proud holds on to it. But simultaneously, just the same, that impetus, that spasm, that leap is drawn toward an elsewhere as tempting as it is condemned. Unflaggingly, like an inescapable boomerang, a vortex of summons and repulsion places the one haunted by it literally beside himself.”

Cyril Tourneur
09-14-2008, 03:51 PM
http://www.opencourtbooks.com/images/guerrilla.jpg

Too unorthodox to be conservative, too systematic to be postmodern, Guerrilla Metaphysics is a unique attempt to describe the carpentry of things. At once systematic and offbeat, technical and poetic, it is a startling new vision of phenomenology's motto: To the things themselves!

Instead of the occasional cause that makes God responsible for all events, Guerrilla Metaphysics seeks the vicarious cause that links human beings, tools, rivers, mountains, plastic, and clowns. Professor Harman argues for a radical shift in the phenomenological attitude to objects, and explains how phenomenology can be reunified with the physical world that it wanted to bracket from view.

In Part Two Harman takes a fresh approach to metaphor and comedy, showing how even physical causation has the structure of allure. In the final Part, he offers a new account of causation, which is shown to be not only vicarious but also asymmetrical and buffered.

“This vigorously conceived and vividly written work has a mission: to effect an objective turn in philosophy, to direct attention from its present preoccupation with the subjective and linguistic aspects of human beings to the ‘carnival of the world’. . . . full of wonderful insights presented in reader-friendly language. A red-blooded book of solid learning applied to original reflection!”

—Eva Brann, author of The World of the Imagination

“Suppose that intentionality, the favorite vector of phenomenology, was subverted in such a way that instead of linking humans to objects, it became the way objects relate to one another. Then you would have a metaphysics that would give another meaning to the slogan ‘To the things themselves!’ This fully deserves the title of guerrilla warfare, though Harman, instead of wearing Che Guevara’s beret, has adopted William James’s splendid style to bring us back to the buzzing, blooming world.”

—Bruno Latour, author of We Have Never Been Modern

Graham Harman is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the American University in Cairo. He supported himself through part of graduate school as a Chicago sportswriter, in which capacity he interviewed such figures as Sammy Sosa and Bobby Knight. He is the author of Tool-Being: Heidegger and the Metaphysics of Objects and translator of Gudrun Krämer’s History of Palestine.

Cyril Tourneur
09-15-2008, 05:16 AM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51CDu5MLG4L._SL500_PIsitb-dp-500-arrow,TopRight,45,-64_OU01_AA240_.jpg


Quentin Meillassoux, a former student of Alain Badiou, is considered to be one of the most talented and exciting new voices in contemporary French philosophy.Quentin Meillassoux's remarkable debut makes a strikingly original contribution to contemporary French philosophy and is set to have a significant impact on the future of Continental philosophy. Written in a style that marries great clarity of expression with argumentative rigour, "After Finitude" provides bold readings of the history of philosophy and sets out a devastating critique of the unavowed fideism at the heart of post-Kantian philosophy.Meillassoux introduces a startlingly novel philosophical alternative to the forced choice between dogmatism and critique. "After Finitude" proposes a new alliance between philosophy and science and calls for an unequivocal halt to the creeping return of religiosity in contemporary philosophical discourse.The exceptional lucidity and the centrality of argument in Meillassoux's writing should appeal to Analytic as well as Continental philosophers, while his critique of fideism will be of interest to anyone preoccupied by the relation between philosophy, theology and religion.

Jezetha
09-15-2008, 07:28 AM
http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/images/full13/9780300107517.jpg

Read it. It's part one, btw, from 1986. The second part was only published in 2005. I read that, too, a few months ago.

Cyril Tourneur
09-15-2008, 09:07 AM
http://www.bordersstores.co.uk/_assets/books/%5Clibrary0023.jpg

Written after Hamsun's return from an ill-fated tour of America, Hunger is loosely based on the author's own impoverished life before his breakthrough in 1890. Set in fin-de-siecle Kristiania, the novel recounts the adventures of a starving young man whose sense of reality is giving way to a delusionary existence on the darker side of a modern metropolis. While he vainly tries to maintain an outer shell of respectability, his mental and physical decay are recounted in detail. His ordeal, enhanced by his inability or unwillingness to pursue a professional career, which he deems unfit for someone of his abilities, is pictured in a series of encounters which Hamsun himself described as 'a series of analyses.' In many ways, the protagonist of the novel displays traits reminiscent of Raskolnikov, whose creator, Fyodor Dostoevsky, was one of Hamsun's main influences. The influence of naturalist authors such as Emile Zola is apparent in the novel, as is his rejection of the realist tradition.

Hunger encompasses two of Hamsun's literary and ideological leitmotifs:

* His insistence that the intricacies of the human mind ought to be the main object of modern literature. Hamsun's own literary program, to describe 'the whisper of the blood and the pleading of the bone marrow', is thoroughly manifest in Hunger.
* His depreciation of modern, urban civilization. In the famous opening lines of the novel, he ambiguously describes Kristiania as 'this wondrous city that no one leaves before it has made its marks upon him.' The latter is counterbalanced in other of Hamsun's works such as Mysteries (Mysteries) (1892) and Growth of the Soil (Markens Grřde), which earned him the Nobel prize in literature but also a reputation for being a proto-National Socialist Blut und Boden author


Although his clothing, prospects, and health fail, he guards his dignity (often comically) and pencil stubs. The narrator wanders through the streets of the city – "that strange city no one escapes from until it has left its mark on him..." Eventually his high-minded articles – now and then purchased by newspapers – become incomprehensible even to his own fevered thoughts. There is nothing sentimental in his fasting – it is his own more or less nihilistic choice. He sells articles to the local paper, and meets a young woman, who is frightened of his impetuosity. '"Well, I never!" I blurted out. "Just you wait and see!" And I flung my arms lustily around her shoulders. Was the girl out of her mind? Did she take me for a complete greenhorn? Haw-haw, wouldn't I, though, by the living... None should say about me that I was backward on that score. What a little devil! If it was juts a matter of pushing on, then..." Losing his hair in clumps and unable to keep down his hard-won meals, the narrator finally gets a job as a deckhand on a Russian ship bound for England. "He fasts. But not in the way a Christian would fast," wrote Paul Auster in his introduction to Hunger. "He is not denying earthly life in anticipation of heavenly life; he is simply refusing to live the life he has been given." The Hunger expressed similar modernist tendencies as Edvard Munch's famous painting The Cry (1893), which did not derive from nature but from introspection, rejecting the notion of objective reality. As a type the young writer can be seen a predecessor to Charles Chaplin's famous screen character, the invincible vagabond.

Ilsa
09-15-2008, 04:28 PM
This is a book about the "apocalyptic folk" scene in England, which I personally really enjoy

David Keenan, "England's hidden Reverse.A Secret History Of The Esoteric Underground"

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/513p0f4KuTL._SL500_AA240_.jpg

by Jim Haynes
originally published in The Wire, 234: August 2003

"It was a nihilistic little group of people. Yet we've all developed and changed and our creativity has been long-lived when it could have gone the other way and everybody could have committed suicide." John Balance offered this synopsis for the intertwining paths of Current 93, Nurse With Wound, his own group Coil and a handful of other post-Industrialists at the centre of David Keenan's timely first book England's Hidden Reverse. No one is better qualified to get their stories down before they finally dissolve into half-remembered tales and drug polluted hearsay than prolific Wire writer Keenan, who has already profiled its main protagonists in the magazine. His book essentially picks up where Wreckers Of Civilization, Simon Ford's monolithic account of Coum Transmissions and Throbbing Gristle left off, with its main protagonists one way or another inheriting the transgressive agency through which TG reinvested the gruesome, sidereal, oblique or arcane undercurrents of English society as a means of questioning its social contracts with its subjects. While he's not central to Keenan's story, P-Orridge emerges as an insightful foil to Current 93, Coil, and to a lesser extent Nurse With Wound.

Current 93's history is a complex affair, and their creator David Tibet is the most beguiling character here. Aided by Tibet's near photographic memory, not to mention his predilection for blurring the lines between metaphysical planes, Keenan traces C93's amazing story back to his dreamlike childhood in Malaysia, unhappy times at an English boarding school, and his gradual introduction into the occult, apocalyptic and apocryphal theologies at the core of C93's work. By the time he had moved to London from Newcastle Upon Tyne in 1980, Tibet already had it in mind to form an extreme electronics outfit that added occult esoterica to the aggression of TG and Whitehouse. Such a desire was partially sated when he landed a role in early Psychic TV, the group formed by P-Orridge and Sleazy Peter Christopherson when TG terminated their mission. Keenan's narrative deftly recounts Tibet's passionate involvement and growing frustration with P-Orridge. The first to jump the PTV ship, Tibet unleashed Current 93 as a torrent of nightmarish, apocalyptic sound collages. Keenan cites Love, Tiny Tim and Shirley Collins as crucial to C93's later reinvention as a vehicle for spartan folk minstrels, but his litany of Tibet's non-musical sources is just as compelling. Artists like Louis Wain, composer William Lawes, decadent author Count Stenbock, horror writer Thomas Ligotti and Noddy all figure in Tibet's vision of Christianity, manifest in grand imagery of suffering, passion and beauty.

Longtime C93 associate Steven Stapleton's began his own concern, Nurse With Wound, several years earlier as an attempt to make "cold, sterile music". Yet Keenan argues that his back catalogue of Surrealist experiments, ur-rock mantras, plunderphonic splutterings and generally form-destroying musics reveals an obtuse autobiography of a man obsessed with the creative process. Coming across as ruggedly individual and eccentric, Stapleton defines his work rather simply: "When it comes to creativity, whether I'm building a wall, mixing cement, making a sculpture, painting a picture, or making music, it's all the same. The same energy goes into it, the same creativity goes into it, and there's no room for anybody else." Keenan respectfully differs, mapping a counter argument through Stapleton's numerous source inspirations - for starters, the infamous Nurse With Wound list of favourite groups published with the first NWW record - collaborations with Tibet, Whitehouse's William Bennett, gypsy violinist Aranos and others, and relationships.

Though they were enthusiastic users in their early years, chemical abuse for Tibet and Stapleton diminished considerably with age. That's not the case with Coil's Balance and Christopherson. As a schoolboy collector of TG records, Balance had harboured a long-standing crush on Sleazy, and the pair became lovers when they were both in Psychic TV. Like Tibet, their eventual disillusionment with P-Orridge caused them to leave and concentrate on Coil. From the off, Coil drew energy from the works of William S Burroughs and English occult sex magician Austin Osman Spare, and London's gay underground. Drugs were the key to Coil's rituals, through which they attempted to shatter norms of perception, unravelling the fabric of society with their abject transubstantiations, carnivalesque apocalypses and triumphant, regenerative musics. Frustratingly, Coil's story periodically stalls when they reprise attempts to better their third official album, Love's Secret Domain, with its followup, Backwards. In the frequently heightened states they used to work in, the unknown forces they saw conspiring against them must have felt mighty real. Just so, Balance's growing addictions. Documenting the ravages of chemical use on recent Coil, Keenan is almost apologetic in his enthusiasm for their post-LSD albums, the still unfinished Backwards notwithstanding, which explore psychotropic ambience and Prog-laden electronics, as opposed to the sample-heavy vertigo of LSD or Horse Rotovator.

Punctuating his concise prose with dry wit while paying due critical attention to detail, Keenan's biography is a superb document that effortlessly unravels the intricacies of his main protagonists and their countless accomplices' relationships to post industrial England. For Current 93, Coil and Nurse With Wound, Keenan argues, Englishness, or rather the perversion and reversal of Englishness as a social construct, is necessary to their production.

Cyril Tourneur
09-17-2008, 01:33 PM
http://www.waste.org/pynchon-l/grcover4.jpg



Proverbs for Paranoids:
1. You may never get to touch the Master, but you can tickle his creatures.
2. The innocence of the creatures is in inverse proportion to the immorality of the Master.
3. If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.
4. You hide, they seek.
5. Paranoids are not paranoid because they're paranoid, but because they keep putting themselves, ####ing idiots, deliberately into paranoid situations.
-- Collected from Gravity's Rainbow, V237, 241, 251, 262, & 292




Kekulé dreams the Great Serpent holding its own tail in its mouth, the dreaming Serpent which surrounds the World. But the meanness, the cynicism with which this dream is to be used. The Serpent that announces, "The World is a closed thing, cyclical, resonant, eternally-returning," is to be delivered into a system whose only aim is to violate the Cycle. Taking and not giving back, demanding that "productivity" and "earnings" keep on increasing with time, the System removing from the rest of the World these vast quantities of energy to keep its own tiny desperate fraction showing a profit: and not only most of humanity -- most of the World, animal, vegetable, and mineral, is laid waste in the process. The System may or may not understand that it's only buying time. And that time is an artificial resource to being with, of no value to anyone or anything but the System, which must sooner or later crash to its death, when its addiction to energy has become more than the rest of the World can supply, dragging with it innocent souls all along the chain of life.
--Gravity's Rainbow, V412





Gravity's Rainbow is an epic postmodern novel written by Thomas Pynchon and first published on February 28, 1973.

The narrative is set primarily in Europe at the end of World War II and centers on the design, production and dispatch of V-2 rockets by the German military, and, in particular, the quest undertaken by several characters to uncover the secret of a mysterious device named the "Schwarzgerät", which will be installed in a rocket with the serial number "00000".

Frequently digressive, the novel subverts many of the traditional elements of plot and character development, traverses detailed, specialist knowledge drawn from a wide range of disciplines, and has earned a reputation as a "difficult" book.

In 1974, the three-member Pulitzer Prize jury on fiction supported Gravity's Rainbow for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. However, the other eleven members of the board overturned this decision, branding the book "unreadable, turgid, overwritten, and obscene." The novel was nominated for the 1973 Nebula Award for Best Novel, and won the National Book Award in 1974. Since its publication, Gravity's Rainbow has spawned an enormous amount of literary criticism and commentary, including two reader's guides and several online concordances, and is frequently cited as Pynchon's magnum opus.

Time Magazine included the novel in its TIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005.

Structure and chronology

Gravity's Rainbow is composed of four parts, each of these composed of a number of episodes whose divisions are marked by a graphical depiction of a series of squares. It has been suggested that these represent sprocket holes as in a reel of film, although they may also bear some relation to the engineer's graph paper on which the first draft of the novel was written. One of the book's editors has been quoted as saying that the squares relate to censored correspondence sent between soldiers and their loved ones during the war. When family and friends received edited letters, the removed sections would be cut out in squared or rectangular sections. The squares that start each of the four parts would therefore be indicative of what is not written, or what is removed by an external editor or censor.The number of episodes in each part carries with it a numerological significance which is in keeping with the use of numerology and Tarot symbolism throughout the novel.

"Part 1: Beyond the Zero" consists of 21 episodes, which corresponds exactly to the number of cards in the Major Arcana of a Tarot deck if the Fool card is not counted or assigned a null value, hence the name of this part; "Beyond the Zero". The events of this part occur primarily during the Christmas Advent season of 1944 from December 18–26. The epigraph is a quotation from a pamphlet written by Wernher von Braun and first published in 1962: "Nature does not know extinction; all it knows is transformation. Everything science has taught me, and continues to teach me, strengthens my belief in the continuity of our spiritual existence after death."

"Part 2: Un Perm' au Casino Hermann Goering" (French for "A Furlough at the Hermann Goering Casino") contains 8 episodes, a number that evokes the mathematical symbol of infinity and makes repeated appearances throughout the narrative. The events of this section span the five months from Christmas 1944 through to Whitsunday the following year; May 20, 1945. The epigraph is attributed to Merian C. Cooper, speaking to Fay Wray prior to her starring role in King Kong, as recounted by Wray in the September 21, 1969 issue of the New York Times: "You will have the tallest, darkest leading man in Hollywood."

"Part 3: In the Zone" comprises 32 episodes, a number some speculate is related to the gravitational acceleration of 32 feet per second per second and also bearing significance to the Kabbalistic tradition. The action of Part 3 is set during the summer of 1945 with some analepses to the time period of Part 2 with most events taking place between May 18 and August 6; the day of the first atomic bomb attack and also the Feast of the Transfiguration. The epigraph is taken from The Wizard of Oz, spoken by Dorothy as she arrives in Oz and shows her disorientation with the new environment: "Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas any more..."

"Part 4: The Counterforce" is made up of 12 episodes, this number being most commonly associated with the 12 Apostles and the total number of zodiacal signs. The plot of this part begins shortly after August 6, 1945 and covers the period up to September 14th of that same year; the day of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, with extended analepsis to Easter/April Fool's weekend of 1945 and culminating in a prolepsis to 1970. The simple epigraphical quotation, "What?" is attributed to Richard M. Nixon, and was added after the galleys of the novel had been printed to insinuate the President's involvement in the unfolding Watergate scandal.

The novel's title is a reference to the parabolic trajectory of a V-2 rocket (the 'rainbow-shaped' path described by the missile as it moves under the influence of gravity, subsequent to its engine's deactivation); it is also thought to refer to the 'shape' of the plot, which many critics, such as Weisenburger have found to be cyclical, like the true shape of a rainbow, which is often believed to be just an arc. This follows in the literary tradition of Joyce's Finnegans Wake and Melville's The Confidence-Man.

G. S. Carnivals
09-17-2008, 01:54 PM
Thank you, Tobias. There is some discussion of Thomas Pynchon and Gravity's Rainbow in this thread which I started many moons ago:

THE CRYING OF LOT 49 by Thomas Pynchon - THOMAS LIGOTTI ONLINE (http://www.ligotti.net/showthread.php?t=542)

Daisy
09-17-2008, 02:36 PM
Since the publication of American Power and the New Mandarins almost forty years ago, Noam Chomsky has never hesitated to speak the truth to power. This book, published in 2006, is in my opinion one of his best:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/0b/Failed_States.jpg


From the back cover:

The United States has repeatedly asserted its right to intervene militarily against “failed states” around the globe. In this much-anticipated follow-up to his international bestseller Hegemony or Survival, Noam Chomsky turns the tables, showing how the United States itself shares features with other failed states—suffering from a severe “democratic deficit,” eschewing domestic and international law, and adopting policies that increasingly endanger its own citizens and the world. Exploring the latest developments in U.S. foreign and domestic policy, Chomsky reveals Washington’s plans to further militarize the planet, greatly increasing the risks of nuclear war. He also assesses the dangerous consequences of the occupation of Iraq; documents Washington’s self-exemption from international norms, including the Geneva conventions and the Kyoto Protocol; and examines how the U.S. electoral system is designed to eliminate genuine political alternatives, impeding any meaningful democracy.

Forceful, lucid, and meticulously documented, Failed States offers a comprehensive analysis of a global superpower that has long claimed the right to reshape other nations while its own democratic institutions are in severe crisis. Systematically dismantling the United States’ pretense of being the world’s arbiter of democracy, Failed States is Chomsky’s most focused—and urgent—critique to date.

Cyril Tourneur
09-18-2008, 05:00 AM
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/6/64/The_King_in_Yellow.jpg/200px-The_King_in_Yellow.jpg
Cover of the first, 1895 edition of The King in Yellow

Song of my soul, my voice is dead;
Die thou, unsung, as tears unshed
Shall dry and die in
Lost Carcosa.


The King in Yellow is a collection of short stories written by Robert W. Chambers and published in 1895. The stories could be categorized as early horror fiction or Victorian Gothic fiction, but the work also touches on mythology, fantasy, mystery, science fiction and romance. The first four stories in the collection involve a fictional two-act play of the same title.

Stories

The first four stories are loosely connected by three main devices:

* A play in book form entitled The King in Yellow
* A mysterious and malevolent supernatural entity known as The King in Yellow
* An eerie symbol called The Yellow Sign

The color yellow signifies the decadent and aesthetic attitudes that were fashionable at the turn of the 20th century, typified by such publications as The Yellow Book, a literary journal associated with Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley. It has also been suggested that the color yellow represents quarantine — an allusion to decay, disease, and specifically mental illness. For instance, the famous short story "The Yellow Wallpaper", involving a bedridden woman's descent into madness, was published shortly before Chambers' book.

These stories are macabre in tone, centering on characters that are often artists or decadents. The first story "The Repairer of Reputations", is set in an imagined future 1920s America, whose history, being at odds with the knowledge of the reader, adds to the effect of its unreliable narrator. The next three are set in Paris at the same time.

The other stories in the book do not follow the macabre theme of the first four, and most are written in the romantic fiction style common to Chambers' later work. Some are linked to the preceding stories by their Parisien setting and artistic protagonists.

List of stories

The stories present in the book are:

* The Repairer of Reputations
* The Mask
* In the Court of the Dragon
* The Yellow Sign
* The Demoiselle d'Ys
* The Prophets' Paradise
* The Street of the Four Winds
* The Street of the First Shell
* The Street of Our Lady of the Fields
* Rue Barrée

The Play The King in Yellow

The fictional play The King in Yellow has two acts, and at least three characters: Cassilda, Camilla, and the King in Yellow. Chambers' story collection excerpts sections from the play to introduce the book as a whole, or individual stories. For example, "Cassilda's Song" comes from Act I, Scene 2 of the play:

Along the shore the cloud waves break,
The twin suns sink beneath the lake,
The shadows lengthen

In Carcosa.

Strange is the night where black stars rise,
And strange moons circle through the skies
But stranger still is

Lost Carcosa.

Songs that the Hyades shall sing,
Where flap the tatters of the King,
Must die unheard in

Dim Carcosa.

Song of my soul, my voice is dead;
Die thou, unsung, as tears unshed
Shall dry and die in

Lost Carcosa.

The short story "The Mask" is introduced by an excerpt from Act I, Scene 2d:

Camilla: You, sir, should unmask.
Stranger: Indeed?
Cassilda: Indeed, it's time. We have all laid aside disguise but you.
Stranger: I wear no mask.
Camilla: (Terrified, aside to Cassilda.) No mask? No mask!

All of the excerpts come from Act I. The stories describe Act I as quite ordinary, but reading Act II drives the reader mad with the "irresistible" revealed truths. “The very banality and innocence of the first act only allowed the blow to fall afterward with more awful effect.” Even seeing of the first page of the second act is enough to draw the reader in: “If I had not caught a glimpse of the opening words in the second act I should never have finished it [...]” (“The Repairer of Reputations”).

Chambers usually gives only scattered hints of the contents of the full play, as in this extract from "The Repairer of Reputations":

He mentioned the establishment of the Dynasty in Carcosa, the lakes which connected Hastur, Aldebaran and the mystery of the Hyades. He spoke of Cassilda and Camilla, and sounded the cloudy depths of Demhe, and the Lake of Hali. "The scolloped tatters of the King in Yellow must hide Yhtill forever," he muttered, but I do not believe Vance heard him. Then by degrees he led Vance along the ramifications of the Imperial family, to Uoht and Thale, from Naotalba and Phantom of Truth, to Aldones, and then tossing aside his manuscript and notes, he began the wonderful story of the Last King.

A similar passage occurs in "The Yellow Sign", in which two protagonists have read The King in Yellow:

Night fell and the hours dragged on, but still we murmured to each other of the King and the Pallid Mask, and midnight sounded from the misty spires in the fog-wrapped city. We spoke of Hastur and of Cassilda, while outside the fog rolled against the blank window-panes as the cloud waves roll and break on the shores of Hali.

Influences

Chambers borrowed the names Carcosa, Hali and Hastur from Ambrose Bierce, specifically his short stories “An Inhabitant of Carcosa” and “Haita the Shepherd”. There is no strong indication that Chambers was influenced beyond liking the names. For example, Hastur is a god of shepherds in “Haita the Shepherd”, but is implicitly a location in “The Repairer of Reputations”, listed alongside the Hyades and Aldebaran.

Possible influences may include Edgar Allan Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death". Its synopsis reminds of Chamber's fictional play: a masquerade is held by decadent members of the aristocracy. They isolate themselves from the outside world where the Red Death, a plague, reigns supreme. At the end of the masquerade, a stranger appears, wearing a bloodied shroud and a mask figuring a Red Death victim. When the shocked dancers try to unmask him, they find nothing but an empty shroud and a Mask; then they die from the plague, one by one. In both stories, colors have an ominous importance and the strangers are both portents of death and destruction.

Other texts, especially from the symbolist writers, may have influenced Chambers as well: "Le Roi au masque d'or" (The king in the gold mask), a short story written by Marcel Schwob, a French novelist and a friend of Oscar Wilde was published in 1893 while Chambers was still studying in Paris. In this story, a king rules a city where all inhabitants are masked. One day a strange blind beggar come into his palace. After meeting with the beggar, the king, believing he's afflicted by leprosy, feels compelled to remove his mask; he then tears his own eyes out and leave his city. A beggar now, the former king heads toward the faraway "city of the wretched" but dies before the end of his journey.

It is also possible that the (in)famous play Salome by Oscar Wilde published in 1893, may have been another symbolist source of inspiration for the King in Yellow. As the fictional play, it has been originally written in French before being translated, then banned in Britain because of its scandalous reputation. Wilde's play, in one act, involves a queen, a princess, a king and an ominous prophet clad in camel's hair dress, Iokanaan, whose appearance may bring untold and terrible events. The ominous language used, the drama, the feeling of unease and expectation evokes Chamber's play; on page 1 of the play, the moon is described as a "little princess who wears a yellow veil"; on pages 3 and 9, the young Syrian says: "How pale the princess is! Never have I seen her so pale." On page 16, the young Syrian is named by Salome: his name is Narraboth and he beseeches Salome to avoid looking at Iokannan and, finally, commits suicide. It must be added that Marcel Schwob corrected the original french version of Salomé on behalf of Oscar Wilde.

Cthulhu Mythos

H.P. Lovecraft read The King in Yellow in early 1927 and included passing references to various things and places from the book — such as the Lake of Hali and the Yellow Sign — in “The Whisperer in Darkness” (1931), one of his seminal Cthulhu Mythos stories. Lovecraft borrowed Chambers' method of only vaguely referring to supernatural events, entities, and places, thereby allowing his readers to imagine the horror for themselves.

In the story, Lovecraft linked the Yellow Sign to Hastur, but from his brief (and only) mention it is not clear as to what Lovecraft meant Hastur to be. August Derleth developed Hastur into a Great Old One in his controversial reworking of Lovecraft's universe, elaborating on this connection in his own mythos stories. In the writings of Derleth and a few other latter-day Cthulhu Mythos authors, the King in Yellow is an avatar of Hastur, so named because of his appearance as a thin, floating man covered in tattered yellow robes.

In the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game published by Chaosium, the King In Yellow is an avatar of Hastur who uses his eponymous play to spread insanity among humans. He is described as a hunched figure clad in tattered, yellow rags, who wears a smooth and featureless "Pallid Mask." Removing the mask is a sanity-shattering experience; the King's face is described as "inhuman eyes in a suppurating sea of stubby maggot-like mouths; liquescent flesh, tumorous and gelid, floating and reforming."

Although none of the characters in Chambers' book describe the plot of the play, Kevin Ross fabricated a plot for the play within the Call of Cthulhu mythos. According to Ross' version, the play is set within the fantastical alien city, Yhtill, adjacent to Aldebaran. The plot centers on the members of the city's royal family and their struggle for the throne. Their normal lives are disturbed when they hear of a mysterious stranger who is carried to the city by winged demons (assumed to be byakhee), who openly wears the Yellow Sign and an eerie "Pallid Mask." At the same time, everyone begins seeing a mirage of a city on the other side of the Lake of Hali. The city's upper towers are hidden behind one of the planet's two moons.

The royal family question the stranger, who calls himself the Phantom of Truth, but he only gives cryptic answers and claims to be an emissary of the terrible mythical being known as the King in Yellow, or Last King. At a masked ball honoring the royal family, the Phantom of Truth reveals that his "Pallid Mask" is not a mask, but his true face. Outraged, the queen and high priest torture him to death, but learn nothing in the process. As the Phantom of Truth dies, the King in Yellow arrives from across the Lake of Hali, driving most of the population insane as the mirage-city across the lake vanishes. The King in Yellow informs the royal family that Yhtill has now become the city of Carcosa, under the rule of the King in Yellow. The play ends with the royal family awaiting their imminent doom.

Other appearances

Literature

* Some writers have attempted to write a full text for the fictional The King in Yellow[9], including James Blish ("More Light" [1970]), Lin Carter ("Tatters of the King" [written 1986]), and Thom Ryng [2000].[10]
* Karl Edward Wagner used it as a motif in his novella The River of Night's Dreaming.
* Lawrence Watt-Evans adopted the name for the immortal high priest of Death in a series of novels: The Lure of the Basilisk, The Seven Altars of Dusarra, The Sword of Bheleu, and The Book of Silence, collectively known as The Lords of Dűs.
* "The King in Yellow" is the name of a 1945 short story by Raymond Chandler. It is a crime story, in which the narrator has apparently read Chambers' book, and uses the phrase to describe one of the other characters.
* In Robert A. Heinlein's The Number of the Beast, Zeb Carter mentions the King in Yellow's "world" as one to be avoided.
* Brian Keene's short story "The King", in: Yellow, recounts the story of a modern-day couple who attend a performance of the play. It was first published in Fear of Gravity, and was reprinted in A Walk on the Darkside and The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 16.
* The King in Yellow makes an appearance in the final volume of Grant Morrison's magnum opus, The Invisibles
* Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover novels contain references to Aldones, Camilla, Cassilda, Carcosa, the cloud Lake of Hali, Naotalba and Hastur. Though Hali is a city by a lake, the characters and places do not otherwise resemble Chambers' characters.
* Paul Edwin Zimmer's Dark Border series used a number of the names that feature in The King in Yellow: Hastur, Hali, Carcosa.
* Robert Silverberg used the exchange between Camilla, Cassilda and the Stranger as the epigraph to his 1967 novel Thorns.
* The author Stephen King, in his novel, Thinner (written under the pen-name Richard Bachman), includes a reference to the 'King in Yellow' as a "head shop" from which the protagonist's daughter buys an item.

Film and TV

* In 2001, director Aaron Vanek and writer John Tynes adapted much of the book's content into a film titled The Yellow Sign.[1]
* John Carpenter's Masters of Horror episode Cigarette Burns follows Chamber's basic plot device about obscure media (in this case, a lost film) the viewing of which causes violent insanity.

Music

* The song "E.T.I. (Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence)" by Blue Öyster Cult contains the phrase "King in yellow, Queen in red" in its second verse.
* British black metal band Anaal Nathrakh have a song called The Yellow King on their 2006 album Eschaton, as well as a quotation from the book in the liner notes.
* Dutch extreme metal band Ancient Rites have a song Dim Carcosa on the album of the same name whose lyrics are very directly based on "Cassilda's song" from The King in Yellow

Other

* Dungeon Magazine Issue 134 featured an adventure for 9th level characters by Matthew Hope called "And Madness Followed" which featured a bard who performed the play in increasingly larger communities, warping the populace into Far Realm horrors at each.
* "The King in Yellow" is the title of an expansion to the Lovecraft-themed Arkham Horror adventure board game, involving a troupe of actors who intend to perform the eponymous play. The King himself does not appear, but if the play is performed to its conclusion it drives the entire population of Arkham insane.
* "Tatters of the King" is a Chaosium produced Call of Cthulhu Campaign which features Hastur prominently.

* The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers - Project Gutenberg (http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/8492)
* Miskatonic University Press - The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers (http://www.yankeeclassic.com/miskatonic/library/stacks/literature/chambers/stories/kinginye/contents.htm)
* http://www.sff.net/people/DoyleMacdonald/l_kiy.htm
* "The King in Yellow": An Introduction (http://web.archive.org/web/20010813205603/home.worldnet.fr/~c_thill/chambers/presgb.html)
* Have You Seen The Yellow Sign? - The Yellow Site (http://kinginyellow.wikia.com/wiki/Have_You_Seen_The_Yellow_Sign%3F)
* Weirdass Comics (http://www.weirdass.net/index.html)

G. S. Carnivals
09-18-2008, 06:45 AM
The color yellow signifies the decadent and aesthetic attitudes that were fashionable at the turn of the 19th century, typified by such publications as The Yellow Book[1], a literary journal associated with Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley.
A fine book, indeed. But beware of the hazards of Wikipedia and other online resources. The intended century is the 20th.

Living in the past,
Phil

Neurospaston
09-18-2008, 06:47 AM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41SQPBXNWBL._SS500_.jpg


Who was Jacques Mesrine...

I wonder if there's an English translation of Mesrine's autobiography.

Cyril Tourneur
09-18-2008, 04:08 PM
A fine book, indeed. But beware of the hazards of Wikipedia and other online resources. The intended century is the 20th.

Living in the past,
Phil

thank's phil, i copied that before checking...i mostly refer to wikipedia and similar sources for books, cos i don't want to sound too biased and give other readers an objective outlook on the presented material...

Daisy
09-18-2008, 04:50 PM
Shelley famously wrote that “poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.” If ever there was a poet who was also a legislator of the world, it was the Martinican surrealist-politician Aimé Césaire. According to André Breton, Césaire’s long poem Notebook of a Return to the Native Land (1939; repr. 1947) was “nothing less than the greatest lyrical monument of our times”:

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51YEHAFZ1EL._SS500_.jpg

Aimé Césaire died on April 17 of this year at the age of 94. That, to me, seems too young; he still had enough staunch brilliance in him to last for the better part of another hundred years.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/apr/21/3 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/apr/21/3)

G. S. Carnivals
09-18-2008, 08:07 PM
Who was Jacques Mesrine... (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_Mesrine)

I wonder if there's an English translation of Mesrine's autobiography.
Monsieur Mesrine seems to be a character ripped from the pages of the noir crime fiction I love so much. Thank you.

Andrea Bonazzi
09-22-2008, 08:56 PM
C.A. Smith again... and there was already a thread (http://www.ligotti.net/showthread.php?t=1285) on it, started by Tobias a year ago... but I can not refrain from recommending the three volumes set of The Complete Poetry and Translations of Clark Ashton Smith, edited by S. T. Joshi and David E. Schultz, published by Hippocampus Press.


http://www.hippocampuspress.com/images/abyss_triumphant.jpg http://www.hippocampuspress.com/images/wine-of-summer.jpg http://www.hippocampuspress.com/images/complete-poetry-and-translations-of-clark-ashton-smith-3.jpg



Preface [from Ebony and Crystal]

by George Sterling

Who of us care to be present at the accouchment of the immortal? I believe that we so attend who are first to take this book in our hands. A bold assertion, truly, and one demonstrable only in years remote from these; and — dust wages no war with dust. But it is one of those things that I should most “like to come back and see”.

Because he has lent himself the more innocently to the whispers of his subconscious daemon, and because he has set those murmurs to purer and harder crystal than we others, by so much the longer will the poems of Clark Ashton Smith endure. Here indeed is loot against the forays of moth and rust. Here we shall find none or little of the sentimental fat with which so much of our literature is larded. Rather shall one in Imagination’s “mystic mid-region,” see elfin rubies burn at his feet, witch-fires glow in the nearer cypresses, and feel upon his brow a wind from the unknown. The brave hunters of fly-specks on Art’s cathedral windows will find little here for their trouble, and both the stupid and the over-sophisticated would best stare owlishly and pass by: here are neither kindergartens nor skyscrapers. But let him who is worthy by reason of his clear eye and unjaded heart wander across these borders of beauty and mystery and be glad.

San Francisco, Oct 28th, 1922.

Jeff Coleman
09-23-2008, 04:15 AM
'Silence of the Body' by Guido Ceronetti: Amazon.com: Silence of the Body: Materials for the Study of Medicine: Guido Ceronetti, Michael Moore: Books

Doktor Eisenbart
09-23-2008, 10:25 AM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31w8Z7-OFfL._SL500_AA240_.jpg

If the price allows, this one is pretty good: Deleuze And the Unconscious (Continuum Studies in Continental Philosophy) by Christian Kerslake.

Table of Contents:
Acknowledgements
Abbreviations
Introduction
The Pathologies of Time: The Unconscious
Before Freud
Bergson and Duration
Duration and Intensity
The Past
The Actual and the Virtual
Paramnesia and the Transcendental
Synthesis of Memory
Neurosis and the Unconscious
Repetition and Eternal Return
Leibniz, Locke and the Theatre of the Unconscious
Personal Identity and the Metempsychotic Unconscious
The Wasp's Sympathy for the Caterpillar:
The Somnambulist Theory of Instinct
Bergson and the Theory of Instinct
The Somnambulist Theory of the Unconscious
The Wasp's Sympathy for the Caterpillar
Ruyer's Defence of Bergson's Theory of Instinct
Instinctual Consciousness
How to Love the Marvellous
Deleuze and the Jungian Unconscious
Jung, Psychosis and the Transformation of Libido
Neurosis and Psychosis
Jung on the Unconscious
Jung's Theory of Instinct
Biological Models of Archetypes
Instincts and the Imagination
Kant, Jung and Sub-Representative Intuition
Kant, Jung and Super-Representative Ideas
Birth, Death and Sexual Difference
The World as Symbol: Kant, Jung and Deleuze
Jung on Symbolism
Kant's Theory of Symbolism
Schema and Symbol
Symbolism and Esoteric Mathesis
The Sexual Act of the Divine Hermaphrodite
Jung, Leibniz and the Differential Unconscious
Synchronicity: Acausal Synthesis
Schopenhauer and the Lines of Fate
Synchronicity, Immanence and Possible Worlds
Leibnizianism after the Speculative Death of God
Synchronicity and Repetition in Jung and Freud
The Occult Unconscious: Sympathy and the Sorcerer
Sorcery and the Difference between Human and Animal
Becoming-Animal
Sorcery of Capitalism
Vampires, Intoxication and
Night-Consciousness
The Somniacal Imagination
Notes on Sources

Cyril Tourneur
09-23-2008, 10:47 AM
also a brilliant recommendation (now that it comes to my mind):

http://images.google.de/url?q=http://library.nec.ro/pics/0860919714.L.jpg&usg=AFQjCNG3HekgwoIafc3FTgDoLLK019x5gQ

In this provocative book, Slavoj Zizek takes a look at the question of human agency in a postmodern world. From the sinking of the Titanic to Hitchcock’s Rear Window, from the operas of Wagner to science fiction, from Alien to the Jewish joke, Zizek’s acute analyses explore the ideological fantasies of wholeness and exclusion that make up human society.

Linking key psychoanalytical and philosophical concepts to social phenomena such as totalitarianism and racism, the book explores the political significance of these fantasies of control. In doing so, The Sublime Object of Ideology represents a powerful contribution to a psychoanalytical theory of ideology, as well as offering persuasive interpretations of a number of contemporary cultural formations.

“A brilliant book ... If Zizek is out of touch with contemporary philosophy, I am the bishop of Ulan Bator.... Pedegogic clarity and a gift for entertainment are two of the many excellences.” — Radical Philosophy

Slavoj Zizek is a Slovenian philosopher and cultural critic. He is a professor at the European Graduate School, International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Birkbeck College, University of London, and a senior researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. His other books from Verso include Mapping Ideology, For They Know Not What They Do, The Indivisible Remainder. Essays on Schelling and Related Matters, The Ticklish Subject: The Absent Centre of Political Ontology, and The Fragile Absolute: Or, Why Is the Christian Legacy Is Worth Fighting For?

bendk
09-23-2008, 12:35 PM
Excellent post on The King in Yellow, Tobias. I would like to mention a book that Phil and Jimmy brought to my attention years ago: The Hastur Cycle edited by Robert M. Price. It was published by Chaosium Books in 1993. It is for all of you King in Yellow junkies, like me. It brings together the core stories of the mythos. Here is the Contents page:

Introduction (by Robert M. Price)
Haita the Shepherd (by Ambrose Bierce)
An Inhabitant of Carcosa (by Ambrose Bierce)
The Repairer of Reputations (by Robert W. Chambers)
The Yellow Sign (by Robert W. Chambers)
The River of Night's Dreaming (by Karl Edward Wagner)
More Light (by James Blish)
The Novel of the Black Seal (by Arthur Machen)
The Whisperer in Darkness (by H.P. Lovecraft)
Docments in the Case of Elizabeth Akeley (by Richard A. Lupoff)
The Mine of Yuggoth (by Ramsey Campbell)
Planetfall on Yuggoth (by James Wade)
The Return of Hastur (by August Derleth)
Tatters of the King (by Lin Carter)

Jeff Coleman
09-25-2008, 12:37 PM
http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/78/8d/966292c008a0c1e194a47010.L.jpg


"For a long time I was scared to read Motorman. It had come recommended to me in such hushed tones that it sounded disruptively incendiary and illegal. Not only would the reader of this crazed novel burn to ashes, apparently, but he might be posthumously imprisoned for reading the book—a jar of cinder resting in a jail cell. Books were not often spoken of so potently to me, as contraband, as narcotic, as ordnance. There was the whispered promise that my mind would be blown after reading Motorman. There was the assurance that once I read it I would drool with awe, writerly awe, the awe of watching a madman master at work, David Ohle, awesomely carving deep, black holes into the edifice of the English language."

— Ben Marcus
Amazon.com: Motorman: David Ohle: Books

Jeff Coleman
09-25-2008, 12:48 PM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51B1BBl2imL._SS500_.jpg

http://www.brianevenson.com/tongue.html

Cyril Tourneur
09-25-2008, 03:01 PM
Matt Cardin 'Divinations of the Deep'

http://www.feoamante.com/Stories/Reviews/images2003/DivinationsDeep.jpg

Matt Cardin's horror stories are the real thing. "

-- Thomas Ligotti

"Each piece [in Divinations of the Deep] has its own depth and unwavering regard to the theme. The settings are universally dark, murky, and decadent, putting you in mind of Poe especially, but also some of the more depressed turn-of-the-(20th)Century writers. In each of these stories, the author personalizes the apocalyptic question of ultimate power and order. It is a fascinating approach. Cardin's writing style has a romantic (era) flavor to it with updated sensibilities. This mixture gives the sound of the sentences a literary quality that is pleasant but not so challenging as to be distracting. It is a nice little collection I freely recommend, and it is a good introduction to Matt Cardin's work."
-- Review of Divinations of the Deep in Cemetery Dance

"Like Lovecraft and Ligotti, Cardin excels in creating a truly terrifying atmosphere of dread and decay by revealing what may lurk just beyond our view of reality. Few people succeed in this, but Matt does it with aplomb. His prose is intelligent and poetic, his execution, effortless. I believe this collection will become a classic of weird fiction."
-- Review of Divinations of the Deep at FEO AMANTE'S HORROR, THRILLER, MYSTERY, AND SUSPENSE WEBSITE (http://www.feoamante.com)

"Matt Cardin, like most of us, was floored by Lovecraft as a youngster and made an intensive study of his work. It shows -- not through imitation, not by lifting a few names or symbols, but by his thorough appreciation of what cosmic horror is all about. As the product of an evangelical upbringing who has made a serious study of religion, including several years of postgraduate work, and who has been involved in various Christian settings throughout his life, he knows that the Bible staked out the territory long before Lovecraft came on the scene. You might even say that he saw where Lovecraft went off the tracks by dismissing the power of the pre-existing symbols. In these masterly tales, he has steered the train back onto the mainline of Western religion. I don't want to suggest that these stories are devout or uplifting, or that they follow the Christian party-line. Far from it. The reputed consolations of faith are notably absent from Matt's bleak universe. He comes by his credentials as a horror writer honestly: not by reading Stephen King with a felt marker in hand and one eye on the cash-register, but by suffering through a dark night of the soul that very nearly undid him. He merely writes what he knows."
-- From a review essay on Divinations of the Deep by Brian McNaughton, winner of the 1998 World Fantasy Award

"I must confess that I don't read much fiction on the Web. But I made an exception for Matt Cardin, because I have been impressed -- sometimes even dazzled -- by his posts exploring the philosophical underpinnings of Lovecraft's work. And his story 'Teeth,' posted at Thomas Ligotti Online, demonstrates that he can not only talk the cosmic horror talk, he can walk the cosmic horror walk. This is a first-rate Mythos story. I know, I know, that's almost a contradiction in terms, but this one can't be summed up like so many of them as, 'Shoggoths! RUN! AIIEEEE!!!!' Mr. Cardin goes back to the roots of cosmic horror for his inspiration and manages to coax a brand new shoot from the overworked soil. I recommend 'Teeth' highly. And I can't wait to see more of Mr. Cardin's work, no matter whether he posts it on the Web or puts it in a book."

-- Review of "Teeth" by Brian McNaughton at alt.horror.cthulhu

"Matt Cardin's horror stories are the real thing: works that are committed to expressing what is irremediably strange and terrible in human existence. They are examples of what compels true seekers of horror to page through miles of magazines, collections, and anthologies in search of a few, or even a single story that speaks to the darkness within us all."

-- Thomas Ligotti

Cyril Tourneur
09-29-2008, 02:45 PM
John Coulthart: The Haunter of the Dark: And Other Grotesque Visions

http://www.johncoulthart.com/images/cthulhu2004.jpg

Two modern graphic arts vision arias interpret Lovecraft’s stories as graphic novels -- and a Kaballah! Includes: * illustrations for The Haunter of the Dark and The Call of Cthulhu * thirty pages of previously unseen drawings and paintings * selections from the controversial Lord Horror series Hard Core Horror and Reverbstorm, which have been evolving Lovecraftian imagery in bold new directions * Material specially created for this volume includes illustrations for The Great Old Ones, * Also new, a kabbalah of Lovecraft’s gods with accompanying evocations by Alan Moore, . Moore also provides an introduction and there are cover endorsements from comics legends Neil Gaiman and Burne Hogarth

Contents

Introduction by Alan Moore

• The Haunter of the Dark

• The Call of Cthulhu

• The Dunwich Horror

• The Great Old Ones: Evocations by Alan Moore

• Lord Horror

A terrific book! The strange old man from Providence would have been proud of it. -- Neil Gaiman

I have not seen in many a long series of months or years the kind of continued dedication to the punctilious and meticulous pen and ink work put on board by John Coulthart. -- Burne Hogarth

At its far edge, horror shades into beauty, and it is far beyond that edge that Coulthart takes us, into terrible magnificence. -- Alan Moore, from the book’s introduction

About the Author
H P Lovecraft (1890-1937) is the most influential horror writer of the 20th century. His stories of occult and cosmic terror have drawn praise from William S. Burroughs, Angela Carter and Jorge Luis Borges and continue to inspire new generations of writers and artists. A critically-acclaimed new critical biography of Lovecraft is x

John Coulthart is one of H. P. Lovecraft’s major visual interpreters. As an artist for David Britron’s Lord Horror series, his work has been described as shocking... harmful, harrowing and brilliant and has been banned on the grounds of obscenity by British law courts. He has also worked for DC Comics and is known for striking metal CD cover art and fantasy book covers. He lives in Manchester, England.

http://www.johncoulthart.com/images/rlyeh2.jpg

http://www.johncoulthart.com/images/oldones/azathoth.jpg

http://www.johncoulthart.com/images/rev4page.jpg

http://www.johncoulthart.com/images/hch5bw.jpg

http://www.johncoulthart.com/images/cthulhu0.jpg

http://www.johncoulthart.com/images/cthulhu2.jpg

http://www.johncoulthart.com/images/oldones/between.jpg

http://www.johncoulthart.com/images/oldones/tsathoggua.jpg

Daisy
09-29-2008, 06:38 PM
Marguerite Yourcenar (1903-1987) was one of the finest cultural critics of the twentieth century. In 1980, she became the first woman ever elected to the Académie Française. I recommend her to those of you who would appreciate, as I do, the pessimism that inflects her work.

http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/x2/x10364.jpg

The following is an excerpt from a review, published by John Gross in the New York Times on December 27, 1984, of Yourcenar’s The Dark Brain of Piranesi and Other Essays (translated from the French by Richard Howard in collaboration with the author):

Marguerite Yourcenar is best known in the English-speaking world as a novelist, above all as the author of Memoirs of Hadrian. The seven essays gathered in The Dark Brain of Piranesi make it clear that she is also an outstanding critic. They are forceful, deeply pondered, the record of a full imaginative response. But to stress their creative quality does not imply that they are capricious or loosely impressionistic. On the contrary, they proceed point by point, with notable lucidity; most of them could serve as introductions to the works they discuss.

At least one of them, the essay on the Greek poet Constantine Cavafy, was explicitly designed as such an introduction. Originally written as a preface to Yourcenar’s volume of translations from Cavafy, it sorts out his themes and divides his work into a number of readily grasped categories. But it does so with a compelling eloquence, and with wit, too. . . .

In order to bring a writer’s qualities into sharper focus, she quite often resorts to an analogy with the visual arts. One Cavafy poem suggests an Ingres drawing, another a Mantegna, just as elsewhere the “cold perspicacity” of the Roman historian Suetonius calls to mind the realism of Holbein. In lesser hands, this kind of comparison could easily degenerate into a trick. But here, the parallels come naturally, with the same sureness of touch that she reveals in her discussion of Piranesi, where she moves into reverse and uses works of literature to illumine art – invoking Voltaire and Swift, borrowing her title from Victor Hugo, showing what Coleridge and De Quincey made of the Italian artist’s work and what they distorted for their own Romantic purposes.

“The Dark Brain of Piranesi” is an essay that matches the somber poetry of its subject. It is equally persuasive whether it is defining the dreamlike qualities of Piranesi’s prison drawings or relating them to his engravings of the antiquities of Rome (one series dominated by the concept of Space, the other by that of Time), and it includes some memorable observations on his visual effects - how he succeeds in convincing us, for instance, that the cavernous prison hall in which we find ourselves “is hermetically sealed, even on the face of the cube we never see because it is behind us.”

But Yourcenar also appraises the significance of the prison universe in human terms. If God’s writ no longer runs, who has consigned the tiny phantoms Piranesi portrays to the “limited yet infinite world” of his drawings, his secular Inferno? “We cannot help thinking of our theories, our systems, our magnificent and futile mental constructions in whose corners some victim can always be found crouching.”

The subjects of the other essays in the book range from the lives of the later Roman emperors, as chronicled by the shadowy authors of the “Historia Augusta,” to the novels of Thomas Mann. Mann is placed in a double tradition, part hermetic and part humanistic, to which many modern German writers have belonged, but he is admired for being closer to Goethe than his mystically inclined contemporaries, nearer the humanistic end of the spectrum.

Yourcenar finds less to esteem in the “Historia Augusta.” The men who compiled the greater part of it (somewhere between the middle of the second century and the end of the fourth century) are dismissed as hacks – not suprisingly, the biography of Hadrian is singled out for particular complaint. And yet the book fascinates her. A “dreadful odor of humanity” rises from its pages, and she extracts an ominous lesson for our own time from its account of Rome’s decline.

A similar vein of pessimism runs through her conversations with the French literary critic Matthieu Galey, which took place over a number of years at her home on Mount Desert Island, off the coast of Maine, and which have now been translated under the title “With Open Eyes.” Sometimes you feel that the gloom is overdone, or too facile, but no doubt she would retort that such a reaction is complacent.

qcrisp
09-30-2008, 07:23 PM
Some very interesting recommendations here. It's heartening to see that there are people out there who are willing to go far off the beaten track with their reading.

My own most recent discovery is Carson McCullers. I'm not sure how she fits in with the kind of titles listed (although they are quite various), but there is at the very least a touch of 'Southern gothic' to her work, especially the novella, <i>The Ballad of the Sad Cafe</i>, which I found coming back to me in a haunting way after reading, as if containing echoes that are only to be properly felt some time after the book has been put down.

<img src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41BQS98ZX2L.jpg">

qcrisp
09-30-2008, 07:25 PM
Oops. My attempt to post an image didn't work there, obviously. Perhaps this will work:

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41BQS98ZX2L.jpg

Aetherwing
09-30-2008, 08:34 PM
Excellent post on The King in Yellow, Tobias. I would like to mention a book that Phil and Jimmy brought to my attention years ago: The Hastur Cycle edited by Robert M. Price. It was published by Chaosium Books in 1993. It is for all of you King in Yellow junkies, like me. It brings together the core stories of the mythos. Here is the Contents page:

Introduction (by Robert M. Price)
Haita the Shepherd (by Ambrose Bierce)
An Inhabitant of Carcosa (by Ambrose Bierce)
The Repairer of Reputations (by Robert W. Chambers)
The Yellow Sign (by Robert W. Chambers)
The River of Night's Dreaming (by Karl Edward Wagner)
More Light (by James Blish)
The Novel of the Black Seal (by Arthur Machen)
The Whisperer in Darkness (by H.P. Lovecraft)
Docments in the Case of Elizabeth Akeley (by Richard A. Lupoff)
The Mine of Yuggoth (by Ramsey Campbell)
Planetfall on Yuggoth (by James Wade)
The Return of Hastur (by August Derleth)
Tatters of the King (by Lin Carter)

Yep yep. I can't recommend that anthology highly enough. The Blish story alone is worth the price of admission. Overall, a very well-done book. Glad ya liked it, Ben.

Aetherwing
09-30-2008, 08:37 PM
Oops. My attempt to post an image didn't work there, obviously. Perhaps this will work:

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41BQS98ZX2L.jpg

Carson had a hard life....I have always loved SAD CAFE. Anyone see the film version, with Vanessa Redgrave as Ms. Amelia?

Cyril Tourneur
10-01-2008, 08:53 AM
http://www.threeleggedfox.co.uk/TLFLogos/NightLands2Cover.jpg

The Night Land is a classic horror novel by William Hope Hodgson, first published in 1912. As a work of fantasy it belongs to the Dying Earth subgenre. Hodgson also published a much shorter version of the novel, entitled The Dream of X.

The importance of The Night Land was recognized by its later revival in paperback by Ballantine Books, which republished the work in two parts as the forty-ninth and fiftieth volumes of its celebrated Ballantine Adult Fantasy series in July, 1972.

H. P. Lovecraft's essay "Supernatural Horror in Literature" describes the novel as "one of the most potent pieces of macabre imagination ever written". Clark Ashton Smith wrote of it that "In all literature, there are few works so sheerly remarkable, so purely creative, as The Night Land. Whatever faults this book may possess, however inordinate its length may seem, it impresses the reader as being the ultimate saga of a perishing cosmos, the last epic of a world beleaguered by eternal night and by the unvisageable spawn of darkness. Only a great poet could have conceived and written this story; and it is perhaps not illegitimate to wonder how much of actual prophecy may have been mingled with the poesy."

When the book was written, the nature of the energy source that powers stars was not known: Lord Kelvin had published calculations based on the hypothesis that the energy came from the gravitational collapse of the gas cloud that had formed the sun, and found that this mechanism gave the Sun a lifetime of only a few tens of million of years. Starting from this premise, Hodgson wrote a novel describing a time, millions of years in the future, when the Sun has gone dark.

Plot Summary

The beginning of the book establishes the framework in which a 17th century gentleman, mourning the death of his beloved, is given a vision of a far-distant future where their souls will be re-united, and sees the world of that time through the eyes of a future incarnation. The language and style used are intended to resemble that of the 17th century, though the prose has features characteristic of no period whatsoever: the almost-complete lack of dialogue and proper names, for example.

Once into the book, the framing is more or less forgotten. The Sun has gone out: the Earth is lit only by the glow of residual vulcanism. The last few millions of the human race are gathered together in a gigantic metal pyramid, the Last Redoubt, under siege from unknown forces and Powers outside in the dark. These are held back by a Circle of energy, known as the "air clog," powered from the Earth's internal energy. For millennia, vast living shapes - the Watchers - have waited in the darkness near the pyramid: it is thought they are waiting for the inevitable time when the Circle's power finally weakens and dies. Other living things have been seen in the darkness beyond, some of unknown origins, and others that may once have been human.

To leave the protection of the Circle means almost certain death, or worse, but as the story commences, the narrator establishes mind contact with an inhabitant of another, forgotten, Redoubt, and sets off into the darkness to find her.

Strangely, at the conclusion of the adventure the narrative does not return to the framework story, leaving open the possibility that the narrator has gone mad with grief and chosen to continue to exist within his vision of the future, or has literally been transported there.

"The Night Land: index" (http://www.thenightland.co.uk/)

Aetherwing
10-01-2008, 09:17 AM
There is a previous volume of Night Lands milieu officially-sanctioned by Andy Robertson, owener of the copyrights called ETERNAL LOVE. NIGHTMARES IF THE FALL is book two, and I *STRONGLY* recommend John C. Wright's The Last of All Suns, found therein. A tale par excellence.

Not for nothing, but there will be a third volume, THE DAYS OF DARKENING, and my previously web-published story The Wreck of the Aetherwing will be included in it. This makes me happy.

-Jimmy

Jeff Coleman
10-01-2008, 06:16 PM
http://lopezbooks.com/images/kl/017115.jpg

This is one of my favorite books. I had great fun reading it.

Amazon.com: The Process: Brion Gysin: Books

Cyril Tourneur
10-02-2008, 01:15 PM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41EQ85AKMKL._SL500_AA240_.jpg

The Image is one of the most acclaimed and famous erotic novels of all time. One of only five erotic novels credited with true literary status by Susan Sontag (in her essay The Pornographic Imagination), it is a novel of bondage, dominance, and submission in the tradition of The Story of O. The narrator, Jean, is assisted by Claire in the domination of the subservient Anne in a series of sexually explicit scenarios.

THE IMAGE is a translation of a French novel, very much in the tradition of the better-known, STORY OF O. Jean, a ruggedly handsome writer, goes to a party in a Parisian suburb where he runs into an old acquaintence, Claire. He find she has in tow a stunning young blonde in a plain white dress. This is Anne, who Claire introduces as "just a model", adding simply: "She belongs to me". Jean accepts Claire's invitation to leave the boring party, and join them for drinks in a neary bistro. That night, Jean learns more about the strange relationship between these two fascinating women. As the weeks go by, he is drawn even more deeply into that tangled web, till his very male presence causes subtle changes to take place between the lovers. At one point, Claire "loans" Anne to Jean, to with as he will. The powerful lusts unleashed, drives the story to an ending that brings an unusual twist. THE IMAGE presents a tale of raw sexual power and subjugation, elegantly told. Like the famous STORY OF O, the variations have been told before. But this time the telling is so masterful, so complete, and so economically done, that it has become a classic in its own right.

Cyril Tourneur
10-05-2008, 01:26 PM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/517Y4XJ3MJL._SL500_AA240_.jpg

Alfred Döblin (1878-1957) studied medicine in Berlin and specialized in the treatment of nervous diseases. Along with his experiences as a psychiatrist in the workers' quarter of Berlin, his writing was inspired by the work of Holderlin, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche and was first published in the literary magazine, Der Sturm. Associated with the Expressionist literary movement in Germany, he is now recognized as on of the most important modern European novelists. Berlin Alexanderplatz is one of the masterpieces of modern European literature and the first German novel to adopt the technique of James Joyce. It tells the story of Franz Biberkopf, who, on being released from prison, is confronted with the poverty, unemployment, crime and burgeoning Nazism of 1920s Germany. As Franz struggles to survive in this world, fate teases him with a little pleasure before cruelly turning on him.

Cyril Tourneur
10-09-2008, 06:41 PM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41D2T8H8C3L._SL500_AA240_.jpg


Amazon.com Review
Gould's Book of Fish, an extraordinary work of fact-based fiction by Tasmanian author Richard Flanagan (Death of a River Guide) is a journey through the fringe madness of Down Under colonialism. Set during the 1830s in a hellish island prison colony off the Tasmanian coast, the novel plucks a real-life thief and prisoner, English forger William Buelow Gould, from the pages of history to act as protagonist-narrator. Through Gould's unique capacity to blend hyperbole, hyperrealism, and self-effacing honesty, the reader acquires a shockingly clear picture of daily torment on the island. Yet more remarkable is Gould's portrait of bizarre ambitions among prison authorities to further principles of art and science amidst so much misery. Key to such plans is Gould's talent as a painter and illustrator. The compound's surgeon, nursing hopes of publishing a definitive guide to the island's fish, leans heavily on Gould's ability to record the taxonomy of various species. Though Gould accommodates his masters, the manuscript, in his hands, becomes testimony to their perverse dreams of civilization and his own quick-witted survival instincts. Throughout, Flanagan never loses the well-imagined voice of Gould's candor or the character's dense descriptive powers, talents that translate into a thrilling text that reads like a blend of Melville and Burgess.

From Publishers Weekly
Flanagan (The Sound of One Hand Clapping) has written a Tasmanian version of Rimbaud's Season in Hell, a mesmerizing portrait of human abjection and sometimes elation set in a 19th-century Down Under penal colony. A small-time forger of antiques in contemporary Tasmania finds a mysterious illustrated manuscript that recounts in harrowing detail the rise and fall of a convict state on Sarah Island, off the Tasmanian coast, in the 1830s. The text is penned by William Gould, a forger and thief (and an actual 19th-century convict) shipped from England to a Tasmanian prison run as a private kingdom by the Commandant, a lunatic tyrant in a gold mask rumored to have been a convict himself. The prison world consists of a lower caste of convicts tormented with lengthy floggings, vile food and various mechanical torture devices by a small number of officers and officials. Gould finagles his way into the good graces of the island surgeon, Tobias Achilles Lempriere, a fat fanatic of natural science, who has Gould paint scientific illustrations of fish, with the goal of publishing the definitive ichthyological work on Sarah Island species. In Gould's hands, however, the taxonomy of fish becomes his testimony to the bizarre perversion of Europe's technology and art wrought by the Commandant's mad ambitions. Civilization, in this inverted world, creates moral wilderness; science creates lies. Carefully crafted and allusive, this blazing portrait of Australia's colonial past will surely spread Flanagan's reputation among American readers.

Ligeia
10-21-2008, 03:48 PM
http://www.topshelfcomix.com/catalog/previews/blankets/blankets_01.jpg

From Publishers Weekly
Revisiting the themes of deep friendship and separation Thompson surveyed in Goodbye Chunky Rice, his acclaimed and touching debut, this sensitive memoir recreates the confusion, emotional pain and isolation of the author's rigidly fundamentalist Christian upbringing, along with the trepidation of growing into maturity. Skinny, naive and spiritually vulnerable, Thompson and his younger brother manage to survive their parents' overbearing discipline (the brothers are sometimes forced to sleep in "the cubby-hole," a forbidding and claustrophobic storage chamber) through flights of childhood fancy and a mutual love of drawing. But escapist reveries can't protect them from the cruel schoolmates who make their lives miserable. Thompson's grimly pious parents and religious community dismiss his budding talent for drawing; they view his creative efforts as sinful and relentlessly hector the boys about scripture. By high school, Thompson's a lost, socially battered and confused soul-until he meets Raina and her clique of amiable misfits at a religious camp. Beautiful, open, flexibly spiritual and even popular (something incomprehensible to young Thompson), Raina introduces him to her own less-than-perfect family; to a new teen community and to a broader sense of himself and his future. The two eventually fall in love and the experience ushers Thompson into the beginnings of an adult, independent life. Thompson manages to explore adolescent social yearnings, the power of young love and the complexities of sexual attraction with a rare combination of sincerity, pictorial lyricism and taste. His exceptional b&w drawings balance representational precision with a bold and wonderfully expressive line for pages of ingenious, inventively composed and poignant imagery.

Cyril Tourneur
10-21-2008, 06:42 PM
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/2/20/The_Birth_of_Tragedy.jpg/200px-The_Birth_of_Tragedy.jpg


The Birth of Tragedy by Friedrich Nietzsche

Nietzsche found in Greek tragedy an art form that transcended the pessimism and Nihilism one might find in a fundamentally meaningless world. The Greek spectators, by looking into the abyss of human suffering and affirming it, passionately and joyously, affirmed the meaning in their own existence. They knew themselves to be infinitely more than the petty individuals of the apparent world, finding self-affirmation, not in another life, not in a world to come, but in the terror and ecstasy alike celebrated in the performance of tragedies.

Originally educated as a philologist, Nietzsche discusses the history of the Greek tragedy, and introduces an intellectual dichotomy between the Dionysian and the Apollonian (very loosely: reality undifferentiated by forms and like distinctions versus reality as differentiated by forms, or the forms themselves). Nietzsche claims life always involves a struggle between these two elements, each battling for control over the existence of humanity. In Nietzsche's words, "Wherever the Dionysian prevailed, the Apollonian was checked and destroyed.... wherever the first Dionysian onslaught was successfully withstood, the authority and majesty of the Delphic god Apollo exhibited itself as more rigid and menacing than ever." Yet neither side ever prevails due to each containing the other in an eternal, natural check, or balance.

Nietzsche argues that the tragedy of Ancient Greece was the highest form of art due to its mixture of both Apollonian and Dionysian elements into one seamless whole, allowing the spectator to experience the full spectrum of the human condition. The Dionysiac element was to be found in the music of the chorus, while the Apollonian element was found in the dialogue which gave a concrete symbolism that balanced the Dionysiac revelry. Basically, the Apollonian spirit was able to give form to the abstract Dionysian.

Before the tragedy, there was an era of static, idealized plastic art in the form of sculpture that represented the Apollonian view of the world. The Dionysian element was to be found in the wild revelry of festivals and drunkenness, but, most importantly, in music. The combination of these elements in one art form gave birth to tragedy. He theorizes that the chorus was originally always satyrs, goat-men. (This is speculative, although the word “tragedy” τραγωδία is contracted from trag(o)-aoidiā = "goat song" from tragos = "goat" and aeidein = "to sing".) Thus, he argues, “the illusion of culture was wiped away by the primordial image of man” for the audience; they participated with and as the chorus empathetically, “so that they imagined themselves as restored natural geniuses, as satyrs.” But in this state, they have an Apollonian dream vision of themselves, of the energy they're embodying. It’s a vision of the god, of Dionysus, who appears before the chorus on the stage. And the actors and the plot are the development of that dream vision, the essence of which is the ecstatic dismembering of the god and of the Bacchantes' rituals, of the inseparable ecstasy and suffering of human existence…

After the time of Aeschylus and Sophocles, there was an age where tragedy died. Nietzsche ties this to the influence of writers like Euripides and the coming of rationality, represented by Socrates. Euripides reduced the use of the chorus and was more naturalistic in his representation of human drama, making it more reflective of the realities of daily life. Socrates emphasized reason to such a degree that he diffused the value of myth and suffering to human knowledge. For Nietzsche, these two intellectuals helped drain the ability of the individual to participate in forms of art, because they saw things too soberly and rationally. The participation mystique aspect of art and myth was lost, and along with it, much of man's ability to live creatively in optimistic harmony with the sufferings of life. Nietzsche concludes that it may be possible to reattain the balance of Dionysian and Apollonian in modern art through the operas of Richard Wagner, in a rebirth of tragedy

In contrast to the typical Enlightenment view of ancient Greek culture as noble, simple, elegant and grandiose, Nietzsche believed the Greeks were grappling with pessimism. The universe in which we live is the product of great interacting forces; but we neither observe nor know these as such. What we put together as our conceptions of the world, Nietzsche thought, never actually addresses the underlying realities. It is human destiny to be controlled by the darkest universal realities and, at the same time, to live life in a human-dreamt world of illusions.

It was precisely this human-dreamt world that the Greeks had developed into perfection from the Homeric legends onward. The Olympian complex of deities, combined with all the details of their heroic lives and their numerous interactions with men and women of earth, formed a world picture in which individual people can live. This picture literally rendered humans as individuals, capable of greatness, always of significance. There is, in this world, objective clarity. The beings are almost sculpted. Hence, Athenians mature within the illusions of a world and life that is under control and that has clear models of personal significance and greatness. It is a beautiful creation. But it is, as Nietzsche observes, an Apollonian aesthetics, Apollo being the god who most typifies the Olympian complex in this regard. (BT, 1, p. 36) Apollo is the god of plastic arts and of illusion.

The problem—and it is a problem for all times and all human life—is that the dark side of existence makes itself apparent and forces us to confront whatever we have tried to shut out of our nice, tidy livable world. Thus, for Nietzsche, while the Greeks, and the Athenians in particular, had developed a rich world view based on Apollo and the other Olympian gods, they had rendered themselves largely ignorant of reality's dark side, as represented in the god Dionysus. Only in the distant past, and largely outside of Athens, had Dionysian festivals paved the way to direct (and destructive) experience of life's darkest sides—intoxication, sexual license, absorption by the primal horde, in short, dissolution of the individual (occasionally, actual dismemberment) and re-immersion into a common organic whole. (BT, 2, pp. 39-40)

The Apollonian in culture he sees as Arthur Schopenhauer's concept of the principium individuationis (principle of individuation) with its refinement, sobriety and emphasis on superficial appearance, whereby man separates himself from the undifferentiated immediacy of nature. Nietzsche claims sculpture as the art-form that captures this impulse most fully: sculpture has clear and definite boundaries and seeks to represent reality, in its perfectly stable form. The Dionysian impulse, by contrast, features immersion in the wholeness of nature, intoxication, non-rationality, and inhumanity; rather than the detached, rational representation of the Apollonian that invites similarly detached observation, the Dionysian impulse involves a frenzied participation in life itself. Nietzsche sees the Dionysian impulse as best realized in music, which tends not to have clear boundaries, is unstable and non-representational, and, in Nietzsche's view, invites participation among its listeners through dance. Nietzsche argues that the Apollonian has dominated Western thought since Socrates, but he sees German Romanticism (especially Richard Wagner) as a possible re-introduction of the Dionysian, which might offer the salvation of European culture. The book shows the influence of Schopenhauer.

The issue, then, or so Nietzsche thought, is how to experience and understand the Dionysian side of life without destroying the obvious values of the Apollonian side. It is not healthy for an individual, or for a whole society, to become entirely absorbed in the rule of one or the other. The soundest (healthiest) foothold is in both. Nietzsche's theory of Athenian tragic drama suggests exactly how, before Euripides and Socrates, the Dionysian and Apollonian elements of life were artistically woven together. The Greek spectator became healthy through direct experience of the Dionysian within the protective spirit-of-tragedy on the Apollonian stage.

Russell Nash
10-22-2008, 04:05 PM
If I could add a book to the long list of books already mentioned, it would be "The Desolate Presence and Other Uncanny Stories" by Thomas Owen, William Kimber, 1984. Some of the stories (22 in total) are so good that I invite you to buy it. The Sparrowhawk, and The Passenger, among them.
Allow me to add another book (barely a hundred pages) by Dino Buzzati, "Restless Nights", Carcanet Press, 1984. If you liked Borges, you would certainly like this book as well. Although, most of the stories are not weird.

paeng
10-24-2008, 05:31 PM
I read The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea when I was 15. After reading a feature article about the author three years later, I began to read his other books from the uni library, including The Sound of Waves and The Temple of the Golden Pavilion. I just ordered the latter and will try to obtain the other titles in the future. His name was the first that I mentioned when asked about my interests during my first day of grad school.

I think what I find fascinating is the incredible combinations of themes in his works, particular that of beauty and death.

Later, I'll try to write about the film Mishima. For now, consider the following:

YouTube - Yukio Mishima Speaking In English

YouTube - Yukio Mishima....Rare 1969 Interview In English

http://www.meaus.com/MISHIMA.html

Incredible: dozens of novels, essays, critical reviews, poems, and even plays, and even acted in and directed plays and films, all before he died at 45.


Thank you Neurospaston, I was beginning to wonder if anyone else here liked Mishima.

Ligeia
10-27-2008, 05:12 AM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/410VDKPMCXL._SL500_AA240_.jpg

Amazon.co.uk Review
Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis is an exemplary autobiographical graphic novel. Set in Iran during the Islamic Revolution, it follows the young Satrapi, the six-year-old daughter of two committed and well-to-do Marxists. As she grows up, she witness first-hand the effects that the revolution and the war with Iraq have on her home, family and school.

The main strength of Persepolis is its ability to make the political personal. Told through the eyes of a child (as reflected in Satrapi's simplistic yet expressive black-and-white artwork), the story shows how young Marjane learns about her family history and how it is entwined with the history of Iran, and watches her liberal parents cope with a fundamentalist regime that gets increasingly rigid as it gains more power. Outspoken and intelligent, Marjane chafes at Iran's increasingly conservative interpretation of Islamic law, especially as she grows into a bright and independent teenager. Throughout she remains a hugely likeable young woman. Persepolis gives the reader a snapshot of daily life in a country struggling with an internal cultural revolution and a bloody war, but within an intensely personal context. It's a very human history, beautifully and sympathetically told. --Robert Burrow

Ligeia
10-27-2008, 05:16 AM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/513A36C1GYL._SL500_AA240_.jpg



Some historical events simply beggar any attempt at description--the Holocaust is one of these. Characterising the Nazis as cats and the Jews as mice, this book recounts, through a complex and sustained allegory the experiences of the author's father in Auschwitz during WWII.

Ligeia
10-27-2008, 05:24 AM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51o8q44TGGL._SS500_.jpg

Synopsis
This is a marvellously entertaining dip-in spoof guide to exotic fictional illnesses and afflictions, with over eighty entries contributed by fifty-eight writers, including the editors themselves and Steve Aylett, Neil Gaiman, David Langford, China Mieville, Michael Moorcock, Brian Stableford, etc. It is illustrated throughout with curious and humorously unenlightening sketches. "An amazing book sure to delight the discerning (and slightly warped) reader" - "Publishers Weekly".

Jeff Coleman
10-27-2008, 11:45 AM
Jean Amery

http://www-english.tamu.edu/pers/fac/myers/amery_grave.jpg

At the Mind's Limits: Amazon.com: At the Mind's Limits: Contemplations by a Survivor on Auschwitz and its Realities: Jean Amery: Books

On Suicide: Amazon.com: On Suicide: A Discourse on Voluntary Death: Jean Amery, John D. Barlow: Books

On Aging: Amazon.com: On Aging: Revolt and Resignation: Jean Amery, John D. Barlow: Books

Jean Amery: A Biographical Introduction:

http://www-english.tamu.edu/pers/fac/myers/amery.html

Ilsa
10-30-2008, 11:21 AM
LENI RIEFENSTAHL
Schönheit im olympischen Kampf

http://hagelstam.pp.fi/hg/3569.jpg

A magnificent book of photographs of the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Leni Riefenstahl the photographer and filmmaker who produced Olympia, the film chronicle of those Olympics.
Olympia was a controversial film considered by many to be the greatest sports film ever made and by others as one of the great pieces of Nazi propaganda. Olympia won the Grand Prize at the Venice Film Festival, where it was shown in 1938, and has always been judged a magnificent example of cinematography. This volume of work was compiled by Riefenstahl while the film was still in production, and a number of the photographs at the end of the book show her working on the film.
Large folio volume of still photographs chronicling Leni Riefenstahl's filming of her motion picture Olympia. Generally considered the finest sports documentary ever produced, Olympia is well portrayed in this wonderful collection of photographs of the various sporting events of the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Each of the full page photographs is captioned in English, German, Spanish, and French. At the rear of this 281 page coffee table book is a section showing many pictures of Riefenstahl shooting the film.

Ilsa
11-10-2008, 01:14 PM
Jonathan Littell - The kindly ones

http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/n56/n284472.jpg

Ligeia
11-17-2008, 04:19 PM
http://www.geradts.com/anil/ij/vol_006_no_002/reviews/pb/book002/cover.jpg

Ligeia
11-17-2008, 04:20 PM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/5198GJK75JL._SS500_.jpg

Ligeia
11-17-2008, 04:26 PM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51PSQ8HS1RL._SS500_.jpg

G. S. Carnivals
11-17-2008, 05:02 PM
Aggeliki, the books on poisons and codes makes one wonder if you might not actually be involved in clandestine operations. :rolleyes:

Ligeia
11-17-2008, 05:35 PM
Sometimes seeing is deceiving dear Phil.... ;)

Bleak&Icy
11-17-2008, 11:34 PM
Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay (1814-1889)

http://www.wallstreetcurmudgeon.com/images/mackay.gif


http://manybooks.net/automatic_covers/m/mackaych/mackaych2451824518-8.jpg

Table of Contents

1. Money Mania--The Mississippi Scheme
2. The South Sea Bubble
3. The Tulipomania
4. The Alchymists
5. Modern Prophecies
6. Fortune-Telling
7. The Magnetisers
8. Influence of Politics and Religion on the Hair and Beard
9. The Crusades
10. The Witch Mania
11. The Slow Poisoners
12. Haunted Houses
13. Popular Follies of Great Cities
14. Popular Admiration of Great Thieves
15. Duels and Ordeals
16. Relics

* For those interested, the book is available for free pdf download here: http://manybooks.net/titles/mackaych2451824518-8.html
(http://manybooks.net/titles/mackaych2451824518-8.html)

Ligeia
11-18-2008, 07:50 AM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51AKR1NX14L._SS500_.jpg

Review
Frightfully well-done survey of modern horror, eclipsing Stephen King's seminal Danse Macabre (1981) for clarity of writing, if not personableness or depth of idea, and Walter Kendrick's The Thrill of Fear (1991) for cultural savvy. Where Kendrick found horror literature, film, etc., to be primarily a way of coping with fear of death, Skal (Hollywood Gothic, 1991, etc.) stands with King in discerning within the genre responses to myriad contemporary social ills, from economic stagnation to AIDS. Skal opens with a striking symbol of the symbiosis of horror and societal unease: Diane Arbus, photographer of outcasts and misfits, sitting in a darkened Manhattan theater in 1961 watching a rare screening of Tod Browning's notorious horror masterpiece, Freaks. A rundown of Browning's life and of the nearly parallel career of Brain Stoker's Dracula and its many offshoots follows (some of the Dracula material is cribbed from Hollywood Gothic), culminating in the watershed year 1931, when Dracula, Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Freaks burst onto the screen, defining American horror (like King and unlike Kendrick, Skal avoids extensive discussion of premodern horror). While Skal's text is intensely (sometimes forcibly) idea-driven (he finds the 1931 films, for instance, revolving "around fantasies of 'alternative' forms of reproduction," responses to the "dust bowl sterility and economic emasculation" of the time), he never forgets that horror is foremost a mass entertainment, and he enlivens his narrative with a wealth of enjoyable anecdote and fact (e.g., that Bela Lugosi, who spoke almost no English, learned his lines phonetically) as he covers every aspect of contemporary horror - from EC comic books, Aurora plastic models, and Stephen King to oddball TV horror hosts and the impact of latex makeup. Skal's love and respect for the genre shine through this impeccably researched, lively chronicle: a top-drawer choice for horror fans. (Kirkus Reviews)

Synopsis
This provocative book uncovers the surprising links between horror entertainment, and the great social crisis of our time, as well as horror's function as a pop analogue to surrealism and other artistic movements.

Ligeia
11-18-2008, 07:52 AM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51JMR77NM3L._SS500_.jpg

Synopsis
An entertaining illustrated romp through the history of "exploitation films" covers a wide range of films designed to poke viewers in their most sensitive places, with essays on tweny seminal films, including Mudhoney, Night of the Living Dead, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and Crash. Original..

Ligeia
11-18-2008, 07:54 AM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51E3MSKN4EL._SS500_.jpg

Ligeia
11-18-2008, 07:57 AM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51c2LRJ4FzL._SS500_.jpg

Cyril Tourneur
11-19-2008, 05:02 PM
Hugh Walpole, The Second Century of Creepy Stories

http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/t0/t526.jpg

Wilkie Collins - Mad Monkton
John Metcalfe - Mortmain
Anonymous - The Dead Bride
J. S. Le Fanu - Carmilla
Bartimeus - The Green Door
Hugh Walpole - Tarnhelm
Ambrose Bierce - A Watcher by the Dead
Walter De La Mare -The Trumpet
Ralph Strauss - The Most Maddening Story In The World
Arthur Machen - Change
Algernon Blackwood - Keeping His Promise
Ex-Private X - The Oak Saplings
M.R. James - Mr. Humphreys And His Inheritance
Oliver Onions - The Beckoning Fair One
Guy de Maupassant - The Horla
F. Marion Crawford - The Upper Berth
Hector Bolitho - The House In Half Moon Street
T. O. Beachcroft - The Inn In the Estuary
Marjorie Bowen - The Crown Derby Plate
Henry James - The Turn Of The Screw
Margaret Irwin - Monsieur Seeks a Wife
Ann Bridge - The Accident
Martin Armstrong - Mrs. Vaudrey’s Journey
A.M. Burrage - Browdean Farm
M. Joyce - Perchance to Dream
Shane Leslie - The Drummer of Gordonmuir
Rupert Croft-Cooke - Banquo’s Chair

Hugh Lamb, writing in Steve Jones & Kim Newman’s Horror: 100 Best Books (Xanadu, 1988), says of this one: “Simply the best anthology ever assembled; I’ve held this view for over thirty years”.

Cyril Tourneur
11-20-2008, 10:00 AM
http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/c0/c2624.jpg





“The Throne of Bones,” Brian McNaughton

Pros: Vivid characters; fascinating world; droll sense of humor
Cons: Frequent mild confusions
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

First published 7/11/2001
Previously published on Epinions.com

I enjoyed Brian McNaughton’s “The Throne of Bones,” a World Fantasy Award winner and collection of gruesome short stories. All of them are about some combination of death, murder, necromancy, necrophilia, sex, and of course, ghouls.

McNaughton’s world is a complex one with its own social structures and societies, worthy of any good fantasy novelist’s creation. The fact that so many people in it are necromancers - and ghouls stalk the catacombs - are part of what make it horror as well as fantasy. And it is definitely not fantasy/horror for children, or even teenagers. Ghouls are misshapen once-human monsters who feed on the dead (the longer the corpse has been dead, the better) and quench their insatiable sexual appetites on each other and any humans they can get their hands on. (Yes, Ghouls do have particularly large, umm, attributes.) They can absorb the memories of the dead, and sometimes even take on their appearance. The sex and violence aren’t implied, or even remotely off-screen; this is a very visceral book (often literally).

Characterization

One of the things I like best about McNaughton’s writing is his characters–they are all insanely flawed and disturbed. You might almost-not-quite like or sympathize with some of them, but that’s about it; yet somehow it doesn’t interfere with the enjoyment of the book. The characters have quirks and weird habits in abundance, and it’s hard not to find them utterly fascinating. Besides, these are short stories, not a novel, so you aren’t asked to stay in one point of view character long enough to become too uncomfortable with him.

Although these are short stories, they all do take place in the same world. One long one, the title story, unfolds in bits and pieces like a mini-novel. The point of view character of one story will return as a secondary character (or even rumor) in another story, allowing us to see some of the characters through many different sets of eyes - a wonderful and beautifully understated trick.

McNaughton also has a particularly droll sense of humor that pokes frequent fun at his own characters and plots, but not in a self-conscious sort of way. It simply informs his work, seeping into the language of the stories. It makes the humor of other books seem clumsy by comparison. Perhaps this is another reason why the not-entirely-likable characters fail to be problematic - you’re too busy laughing at them to be bothered by them:

I stamped down the stairs, wondering where I could borrow a sword before presenting myself at Weymael’s palace to demand the return of my skeleton. Halfway across the quadrangle it occurred to me that my righteous outrage was compromised: I had, after all, stolen his skull. Worse, I had lost it. A moment’s reflection persuaded me that this was not the sort of argument one should start with a necromancer.

Yet make no mistake, these are terrible people who do awful things, even the good ones. Although I paint this as an amusing, quirky and fun book, it is not for the faint of heart.

Those Pesky Confusions

It’s a shame, then, that I have a complaint to level at the book. It is frequently, in many small ways, confusing - on a couple of levels.

One sort of confusion is actually a sort of a neat stylistic thing, and I’m okay with that one. The wording will often obscure part of what is happening so that it can be more of a surprise a paragraph or two later. It’s a neat verbal gimmick that I think very few authors could pull off well. I liked it; others might not.

The other is the sheer volume of names, cities, locations, old stories, and so on. I think either McNaughton should have simplified just a little, or taken the same amount of information and turned it into a book twice as long. It’s hard to keep the various things straight, and to connect something in one story with something two stories back, even though you know you should remember it.

McNaughton’s style is vaguely reminiscent of authors such as Lovecraft and Ligotti. He doesn’t particularly sound like them, it’s just that there’s this certain sort of quirky wordiness that they all share to varying degrees, and which some readers love and others abhor.

There is one good thing about the level of complexity in this book, however: you’d never mistake it for some of the more formulaic writing out there. Nor does it rely on “twist” endings that you can see from a mile away; it is truly unusual writing.

All in all this is a wonderful book. It’s great for the horror fan with a jaundiced eye, or the fantasy reader who’s gotten too cynical for the typical fantasy novel. It’s like taking a fantasy novel and looking at it backwards, in a warped and twisted mirror, over the charnel scent of rotting meat.

Bleak&Icy
11-21-2008, 03:26 AM
The Mind According to Shakespeare: Psychoanalysis in the Bard's Writing (Hardcover) by Marvin Bennett Krims



http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/5153HNPXYPL._SS500_.jpg

Reviews:

“Marvin Krims has lucidly and unpretentiously combined deep psychoanalytic experience with love of language to create new understandings of Shakespeare's imaginative capacity. This book has a steady, cumulative power expanding our appreciation of Shakespearean genius. The Mind According to Shakespeare is a delight to read.”–Murray M. Schwartz Professor of Writing, Literature and Publishing Emerson College

“By looking at Shakespeare's characters as real people, Marvin Krims has written a stunning series of essays that combine the clinical experience of a distinguished psychoanalyst with the sagacity of a wise literary critic. This is a book that will reward any reader interested in Shakespeare or simply in human nature or their own inner selves.”–Norman N. Holland Marston-Milbauer Eminent Scholar Professor of English University of Florida

flechtwerk
11-21-2008, 02:06 PM
http://www.avatarpress.com/2008solic/10/larger/cross1.jpg

CROSSED
by Garth Ennis (writer) & Jacen Burrows (art)

This is a brand new comic book series. Only issue #0 and #1 have been released so far, #2 hopefully coming to us soon!
Crossed is one of the best & most radical zombie stories around not only in comic books, but in any media, and we all know there is a lot of them around these days! (The Walking Dead, a nice comic book series too, feels like a picknic compared to Crossed.)
The zombies are not slow & stupid mutants. They are no "living dead" at all. They are just human people going completly insane, rejoicing in blood lust and sadism.

In an interview with CBR News Garth Ennis tells us the origin of Crossed:The writer had been staying with some friends, and dreamed that their house was surrounded by zombies. “I was watching the action unfold from afar while being involved in it, in that weird way that dreams have where you can observe and participate at the same time,” Ennis said. “Then I realized that the crowd outside weren't zombies at all, they were simply people who'd turned evil-- deeply, irrevocably evil-- and were looking forward to indulging all manner of foul intentions as soon as they got their hands on their intended victims. The looks on their faces said it all, a sense of cruel yet delighted anticipation.”

The tag lines of the series are:

"There is nothing left but survival"
"There are no heroes"
"There is no help"
"There is no hope"
"No one is coming to save you"

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3055/2583002669_368cae378c.jpg?v=0

Now, doesn't that remind us a bit of Ligotti...?

Avatar Press is a small and independent comic book publisher. It gives no restraints at all to the creators and deserves our love & support for that.

More info:
Avatar Press CROSSED (http://www.avatarpress.com/titles/garth-ennis-crossed/)
Comic Book Resources > CBR News: Double-Crossed: Ennis Burrows talk “Crossed” (http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=16780)
Garth Ennis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ligeia
11-22-2008, 06:24 AM
http://www.comicbitsonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/horrorc.jpg

"Horror Classics" is an anthology of great fiction adapted in comics form for readers of all ages. This tenth volume of the "Graphic Classics" series presents stories by eleven of the original creators of the horror genre, including H.P. Lovecraft's "The Thing on the Doorstep," Edgar Allan Poe's "Some Words with a Mummy," and W.W. Jacobs' "The Monkey's Paw." It features Saki, Balzac, Jack London, Olive Schreiner, Bret Harte, Howard Garis, Fitz-James O'Brien and Clark Ashton Smith. It is provided with art by Michael Manning, Richard Jenkins, Gabrielle Bell, Ryan Inzana and nine more great illustrators.

the_havoc_man
11-22-2008, 06:43 AM
That book looks really cool. I love that they have included Clark Ashton Smith in there as well.

the_havoc_man
11-22-2008, 06:46 AM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51AKR1NX14L._SS500_.jpg

Review
Frightfully well-done survey of modern horror, eclipsing Stephen King's seminal Danse Macabre (1981) for clarity of writing, if not personableness or depth of idea, and Walter Kendrick's The Thrill of Fear (1991) for cultural savvy. Where Kendrick found horror literature, film, etc., to be primarily a way of coping with fear of death, Skal (Hollywood Gothic, 1991, etc.) stands with King in discerning within the genre responses to myriad contemporary social ills, from economic stagnation to AIDS. Skal opens with a striking symbol of the symbiosis of horror and societal unease: Diane Arbus, photographer of outcasts and misfits, sitting in a darkened Manhattan theater in 1961 watching a rare screening of Tod Browning's notorious horror masterpiece, Freaks. A rundown of Browning's life and of the nearly parallel career of Brain Stoker's Dracula and its many offshoots follows (some of the Dracula material is cribbed from Hollywood Gothic), culminating in the watershed year 1931, when Dracula, Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Freaks burst onto the screen, defining American horror (like King and unlike Kendrick, Skal avoids extensive discussion of premodern horror). While Skal's text is intensely (sometimes forcibly) idea-driven (he finds the 1931 films, for instance, revolving "around fantasies of 'alternative' forms of reproduction," responses to the "dust bowl sterility and economic emasculation" of the time), he never forgets that horror is foremost a mass entertainment, and he enlivens his narrative with a wealth of enjoyable anecdote and fact (e.g., that Bela Lugosi, who spoke almost no English, learned his lines phonetically) as he covers every aspect of contemporary horror - from EC comic books, Aurora plastic models, and Stephen King to oddball TV horror hosts and the impact of latex makeup. Skal's love and respect for the genre shine through this impeccably researched, lively chronicle: a top-drawer choice for horror fans. (Kirkus Reviews)

Synopsis
This provocative book uncovers the surprising links between horror entertainment, and the great social crisis of our time, as well as horror's function as a pop analogue to surrealism and other artistic movements.


The Monster Show was actually one of the text books that I had for my History of the American Horror Film class when I was in College.

the_havoc_man
11-22-2008, 06:47 AM
Looks like I will be heading to the library with all of the latest book recommendations. thanks everyone!!!!!:)

Ligeia
11-23-2008, 05:18 AM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51J9EF2K6HL._SS500_.jpg

Offers a collection of scary tales and poems, along with instructions for doing magic tricks, spooky recipes, and information on magical spells, things that are said to be cursed, old superstitions, and other traditional lore.

1kgGehacktesBitte
11-23-2008, 11:11 AM
http://www.tabula-rasa.info/AusHorrorImages/PiloFamilyCircus.jpg


Think the circus is a safe and fun place? Think again. If you didn’t already have an aversion to clowns, Will Elliott’s debut novel, The Pilo Family Circus, may make you think again.
Meet Jamie, a twenty something bloke living in Brisbane in a share house. Working a dead end job, dreaming of the woman he wants to bed, his entire life set up as a calculated move to woo her.
Sounds pretty ordinary, right? The clowns of the Pilo Family Circus are about to turn his life upside-down. And inside-out, while they’re at it.
A chance encounter with two of the clowns leads Jamie into hell. His house is trashed, his housemates threatened, and worse, he is given thirty hours to pass his audition. He manages to pass, and is drawn into the parallel world occupied by the Pilo Family Circus.
This circus is like nothing else you have ever experienced. The freaks are real, the clowns are psychotic and here, the you can truly become someone else. When Jamie dons the clown’s face paint, JJ the clown is born. JJ is every dark thing that had ever lived within Jamie, and he seems intent on destroying what is left of Jamie’s life.
This book is as vivid as the accoutrements of the clowns, scenes splashed with intense detail and shocking colours. Violence weaves a thread through the scenes, culminating in a spectacle worthy of the best of King and Lovecraft.
The only thing that lets this book down is the sparsity of the language – but this, also lends to the book’s particular atmosphere. There’s no need for floral language in a tale such as this. It is brutal, confronting and at times, darkly funny.
The Pilo Family Circus is the inaugural winner of the ABC Fiction award, and has been shortlisted for the Aurealis Award for best horror novel. It is available from all good bookstores.

Ligeia
11-23-2008, 03:04 PM
Nice book kid! :)

Cyril Tourneur
11-24-2008, 01:41 PM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51M540P35DL.jpg



"To great writers," Walter Benjamin once wrote, "finished works weigh lighter than those fragments on which they labor their entire lives." Conceived in Paris in 1927 and still in progress when Benjamin fled the Occupation in 1940, The Arcades Project (in German, Das Passagen-Werk) is a monumental ruin, meticulously constructed over the course of thirteen years--"the theater," as Benjamin called it, "of all my struggles and all my ideas."

Focusing on the arcades of nineteenth-century Paris-glass-roofed rows of shops that were early centers of consumerism--Benjamin presents a montage of quotations from, and reflections on, hundreds of published sources, arranging them in thirty-six categories with descriptive rubrics such as "Fashion," "Boredom," "Dream City," "Photography," "Catacombs," "Advertising," "Prostitution," "Baudelaire," and "Theory of Progress." His central preoccupation is what he calls the commodification of things--a process in which he locates the decisive shift to the modern age.

The Arcades Project is Benjamin's effort to represent and to critique the bourgeois experience of nineteenth-century history, and, in so doing, to liberate the suppressed "true history" that underlay the ideological mask. In the bustling, cluttered arcades, street and interior merge and historical time is broken up into kaleidoscopic distractions and displays of ephemera. Here, at a distance from what is normally meant by "progress," Benjamin finds the lost time(s) embedded in the spaces of things.

http://www.wbenjamin.org/passageways.html

1kgGehacktesBitte
11-24-2008, 02:30 PM
Nice book kid! :)
don't call me kid, babe :D

Cyril Tourneur
11-25-2008, 07:01 PM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51YKXR3M7QL._SL500_AA240_.jpg


i've read gogol in a different german edition, but as i compared various english editions, that's the one to get and therefore i recommend it here....


Nikolai Gogol had an extraordinarily important influence on Russian literature. A contemporary and friend of Pushkin, he left his mark in several areas, as playwright, novelist and short-story writer. Every Russian writer to come after him acknowledges and reveres Gogol, from Dostoevsky to Bulgakov and on. This collection is a great introduction to Gogol. All of his most famous stories are included. "Diary of a Madman" shows us the disintegrating psyche of a minor civil servant during the era of the repressive rule of Nicholas I. Gogol had problems with Nicholas' censors (who were as vigilant as Stalin's) and he didn't exactly ingratiate himself with this depiction of bureaucratic malaise. The second short-story in the volume, "The Nose," again pokes fun at officialdom, but also takes us on a proto-magical-realism ride through mid-eighteenth century St. Petersburg (As an aside, you can currently take St. Petersburg tours of Gogol's fictional landscape, just as you can Dostoevsky's, [and Bulgakov's Moscow]). The third entry in the collection, "The Overcoat," deals again with an inconsequential bureaucrat (guess what Gogol's background was?) , whose entire existence is wrapped around a new overcoat. Suffice it to say that the story does not end happily for poor Akaky Akakievich. This is in some ways Gogol's signature piece. The story basically involves us in a humorous, at times capricious narrative, but the humor is infused with a great deal of pathos, to the point where we can almost call these tragicomedies.

The longest story in the collection, "How Ivan Ivanovich quarreled with Ivan Nikiforovich," is a case-in-point. On the surface, it is a humorous account of two provincial boobs engaged in protracted enmity as a result of an inconsequential incident. However, at heart, Gogol is saying a great deal about Russian society, and the human condition, at the same time, and the picture is neither pretty nor funny. This is his most successful short story in many respects, imbued with wisdom and local color. Gogol is the most human and humane of Russian authors, but that does not mean that he is anywhere near the greatest, as a result. It would be left to the giants, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, to truly establish Russia as a birthplace of great writers. But it is to this warmth of spirit that the Russian people and its literati have responded to so fervently for so many years. Gogol, of course, is well represented as a novelist for Dead Souls (or Chichikov's Journeys). He also attempted a Russian epic (Taras Bulba). For most modern readers, however, the stories are the most accessible and the most universally revered as regards his literary output. Give this volume a chance, and if you like the stories, turn your attention to Dead Souls, which is indeed worth reading.

Bleak&Icy
12-13-2008, 09:15 AM
http://www.upress.umn.edu/images/S07/9780816649402.big.gif

From the University of Minnesota website:

A fascinating tour through nineteenth-century America’s asylums.

Elaborately conceived, grandly constructed insane asylums—ranging in appearance from classical temples to Gothic castles—were once a common sight looming on the outskirts of American towns and cities. Many of these buildings were razed long ago, and those that remain stand as grim reminders of an often cruel system. For much of the nineteenth century, however, these asylums epitomized the widely held belief among doctors and social reformers that insanity was a curable disease and that environment—architecture in particular—was the most effective means of treatment.

In The Architecture of Madness, Carla Yanni tells a compelling story of therapeutic design, from America’s earliest purpose—built institutions for the insane to the asylum construction frenzy in the second half of the century. At the center of Yanni’s inquiry is Dr. Thomas Kirkbride, a Pennsylvania-born Quaker, who in the 1840s devised a novel way to house the mentally diseased that emphasized segregation by severity of illness, ease of treatment and surveillance, and ventilation. After the Civil War, American architects designed Kirkbride-plan hospitals across the country.
Before the end of the century, interest in the Kirkbride plan had begun to decline.

Many of the asylums had deteriorated into human warehouses, strengthening arguments against the monolithic structures advocated by Kirkbride. At the same time, the medical profession began embracing a more neurological approach to mental disease that considered architecture as largely irrelevant to its treatment. Generously illustrated, The Architecture of Madness is a fresh and original look at the American medical establishment’s century-long preoccupation with therapeutic architecture as a way to cure social ills.

“Yanni has produced a fascinating and visually rich survey of this strange territory. Yanni is very successful at linking together architecture and mental medicine.” —Times Literary Supplement

“This is a well-written, well-illustrated, and thoroughly fascinating study. A serious and useful study of a time when architecture was thought to shape human behavior.” —Studies in American Culture

“Sometimes we run across books that lure us in with simple, straightforward weirdness. Put up your horror novel and read this deal. Spooky and real.” —Blueridge Business Journal

“The book makes a valuable contribution to architectural history. Yanni offers valuable comparisons between asylum architecture and forms that more closely approximate the social function of asylums: hospitals and colleges. She also brings a refreshing emphasis on space to medical history, showing, for example, how patients’ ‘progress’ from spatial margin to spatial center—or vice versa—shaped their experiences. ” —The Annals of Iowa

“Yanni weaves together the fascinating tale of architecture and psychiatry with readable prose liberally illustrated with historic photographs, plans, and drawings.” —Choice

“The focus of Yanni’s hisotry, The Architecture of Madness: Insane Asylums in the United States, is on the 19th-century American asylum, and she does a marvelous job describing and illustrating the buildings themselves and some of the many factors that entered into these buildings’ origins, construction, and decline.” —PsycCRITIQUES

“In a well-wrought book, Carla Yanni provides a persuasive overview of the age of the insane asylum.” —American Historical Review

Carla Yanni is associate professor of art history at Rutgers University and the author of Nature’s Museums: Victorian Science and the Architecture of Display.

Bleak&Icy
12-13-2008, 09:24 AM
I found the following two books today while browsing through the academic presses. I have not read the books, cannot afford to purchase them, and thus I am not "recommending" them; but, as I am sure many readers of Ligotti will agree, they certainly look promising.

http://www.papress.com/pix/covers/480/9781568986159.jpg

From the Princeton Architectural Press website:

Ghostly Ruins is a haunted masterpiece. Well done!"
—Ray Bradbury

We've all seen them but might have been too scared to enter: the house on the hill with its boarded-up windows; the darkened factory on the outskirts of town; the old amusement park with its rickety skeleton of a rollercoaster. These are the ruins of America, filled with the echoes of the voices and footfalls of our grandparents, or their parents, or our own youth. Where once these structures were teeming with life—commuters, workers, vacationers—now they are disused and dilapidated.

Ghostly Ruins shows the life and death of thirty such structures, from transportation depots, factories, and jails to amusement parks, mansions, hotels, and entire towns. Author Harry Skrdla gives a guided tour of these marvelous structures at their peak of popularity juxtaposed with their current state of haunted decrepitude. Like a seasoned teller of ghost stories, Skrdla's words and images reveal what lies beyond the gates and beneath the floorboards. There are the infamous Eastern State Penitentiary and Bethlehem Steel factory in Pennsylvania, the Packard Motors Plant and Book-Cadillac Hotel in Detroit, and Philip Johnson's New York State Pavilion from the 1964/65 World's Fair. There is the entire town of Centralia, Pennsylvania, where a trash fire set inside an old mine in 1962 morphed into an underground inferno that incinerated the town from underneath; more than forty years later, the subterranean fire still rages. The town is empty now, just as the many other abandoned places in this chronicle. Ghostly Ruins is a record of the souls of yesteryear and a chronicle of America's haunted past.

Harry Skrdla is an engineer and a historic preservation consultant based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He belongs to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, The Society for Industrial Archeology, and the Theater Historical Society, and has contributed to the preservation and restoration of a number of noteworthy structures, including the ornate 1920s movie palace the Fox Theater in Detroit, one of the last of its kind in America.

G. S. Carnivals
12-13-2008, 11:52 AM
Any who are intrigued by the last two books may find this old thread of interest:

Ruins and urban exploration - THOMAS LIGOTTI ONLINE (http://www.ligotti.net/showthread.php?t=504&highlight=urban)

Ligeia
12-25-2008, 06:51 AM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/518AN5NFGYL._SS500_.jpg

Ligeia
12-25-2008, 06:53 AM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41uFH6aWC3L._SS500_.jpg

Having spent so long on the peripheries of the art world, Gothic art has finally broken into the mainstream, proving that its depths hide far more colour and diversity than most would ever have imagined. Gothic Art Now brings the very best in dark artwork into the light in one visually stunning volume, gathering artists from across the globe and revealing their exciting and dynamic new imagery. Gothic Art Now showcases the Gothic world in all its many and varied forms - from the conventional media of paint and pencil, to digital nightmares, abstract sculptures and provocative toys. Laden with dark beauties and brooding be-fanged beaus, the artworks are divided by genre: Romantic and Sensual images of embracing lovers, the surreal and twisted worlds of Gothic Horror, and the harsh mechanical and digital dystopias of Cyber and Industrial art. Amongst many others, the charmingly wicked works of Anne Stokes andDorian Cleavenger, the surrealist horror of Brom and the sculptures of H.R. Giger display every branch of this twisted tree.

Ligeia
12-25-2008, 07:06 AM
http://assets.cambridge.org/97805217/97276/cover/9780521797276.jpg

The Cambridge Companion to Edgar Allan Poe
This collection of specially-commissioned essays by experts in the field explores key dimensions of Edgar Allan Poe’s work and life. Contributions provide a series of new perspectives on one of the most enigmatic and controversial American writers. The essays, specially tailored to the needs of undergraduates, examine all of Poe’s major writings, his poetry, short stories and criticism, and place his work in a variety of literary, cultural and political contexts. They situate his imaginative writings in relation to different modes of writing: humor, Gothicism, anti-slavery tracts, science fiction, the detective story, and sentimental fiction. Three chapters examine specific works: The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’, ‘The Raven’, and ‘Ulalume’. The volume features a detailed chronology and a comprehensive guide to further reading, and will be of interest to students and scholars alike.

Cyril Tourneur
12-30-2008, 10:53 PM
http://images.barnesandnoble.com/images/14590000/14597994.JPG

From Publishers Weekly
"In a trailblazing, iconoclastic work of cultural history, Eksteins links the modern avant-garde's penchant for primitivism, abstraction and myth-making to the protofascist ideology and militarism unleashed by WW I," reported PW . "This provocative and disturbing reappraisal of modernism rings with authority." Photos.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal
A brilliantly conceived and wonderfully written book of cultural and intellectual history that considers the impact of World War I on the 20th century. Ekstein (history, Toronto) begins by arguing that the ballet The Rite of Spring prefigured the mass psychology that was necessary to the waging of the war. He then carefully elucidates how the soldiers who fought experienced and internalized the horrors of the trenches. The last third of the book deals with the postwar era, considering Lindbergh's flight and its effect on Europe, the best seller All Quiet on the Western Front , and the Hitler phenomenon. Like Paul Fussell's The Great War and Modern Memory (LJ 7/75), this will likely become required reading for anyone who seeks to understand the central importance of the Great War to the decades that followed. For both public and college libraries.
- Ann H. Sullivan, Tompkins Cortland Community Coll. Lib., Dryden, N.Y.


I will quote some further amazon review to stress how insightful this book is....


By Robert Moore (Chicago, IL USA)

I have read several books dealing with the First World War before, but none except for Paul Fussell's THE GREAT WAR AND MODERN MEMORY can match this brilliant book for its scope and brilliance. Other books deal with the nuts and bolts of history, but Eksteins is concerned with zeitgeist, both that which animated the birth of war and the way it was altered by that war. More than anything, Eksteins is concerned with the metaphysics of the war, or the metaphysics of the world that it transformed.

The book is structured, like any good play, into three broad acts. The first deals with the world on the eve of the war, examining attitudes, especially aesthetic attitudes, in France, Germany, and England, before the onset of the war. The sections on the controversial debut of Diaghilev's production of Stravinsky's THE RITES OF SPRING (which obviously provides the book with its title), which deals in dance with a ritual blood sacrifice, are especially hypnotic. Act Two focuses on the war itself, and even if one has read previous and equally nightmarish accounts of that insane and pointless conflict, Eksteins will bring the war alive for the reader. One is especially impressed by the senselessness of the entire affair, so senseless that nonsense seemed to be at home there. World War Two at least seemed to make sense for the participants. Hitler and Tojo made the stakes all too clear, but the Great War was above all an affair of moral ambiguity, and Eksteins is brilliant at bringing this out, something that a purer historian like Martin Gilbert or John Keegan is ultimately unable to do, because he or she is limited by the task of the historian to deal with ethical and aesthetic categories. The final act deals with the world remade by the events of 1914-18. Eksteins focuses on three main aspects: Lindbergh's flight across the Atlantic, the publication of and response to Erich Maria Remarque's ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT, and the rise of Nazism in post-war Germany.

It is an interesting question what genre RITES OF SPRING belongs to. Eksteins offers too many insights that would normally exceed the job of the historian to label it simple history, though one could resort to calling it "intellectual history." It is that, but he also becomes in his book a bit of a moral chronicler. The book is more a work of art than a work of history. Although it contains no obvious narrative, it feels as if it has a plot.

This is one of the more remarkable, haunting books I have read in recent years. Absolutely no one interested in the meaning of the twentieth century, and especially no one interested in the Great War should skip it. The only ones it will disappoint will be those primarily concerned with military strategy and body counts.


By seydlitz89 "seydlitz89" (Portugal) -
An Anatomy of the Great Suicide of the European Middle Classes

I found Professor Eksteins' book interesting in a number of ways. Unlike perhaps all other accounts of the start of the Great War, Eksteins' emphasises the actions of the crowds, "the fine days of that July and August encouraged Europeans to venture out of their homes and to display their emotions and prejudices in public, in the streets and squares of their cities and towns. The massive exhibitions of public sentiment played a crucial role in determining the fate of Europe that summer. Had it been a wet and cold summer, like that of the previous year of the next one, would a fairground atmosphere conductive to soapbox oratory and mass hysteria have developed? Would leaders then have been prepared to declare war so readily? There is evidence that the jingoistic crowd scenes in Berlin, St. Petersburg, Vienna, Paris and London, in the last days of July and in the early days of August, pushed the political and military leadership of Europe toward confrontation. That was certainly the case in Germany. And Germany was the matrix of the storm. . ." pp55-56.

So instead of Pan-Germanism, or Pan-Slavism, or "Germany's Grab for World Power", or the clueless Kaiser signing a blank check to a conniving Hapsburg Empire, or a coldly calculating German General Staff knowing that time is against them, or a French-Russian-Serbian plot, that is all plays of grand power politics from on high, we see the old world leadership attempting to stay ahead of their respective raging publics, attempting to keep the frenzy from turning against them. . . interesting, and doubtlessly part of the story.

The influence of artistic currents are interesting, but hardly new. Eksteins' thesis is similar in part to Werner Sombart's famous manifesto of German war propaganda of 1915, entitled "Merchants and Heroes". Obviously, for Sombart, the English were the merchants and the Germans the heroes, social carriers of two Weltanschauungen trapped in a fight to the finish, a struggle for the right to dictate the further course of "civilization" which was of course only Western in those days.

Cultural pessimism had been around since Nietzsche as Ekstein points out and reached its height around the turn of the century. From that point it became more refined, discussed at length in the intellectual circles in Heidelberg, Vienna and elsewhere. Contrary to a dominant feeling of "German" exclusivity, besides all the regional sympathies and animosities native to Germany, there were also many influential German intellectuals, such as Max Weber, a friend of Sombart's, who saw Britain's political system as offering something of a model for a politically reformed Germany. The war and the frenzy which accompanied it made any such comparisons seem to recede in importance, to the presumed duty at hand. Later such pronouncements would be considered dangerous. To Weber's credit it should be pointed out that he argued publicly for domestic liberal reform while the war was actually in progress.

Instead, centralization of state power to wage total war encompassing the total mobilization of society became the goal, not liberalization of the political system.

In other words is it a question of the dreamer, the artistic side of the German character being the catalyst for the war frenzy of 1914 or is it the other way around?


A Conservative Interpretation of 20th c. European Culture, June 22, 2001
By A Customer

This is a profoundly conservative critique of modern culture that takes Germany as its starting point. The author's contention is that, during the twentieth-century, Germany was the most modern nation. Modernity, in turn, is understood as "emancipation:" sexual, political, legal, and artistic. The author contrasts German modernity, with its emphasis on subjective experience and the gradual trend of this into narcisism, with the ethos of Great Britain. In the latter country, the normative 19th c. state, discipline and the subordination of the ego were paramount. Law, a social construct in which all share, took precedence over personal affirmation. The 20th c. came to regard such self-restraint as "bourgeois," and sought to replace it with a cult of self based on experience and sensation.

This "liberation" took several forms. For the author, the "Ballet russes" is a good starting point, especially its rendition of Stravinsky's "Sacre du Printemps." The essential figures are Diagilev and Nijinsky. The homosexual milieu that informed the entire "corps" is, in effect, another major character. With its celebration of sacrificial death, its unconventional form, and -- to the ears of the time -- its outlandish music, the ballet separated it from European tradition. It was brilliant and innovative. It was also death-obsessed and both sexually and socially amoral.

The relative stolidity of British life is contrasted with the turgid self-expression that emerged in German "kultur" early in the century. The author is in no doubt as to which was the more "modern." The discipline, self-restraint, and social integration of the personality inherent in Anglo-French civilization would be replaced by the sensationalism, narcissim, and, ultimately, nihilism that lay within German life and thought.

The Great War provided the opportunity for German egoism in the arts to transform the modern European world. It so discredited the old world that long-revered words such as "duty," "courage," and "honor," became a stench in the nostrils. The nihilistic experience of the western front wiped the slate clean of the old "bourgeois" world and allowed a new, intensely personal vision to substitute for the old pieties that were external to the self. Sexuality, for instance, was liberated from "repression." Too late, Europe would discover that the seemingly "artificial" nature of these "repressive" restraints was exactly what made them socially responsible. They hedged the ego and tamed the "self."

The ultimate personal vision turned out to be that of Adolf Hitler -- the ultimate nihilist. The atavistic, ritual-loving, ego-affirming creed of the Nazis simply completed the process begun earlier (symbolically, of course) by the Ballet russes. National Socialism, in the author's view, was thus not the reactionary movement earlier historians described. Rather, it was truly revolutionary, radical, and ultra-modern. It took the cult of individual sensibility, introspection, ego-affirmation, and experientialism that marked 20th c. European thought and gave it definitive political expression. One observer of the Nazi's theatrical rallies saw at once their essential spiritual affinity with the Ballet russes.

Emancipation, in the author's view, has been the 20th century's great theme: and it has nearly ruined us. Homosexuality was primal to this process since it defied the ethos that had, quite adequately, sustained human social life since time out of hand. But, the intelligensia bears much of the blame as well. Its sneering dismissal of "bourgeois" civilization and emphasis on what was new and, above all, experiential led to the casting off of the restraint that marked European civilization up until then. The Hololcaust would have been impossible at any earlier time in European history. The complete emancipation from history, tradition, and responsibility -- a necessary concommittent of the great crime -- came only with the 20th century's fascination with the self.

The book is well-written but the argument frequently wanders off into prolonged digression. We know that the Great War was horrific. Pages on this point are superfluous. The book begins with a survey of French culture on the eve of the Great War but drops the subject almost entirely for the postwar years. And, the author frequently makes sweeping statements that lack documentation. Much of his argument consists of assertion rather than demonstration.

The author's ambition is much greater than Paul Fussel's seemingly similar "Great War and Modern Memory." The latter book is a spendid analysis of the impact of the war on the arts. The present book, however, is essentially an indictment of 20th c. European culture. Atavism and ego in the arts produced the Ballets russes. In politics, it produced the Nazis. This, implies the author, is what constitutes our modernity.

Given what some belived to be the colossal egoism of American culture and its own emphasis on emancipation -- sexual, feminist, political, whatever -- the book is, indeed, food for thought.

Cyril Tourneur
01-01-2009, 12:27 AM
http://www.brooklynrail.org/article_image/image/3111/3anazilit-varno.jpg

From Publishers Weekly
The title chosen by Bolańo (1953–2003) for this slim, fake encyclopedia is not wholly tongue-in-cheek: given the very real presence of former (and not-so-former) Nazis in Latin America following WWII, this book, despite being fiction, still had j'accuse-like power when first published in 1996. The poets described herein, though invented, seem—even at their most absurd—plausible, which is the secret to this sly book's devastating effect. And as one proceeds from an entry on Edelmira Thompson de Mendiluce (In high spirits, Edelmira asked for the Führer's advice: which would be the most appropriate school for her sons?) to one on Carlos Ramírez Hoffman (His passage through literature left a trail of blood and several questions posed by a mute), it becomes clear that there is a single witness to all of these terrible figures, one who has spent time in one of Pinochet's prisons and is bent on coolly totting up the crimes of fascism's literary perpetrators. Some readers will recognize figures and episodes from Bolańo's other books (including The Savage Detectives and Distant Star). The wild inventiveness of Bolańo's evocations places them squarely in the realm of Borges—another writer who draws enormous power from the movement between the fictive and the real. (Feb.)

By Daniel Schmidt (Norfolk, VA)

To preface: As we all know, Roberto Bolano passed away in 2003. Like many in America, New Directions let us in on the secret with "By Night In Chile" and "Distant Star" (which is actually an elaboration of the final story in "Nazi Literature in the Americas"). Next came "Last Evenings on Earth" and "Amulet" last year. "The Savage Detectives" came out via Farrar, Straus and Giroux last year as well and, his masterpiece, "2666" is on its way. If you haven't read any of these, it doesn't matter what order, just read any and all.

"Nazi Literature in the Americas" reads like a history (but not in a bad way). Bolano creates dozens of personalities, each with intricite details and interesting character traits that even a third-party (Bolano) can convey gently. Each character exists throughout North and South America in the twentieth-century, some not dying until 2040 (which Bolano uses to hint that these people still exist into the later twenty-first century).

As the title suggests, each character is tied, in Bolano fashion, to fascist literary movements in their respective time period and country. Edelmira Thompson de Mendiluce, the first chronicled in the novel, is a bourgeois Argentine who met Hitler in the 1930's and was sympathetic to the cause ever since. Max Mirebalais, is a poor Haitian who steals from other European poets and crafts "many masks," which he uses to create an ideology of hate. Argentino Schiaffino is a thug from Buenos Aires who loves soccer and violence and believes in the heirarchy of races and is on the run most of his life for murder.

One gets the point. The problem is, this doesn't half convey the textual density and complexity of the work. The way the characters interact within each others stories, how one influences the other, etc. The depth that Bolano went through to create this world is astonishing (as his epilogue with a glossary of names, places, publishers, books, and miniture biographies of minor characters in the stories).

The beauty, in the end, is that each is not a celebrate of Hitler or Aryan supremacy. Most are misguided and some are playing games even with themselves. The real world is ever present in Bolanos world and the presence of these characters moving, most of the time at odds with the real world, is fascinating. The trick is that each characters intolerance is shown in different ways - not directed at Hitler or other fascist leaders, but in the culture of fascism that still exists today - even as it did in 1996 when this novel was published.

I cannot recommend this more highly. I was anticipating it greatly and I was not let down. The only problem for avid readers of Bolano, is the final chapter, "The Infamous Ramirez Hoffman" is the shortened version of his previous novel "Distant Star," which he does allude to at the beginning of that work. But taken separately, the shortened version does leave much to be desired - which one fulfills with "Distant Star." It is also different because, while famous for his first person narration, "Ramirez Hoffman" is the only instance that Bolano appears in this novel, so take what one can from it.

If you love this, don't worry - New Directions has many more novels coming. This will surely tide fans down until FSG releases Bolano's 1,200+ page masterpiece "2666" sometime, hopefully, next year. Enjoy.

hopfrog
01-01-2009, 04:00 AM
[quote=Cyril Tourneur;14539]http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/c0/c2624.jpg





“The Throne of Bones,” Brian McNaughton

I really loved this book as well, and your mention of it made me want to dip into it again -- and so of course I cannot find it in the mess that is my library, which became chaotic when I moved in with mum. Brian was a good friend, and I still have the xerox MSS to many of the stories in this book that he sent to me for my personal critique, when they were being considered for book publication by, I think, the guy who did Tekeli-li!. That fell through for some reason, which disappointed me as I was asked by Brian to think about writing an introduction. But then Terminal Fright Books did this beautiful hardcover edition, which won a World Fantasy Award. I was shocked and saddened by Brian's sudden death. He was one cool ghoul.:cool: Hey, it's almost mid-night ----- goodbye, 2008.......

hopfrog
01-01-2009, 04:41 AM
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/6/64/The_King_in_Yellow.jpg/200px-The_King_in_Yellow.jpg
Cover of the first, 1895 edition of The King in Yellow



The color yellow signifies the decadent and aesthetic attitudes that were fashionable at the turn of the 20th century, typified by such publications as The Yellow Book, a literary journal associated with Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley. It has also been suggested that the color yellow represents quarantine — an allusion to decay, disease, and specifically mental illness. For instance, the famous short story "The Yellow Wallpaper", involving a bedridden woman's descent into madness, was published shortly before Chambers' book.
###################

I want one of my next books, preferably INHABITANTS OF WRAITHWOOD, to have a yellow dust jacket or -- in the case of the Centipede book, which may be sans dust jacket -- be of bright yellow boards, which look like yellow vellum. Probably won't happen, but 'tis my decadent dream..........

Ligeia
01-01-2009, 12:34 PM
http://www.electricstory.com/images/Coraline450x600.jpg


Shortly after moving into an old house with strange tenants above and below, Coraline discovers a big, carved, brown wooden door at the far corner of the drawing room. And it is locked. Curiosity runs riot in Coraline's mind and she unlocks the door to see what lies behind it. Disappointingly, it opens onto a brick wall. Days later, after exploring the rest of the house and garden, Coraline returns to the same mysterious door and opens it again. This time, however, there is a dark hallway in front of her. Stepping inside, the place beyond has an eerie familiarity about it. The carpet and wallpaper are the same as in her flat. The picture hanging on the wall is the same. Almost. Strangest of all, her mum and dad are there too. Only they have buttons for eyes and seem more possessive than normal. It's a twisted version of her world that is familiar, and yet sinister. And matters get even more surreal for Coraline when her "other" parents seem reluctant to let her leave. Her attempted escape from this nightmare alternative reality sees Coraline experience a chilling series of ever more bizarre encounters. Some are plainly odd, others disturbingly spooky and together they combine to form an immensely readable story. It's like all the best bits of the Goosebumps books condensed into 160 pages. A unique reading experience guaranteed.

Ligeia
01-01-2009, 12:43 PM
http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/assets/library/080527comics--121154992852316800.jpg

Andrea Bonazzi
01-01-2009, 11:07 PM
[...] Coraline experience a chilling series of ever more bizarre encounters. Some are plainly odd, others disturbingly spooky and together they combine to form an immensely readable story. It's like all the best bits of the Goosebumps books condensed into 160 pages. A unique reading experience guaranteed.

Neil Gaiman signed my Italian copy of Coraline at a book fair in Turin, "La Fiera del Libro di Torino," in 2003. I was impressed by his kindness and patience: the presentation for his book had been heavily delayed and, at its ending, the guys from the publisher Mondadori who accompanied Gaiman insisted to bring him out. But he stopped with the people, for tens and tens of minutes out of the hall and among the stands, to sign till the last book and to speak with every single fan. I love Gaiman also because he is a wonderful person.
Sorry for my digression!...
On this page, a photo that I took at that time: http://www.fantascienza.com/mffi/foto.html?con=84&id=647. (http://www.fantascienza.com/mffi/foto.html?con=84&id=647)

Ligeia
01-03-2009, 06:06 PM
http://www.chroniclebooks.com/images/items/9781856/9781856695633/9781856695633_large.jpg

The first book to focus on new gothic art, Hell Bound highlights a generation of contemporary artists who are increasingly obsessed with the darker things in life. Illustrators, street artists, sculptors, photographers, filmmakers, installation artists and painters are all reflecting this renewed interest in gothic imagery. Horror has become a more accepted part of everyday life - and art, as always, is a reflection of life. Here death metal, the war on terror and throwaway pop culture meet, feeding the popular fascination for all things gothic. Among the art featured is the iconoclastic work of Ken Kagami, Terence Koh, Ricky Swallow, the photographic collages of Marnie Weber, the drawings of Chloe Piene and Wes Lang, the paintings of Matt Greene and Iris Van Dongen, the outsider punk art of Pure Evil and the illustrations of French.

Ligeia
01-03-2009, 06:10 PM
http://www.discovery-walks.com/images/Haunted%20Britain.jpg


The British Isles must be amongst the most spectrally populous parts of the world, and this book is a must for anyone interested in the ranks of dismembered, decapitated spectres that inhabit the country's stately homes and blasted heaths.Region by region, renowned ghost-seeker Richard Jones reveals, explains and delights in the tales of tortured phantoms eager to restage their dark and turbulent past. They are all included here, from the ghostly legionaries that tramp the long-buried streets of Roman York to the malevolent fairy lights of Derbyshire's Longdendale - and from the shade of Lapford's murderous vicar to the grief-stricken white lady who may or may not have attended Madonna's wedding at Dornoch's legendary Skibo Castle.Richard Jones' authoritative and entertaining guide to haunted sites is handsomely designed and illustrated throughout with extraordinary ghostly photographs, detailed, four-colour maps and extracts from original documents.

Ligeia
01-03-2009, 06:15 PM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Mpcijgr8L._SL500_AA240_.jpg

Three nights of terror at the house called Edbrook - three nights in which David Ash, there to investigate a haunting, will be victim of horrifying and maleficent games. These are the three nights in which he will face the blood-chilling enigma of his own past - the three nights before Edbrook's dreadful secret will be revealed...And the true nightmare will begin! Remember with fear. "Disturbing atmosphere and constant unpleasant shocks.

Ligeia
01-20-2009, 01:33 PM
http://images.tdaxp.com/tdaxp_upload/against_the_world_crop.jpg

Jeff Coleman
01-20-2009, 04:08 PM
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_7laTi_Z4eAA/SQfjoy3JbCI/AAAAAAAAC2c/Lg20WoQ6k-g/s400/jahnn_ship_peterowen.jpg

The Ship by Hans Henny Jahnn

Hans Henny Jahnn at Will Schofield's blog 'A Journey Round My Skull': http://ajourneyroundmyskull.blogspot.com/search?q=hans+henny+jahnn

Will Schofield's blog dedicated to Jahnn: http://kebadkenya.blogspot.com/

Another blog that mentions Jahnn from time to time (and recommended for its overall loveliness as well): http://blindpony.blogspot.com/

A couple of passages from The Ship:

"A young man has very little use for gradual growth, and the secrets of spring remain unrevealed because it is his season. He sees only the burgeoning of desire and its semblances, not the dying fires of a god, bruised by the torment of creation. And not the goal -golden autumn. He never pauses beside the heavy belly of a cow and, out of the crust of embarrassing dirt, tries to extract the sad, sweet secret which makes flesh fall from bones and heralds the blindness of our inescapable putrefaction. A young man thinks only of what is clean, and the starry sky is an image, pure enough for all eternity." (p. 6)

"“We have witnessed the horrible again and again, a transformation no one could foresee. A healthy body is run over by a truck, crushed. Blood, once secreted, once feeling its way blindly through the body, pulsating in a meshwork of thin streams, spreading the chemically charged hormones and their mysterious functions like a red tree inside man–this blood now runs out shapelesssly in great puddles. And still no one grasps that, in a network of veins, it has form. But even more horrible–the death struggle itself, in which the innumerable organs, which we believe we feel, take part. Terror is stronger in us than delight.” (p. 32)

Cyril Tourneur
01-29-2009, 06:19 PM
https://www.historydirect.co.uk/covers/9781845192891.jpg

The Dawn of Political Nihilism
Volume I of The Nihilist Order


In the turbulent period between 1870 and 1930, the contours on modernity were taking shape, especially the connections between technology, politics and aesthetics. The trilogy The Nihilist Order traces the genealogy of the nihilist-totalitarian syndrome.
Until now, nihilism and totalitarianism were considered opposites: one an orderless state of affairs, the other a strict regimented order. On closer scrutiny, however, a surprising affinity can be found between these two concepts that dominated the history of the first half of the twentieth century. Starting with Nietzsche’s philosophy, this book traces the development of an intellectual school characterized by the paradoxical dual purpose of a wish to destroy, coupled with a strong desire to create imposing structures. This explosive combination of nihilist leanings together with a craving for totalitarianism was an ideal of philosophers, cultural critics, political theorists, engineers, architects and aesthetes long before it materialized in flesh and blood, not only in technology, but also in fascism, Nazism, bolshevism and radical European political movements.

Friedrich Nietzsche, Georges Sorel, the Italian Futurists, led by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, and Ernst Jünger were all well-known intellectual and cultural figures. Here they are seen and understood in a different light, as creators of a modern political mythology that became a source of inspiration for belligerent ideological camps. Among the ideas propagated by this school, and later adopted by totalitarian regimes, were historical nihilism, a revolt against the rationalistic and universalistic pretensions of the Enlightenment, an affirmation of the dynamism of modern life, and the replacement of the traditional Judeo-Christian values of good and evil by other dualities such as authenticity and decadence. Concurrently there took place affirmation of the technological era, the creation of a ‘new man’ and a violent order, and the birth of a new political style in place of traditional world-views. When channeled into the political sphere, these aesthetic nihilist ideas paved the way for the rise of totalitarianism.


Georges Sorel and the Rise of Political Myth
Volume II of The Nihilist Order

Georges Sorel (1847–1922) was the first political philosopher to develop a systematic theory of political myth, one that had profound impact on radical leaders and totalitarian movements of the twentieth century. While he was a highly respected early political sociologist, his writings transcended disciplinary boundaries in their creation of a modern political mythology. Believing that ideology was too abstract, general and ineffective to be instrumental in the political mobilization of the masses, he formulated the myth of the general strike. According to his theory of social psychology, people are socialized not by means of ideology, but through a common experience of action. This idea was adopted to great effect in the following years by revolutionary syndicalism, fascism and bolshevism.

Sorel’s problem was one that is well understood by the social thinkers of today: that of revitalizing a political arena and a social structure which he felt to be dominated by an inauthentic, degenerate search for a tranquil bourgeois existence. The myth of violence, he believed, would reinvigorate the militancy of both socialism and nationalism and spur these on to a new and dynamic course of action. Sorelian myth should be understood in a new way, not as a means to some ideological purpose, but to a mobilization of heroic action, seen as an end in itself.



The Futurist Syndrome
Volume III of The Nihilist Order

The Futurist Syndrome deals with three variants of the avant-garde artistic movements of European Futurism, and their fascination with totalitarian regimes. Those movements, represented here by their leaders, are: Italian Futurism and fascism, represented by Marinetti; Russian Cubo-Futurism and bolshevism, represented by Mayakovsky; and English Vorticism and its glorification of Hitler, represented by Wyndham Lewis.
The Italian futurist movement typified the double image of modernism. Worshipping the major features of the modern age such as dynamism, speed and industrial and urban aesthetics, they added ideological concepts such as “heroic technology” and “mechanized warfare”. The Russian version of Futurism joined hands with local revolutionaries in an attempt to destroy the old world and bring about modernization, yet ironically used irrational religious terminology to explain its purpose. Using nihilistic language, Mayakovsky’s revolutionary poetry opposed bourgeois imagery and mythologized the Russian people and Lenin. The third case study, Wyndham Lewis, was a renowned painter, writer, editor and cultural critic. His artistic movement, Vorticism, the English version of futurism, and his glorifying portrayal of the Nazi dictator, Hitler (1931), exemplified the two faces of Fascism: esthetic nihilism within a totalitarian structure.
These three examples, while different and tied to their particular nationalities, show that the artistic principles of the futurist syndrome had universal appeal and created a climate of opinion that paved the way for the rise of European totalitarianism

Jeff Coleman
01-31-2009, 05:26 AM
http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/d5/22/0a17810ae7a07f2420fcb110._AA240_.L.jpg

When Jonathan Died by Tony Duvert

"Tony Duvert had a genuine fervor: for nature, at the heart especially of Quand mourut Jonathan [When Jonathan Died] (1978), which recalls the love of a man and a child. This relationship takes on the appearance and the rhythm of a biological association, as if, by dint of understanding and harmony, they both became plants mutually emitting harmful poisons to each other to the point where they are destroyed and separated by society."

- Jean-Noël Pancrazi, from 'Tony Duvert, Le Monde, August 23, 2008' http://www.semiotexte.com/documentPage/DuvertObit.html


Tony Duvert Day at Dennis Cooper's blog: http://denniscooper-theweaklings.blogspot.com/2008/09/tony-duvert-day-two-exclusive-excerpts.html

Translated aphorisms from Tony Duvert's Abécédaire malveillant [A Spiteful Primer]: http://tonyduvert-cooper.blogspot.com/


“A writer criminally undertranslated and consequently barely known in the primarily English-speaking areas of the world…. Duvert is one of the more significant and idiosyncratic contemporary French fiction writers. He’s also one of the most mysterious.”

- Dennis Cooper

Cyril Tourneur
02-05-2009, 05:10 PM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Z8KB84BQL._SL500_.jpg

Amazon.com: Hostage to the Devil: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Contemporary Americans: Malachi Martin: Books

Hostage to the Devil is a meticulously sourced, scholarly analyzed and academic treatise on demonic possession; this book is THE classic to pick up to familiarize oneself with the proverbial Dark Side of life. Hostage to the Devil is what The Art of War is to warfare and corporate raiding; what Machiavelli's The Prince is to political science and government; what Homer's The Iliad and The Odyssey is to mythology...only it exclusively deals with the little known and much-feared/stigmatized topic of diabolical possession. This book is flagrantly NOT a book which promotes Satanism, any soul's estrangement from God, or even anything destructive. On the contrary, Hostage to the Devil satisfies that old Art of War proverb "Know your enemy" by detailing the process of demonic possession, and spiritually speaking, the Devil is the ultimate enemy.

The late Malachi Martin, the author, was an authority on exorcism, having been a professor at the Vatican's Pontifical Biblical Institute. He was also an uncommonly gifted and refined writer, being able to weave together a book on possession which--despite its rooting in straightforward scholarship on the subject--actually reads like the most interesting, Grisham-like or Clancy-like thriller from the fiction section! Martin was a masterful writer whose aptitude is seen in his mood-setting, his technique of giving back stories and jumping to and fro from the past to the present in a case-narrative, and his smooth, seamless segue from one aspect of a possession to the next, all of which make for gripping reading that will hold your attention with urgency.

The predicament for some people (atheists, liberal Christians, and those whose worldview is entrenched in stubbornly inflexible scientific rationale) is that Hostage to the Devil is precisely NON-FICTION; though it reads at times like the blackest makeup of one's worst nightmares, it's 100% real. Here's where non-religious non-believers or merely those with a narrow-mind based on arrogance get into trouble: their ideology fails to equip them with the enlightenment necessary to deal with the harsh, existential issues this book confronts any reader with. Imagine that what scared you the worst as a child--the proverbial dark, the monster under the bed or in the closet, or the "Boogeyman" (all extremely discomforting to a small child who has no defense in its ignorance and inexperience against such themes)--was all 100%, indisputably true. In essence, that's what Hostage to the Devil confirms because it affirms the existence of the concept of Evil in the universe, the Devil. So it affirms that that which scares you the worst (Evil) is real and can touch you. Yet, people without faith or at least an open mind end up in a state of spiritual starvation because their ideology doesn't permit for the existence of true Evil in their worldview, so they actively deny Evil as a presence in the universe, which is in theological terms a victory for the Devil because real Evil in the world exists more potently when it's not acknowledged.

More to the point that the Devil is real and exorcism is the tool the Roman Catholic Church uses to save a soul is the fact that ALL exorcisms are even tape-recorded by the church through the presence of a recorder in the room of any exorcism. In fact, Martin had access to literally hours upon hours of exorcism tapes from church records of the five possession cases in this book. Further corroborating the reality of possession is the fact that Martin interviewed at length both the possessed and the exorcists in the five cases in Hostage to the Devil. This is further substantiated when we take into account that all the assistants (five or so per case) in the room with the priest and possessed back up the respective stories also.

At the risk of oversimplifying the subject matter, the movie The Exorcist is possibly the best, visual representation of what really happens in a real-life exorcism--minus, of course, the sensationalist elements of pea-soup vomit and the 360 degree rotation of the neck. Nonetheless, most of what's in the movie--levitation, soiling oneself, speaking in foreign languages, super-strength, outwardly bodily decay, an inhuman voice, repulsion towards religious icons, and psychic powers--is 100% true based on Martin's exhaustive research, which includes the aforementioned records of the church plus eyewitness accounts and the testimony of survivors.

An exorcism in the Catholic sense is purported to be the only type of its kind which works; that is to say that exorcism by other denominations will be useless against evil spirits, and those infernally afflicted who are not Catholic do run to the Roman Catholic Church for real results. The Roman Exorcism Ritual is such a long-standing, time-honored tradition within the church that the authority of exorcists over demons goes right back to Jesus Himself and is a practice dating back to the early Church Fathers from about 200 to 600 AD. In fact, Martin actually provides the English translation of the Latin text of exorcism in the appendix!!!! Theoretically, you, as the layman, can then attempt to cast out demons yourself, although this is highly DISCOURAGED by Martin for the simple reason that laymen fail to have the spiritual authority to succeed at driving out evil spirits.

Somewhat surprisingly, there ARE actually rules evil spirits are "contractually" bound to obey. The explanation for this is Jesus' own authority over demons in the New Testament where there's much testimony of Him casting out evil spirits. Mortal men as exorcists only succeed in exorcisms because they are invested with Jesus' authority as the stand-in for Christ and also through direct sanction from the church hierarchy of officials; this is a most crucial requisite. Important to note is Martin's assertion that exorcists who roguishly act without explicit, church authority will fail every time at great, personal costs.

Martin outlines the basic preparations as well as occurrences that generally happen in every exorcism in a kind of exorcism "primer," though there are exceptions. First, the possessed victim (in all seriousness, a true victim because of the ruinously damning effects on both the body and spirit that can lead to physical death as well as that of the soul) is brought to the attention of church officials like parish priests usually by their friends or families. At this stage, the possessed has likely been tormented for quite a while through the laborious process of going from doctor to doctor to shrinks in desperate hope of finding a scientific cause for their ills, all to no avail, of course. After all possible physical reasons are excluded, the church then investigates and moves quickly to appoint a priest to do spiritual battle on behalf of the possessed to save their soul. As a matter of fact, the title Hostage to the Devil is a stealthy reference to the role of the exorcist putting himself up as a hostage in place of the possessed in a battle of wills with the Devil, as the possessed at this point is too weak to resist by himself.

Exorcists are generally picked due to their "goodness" or purity of character, not so much for wisdom or exceptionally intellectual capacity. In preparation for an exorcism, a priest will generally fast and try to cleanse himself as effectively as possible from human sin. He will hand-pick about five or so assistants (ranging from junior priests to medical doctors) to be his helpers in the ritual. His "uniform" consists simply of a stole, cassock and surplice. He'll make certain to schedule the exorcism at either the possessed's home or a private place like the basement of a church. The room in which an exorcism occurs will be stripped of all furniture save for a bed or couch for the possessed, in case of severe frailty during the ritual, and maybe a little table for a recorder to tape the experience. Doors and window shutters will be secured in place.

Proving there is intelligence behind pure Evil as that which possesses a person, Martin also outlines consistent and reliable ways the evil spirit will conduct itself during an exorcism. Everyone in the room--possessed, priest, assistants--is in grave peril as the demon will imminently plan to attack and demoralize each and every one of them during the course of an exorcism. The priest and his assistants will be cursed with the vilest profanity possible; everyone in the room will have their most shameful acts committed over the course of their lives exposed and scorned by the evil spirit; and the priest will be the target of physical attempts of violence by the possessed victim. This is to say nothing of the worst plight of the possessed himself, as during the exorcism, he may well die from the physical strain of the experience.

Curiously, there are even six, distinct stages in every exorcism that reflect the progress of the priest planning to expel the demon. These are termed Presence, Pretense, Breakpoint, Voice, Clash and Expulsion. Presence is defined as the feeling of sheer, unadulterated terror from an alien presence that manifests as soon as the exorcist enters the room and lasts throughout the ritual. Pretense is defined as trickery the evil spirit uses to hide behind the possessed person. Breakpoint is defined as the breaking of the Pretense, when the evil spirit is forced by Jesus' authority through the exorcist to divulge its name (all demons apparently have different names relating to how their work they malice on their human victims). The Voice is defined as an inhumanly distressing babel of sounds that are simply alien; it is sonic manifestation of Evil personified, and its purpose is to intimidate and break the will of the exorcist along with everyone else. The Clash is the beginning of the end for the evil spirit in an exorcism as it's when the exorcist actively fights to provoke the demon into locking horns (no pun intended) with it to beat it back. The Expulsion is defined as when the exorcist commands the demon to depart and succeeds in doing so.

Unlike the majority of previous reviews, I'll explicitly go into detail about what the reader will encounter in this book by briefly outlining all the five, possession cases. As other reviewers have forewarned, some punitive consequences of reading this 522-page behemoth MAY be the dire need to take a break of a few weeks before continuing reading; the inability to read said book at night even with lights blazing; or the disruption of a good night's sleep. I'm both happy and proud to report that I--NOT being a liberal girlie-man--was easily able to breeze through this book with no adverse consequences. That's simply because I have an unshakable moral foundation and being Catholic, much of this is already familiar territory.

The first case is titled "Zio's Friend and the Smiler." It boils down to a young, college coed in her twenties from NY who became possessed after she became morally relativistic. That is to say she refused to distinguish good from evil or right from wrong and that all values are subject solely to one's personal preferences. This attitude is distressingly reminiscent of liberals and their moral relativism. The possessed girl, "Marianne," became estranged from friends and family and resorted to soullessly picking up men and having unemotional sex with as many as she could find. She hardly bathed and always reeked; lost lots of weight; would urin*te on and soil food; locked herself up in her apartment where she cut herself and worked herself into such hysterics neighbors regularly called police; and emitted such a vibe of "evil" that everyone who encountered her would be discomforted. She was successfully exorcised, got married, and lived another 17 years before dying of cancer. The successful exorcist, however, died about a year after his successful expulsion of the evil spirit.

The second case is "Father Bones and Mister Natch," perhaps the most disturbing of all five because the possessed victim was actually a Roman Catholic priest...truly. It deals with a "Father Jonathan" from New England who became possessed because of a sacrilegious quirk in his misconception of religious studies. Whereas Catholics believe that Jesus is divine and supernatural, "Father Jonathan" believed that Jesus was merely mundane and of nature. This corruption of faith was what the demon in his case used to possess him. His mischief during possession included desecrating Catholic rituals like mass, marriage and the sacrament of the sick while also starting a "church" (read: devil worship) of his own on the side. He was successfully exorcised and retired (DUH!) from the priesthood. Importantly, the exorcist who saved his soul almost was possessed himself and had to quit the first attempt at exorcism because of a weakness in his faith.

The third case, titled "The Virgin and the Girl-Fixer," is hands down the most horrifying of all five cases; it's the stuff of nightmares!!!! It concerns the case of "Richard," a transsexual who became possessed after he had a sex-change operation...I kid you not! The Virgin is the exorcist, and Girl-Fixer is the name of the possessing demon. This case, 100% true, supersedes what you could see in the most chilling horror movie or ghost story!!!! It involves a man who was so obsessed with the "beauty" of the fairer sex that he actually longed to become a woman. His possession played a heavy role in his misjudgment to become a woman, yet after his sex-change operation, his actions truly became hellish. In his lust for womanhood, he confused gender with sex and so misspent considerable time in many, meaningless sexual liaisons after he became a woman. This culminated in scary acts of necrophilia with a dying woman whom he actually let die rather than help, so deep was his lust for necrophilia. It got worse: as a transsexual, he actually attended a Black Mass which initiated him as a Satanist; this ritual is described in all its squalid abomination involving orgies where he was actually "penetrated" by a "priest" in the "Church" of Satan and so offered up to the Devil. It follows that his exorcism was also the most grisly of all five; his possessing demon actually attacked the exorcist psychically, which culminated in the exorcist losing his life several months after. If there's a shred of hope to be interpreted from this, it's that "Richard's" exorcism was successful, he gave up his transvestite ways, and he became a therapist.

The fourth case, "Uncle Ponto and the Mushroom-Souper," is the most unique, involving a case of possession called familiarity. Familiarity is 180 degrees different than traditional possession because it involves possession by a so-called "minor" demon (less powerful than normal). Its idiosyncrasy involves the possessing spirit essentially "living" inside the possessed so that the possessed inside completely taken over, but feels a "twin" sharing all their thoughts and actions inside of them. This form of possession is just as deadly because the demon still plans to seek death for the victim. Another shifty twist to this case is the presence of another person whose possession is totally hopeless. Called "perfectly possessed," a minor player in this case was rumored to have accepted demoniacal possession 100% and may've affected the victim of familiarity. This story actually turned out the best of all, as Jamsie was successfully freed by an exorcist who as of 1992 was living in a retirement home for priests. Jamsie also went on to found a radio company.

The last case, "The Rooster and the Tortoise," is less dramatic, but still profound in its own right. It concerns a mislead soul, "Carl," who became possessed due to his straying from true doctrine of Christianity. "Carl" was a professor in parapsychology who was obsessed with reaching the "real" Christianity; trouble was that this "real" Christianity was a ploy put on by his possessing demon who lured him. "Carl" was possessed so badly that during his exorcism, he was actually in agony at the need to reject his possessing demon despite the fact he consciously knew how hopelessly damned he would be if he continued on accepting the evil spirit. Still, he rejected the demon and was successfully exorcised by an exorcist who ended up living to almost 100 (in 1992). "Carl" actually was said to have attained some form of "holiness" after his possession/exorcism because of the revelation of the knowledge of God that his required choice to reject his possessing demon granted him. He actually lived out his final years in spiritual tranquility and meditation in monasteries and then in a remote part of the US, giving out advice to the spiritually anguished.

Hostage to the Devil is highly recommended because of a few benefits that it satisfies. First, it can be read from a religious, moral, or even just intellectually challenging level. If you're religious, it will obviously affirm to you that God is real because of the inarguable presence of pure Evil described in this tome; this will probably strengthen your faith. On a purely moral basis, it will provoke you into introspection concerning moral choices because so much of the behavior of possessed people and even how the Devil works on the will of people is shockingly...human. That is to say there are absolute parallels between thoughts and actions that all people who aren't possessed exhibit and the insidious ways the Devil works his strategy to possess people! This just reaffirms how interconnected everything is and how everyone has the capacity of evil inside of them, possessed or not. For me, possession can be epitomized as destruction/self-destruction, whether it's spiritual, moral, physical and anywhere else. On an intellectual level, this book is stimulating because a whole world of clandestine tradition, rituals and history is painstakingly detailed; it's a complete, insider's look at what exorcism is and what its various participants think, feel, endure. Hostage to the Devil is well worth the read...IF you're strong enough to take the edification in its pages.


this review sounds interesting...has anyone on the other side of the atlantic read the book?

Jeff Coleman
02-10-2009, 02:47 AM
Cyril Tourneur,

I haven't read Hostage to the Devil, but it looks interesting.

The conclusions of the reviewer bring me to a lower hell.

The New Nonsense
02-10-2009, 03:08 AM
THE SHADOW OF THE WIND by Carlos Ruiz Zafón translated into English by Lucia Graves

http://www.subterraneanpress.com/Merchant2/graphics/00000001/zafon_b.jpg

In essence it's a novel in the gothic tradition, full of mystery and gloomy settings, but with a welcome breath of modernity. It's hauntingly beautiful. The book is set mostly in 1930s Barcelona Spain during the Franco regime. Zafón has a really interesting way with words. The writing style is very gentle, like a soft-spoken person; however, the atmosphere is very menacing. The effect is akin to someone nervously whistling a light-hearted tune while walking in a dark alley or through a graveyard. The book is absolutely packed with delightfully dark and atmospheric imagery. At its core it's a tragic romance about how certain fates become intertwined and how history tends to repeat itself. Normally romance makes me gag; however, this romance is very unusual, subtle, and far more genuine and sincere than what normally passes off as romance. It's also about the love of books, something with which I can deeply relate. It's very impressive, especially considering this is the author's first adult novel.

In a way the book is a work of meta-fiction in that it's a book about a book; that is, a fictitious book also called THE SHADOW OF THE WIND. So in a way it kind of warps reality -- the thin line between what's real and what's not. To make it even more interesting, the publisher, Subterranean Press, did something rather clever. If you take the dust jacket and flip it around, it turns the book into the fictitious one described in the book (at least cosmetically), right down to the fictitious author, Julian Carax. It's printed to look like an old worn book with maroon boards and gilt spine. You'd never even know it's there unless you happened to remove the dust jacket.


The book itself is astounding, and heavy! -- top-shelf binding: deluxe cloth, heavy & luxurious paper, text printed in two colors throughout, cover and full-color interior artwork by Vincent Chong.



THE SHADOW OF THE WIND is easily one of the best novels I've read in years. I'm really looking forward to Zafón's next book, a prequel, titled THE ANGEL'S GAME, due out in June.

Nemonymous
02-10-2009, 04:57 AM
THE SHADOW OF THE WIND by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

I've had this quote on one of my sites for a few years:

"Every book has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens."
'The Shadow Of The Wind' by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Cyril Tourneur
02-16-2009, 05:27 PM
http://mitpress.mit.edu/images/products/books/1584350407-f30.jpg


Speed and Politics (first published in France in 1977) is the matrix of Virilio's entire work. Building on the works of Morand, Marinetti, and McLuhan, Virilio presents a vision more radically political than that of any of his French contemporaries: speed as the engine of destruction. Speed and Politics presents a topological account of the entire history of humanity, honing in on the technological advances made possible through the militarization of society. Paralleling Heidegger's account of technology, Virilio's vision sees speed—not class or wealth—as the primary force shaping civilization. In this "technical vitalism," multiple projectiles—inert fortresses and bunkers, the "metabolic bodies" of soldiers, transport vessels, and now information and computer technology—are launched in a permanent assault on the world and on human nature. Written at a lightning-fast pace, Virilio's landmark book is a split-second, overwhelming look at how humanity's motivity has shaped the way we function today, and what might come of it.

About the Author
Paul Virilio has published twenty-five books, including Pure War (1988) (his first in English) and The Accident of Art (2005), both written with Sylvčre Lotringer, as well as Speed and Politics and Lost Dimension, all published by Semiotext(e).

Hildred Castaigne
02-16-2009, 08:59 PM
Kudos to Cyril Tourneur for his extremely thorough and engrossing review of The King In Yellow.

Cyril Tourneur
02-24-2009, 11:58 AM
thank you...but i used the one provided by wikipedia, so no work on my end; i've used it here and on some other reviews to give an objective perspective... mine would be too biased

okay, next book i read some weeks ago (interesting book i discovered on amazon over xmas):

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/1f/Nickcavenovel.jpg

and here's the link to wiki...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/And_the_Ass_Saw_the_Angel

Ligeia
03-08-2009, 01:04 PM
http://blondierocket.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/stiff_large.jpg

"Uproariously funny" doesn't seem a likely description for a book on cadavers. However, Roach, a Salon and Reader's Digest columnist, has done the nearly impossible and written a book as informative and respectful as it is irreverent and witty. From her opening lines ("The way I see it, being dead is not terribly far off from being on a cruise ship. Most of your time is spent lying on your back"), it is clear that she's taking a unique approach to issues surrounding death. Roach delves into the many productive uses to which cadavers have been put, from medical experimentation to applications in transportation safety research (in a chapter archly called "Dead Man Driving") to work by forensic scientists quantifying rates of decay under a wide array of bizarre circumstances. There are also chapters on cannibalism, including an aside on dumplings allegedly filled with human remains from a Chinese crematorium, methods of disposal (burial, cremation, composting) and "beating-heart" cadavers used in organ transplants. Roach has a fabulous eye and a wonderful voice as she describes such macabre situations as a plastic surgery seminar with doctors practicing face-lifts on decapitated human heads and her trip to China in search of the cannibalistic dumpling makers. Even Roach's digressions and footnotes are captivating, helping to make the book impossible to put down.

Ligeia
03-08-2009, 01:07 PM
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_hvV0JHPYX_I/SM8V0hXYNLI/AAAAAAAACJs/B43D6Nq8JyE/s400/bierce.jpg

Dr. Bantham
03-08-2009, 01:19 PM
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_hvV0JHPYX_I/SM8V0hXYNLI/AAAAAAAACJs/B43D6Nq8JyE/s400/bierce.jpgA long-time favorite lexicon of my own!
[ The Devil's Dictionary Dot Com ] (http://www.thedevilsdictionary.com/)

Ligeia
03-08-2009, 01:24 PM
http://www.librerialuces.com/fotos/9788497939614.jpg

In every art circuit throughout the world the latest trend is "hyper dramatic painting", which consists of the use of human models as canvas. The murder of Annek, a 14 year-old girl who worked as canvas in the work "Defloration", in Vienna, puts the Austrian Police and the Ministry of the Interior on their guard, both pressured by the mighty Van Tysch Foundation not to make the crime public -in fear of causing the panic among models and the mistrust among buyers of hyper-dramatic painting.
Meanwhile, Clara Reyes, another canvas model working in a gallery in Madrid, receives the visit of two foreigners who tempt her into a work of a "hard and challenging" nature. The challenge starts at that very moment with the psychological sculpting of the model. This is how Clara steps into a whirlpool of fear and fascination that ultimately affects the reader, opening a debate on the value of art and human life.

Ligeia
03-08-2009, 01:33 PM
http://www.101influential.com/images/101MostInfluential%20pb%20c.JPG

Ligeia
03-08-2009, 01:50 PM
http://www.sdi.re.kr/library/newbook/0411-title/28877L.jpg

"The night is different, its opposition to day marked by darkness and danger... [B]ut its fears are balanced by its freedoms," begins this enthralling and important trans-historical study of the metaphoric and actual meaning of night cultures. Palmer's canvas is huge--it ranges from an analysis of early modern witch culture (which he connects to the later development of Puritanism) to the emergence of 19th-century semisecret fraternal orders such as the Oddfellows, the vibrant 20th-century gay male cultures of drag and sadomasochism, and the emergence of a U.S. jazz and blues culture--yet he manages to bring these diverse topics together in a cohesive and astute analysis. Integrating unusual details and artful nuances (from the specifics of 18th-century pirate executions to the links between the Rosenberg trial and the novels of Micky Spillane), Palmer creates a multilayered but seamless portrait of four centuries of Western culture. The underlying theme here is not simply that "night" offers the occasional transgressive respite from the orderly civilization of "day," but that these alternative social, political and artistic spaces are often where the impetus for social change begins. Palmer's bold theme is sustained by his ability to communicate his in-depth, far-ranging scholarship with a broad political vision, which is Marxist in origins but tempered by postmodernism, and by his accessible and highly entertaining writing style.

deldergod
03-10-2009, 07:02 PM
http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/49/f7/4cbec060ada0667a98a9f110.L.jpg

Cyril Tourneur
03-11-2009, 12:51 PM
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_pHBXYlk-sw0/R4KkjtzSC2I/AAAAAAAAADs/K8rVkDXLoM0/s320/MIM-Anders.jpg

MimesisBookShop (http://mimesisbookshop.com/shop/Tecnica+e+violenza+(a+cura+di+L.+Pizzighella)__art 17.aspx)

brilliant book by an even more brilliant editor (IF YOU UNDERSTAND ITALIAN IT'S A MUST!!!!!!!!)


Günther Anders was an early critic of the role of technology in modern life and in this context was a trenchant critic of the role of television. His essay "The Phantom World of TV," written in the late 1950s, was published in an edition of Bernard Rosenberg and David Manning White's influential anthology Mass Culture as "The Phantom World of Television." In it he details how the televisual experience substitutes images for experience, leading people to eschew first-hand experiences in the world and instead become "voyeurs," His dominant metaphor in this essay centers on how television interposes itself between family members "at the dinner table." See "Die Welt als Phantom und Matrize. Philosophische Betrachtungen über Rundfunk und Fernsehen (The World as Phantom and Matrix. Philosophical Observations on Radio and Television) (1956)."

Foreword.""Outdatedness of Human Beings 1", 5th edition
"The three main theses: that we are no match for the perfection of our products; that we produce more than we can visualize and take responsibility for; and that we believe, that, what we can do, are allowed to do, no: should do, no: must do - these three basic theses, in light of the environmental threats emerging over the last quarter century, have become more prevailing and urgent than they were then."

Changing the world
"It does not suffice to change the world. We do that anyway. And to a large extent that happens even without our involvement. In addition we have to interpret this change. Precisely because to change it. That therefore the world does not change without us. And ultimately into a world without us."

from: Introduction. "Outdatedness of Human Beings 2"
This volume is "...a philosophical anthropology in the age of technocracy". With "technocracy" I do not mean the rule of technocrats (as if they were a group of specialists, who dominate today's politics), but the fact, that the world, in which we live and which determines us, is a technological one - which extends so far, that we are not allowed to say, that in our historical situation there is among other things technology, rather do we have to say: within the world's status called "technology" history happens, in other words technology has become the subject of history, in which we are only "co-historical".

yellowish haze
03-15-2009, 10:18 AM
http://rachelhulin.com/blog/image/ricahrds.jpg
The Blue Room by Eugene Richards



from Amazon.com:
Eugene Richards was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, a neighborhood of Boston. After graduating from Northeastern University with a degree in English and journalism, he studied photography with Minor White at MIT. In 1968 he became a health care advocate in eastern Arkansas. Two years later, he helped found a social service organization and a community newspaper, Many Voices, that reported on black political action and the Ku Klux Klan. After publication of his first two books, Few Comforts or Surprises: The Arkansas Delta (1973) and Dorchester Days (self-published in 1978), Richards was invited to become a nominee at Magnum. He was a member until he departed in 1995, returned to the cooperative in 2002, and departed for a second time in 2005.



Richards has been the recipient of numerous awards over the course of his career, including the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, three National Endowment for the Arts grants, the Leica Medal of Excellence, the Leica Oskar Barnack Award, the Olivier Rebbot Award, and the Robert F. Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award for coverage of the disadvantaged. His photographs are collected and exhibited widely, and a major touring retrospective of his work premiered at the Rencontres Internationales de la Photographies in Arles, France in 1997. His photo essays have appeared in countless publications, including The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, TIME, Newsweek, The New Yorker, Fortune, and Life. In addition to his prolific photography, Richards has also written, photographed, directed, and produced four short films as well as an hour-long documentary. His documentary, entitled Now, then, forever, is a cinema verite treatment of life inside a Nebraska nursing home that had its world premiere at the 2003 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. Other films included Cocaine True, Cocaine Blue, a powerful portrait of a crack-infested neighborhood in Philadelphia, and But, the day came chronicles the passage of a 92-year-old farm into a nursing home. The latter received the Jury Award for Best Short Film at the 2000 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.



Despite his success in other fields, Richards remains best known for his books and photo essays on cancer, drug addiction, poverty, emergency medicine, the mentally disabled, aging, and death in America. His intense vision and unswerving commitment have led him to become what many believe is America's greatest living social documentary photographer. This new body of work, entitled The Blue Room, is one of Richards' most personal works to date. It his is first-ever color project, and it brings together the overarching themes of all his work ''the transient nature of things'' in a beautiful and moving series of pictures of the landscape and abandoned houses of the American West, covering the states of Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Arkansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, and the Dakotas. This is the area where settlers came around the turn of the twentieth century, pursuing the promise of homesteads where they could build successful communities. However, in the wake of the Great Depression and the dust storms of the 1930s, the farms in this isolated, semi-arid region faltered and failed, leaving the land littered with forgotten homes.

Richards' photographs are a statement on the vulnerability of man in the face of the shifting economic opportunities and the climate; a commentary on the inevability of change. In these contemplative pictures we are inspired to imagine the lives of the homes' former occupants. Richards enigmatic pictures make The Blue Room a thought-provoking meditation on memory; a quiet yet incredibly powerful body of work.

Doctor Munoz
03-15-2009, 07:40 PM
http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/n0/n344.jpg

LITTLE, BIG by John Crowley

Haunting, elusive, lyrical, complex, a novel about fairyland and how influence the lives of a whole family. The little people are not explained, they are the others, and longing for their realm is, perhaps, longing for dead. Exquisite, but thankfully devoid of prettiness. Edgewood, the victorian house which is also an architectural folly (and a door to elsewhere) is a powerful presence, even if it is made of allusions and sense of being watched rather than bricks. When the plot goes from the woods to New York, a sizeable portion of literary enchantment is preserved, and that is a real success for Crowley.

bendk
03-16-2009, 12:31 PM
This recommendation is inspired by the Sideshow Passage of the Day thread. The following description is on the inside flap of the book.


Dr. Caligari's Black Book edited by Peter Haining

Nearly half a century after it was made, (book published in 1972) The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari remains as one of the finest-and most terrifying-horror films ever produced. It heralded an entirely new kind of screen entertainment and inspired so much that has since delighted and chilled audiences around the world. Now it has inspired a completely unique anthology of horror stories. For here are tales from the world of Dr Caligari: mysterious sideshows, freaks and monsters, seances, macabre plays, and all manner of dark terrors lurking in the shadows.
In compiling this anthology, the editor has drawn on rare stories by some of the most famous names in the genre: Ray Bradbury, August Derleth, Robert Bloch, Agatha Christie, J.B. Priestly, H.R. Wakefield and many more. You have been warned: the ghost of Dr. Caligari is lurking on every page!

CALIGARISM - Anything distorted or bizarre

"What I have experienced is stranger than anything you have ever encountered."
-The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

Contents

Introduction
The Second Awakening of a Magician by S.L. Dennis
The Jar by Ray Bradbury
Satan's Circus by Lady Eleanor Smith
The Last Seance by Agatha Christie
Mrs. Elting Plays Her Part by August Derleth
The Third Performance by Anthony Gittins
The Waxwork by A.M. Burrage
The Sorceror's Apprentice by Robert Bloch
The Dwarf by Marcel Ayme
The Demon King by J.B. Priestly
The Horror in the Museum by Hazel Head
Farewell Performance by H.R. Wakefield
The End of a Show by Barry Pain



http://vaultofevil.files.wordpress.com/2007/09/caligari.jpg (http://vaultofevil.wordpress.com/2007/09/06/peter-haining-dr-caligaris-black-book/dr-caligaris-black-book/)

yellowish haze
03-17-2009, 03:24 PM
http://www.prometheusbooks.com/images/insearchoflight.jpg


As a college student Blackmore was determined to devise experiments to reveal the reality of parapsychology, but found her experiments revealed nothing. Her quest for parapsychological evidence along other paths constantly turned up faults in experiments: this new book charts her journey and reveals revelations in her field. -- Midwest Book Review

"True skepticism has nothing to do with disbelief," says Susan Blackmore. "It is about taking people's claims seriously and trying to understand them." As a starry-eyed student, Blackmore was convinced of the reality of astral planes, telepathy, and life after death. She was determined to devote her life to parapsychology, but what she found wasn't what she had bargained for. None of her cleverly devised experiments revealed a hint of the psi she was seeking. In a determined effort to find it somehow, she tested young children in play groups, trained students in imagery and altered states of consciousness, and even put Tarot cards to the test. She visited haunted houses and was regressed to a "past life."Finally, accused of being a "psi-inhibitory experimenter" with the power of abolishing paranormal effects, she visited other, more successful, experimenters. Here she found only errors in their experiments. In this new and updated edition of "The Adventures of a Parapsychologist", Blackmore is at last at liberty to explain just what she found in those ill-fated experiments at Cambridge. She brings her story up to date in a lively and personal account of one scientist's never-ending search for the paranormal.

yellowish haze
03-19-2009, 06:51 PM
Just started reading this one:


http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/n54/n271760.jpg

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Bestseller Simmons (The Terror) brilliantly imagines a terrifying sequence of events as the inspiration for Dickens's last, uncompleted novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, in this unsettling and complex thriller. In the course of narrowly escaping death in an 1865 train wreck and trying to rescue fellow passengers, Dickens encounters a ghoulish figure named Drood, who had apparently been traveling in a coffin. Along with his real-life novelist friend Wilkie Collins, who narrates the tale, Dickens pursues the elusive Drood, an effort that leads the pair to a nightmarish world beneath London's streets. Collins begins to wonder whether the object of their quest, if indeed the man exists, is merely a cover for his colleague's own murderous inclinations. Despite the book's length, readers will race through the pages, drawn by the intricate plot and the proliferation of intriguing psychological puzzles, which will remind many of the work of Charles Palliser and Michael Cox. 4-city author tour. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From The New Yorker
In this creepy intertextual tale of professional jealousy and possible madness, Wilkie Collins tells of his friendship and rivalry with Charles Dickens, and of the mysterious phantasm named Edwin Drood, who pursues them both. Drood, cadaverous and pale, first appears at the scene of a railway accident in which Dickens was one of the few survivors; later, Dickens and Collins descend into London�s sewer in search of his lair. Meanwhile, a retired police detective warns Collins that Drood is responsible for more than three hundred murders, and that he will destroy Dickens in his quest for immortality. Collins is peevish, vain, and cruel, and the most unreliable of narrators: an opium addict, prone to nightmarish visions. The narrative is overlong, with discarded subplots and red herrings, but Simmons, a master of otherworldly suspense, cleverly explores envy�s corrosive effects.
Copyright ©2008 Click here to subscribe to The New Yorker

Doctor Munoz
03-24-2009, 07:36 PM
http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/n6/n33250.jpg

Bioy Casares is somehow shadowed by his friend, the giant Borges, but he was a great fantasist in his own right. This novella is his most famous work, and for many his best. However I think that some of his later work is still better. In anycase, a haunting story about a man stranded in a desert island, that may be not that deserted. A story about loneliness, love and inmortality, actually bubbling with ideas. Written in 1940, it is a classic of fantasy in Spanish, but not very well known in the English-speaking world. That changed a little when a character in "Lost" appeared on screen reading Bioy's book.

Daisy
03-26-2009, 02:39 PM
http://www.thecommentary.ca/images/books/gray.jpg

From Toby Green’s review, published in the Independent on 29 June 2007, of Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia by John Gray:

Creative genius can at times be connected to crisis. Some of the most pathfinding literature and philosophy of the 20th century emerged from disaster. The most insightful work of Achebe, Adorno, Arendt, Benjamin, Pasternak and Solzhenitsyn would not exist were it not for the debris of massacres. No one reading this new book about “apocalyptic religion and the death of Utopia” can be under any illusion but that this is also a time of crisis. Indeed, one of John Gray’s supreme qualities as a thinker is that he is bereft of illusions.

Stripping away the meaningless verbiage which swaddles so much analysis, Gray discerns an underlying structure of thought (or lack of thought) in the political landscape. This is the refuge in fantasies which derive either from apocalyptic religion or from secularist utopianism. Such fantasies, he shows, drive the neo-conservative agenda and are the true origins of the crisis faced today.

At first, this analysis may not appear original. Gray is hardly alone in drawing attention to the influence of the apocalyptic Christian right in America. The most disturbing instance came in October 2003, when under-secretary of defence William Boykin declared that the enemy in the “war on terror” was “a guy called Satan.” As Gray notes, instead of this remark heralding the end of Boykin’s career, he continues to work at the Pentagon.

Gray’s importance, however, lies in tracing the connections of thought rather than in outlining the detail of politics. Black Mass shows the intellectual linkage between today’s religious rhetoric and movements as diverse as the Bolsheviks, the Jacobins and the Nazis. His deep insight is that the underlying structure of modern politics derives from Christianity, and that the return of overt religious language to politics is merely the renewal of a latent characteristic.

There is much here to stir controversy. When British politics subsists within the parameters of secularism, the idea that this secularism is derivative of Christianity is highly provocative. Yet the argument is meticulous and persuasive. Gray shows lucidly how the secular utopian projects of both communism and Nazism were vehicles for religious myths.

Both ideologies held that after a great struggle the optimum social organisation would emerge for a chosen people –proletarians for the communists, Aryans for the Nazis. In this process there was a redemptive quality to the violence, which was an essential part of the process of revolution which accompanied the change.

This may seem a long way from Christianity but, as Gray shows, the concepts of an “end time” and of a final struggle leading to harmony are central to early Christian theology. Furthermore, “the very idea of revolution as a transforming event in history is owed to religion”. Thus the ideas of the most brutal atheistic regimes of the 20th century derived their imagery from religious thought. . . .

Gray is unusual among contemporary Anglo-American philosophers in recognising the primary role of the passions in forming ideas. He is a compelling writer, dismembering his targets with surgical irony.

vegetable theories
03-26-2009, 03:25 PM
Thanks for this recommendation !
I read Straw Dogs, an earlier book by John Grey and was really impressed.
He seems to upset a lot of liberal humanists (and I'd call myself a liberal humanist) because he's critical of the idea of progress, or inevitable progress. They seem to think that he's saying that there's no point to political struggle, but I don't think that's his message at all. If anything, his writing makes me think that we should take nothing for granted, but be constantly vigilant.
Also, the way that the religious/secular debate has become so polarized makes his writing more refreshing because he's neither for or against religion. He just seems to think that, like violence or sexual desire, it's pre-programmed into humans.
Ofcourse I may be misrepresenting his ideas because I've only read the one book, but do I intend to read Black Mass. It looks really interesting.

Cyril Tourneur
03-27-2009, 07:30 PM
Hermann Ungar 'The Maimed'

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41NZ6WNGYAL._SS500_.jpg

Review
"The Maimed" takes us to a bizarre interwar Prague populated by petty bureaucrats who are all unraveling inside. -- The Prague Post

David Lynch and Patrick McCabe fans will fall right into this marvelously dark and psychotically twisted tale. -- The New Pages

The Maimed is a great work. Subtly written, well-constructed. Kudos to Kevin Blahut for an excellent translation. -- Christopher Lord

This is an absolutely riveting tale ...The translation by Kevin Blahut is fine. The design of the book is ... gorgeous. -- Ralph Magazine

Ungar’s "The Maimed" captures the suffocatingly claustrophobic life of Franz Polzer, a life haunted by lies, deceit, brutality, blackmail ... -- Education Digest

[A] superlative introduction to an author whose small oeuvre’s long absence from translation seems unforgivable. -- Hyde Park Review of Books

[O]ne of the most provocative novels I have ever read. -- Thomas Mcgonigle, Los Angeles Times, June 9, 2002

a sexual hell, full of filth, crime and the deepest melancholy, but nevertheless the digression of an inwardly pure artistry. -- Thomas Mann

great and terrible, alluring and repulsive ... unforgettable, although one would like to ... flee the evil sense of oppression it creates. -- Stefan Zweig




Franz Polzer works in a bank, noting and filing papers. He speaks to no one, goes from his room to his work, and then back to his room. He eats a simple meal prepared by his landlady, the widow Klara Porges. He then sleeps, gets up and goes to work, arriving at exactly the same time he has for the last seventeen years.

But the widow craves affection, finally gets him to take her for a walk, and then seduces him --- much to his shame. Meanwhile, he meets with his friend Karl Fanta who has turned from being a handsome young man to a cripple who has lost both legs and one arm.

Karl whispers to Franz that his wife Dora is plotting against him, wants to steal his money, has hired on an attendant to kill him and take the inheritance. To get away from his wife, Karl (and the attendant Sonntag) move into Franz's apartment. At that point, everything falls apart.

Well, not really. Like a Kafka novel, everything has been falling apart from the very beginning. Franz Polzer (the word means "weenie") worries about his fellow workers in the bank laughing at him; he worries about the widow stealing sheets of paper from him; he worries about how yellow and hairy she is; he worries about a hole in the knee of his best pair of pants; he worries --- as all good neo-schizophrenics must --- about worrying.

But with Sonntag and his knife (he used to be a butcher) and Karl with his nutty ideas about people wanting to steal from him and kill him --- with all these right down the hall, things go from being screwy to being downright scary. Klara Porges gets pregnant, and Fritz, lying next to her in bed, thinks,

The child in her belly was breathing, the living child. Soon her belly would be opened and the child would lie before Polzer, naked, with tubular limbs and deep creases in the flesh at the joints, a girl, with a line between her legs...He did not want it, it should never be.

This meditation on his soon-to-be-born daughter leads him into a threnody on ugliness --- a song that is repeated again and again:

She was ugly and everything was a torment, But everything had to be a torment and everything had to be ugly.

"Everything had to be ugly:" Franz with his "big red hands." Karl with his stumps and suppurating wounds. Sonntag with his blood-stained apron. Frau Klara, with

the swollen belly, her breasts which fell to the side when she lay down, the hairs between them, her fat face, the hands that had grasped all over the bodies of the men.

§ § §

This is an absolutely riveting tale, told with an absolute minimum of detail --- filled with quick, impressionistic sketches. With its repeated horrors out of the daily grind of life, it reminds one of the post WWI art of Weimar Germany known as Die neue Sachlichkeit --- "the new matter-of-factness," or "the new resignation," possibly even, "the new blah" --- with painters like George Grosz, Georg Schotz, Otto Dix, Otto Griebel, and Heinrich Maria Davringhausen.

The Maimed is thus first cousin to Die neue Sachlichkeit. There are no flowers here, no trees, no happy children, no happy people. The characters are trapped in a miserable merry-go-round, desperate for an escape and yet afraid of any escape that is offered to them. One is reminded of Sartre's La Nausée, West's Miss Lonelyhearts, the plays of Eugene O'Neill.

Kafka --- a contemporary --- is merry and bright compared to Ungar. At times, the world of The Maimed is so drab, so bleak, so miserable, so misogynistic that one wants to lay it aside, especially when the cripple Karl starts in to talking about Klara's body,

Her stomach is ugly, isn't it? Covered with folds of fat? You must be able to see it when she bathes...You say she is not very fit. Her breasts, her fat stomach, slap slap, flabby as boiled pork. Just like that, Polzer, slap slap, the mother sow!

But The Maimed works on several levels besides one of naked disgust. There are the tiny details that tear the characters apart (and hold the novel together): the butcher's knife, and the blood-stain on his apron; Polzer's hat that people seem to laugh at; the Saint Christopher painting that hangs over his bed (that falls crashing to the ground); the suit that a stranger buys him; and --- again and again --- "the white part in Klara's hair." These are themes that bind the story tightly, symbols that come banging together at the very end when Klara Porges' head is found, in the stairwell, wrapped on a dirty cloth, chopped off at the neck.

§ § §

This is one of two novels written by Hermann Ungar before he died in 1929 at the age of thirty-six. The present edition contains a brief fragmentary final chapter that the author himself rejected when the book was published in 1923. It should not have been included here; in four pages, it undoes much of the ambiguousness that lends such power to this story of cruelty and unrest and anxiety.

The translation by Kevin Blahut is fine. The design of the book is a gorgeous, subtle work of art all on its own.

Doctor Munoz
03-27-2009, 10:05 PM
http://secure.giantrobot.com/images/products/2008-09-08/19.jpg

THE BOULEVARD OF BROKEN DREAMS. Script and art by Kim Deitch.

This is the story of Ted Mishkin, a cartoonist that, since his childhood, cultivates the acquaintance of a black cat, a fiend, sleazy and foul mouthed, probably a figment of his imagination but in any case a driving force for him both towards to his success in the animation industry and to alcoholism. So the world get to know Waldo the cat as a screen character akin to Felix, but only his creator knows that there is a, well, real cat behind the "funnies", a cat that lives "at the edge of things", so to speak, only visible for drunkards or madmen.
The sheer scope of this work, (it reads to some extent as an introduction to American animation history) the beautiful lunacy of the drawings, mixing underground proclivities with the half naive half perverse Bettyboopiesque thirties style... I have no real words to express the unique fascination of this graphic novel, a masterpiece of weird narrative.
By the way, Jim Woodring likes Deitch. He said there is so much fun in Deitch comics, a flow of entertainment so thick that feels like horror. Or something on that line. :drunk:

yellowish haze
03-28-2009, 03:56 AM
http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/n46/n230507.jpg


Review
"[a] hypnotic narrative about the rise of a mysterious, unnamed city." -- San Diego Union Tribune, June 20. 2004

"dexterously braids cords of memory, imagination, and elegaic intensity." -- Rain Taxi, Spring 2004

Product Description


Hailed as one of the most brilliant contributions to the literature of Central and Eastern Europe since the fall of Communism, Dreams and Stones won the prestigious Koscielski Foundation Prize in Poland in 1995. Telling the story of the growth of a great city, Tulli relates its history by entering the lives of the stones from which the buildings and monuments are constructed, as well as the dreams of people and objects interwoven with the city's history. Revealing the inner lives of buildings, mirrors and news-paper -photographs, she explores the design of the city, its growth and its workings. Dismantling the city piece by piece, Tulli reveals a very different metaphysical landscape lying, literally, beneath and around it.

puppet nonsense
03-28-2009, 08:20 PM
I'm not sure if they have been mentioned yet, but I would highly recommend both Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves, and Only Revolutions. http://www.genre-x.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/blog2.jpg The House of Leaves is a horror story, and it follows several different people involved at different times. The book is a labyrinth and the layout of the book will change depending upon what is happening in the story. For example, sections reversed so you have to hold them up to a mirror, or sections with one or only a few words printed on them during a particularly intense section. Deals a lot with the same kind of unexplained all pervading horror as it seems everyone here likes. http://www.geocities.com/hebdomeroshome/only_revolutions/only_revolutions.jpg Only Revolutions is also a crazy book. It's a love story really, but not some romcom starring Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock or Jeniffer Aniston. The whole work is written in a sort of prose that reminds me of song lyrics or poetry. Even words that do not exist seem to make sense in context. The book is 360 pages, and you read 8 pages from one side, flip the book over and read 8 from the otherside. This may sound confusing, but each side is the story from one of the two characters views. Hopefully that made sense. It's an awesome book, and I highly suggest it. :)

bendk
04-02-2009, 11:31 AM
Not really a recommendation, because I haven't read it yet, but I think this book looks interesting. I'm going to try to get it through the interlibrary loan system.

http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Images/Chicago/9780226020549.jpeg



Possessed
Hypnotic Crimes, Corporate Fiction, and the Invention of Cinema
by Stefan Andriopoulos

Translated by Peter Jansen and Stefan Andriopoulos
208 pages, 13 halftones 6 x 9 © 2008

Silent cinema and contemporaneous literature explored themes of mesmerism, possession, and the ominous agency of corporate bodies that subsumed individual identities. At the same time, critics accused film itself of exerting a hypnotic influence over spellbound audiences. Stefan Andriopoulos shows that all this anxiety over being governed by an outside force was no marginal oddity, but rather a pervasive concern in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Tracing this preoccupation through the period’s films—as well as its legal, medical, and literary texts—Andriopoulos pays particular attention to the terrifying notion of murder committed against one’s will. He returns us to a time when medical researchers described the hypnotized subject as a medium who could be compelled to carry out violent crimes, and when films like The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler famously portrayed the hypnotist’s seemingly unlimited power on the movie screen. Juxtaposing these medicolegal and cinematic scenarios with modernist fiction, Andriopoulos also develops an innovative reading of Kafka’s novels, which center on the merging of human and corporate bodies.
Blending theoretical sophistication with scrupulous archival research and insightful film analysis, Possessed adds a new dimension to our understanding of today’s anxieties about the onslaught of visual media and the expanding reach of vast corporations that seem to absorb our own identities.

The New Nonsense
04-02-2009, 05:00 PM
I'm not sure if they have been mentioned yet, but I would highly recommend both Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves,...

That's funny. I was just reading about this book the other day. There's a huge Wiki page devoted to it with tons of info:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Leaves

I read it back in 2000 when it first came out. However, on my initial read much of the book's hidden content slipped past me, at least the stuff that wasn't obvious. For example, the wiki entry mentions hidden Morse code within the book's paragraphs. The book is a cryptographer's dream. Over the years it's developed a cult status inspiring websites and chat boards devoted to unlocking its secrets. Even nine years later people are still decoding and discovering hidden material within its pages.

A few years ago I read a book called THE CARVER EFFECT by Wolfgang Von Bober (1979). The book details Von Bober's allegedly true experiences while living in an infamous haunted mansion in northern Wisconsin called Summerwind -- probably the most famous haunted house in the state (sadly it was struck by lighting in 1981 and burned down). While reading the book I noticed numerous occurrences mirroring events in HOUSE OF LEAVES. These events were far too specific too be pure coincidence. Therefore, I'm fairly certain Danielewski based his House of Leaves mansion in part on the real-life Summerwind mansion.

I plan to reread HOUSE OF LEAVES soon. I think I'll get a lot more out of it the second time around. It's an incredible book. There's also a companion book to it called, THE WHALESTOE LETTERS.

Ligeia
04-06-2009, 11:43 AM
http://courses.cit.cornell.edu/bionb2220/images/Sacks_MWMHWFAH.gif

A neurologist who claims to be equally interested in disease and people, Sacks (Awakenings, etc.) explores neurological disorders with a novelist's skill and an appreciation of his patients as human beings. These cases, some of which have appeared in literary or medical publications, illustrate the tragedy of losing neurological facultiesmemory, powers of visualization, word-recognitionor the also-devastating fate of those suffering an excess of neurological functions causing such hyper states as chorea, tics, Tourette's syndrome and Parkinsonism. Still other patients experience organically based hallucinations, transports, visions, etc., usually deemed to be psychic in nature. The science of neurology, Sacks charges, stresses the abstract and computerized at the expense of judgment and emotional depthsin his view, the most important human qualities. Therapy for brain-damaged patients (by medication, accommodation, music or art) should, he asserts, be designed to help restore the essentially personal quality of the individual.

Odalisque
04-06-2009, 12:21 PM
I have a copy of that book! I bought it whilst I was on a counselling course. After I received my counselling diploma, I didn't retain a great many of the course books. This is one of those I kept, and I did so -- at least in part -- because of its remarkable title.

Ligeia
04-06-2009, 12:33 PM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41XDH84ZNNL._SS500_.jpg

THE SECRETS OF DR. TAVERNER is perhaps the best known work of fiction authored by renown Esotericist and Psychiatrist Violet Mary Firth (a.k.a. Dion Fortune). Dr. Taverner runs a very UN-conventional nursing home. He uses the ancient, arcane knowledge that he has learned as an Initiate of an esoteric secret order in his diagnosis and treatment of mental disturbances. Modern psychiatry could learn a lot from Dr. Taverner. While the book is actually a series of short stories, Fortune has expertly woven them into a meaningful tapestry of lessons-by-example, much like the texts I recall from my grammar school catechisms. Dr. Rhodes, a novice to the occult and the narrator of these tales, develops many insights and skills of his own as he witnesses and experiences the esoteric "therapies" that Taverner brings to bear in his unique treatment regimens for disturbances that allegedly have mental underpinnings. Along the way, the reader learns that it's often the things we DON'T see that can make or break an individual's sanity.

bendk
04-06-2009, 02:10 PM
I just ordered this book from Amazon. Could this be the same John Langan who wrote the essay: Thomas Ligotti's Metafictional Mapping: The Allegory of "The Last Feast of Harlequin" that S.T. Joshi published in the Lovecraft Annual in 2007? Before posting this, I searched TLO for "Langan" to see if he had been mentioned before. Phil started a thread about him in 2005! So much for me being on the cutting edge of horror, but I eventually come around. Any horror author who is describe as writing in a "classic tongue" and is compared to M.R. James, AND has written an essay on Ligotti is worth a look. I also found out that this collection is currently nominated for the Bram Stoker award. A couple of 5 star reviews on Amazon to boot.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51jsLzsxDlL._SS500_.jpg




From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. As Elizabeth Hand aptly observes in her introduction to this exceptional debut horror collection, Langan's tales celebrate supernatural fiction's antiquarian and visionary past with as much eloquence and acuity—and terror—as they explore the dark heart of the 21st century. The richly atmospheric title story evokes the weird fiction of both Henry James and M.R. James in its account of a family cursed with a demonic familiar with a ravenous appetite for disobedient children. On Skua Island, a relentlessly creepy monster story, pits a team of modern espionage operatives against an implacable creature of the living dead out of Norse legend. The five tales run the gamut from supernatural satire (Tutorial) to apocalyptic nightmare (Episode Seven), but whatever their theme or tone, Langan shows uncommon skill at balancing character, plot and mood to achieve the perfect pitch for each. Horror readers will welcome a new voice speaking in a classic tongue.

hopfrog
04-10-2009, 09:14 PM
I just ordered this book from Amazon. Could this be the same John Langan who wrote the essay: Thomas Ligotti's Metafictional Mapping: The Allegory of "The Last Feast of Harlequin" that S.T. Joshi published in the Lovecraft Annual in 2007? Before posting this, I searched TLO for "Langan" to see if he had been mentioned before. Phil started a thread about him in 2005! So much for me being on the cutting edge of horror, but I eventually come around. Any horror author who is describe as writing in a "classic tongue" and is compared to M.R. James, AND has written an essay on Ligotti is worth a look. I also found out that this collection is currently nominated for the Bram Stoker award. A couple of 5 star reviews on Amazon to boot.
.

AND a combination of M. R. James and my idol Henry James!! Thanks for this -- you've convinced me that this is a must-have. I've just ordered it over at amazon. I am especially keen to read modern weird fiction that is substantially SUPERNATURAL in its approach to horror, and I have a feeling that this collection will entrance and inspire me.

Bleak&Icy
04-14-2009, 12:32 PM
http://http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/515PWci-mnL._SS500_.jpghttp://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/515PWci-mnL._SS500_.jpg

The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror: No. 19, edited by Stephen Jones.

I picked this up at my local library earlier this evening, and I was delighted to find a good many TLO members represented in the contents page. The volume contains wonderful stories by Mark Samuels, Joel Lane, Simon Strantzas... not to mention Reggie Oliver, Ramsey Campbell, Conrad Williams and Gary McMahon (but of course one needs to ignore the inclusion of a third-rate hack like Joe Hill).

Odalisque
04-14-2009, 01:02 PM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41XDH84ZNNL._SS500_.jpg


A series of Dion Fortune paperbacks was issued in (I think) the 80s with really lovely covers. I don't know who painted them, but they're well worth checking out, if you can run them to earth.

Ligeia
04-15-2009, 09:34 AM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/613W2NDWX2L._SL500_AA240_.jpg

Ascrobius
04-15-2009, 05:58 PM
I have to give Tom credit on this one. We were discussing the work of Dino Buzzati not long ago and he recommended looking into Ghelderode's works. I was unaware of him, and thank god (well,...thank someone) that he turned me on to Ghelderode. When I started reading about him and his work, I was immediately compelled by it for what should be obvious reasons. Fantastic? Macabre? Grotesque? A "cruel world full of puppets, devils, masks, skeletons, and how about the presence of "mysterious old women"? "Eerie" and "Atmospheric"?

If you haven't made the connection by now, I can't do much else to help you.
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ______________________________________
Michel de Ghelderode (1898 - 1962) was an avant-garde
Avant-garde Belgian dramatist, writing in French. He was born on Palm Sunday April 3rd, 1898, as Adhémar-Adolphe-Louis Martens in Ixelles and married in 1924 to Jeanne-Françoise Gérard.
He died in Brussels, and is buried in the Laeken cemetery. A prolific writer, he wrote more than sixty plays, a hundred stories, a number of articles on art and folklore and more than 20,000 letters. He is the creator of a fantastic and disturbing, often macabre, grotesque and cruel world filled with mannequins, puppets, devils, masks, skeletons, religious paraphernalia, mysterious old women... etc. His works create an eerie and unsettling atmosphere although they rarely contain anything openly scary. Among his influences are puppet theater, commedia dell'arte and the paintings of fellow Belgian James Ensor. His works often deal with the extremes of human experience, from death and degradation to religious exaltation. His 1934 play La Balade du grand macabre served as inspiration for György Ligeti's opera Le Grand Macabre.
(I should state that the Information on Ghelderode was taken from Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannica online)
http://i589.photobucket.com/albums/ss337/timothyjeski/DSC04375.jpg

Odalisque
04-15-2009, 06:12 PM
I posted this on another thread, but...

http://www.ligotti.net/picture.php?albumid=111&pictureid=1175

It doesn't contain many (any?) belly laughs, but it is filled with quite a lot of dry humour that may appeal to people on the TLO. The book also serves to cast the ancient Egyptians in a light which will be unfamiliar to many. There was a lot more to the folk of the Nile than temples and tombs and all that.

hopfrog
04-22-2009, 12:14 AM
I've just re-discover's one of my favourite gothic novels -- FENGRIFFEN, by David Case. I found this, in various editions, in the 1970's, in used book shops, where it was always in the "women's romances" section. I was, at the time, convinc'd that I was gonna begin a career writing those romance novels, and began to collect some cheap second-hand editions so as to study ye genre. I liked the title of this one, and was thrilled with how good I found it. Wanting to share my new discovery, I bought a bunch of copies and gave them to my correspondents, most of whom were older gents who had been friends with H. P. Lovecraft when they were youngsters: H. Warner Munn, J. Vernon Shea, Bho Bloch. Oh, and I sent one to Sprague de Camp. They all said it wasn't a very good novel. I found an old pb copy on Amazon recently, so I order'd it and timidly open'd it when it arriv'd, dreading the worse. Instead, I find that I still love it. I find the writing extremely fine, and the story is a captivating yarn of daemonic lore. It was filmed, by Amicus I think, as AND NOW THE SCREAMING STARTS.

David Case later went on to record hundreds of books for BOOKS ON TAPE, my favourite of which is his splendid reading of Richard Ellmann's superb biography of Oscar Wilde. Mr. Case will be the writer guest of honour at next year's WORLD HORROR CONVENTION, in Brighton, England. I am really looking forward to meeting him. I was astonished to learn that he's a Yank, as in his readings he has ye moft delightful British accent.

hopfrog
05-08-2009, 12:53 AM
This recommendation is inspired by the Sideshow Passage of the Day thread. The following description is on the inside flap of the book.


Dr. Caligari's Black Book edited by Peter Haining

Nearly half a century after it was made, (book published in 1972) The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari remains as one of the finest-and most terrifying-horror films ever produced. It heralded an entirely new kind of screen entertainment and inspired so much that has since delighted and chilled audiences around the world. Now it has inspired a completely unique anthology of horror stories. For here are tales from the world of Dr Caligari: mysterious sideshows, freaks and monsters, seances, macabre plays, and all manner of dark terrors lurking in the shadows.
In compiling this anthology, the editor has drawn on rare stories by some of the most famous names in the genre: Ray Bradbury, August Derleth, Robert Bloch, Agatha Christie, J.B. Priestly, H.R. Wakefield and many more. You have been warned: the ghost of Dr. Caligari is lurking on every page!

I bought this book when I was a Mormon missionary in Omagh, Northern Ireland, in 1972. The church leaders wouldn't let me go to horror films, so I began to collect horror anthologies instead, & this is how I got hooked on reading weird fiction. Robert Bloch was a pen-pal, and so I began to buy books that contain'd his tales. I loved this book! Wish I still had it -- although I have moft of ye stories in other anthologies. I finally bought so many horror anthologies that I had to buy a wee suitcase just to keep them in (and hide them from my leaders -- they were worry'd about my soul because, for my birthday, some old horror film fans sent me Lavey's SATANIC BIBLE as a birthday gift -- and my church leaders freak'd out like you wouldn't believe). I still have a few of the Haining anthologies that I bought in Ireland, including a book of Irish ghost stories, in which I scotch taped a shamrock that I found in Phoenix Park. In was in that book that I first read Oscar Wilde.

Joe Pulver
05-08-2009, 08:28 PM
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/6/64/The_King_in_Yellow.jpg/200px-The_King_in_Yellow.jpg
Cover of the first, 1895 edition of The King in Yellow

Song of my soul, my voice is dead;
Die thou, unsung, as tears unshed
Shall dry and die in
Lost Carcosa.


The King in Yellow is a collection of short stories written by Robert W. Chambers and published in 1895. The stories could be categorized as early horror fiction or Victorian Gothic fiction, but the work also touches on mythology, fantasy, mystery, science fiction and romance. The first four stories in the collection involve a fictional two-act play of the same title.

Stories

The first four stories are loosely connected by three main devices:

* A play in book form entitled The King in Yellow
* A mysterious and malevolent supernatural entity known as The King in Yellow
* An eerie symbol called The Yellow Sign

The color yellow signifies the decadent and aesthetic attitudes that were fashionable at the turn of the 20th century, typified by such publications as The Yellow Book, a literary journal associated with Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley. It has also been suggested that the color yellow represents quarantine — an allusion to decay, disease, and specifically mental illness. For instance, the famous short story "The Yellow Wallpaper", involving a bedridden woman's descent into madness, was published shortly before Chambers' book.

These stories are macabre in tone, centering on characters that are often artists or decadents. The first story "The Repairer of Reputations", is set in an imagined future 1920s America, whose history, being at odds with the knowledge of the reader, adds to the effect of its unreliable narrator. The next three are set in Paris at the same time.

The other stories in the book do not follow the macabre theme of the first four, and most are written in the romantic fiction style common to Chambers' later work. Some are linked to the preceding stories by their Parisien setting and artistic protagonists.

List of stories

The stories present in the book are:

* The Repairer of Reputations
* The Mask
* In the Court of the Dragon
* The Yellow Sign
* The Demoiselle d'Ys
* The Prophets' Paradise
* The Street of the Four Winds
* The Street of the First Shell
* The Street of Our Lady of the Fields
* Rue Barrée

The Play The King in Yellow

The fictional play The King in Yellow has two acts, and at least three characters: Cassilda, Camilla, and the King in Yellow. Chambers' story collection excerpts sections from the play to introduce the book as a whole, or individual stories. For example, "Cassilda's Song" comes from Act I, Scene 2 of the play:

Along the shore the cloud waves break,
The twin suns sink beneath the lake,
The shadows lengthen

In Carcosa.

Strange is the night where black stars rise,
And strange moons circle through the skies
But stranger still is

Lost Carcosa.

Songs that the Hyades shall sing,
Where flap the tatters of the King,
Must die unheard in

Dim Carcosa.

Song of my soul, my voice is dead;
Die thou, unsung, as tears unshed
Shall dry and die in

Lost Carcosa.

The short story "The Mask" is introduced by an excerpt from Act I, Scene 2d:

Camilla: You, sir, should unmask.
Stranger: Indeed?
Cassilda: Indeed, it's time. We have all laid aside disguise but you.
Stranger: I wear no mask.
Camilla: (Terrified, aside to Cassilda.) No mask? No mask!

All of the excerpts come from Act I. The stories describe Act I as quite ordinary, but reading Act II drives the reader mad with the "irresistible" revealed truths. “The very banality and innocence of the first act only allowed the blow to fall afterward with more awful effect.” Even seeing of the first page of the second act is enough to draw the reader in: “If I had not caught a glimpse of the opening words in the second act I should never have finished it [...]” (“The Repairer of Reputations”).

Chambers usually gives only scattered hints of the contents of the full play, as in this extract from "The Repairer of Reputations":

He mentioned the establishment of the Dynasty in Carcosa, the lakes which connected Hastur, Aldebaran and the mystery of the Hyades. He spoke of Cassilda and Camilla, and sounded the cloudy depths of Demhe, and the Lake of Hali. "The scolloped tatters of the King in Yellow must hide Yhtill forever," he muttered, but I do not believe Vance heard him. Then by degrees he led Vance along the ramifications of the Imperial family, to Uoht and Thale, from Naotalba and Phantom of Truth, to Aldones, and then tossing aside his manuscript and notes, he began the wonderful story of the Last King.

A similar passage occurs in "The Yellow Sign", in which two protagonists have read The King in Yellow:

Night fell and the hours dragged on, but still we murmured to each other of the King and the Pallid Mask, and midnight sounded from the misty spires in the fog-wrapped city. We spoke of Hastur and of Cassilda, while outside the fog rolled against the blank window-panes as the cloud waves roll and break on the shores of Hali.

Influences

Chambers borrowed the names Carcosa, Hali and Hastur from Ambrose Bierce, specifically his short stories “An Inhabitant of Carcosa” and “Haita the Shepherd”. There is no strong indication that Chambers was influenced beyond liking the names. For example, Hastur is a god of shepherds in “Haita the Shepherd”, but is implicitly a location in “The Repairer of Reputations”, listed alongside the Hyades and Aldebaran.

Possible influences may include Edgar Allan Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death". Its synopsis reminds of Chamber's fictional play: a masquerade is held by decadent members of the aristocracy. They isolate themselves from the outside world where the Red Death, a plague, reigns supreme. At the end of the masquerade, a stranger appears, wearing a bloodied shroud and a mask figuring a Red Death victim. When the shocked dancers try to unmask him, they find nothing but an empty shroud and a Mask; then they die from the plague, one by one. In both stories, colors have an ominous importance and the strangers are both portents of death and destruction.

Other texts, especially from the symbolist writers, may have influenced Chambers as well: "Le Roi au masque d'or" (The king in the gold mask), a short story written by Marcel Schwob, a French novelist and a friend of Oscar Wilde was published in 1893 while Chambers was still studying in Paris. In this story, a king rules a city where all inhabitants are masked. One day a strange blind beggar come into his palace. After meeting with the beggar, the king, believing he's afflicted by leprosy, feels compelled to remove his mask; he then tears his own eyes out and leave his city. A beggar now, the former king heads toward the faraway "city of the wretched" but dies before the end of his journey.

It is also possible that the (in)famous play Salome by Oscar Wilde published in 1893, may have been another symbolist source of inspiration for the King in Yellow. As the fictional play, it has been originally written in French before being translated, then banned in Britain because of its scandalous reputation. Wilde's play, in one act, involves a queen, a princess, a king and an ominous prophet clad in camel's hair dress, Iokanaan, whose appearance may bring untold and terrible events. The ominous language used, the drama, the feeling of unease and expectation evokes Chamber's play; on page 1 of the play, the moon is described as a "little princess who wears a yellow veil"; on pages 3 and 9, the young Syrian says: "How pale the princess is! Never have I seen her so pale." On page 16, the young Syrian is named by Salome: his name is Narraboth and he beseeches Salome to avoid looking at Iokannan and, finally, commits suicide. It must be added that Marcel Schwob corrected the original french version of Salomé on behalf of Oscar Wilde.

Cthulhu Mythos

H.P. Lovecraft read The King in Yellow in early 1927 and included passing references to various things and places from the book — such as the Lake of Hali and the Yellow Sign — in “The Whisperer in Darkness” (1931), one of his seminal Cthulhu Mythos stories. Lovecraft borrowed Chambers' method of only vaguely referring to supernatural events, entities, and places, thereby allowing his readers to imagine the horror for themselves.

In the story, Lovecraft linked the Yellow Sign to Hastur, but from his brief (and only) mention it is not clear as to what Lovecraft meant Hastur to be. August Derleth developed Hastur into a Great Old One in his controversial reworking of Lovecraft's universe, elaborating on this connection in his own mythos stories. In the writings of Derleth and a few other latter-day Cthulhu Mythos authors, the King in Yellow is an avatar of Hastur, so named because of his appearance as a thin, floating man covered in tattered yellow robes.

In the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game published by Chaosium, the King In Yellow is an avatar of Hastur who uses his eponymous play to spread insanity among humans. He is described as a hunched figure clad in tattered, yellow rags, who wears a smooth and featureless "Pallid Mask." Removing the mask is a sanity-shattering experience; the King's face is described as "inhuman eyes in a suppurating sea of stubby maggot-like mouths; liquescent flesh, tumorous and gelid, floating and reforming."

Although none of the characters in Chambers' book describe the plot of the play, Kevin Ross fabricated a plot for the play within the Call of Cthulhu mythos. According to Ross' version, the play is set within the fantastical alien city, Yhtill, adjacent to Aldebaran. The plot centers on the members of the city's royal family and their struggle for the throne. Their normal lives are disturbed when they hear of a mysterious stranger who is carried to the city by winged demons (assumed to be byakhee), who openly wears the Yellow Sign and an eerie "Pallid Mask." At the same time, everyone begins seeing a mirage of a city on the other side of the Lake of Hali. The city's upper towers are hidden behind one of the planet's two moons.

The royal family question the stranger, who calls himself the Phantom of Truth, but he only gives cryptic answers and claims to be an emissary of the terrible mythical being known as the King in Yellow, or Last King. At a masked ball honoring the royal family, the Phantom of Truth reveals that his "Pallid Mask" is not a mask, but his true face. Outraged, the queen and high priest torture him to death, but learn nothing in the process. As the Phantom of Truth dies, the King in Yellow arrives from across the Lake of Hali, driving most of the population insane as the mirage-city across the lake vanishes. The King in Yellow informs the royal family that Yhtill has now become the city of Carcosa, under the rule of the King in Yellow. The play ends with the royal family awaiting their imminent doom.

Other appearances

Literature

* Some writers have attempted to write a full text for the fictional The King in Yellow[9], including James Blish ("More Light" [1970]), Lin Carter ("Tatters of the King" [written 1986]), and Thom Ryng [2000].[10]
* Karl Edward Wagner used it as a motif in his novella The River of Night's Dreaming.
* Lawrence Watt-Evans adopted the name for the immortal high priest of Death in a series of novels: The Lure of the Basilisk, The Seven Altars of Dusarra, The Sword of Bheleu, and The Book of Silence, collectively known as The Lords of Dűs.
* "The King in Yellow" is the name of a 1945 short story by Raymond Chandler. It is a crime story, in which the narrator has apparently read Chambers' book, and uses the phrase to describe one of the other characters.
* In Robert A. Heinlein's The Number of the Beast, Zeb Carter mentions the King in Yellow's "world" as one to be avoided.
* Brian Keene's short story "The King", in: Yellow, recounts the story of a modern-day couple who attend a performance of the play. It was first published in Fear of Gravity, and was reprinted in A Walk on the Darkside and The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 16.
* The King in Yellow makes an appearance in the final volume of Grant Morrison's magnum opus, The Invisibles
* Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover novels contain references to Aldones, Camilla, Cassilda, Carcosa, the cloud Lake of Hali, Naotalba and Hastur. Though Hali is a city by a lake, the characters and places do not otherwise resemble Chambers' characters.
* Paul Edwin Zimmer's Dark Border series used a number of the names that feature in The King in Yellow: Hastur, Hali, Carcosa.
* Robert Silverberg used the exchange between Camilla, Cassilda and the Stranger as the epigraph to his 1967 novel Thorns.
* The author Stephen King, in his novel, Thinner (written under the pen-name Richard Bachman), includes a reference to the 'King in Yellow' as a "head shop" from which the protagonist's daughter buys an item.

Film and TV

* In 2001, director Aaron Vanek and writer John Tynes adapted much of the book's content into a film titled The Yellow Sign.[1]
* John Carpenter's Masters of Horror episode Cigarette Burns follows Chamber's basic plot device about obscure media (in this case, a lost film) the viewing of which causes violent insanity.

Music

* The song "E.T.I. (Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence)" by Blue Öyster Cult contains the phrase "King in yellow, Queen in red" in its second verse.
* British black metal band Anaal Nathrakh have a song called The Yellow King on their 2006 album Eschaton, as well as a quotation from the book in the liner notes.
* Dutch extreme metal band Ancient Rites have a song Dim Carcosa on the album of the same name whose lyrics are very directly based on "Cassilda's song" from The King in Yellow

Other

* Dungeon Magazine Issue 134 featured an adventure for 9th level characters by Matthew Hope called "And Madness Followed" which featured a bard who performed the play in increasingly larger communities, warping the populace into Far Realm horrors at each.
* "The King in Yellow" is the title of an expansion to the Lovecraft-themed Arkham Horror adventure board game, involving a troupe of actors who intend to perform the eponymous play. The King himself does not appear, but if the play is performed to its conclusion it drives the entire population of Arkham insane.
* "Tatters of the King" is a Chaosium produced Call of Cthulhu Campaign which features Hastur prominently.

* The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers - Project Gutenberg (http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/8492)
* Miskatonic University Press - The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers (http://www.yankeeclassic.com/miskatonic/library/stacks/literature/chambers/stories/kinginye/contents.htm)
* http://www.sff.net/people/DoyleMacdonald/l_kiy.htm
* "The King in Yellow": An Introduction (http://web.archive.org/web/20010813205603/home.worldnet.fr/~c_thill/chambers/presgb.html)
* Have You Seen The Yellow Sign? - The Yellow Site (http://kinginyellow.wikia.com/wiki/Have_You_Seen_The_Yellow_Sign%3F)
* Weirdass Comics (http://www.weirdass.net/index.html)

Very well laid out. Thank you!

Joe Pulver
05-09-2009, 04:29 AM
THE RAW SHARK TEXTS by STEVEN HALL

http://www.ligotti.net/picture.php?albumid=134&pictureid=1339&thumb=1 (http://www.ligotti.net/picture.php?albumid=134&pictureid=1339)

Eric Sanderson wakes up on the floor of a house. He doesn’t know how he got there, whose house it is, or even that his name is Eric Sanderson. A note in the hall directs him to a doctor. It also purports to be from himself, and is the first of many that he’ll receive from this source.

Joe Pulver
05-09-2009, 04:33 AM
FLICKER by Theodore Roszak

http://www.ligotti.net/picture.php?albumid=134&pictureid=1338&thumb=1 (http://www.ligotti.net/picture.php?albumid=134&pictureid=1338)

From Wikipedia -- The novel covers approximately 15-20 years of the life of film scholar Jonathan Gates, whose academic investigations draw him into the shadowy world of esoteric conspiracy that underlies the work of fictional B-movie (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B-movie) director Max Castle.

MorganScorpion
05-09-2009, 07:44 AM
This may have been recommended already, if so, I second it.

"World War Z" by Max Brooks.


:cool:

unknown
05-13-2009, 03:20 PM
I have to sit on a panel for World War Z in my Novel Writing class...I suppose I should read the novel first before I have to sit there and talk about it with three other people

Waterdweller
05-13-2009, 07:26 PM
Anatol E. Baconsky - Equinox of The Insane
I don't think this book has been translated into english but I enjoied the german translation very much. ( Meisterwerke der dunklen Phantastik - Band 03 - Das cher (http://www.amazon.de/Meisterwerke-dunklen-Phantastik-Äquinoktium-Wahnsinnigen/dp/3898402770/ref=sr_1_1/279-6622774-8931167?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1242252681&sr=8-1) )
Baconsky was a Romanian author using elements of surrealism and symbolism to write his unique prose. His protagonists have to endure meaningless and bleak lives that remind the reader of Ligotti`s stories. Surely something that the discerning reader of phantastic fiction doesn't want to miss.

Cyril Tourneur
05-14-2009, 04:58 PM
yesterday i bought this book by Jan & Eva Svankmajer:
http://www.awn.com/mag/issue3.2/3.2images/svankmajer01.jpg

http://www.awn.com/mag/issue3.2/3.2pages/3.2svankmejer.html
i'm hoping to upload most of the pics in the coming weeks, here is a least a sample of them:

Giornale Nuovo: Anima Animus Animation (http://www.spamula.net/blog/archives/000271.html)

Ligeia
05-14-2009, 05:58 PM
http://www.faber.co.uk/site-media/onix-images/thumbs/1677_jpg_280x450_q85.jpg

Robert Caligari is a thoroughly evil thirteen-year-old who gets his kicks from kicking pigs. After a humiliating episode with a bacon butty, Robert realizes just how much he loathes the human race - and his revenge is truly terrible. This subversive horror-fantasy from Tom Baker (ex-monk, ex-sailor, and the ultimate Doctor Who) is outrageous and funny, and since the hardback was published in 1999 has gone on to become a cult classic. It is illustrated throughout with b/w line drawings from David Roberts.

Odalisque
05-15-2009, 08:05 AM
http://www.ligotti.net/picture.php?albumid=25&pictureid=1364

The postman thrust this book through my letter flap this morning. Twelve out of twelve Amazon reviewers give the book five stars. Reading a few random paragraphs, it seems to be well written. (I find it hard to read bad prose -- the writer in me concentrates on the flaws in the writing, rather than on whatever message the writer is trying to convey.) People on the TLO may be interested to note that Ramsey Campbell wrote the introduction.

Odalisque
05-17-2009, 09:15 AM
I've started reading Dances with Werewolves and am consuming the volume more quickly than I've read a book in a very long time. It's compulsive reading (at least for me).

Ligeia
05-19-2009, 04:21 AM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/613W2NDWX2L._SL500_AA240_.jpg

Ligeia
05-19-2009, 04:24 AM
http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/n17/n85515.jpg

Ligeia
05-19-2009, 04:30 AM
http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/x0/x2618.jpg

Soukesian
05-19-2009, 09:38 AM
Vampire City is a really wild read, a Gothic parody written before the literary conventions of vampirism were established, arbitary and bizarre, a true piece of pulp Surrealism. Love the cover, too - makes up a triptych with two other Feval titles. Would be great to see the book animated in this style.

Odalisque
05-19-2009, 12:28 PM
Vampire City is a really wild read, a Gothic parody written before the literary conventions of vampirism were established, arbitary and bizarre, a true piece of pulp Surrealism. Love the cover, too - makes up a triptych with two other Feval titles. Would be great to see the book animated in this style.

I love the cover, too. I'd be interested to know who wrote the book -- a detail that can't be seen, on this computer at least. :confused:

Ligeia
05-19-2009, 12:56 PM
Paul Feval is the writer dear Pet.

Soukesian
05-19-2009, 03:19 PM
Vampire City is by Paul Féval, a nineteenth century French pulp writer best known for the frequently-filmed swashbuckler Le Bossu. The edition shown is by Black Coat Press, who have a massive online catalogue of translations by Feval and his contemporaries.

Ligeia
05-20-2009, 06:03 AM
http://sitb-images-eu.amazon.com/Qffs+v35lepyZclhlD9Q1ECWY9UpFgEKxx9GrBnw3zNRTBPoed cMUJ1/bik77fAk

Robert Burton's The Anatomy of Melancholy is one of the last great works of English prose to have remained unedited. The present volume inaugurates an authoritative edition of the work, which is being prepared by scholars on both sides of the Atlantic. It will be followed by two further volumes of text with textual apparatus, and two volumes of commentary. Burton concentrated a lifetime of inquiry into the Anatomy, describing and analysing melancholy and its causes - devoting especial attention to love and religion - and recording possible cures. Primarily a scholarly study of morbid psychology, it is also a compendium of curious facts and anecdotes, and combines seriousness of purpose with a marked satirical vein. First published in 1621, it was a great success: four more editions were published in Burton's lifetime, in each of which new material was added, and a sixth, containing his final revisions, was published in in 1651, eleven years after his death. The textual complexity and Burton's extraordinary range of reference have hitherto deterred editors: this is the first scholarly edition to appear. The text is based on a complete collation of all six authoritative editions.

Ligeia
05-20-2009, 06:10 AM
http://blondierocket.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/book-cover-pillars-of-the-earth.jpg

"The Pillars of the Earth" tells the story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known; of Tom, the mason who becomes his architect - a man divided in his soul; of the beautiful, elusive Lady Aliena, haunted by a secret shame; and of a struggle between good and evil that will turn church against state, and brother against brother. A spellbinding epic tale of ambition, anarchy, and absolute power set against the sprawling medieval canvas of twelfth-century England, this is Ken Follett's historical masterpiece.

Ligeia
05-20-2009, 06:13 AM
http://z2-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/P/1847245560.01._SX274_SCLZZZZZZZ_V237156211_.jpg


Stieg Larsson gleaned a remarkable degree of success before his too-early death in 2004. He had delivered to his publisher three remarkable crime novels; the initial book in his ‘Millennium’ sequence, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, had enjoyed an unprecedented success in his native Sweden before the translation took the UK by storm. Larsson had made a considerable mark as a crusading journalist, with a speciality in tackling political extremist groups. But he offered assistance to many people and groups who he felt were vulnerable – something of a modern hero, in fact.


One of Larsson's key achievements as a writer was to create an innovative kind of heroine for the crime novel. His unconventional sleuth, the highly intelligent computer hacker Lisbeth Salander, is a confrontational young woman, whose Goth accoutrements sometimes alienate those around her (except the individuals she opts to have sexual relations with – strictly, that is, according to the rules she lays down). In the second book in the Millennium sequence, The Girl Who Played with Fire (as in its its predecessor), Lisbeth's closest ally is the older journalist Mikael Blomqvist, even though she has abruptly ended her emotional relationship with him. Lisbeth has left all she knows behinds her and has begun a relationship with a gauche young lover. But after a grim revenge run-in with a man who has abused her, she becomes a suspect in three murders, and is the subject of a nationwide search. Blomqvist, however, is convinced of her innocence (he has just been responsible for a blistering report on the sex trafficking industry in Sweden), and is determined to help her – whether she wants his help or not. As with Larsson’s earlier book, this is highly compelling fare, with tautly orchestrated suspense; it's often grisly and uncompromising (not a problem for many readers), and the massive text may be longer than is good for it, but Larsson admirers won't begrudge the late author a word,and will be impatient for the third (and, regrettably, concluding) book in the sequence.

Ligeia
05-20-2009, 06:19 AM
http://sitb-images-eu.amazon.com/Qffs+v35lep6gExAVOY1cH7EMywwmOTWGnyDRABr0Ol6pnqhfd AIzZiuZ8DddD9n

The story entails the once beautiful man during his hospital rehabilitation after the incredible survival of the burning wreck. Along the way he meets Marianne Engel - a woman who he initially believes to have come from the psychiatric ward. She is a carver of Gargoyles, tattooed, eccentric and scraggy and she comes to visit regularly telling him stories of long ago, from ancient Japan to medieval Germany, Italy and the vikings of Iceland. She also claims that the two of them were lovers in the 1300s - her being a nun at Engalthal Monastery and him a warrior wounded from battle (no wonder he thought she was crazy). As our narrator is brought back to life by his newly found friends at the hospital he is also brought to love and so his story goes much deeper than the tales he "believes" to have been weaved. A truly remarkable piece of work; ambitious and taunting, yet so beautifully told.A modern masterpiece.

Russell Nash
05-28-2009, 04:19 PM
I just bought this book "Strange Times, My Dear", the Pen Anthology of Contemporary Iranian Literature. Arcade, 2005.

I found the following excerpts to be very discouraging just leafing through about 500 pages.

Once upon a time, an Iranian writer wrote a 179-page-long novel, and like every other Iranian writer, presented it to the Ministry of Islamic Guidance to receive a publication permit. Then, the writer waited. The book began with the following passage: "She knew that once her husband had brought her a cup of coffee, she would feel better, like every other day. As she stood by the window, the wind slid gently over her brown arms, and her eyes were on the rising sun that was pulling itself up over the government buildings. It was a sunrise that was like a sunset." After thirteen months spent climbing up the slippery ladder of bureaucracy the Iranian writer finally managed to obtain an appointment with the director in charge of censorship. The director was just a head. His body was hidden behind the desk and it seemed to be reclining gently against something soft. The head delivered the following speech to the writer: "Unfortunately, your book has some small problems which cannot be corrected. I am certain you will agree with me. Take these first few sentences. . .nowhere in our noble culture will you find any woman who would allow herself to stand waiting for her husband to bring her a cup of coffee. OK? Well, the next problem is the image of the wind sliding over the naked arms, which is provocative and has sexual overtones. Finally, nowhere, in any noble culture will you find a sunrise that is like a sunset. Maybe it is a misprint. Here you are then. Here is your book. I hope you will write another book soon. We support you. Support you." Then the head slid back under the desk.

Similar thoughts on the other side,

After Arcade contracted to publish this extraordinary anthology of fiction and poetry from Iran, a country that has been virtually off-limits to Americans for the past twenty-five years, we learned that to proceed with its publication would subject us to a possible fine of $1,000,000 and ten years in prison. Indeed, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the Department of the Treasury was demanding that to avoid these penalties we—or any publisher—would have to apply to them for a permit. In other words, government censorship.

This was in our view a blatant violation of both freedom of the press and the First Amendment, and we decided to proceed without a permit. Subsequently, together with PEN American Center, the Association of American Publishers Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division, and the Association of American University Presses, we filed a lawsuit in federal court against the U.S. government in late September 2004, asking for an immediate injunction against enforcement of the OFAC regulations.

On December 15, without responding directly to our lawsuit, the Treasury Department issued a "general license" allowing us to "freely engage in most ordinary publishing activities" involving countries on America's "enemies list." While this is a step in the right direction, we firmly believe that neither the Treasury Department nor any other organ of government has the right or authority to decide what we can publish and what the public may read. Even as "general licenses" can be issued, so can they be revoked, thus reinstating censorship.

In this context, we are especially proud to present to the American reading public Strange Times, My Dear, which showcases the developments in Iranian literature over the past quarter-century.

DICK SEAVER, editor in chief of Arcade Publishing

Some interesting Iranian poetry,

WAKEFUL REVERIES

These hands you caress so tenderly
have touched that lifeless form.

Not a nightmare,
not the illusion of a passing glance
through the shattered windowpane
of an abandoned morgue.
And you, too,
you who stroll through the garden

at night,
you, too, will hear the weeping,
the bursting open of hearts
and the stench of a thousand bodies
torn asunder,
stretched under the meridian sun.

by Mina Asadi

POETRY

Splashing spring downpour
over the slumber of plain and desert
all giving, granting all over,
filled for an instant
with the wholeness
of itself, blossoming out,
containing the self,
folded in on itself,
flowing on the tongue of the vetch
sedge, soil,
full,
fresh,
fast.

Poetry
arrives
thus.

by M. R. Shafi'i Kadkani

paeng
06-02-2009, 05:52 AM
Here's a brief review of Michael Ajvaz's The Other City with photos of works by Hermann Obrist:

http://ajourneyroundmyskull.blogspot.com/2009/05/michael-ajvaz-other-city.html

Russell Nash
06-10-2009, 03:32 PM
I finished reading "An Autumn Story" by Tommaso Landolfi.144 pages of a book that deserves Ligotti's fans attention. It is a well written novel, sometimes Gothic in style, and although not a horror story, it is close to it.

[...] Well, Mommy was in there (in the cellar) several times, for a long time. The last time before she died, she was in there for almost a year. He chained her up! That is why he placed flowers there on all anniversaries. He chained her up and shouted: 'Not even heaven should see you. The air tries to penetrate you, but it is mistaken. I would rather prevent you from breathing, I will suffocate you.' And he gave her lizards and raw carrots to eat, I do not know why. He said: 'You shall see that these lizards will do you good. Are you not a witch? Eat them, see if you can get away from here.' And after chaining her up, he even lashed her with a whip. Needless to say, he then repented and released her, weeping and weeping. But not always. Tell me, is that what love is like?

Ligeia
07-18-2009, 04:41 AM
http://www.darkinthedark.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/mr-james-ghost-stories-of-an-antiquary.jpg

Ligeia
07-18-2009, 04:44 AM
http://www.pbs.org/parents/booklights/GraveyardBook.jpg

In The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman has created a charming allegory of childhood. Although the book opens with a scary scene--a family is stabbed to death by "a man named Jack” --the story quickly moves into more child-friendly storytelling. The sole survivor of the attack--an 18-month-old baby--escapes his crib and his house, and toddles to a nearby graveyard. Quickly recognizing that the baby is orphaned, the graveyard's ghostly residents adopt him, name him Nobody ("Bod"), and allow him to live in their tomb. Taking inspiration from Kipling’s The Jungle Book, Gaiman describes how the toddler navigates among the headstones, asking a lot of questions and picking up the tricks of the living and the dead. In serial-like episodes, the story follows Bod's progress as he grows from baby to teen, learning life’s lessons amid a cadre of the long-dead, ghouls, witches, intermittent human interlopers. A pallid, nocturnal guardian named Silas ensures that Bod receives food, books, and anything else he might need from the human world. Whenever the boy strays from his usual play among the headstones, he finds new dangers, learns his limitations and strengths, and acquires the skills he needs to survive within the confines of the graveyard and in wider world beyond.

Ligeia
07-18-2009, 04:50 AM
http://www.coverbrowser.com/image/bestsellers-2006/3702-1.jpg

Set in contemporary Moscow, Lukyanenko's fantastic American debut—the first in a series about an epic struggle between good and evil—charts the adventures of a race of supernaturally gifted Others, who serve either the Light or Dark Side. The Others slip in and out of an eerie parallel world where they coexist in an uneasy peace that a terrible revolution may soon disrupt. Philosophical Anton Gorodetsky, an earnest Night Watch agent, falls in love with 24-year-old Svetlana Nazarova, a troubled young doctor under a Dark Magician's curse. While Anton endeavors to undo the curse, he discovers Egor, a gifted boy unwilling to choose between his Light or Dark abilities. As humankind's fate hangs in the balance, Anton is forced to re-examine his allegiance, and Svetlana is drawn deeper into the exotic, vivid universe of dueling magicians, shape-shifters, witches and vampires. Potent as a shot of vodka, this compelling urban fantasy was adapted to a Russian blockbuster movie in 2004.

Ligeia
07-18-2009, 04:58 AM
http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/c1/c5396.jpg

Soukesian
07-18-2009, 09:51 AM
Blackwood is one of the true greats, though perhaps a little underrated now. A 60's anthology bearing this title - I'm not sure if it's actually the same collection - was one of my first horror books. Unforgettable cover, with a face staring out from the between the teeth of a big cat. His writing is quiet and deliberate, but I find it all the more powerful and atmospheric for that.

Odalisque
07-18-2009, 12:08 PM
I currently own a copy of the Penguin edition of Ancient Sorceries Ligeia recommends. Back in the 1960s, I owned a copy of the collection with the same title Soukesian mentions. Although the two collections have the same title, and both are Penguin books, I think that I can say with assurance that they are not the same. Unfortunately, I no longer own the 1960s collection, but I do still own a collection called Selected Tales which was issued by Penguin Books under the title The Insanity of Jones. I feel sure that the two 1960s Penguin Algernon Blackwood collections had no stories in common. The current Penguin Ancient Sorceries includes the title story of The Insanity of Jones, plus two others from that collection (The Willows and The Wendigo). Also (excluding the notes, etc.) the current Penguin Ancient Sorceries has 349 pages of stories, while I'm pretty sure that the 1960s Penguin Ancient Sorceries was substantially slimmer.

Odalisque
07-18-2009, 12:19 PM
Further to my last post, I found the 1960s Penguin Ancient Sorceries on Amazon. Here's the cover:

http://www.ligotti.net/picture.php?albumid=25&pictureid=1510

As Soukesian says, it's unforgettable.

According to Amazon, the book has 208 pages, which confirms my recollection that it was substantially slimmer than the current Penguin book with the same title.

Soukesian
07-18-2009, 03:46 PM
Odalisque - thanks so much for digging this up, I haven't seen that cover for many a long year. Looking at it afresh, I'm reminded of the Jan Svankmajer's stop-motion animations. (Who was responsible for the design, I wonder? I think it is a model.)

Blackwood was certainly a prolific writer - I have a hardcover collection "Tales of Terror and Darkness", which runs to forty-three stories, and includes none of the better known titles. I note that the new 'Ancient Sorceries' is assembled and annotated by S.T. Joshi - sounds like an essential purchase!

G. S. Carnivals
07-18-2009, 08:08 PM
A few years back I bought three huge used Algernon Blackwood collections. Tales of the Uncanny and Supernatural (Spring Books, 1962), Tales of the Mysterious and Macabre (Spring Books, 1967), and The Best Supernatural Tales of Algernon Blackwood (Causeway Books, 1973). Somewhere I have a notebook where I noted the overlap of stories from book to book. These volumes seem to be "instant remainders" but are recommended for the Blackwood completist.

Caligari
07-19-2009, 01:46 AM
This is going to seem somewhat (okay, significantly) out of touch considering the cutting-edge postmodern fare elsewhere in the thread, but for anyone who's a fan of the classic gothic style, I'd recommend Sheridan Le Fanu's "In a Glass, Darkly."

It's a collection of five stories presented as the papers of the mysterious occult doctor Hesselius, and while some of them might seem dated, it's worth a read for those of us who have exhausted our Poe. For some reason, even though it's not the best-written story in the book, I find myself particularly liking "Green Tea," where Hesselius investigates the case of a priest who seems to be having some kind of nervous breakdown, but the truth of course is stranger still. The story, "Carmilla," about a lesbian vampire, is said to have influenced Bram Stoker.

I'd show the cover, but it tends to come in Wordsworth or Oxford classics editions, which are more often than not a forgettable detail of a painting they seem to sometimes pick at random.

It's useful to read because whether or not you count Bram Stoker, he had a huge influence over the Gothic style during the Victorian era, so you could call it "historical research."

Odalisque
07-19-2009, 06:58 AM
Odalisque - thanks so much for digging this up, I haven't seen that cover for many a long year. Looking at it afresh, I'm reminded of the Jan Svankmajer's stop-motion animations. (Who was responsible for the design, I wonder? I think it is a model.)

Having found the 1960s Penguin book on Amazon, I've ordered a copy. (It cost Ł1.25 + Ł2.75 postage & packing = Ł4, probably worth it for the cover design.) When my copy arrives, I will probably discover who designed the cover. (Penguin are generally pretty good about acknowledging cover artists.) I'll post the information... I think that there's a "great cover art" thread, which seems the appropriate place to do so.

Blackwood was certainly a prolific writer - I have a hardcover collection "Tales of Terror and Darkness", which runs to forty-three stories, and includes none of the better known titles. I note that the new 'Ancient Sorceries' is assembled and annotated by S.T. Joshi - sounds like an essential purchase!

Yes, Blackwood was a prolific writer. Perhaps too prolific, not all of his stories approach being of the same quality.

A "best of" Algernon Blackwood volume is certainly an essential purchase. Whether the "best of" volume really needs to be edited and annotated by S T Joshi is another question. But the contents of the Joshi-edited Ancient Sorceries seem well-chosen. My biggest gripe with the book is that it omits The Listener. The "best of" volume variously entitled Selected Tales or The Insanity of Jones includes The Listener, but omits Ancient Sorceries. One may need more than one "best of" Blackwood. Perhaps the best single selection is Best Ghost Stories of Algernon Blackwood edited by E F Bleiler (most easily and cheaply bought as a Dover Book).

Nemonymous
07-19-2009, 07:18 AM
I, for one, love Algernon Blackwood's novels, like 'Jimbo', 'The Fruit Stoners', 'Prisoner in Fairlyland', 'The Promise of Air', 'The Education of Uncle Paul', 'The Centaur' etc.

des

Odalisque
07-19-2009, 07:39 AM
It seems to me that maybe there should be an Algernon Blackwood thread. Or is there one already? I'm not very good at searching for such things.

Odalisque
07-22-2009, 07:06 PM
I currently own a copy of the Penguin edition of Ancient Sorceries Ligeia recommends. Back in the 1960s, I owned a copy of the collection with the same title Soukesian mentions. Although the two collections have the same title, and both are Penguin books, I think that I can say with assurance that they are not the same. Unfortunately, I no longer own the 1960s collection, but I do still own a collection called Selected Tales which was issued by Penguin Books under the title The Insanity of Jones. I feel sure that the two 1960s Penguin Algernon Blackwood collections had no stories in common. The current Penguin Ancient Sorceries includes the title story of The Insanity of Jones, plus two others from that collection (The Willows and The Wendigo). Also (excluding the notes, etc.) the current Penguin Ancient Sorceries has 349 pages of stories, while I'm pretty sure that the 1960s Penguin Ancient Sorceries was substantially slimmer.

My copy of the 1960s Penguin Ancient Sorceries arrived today. It includes 6 stories, of which the only one the same as the Joshi-edited Ancient Sorceries is Ancient Sorceries itself.

The 6 stories are:

The Empty House
A Haunted Island
Keeping His Promise
A Case of Eavesdropping
Ancient Sorceries
The Nemesis of Fire

Joel
07-23-2009, 08:47 AM
My favourite Hesse novel is Demian, perhaps because I was in my late teens when I read it. The theme of a friend who is also a kind of spiritual guide (but not a religious officiant) keeps recurring in my own writing. I also relate it to the opening lines of Joy Division's song 'Disorder'.

Joel
07-23-2009, 08:50 AM
Hang on, I see I've jumped a page or several – I thought the last posting was about Hesse's Steppenwolf. This forum is as tricky to navigate sometimes as a Ligottian town.

Cyril Tourneur
07-27-2009, 02:23 PM
http://usera.imagecave.com/gloomysundae/frank/volta.jpg

Do Vampires exist?

The interest in these macabre and horrific creatures of legend has increased in recent years and numerous books have been written and films made about them.

Ornella Volta’s book, which won this year’s Dracula prize (the article was written in '68 , I think), awarded in Paris, is without question the most brilliant and penetrating of all these books concerned with death, eroticism and blood of which vampirism is the symbol.

She traces their origins from detailed accounts found in Central and Eastern Europe, and particularly the basic source discovered in the forbidding Tarla mountains, and provides some terrifying facts which have furthered recent developments in the field of sexology and psycho-pathology.

This subject has fascinated people for centuries and one is left with. the disturbing question:

Is the Vampire myth or reality?

Odalisque
07-28-2009, 05:44 AM
Goodness, that brings back memories. I used to own a copy of Ornella Volta's book with exactly that cover. It must have cost me 3/6d, back in the days of real money.

Daisy
08-03-2009, 05:34 PM
http://www.harpercollins.com/harperimages/isbn/large/2/9780061575532.jpg


Book description from the HarperCollins website:

One of the most revered filmmakers of our time, Werner Herzog wrote this diary during the making of Fitzcarraldo, the lavish 1982 film that tells the story of a would-be rubber baron who pulls a steamship over a hill in order to access a rich rubber territory. Later, Herzog spoke of his difficulties when making the film, including casting problems, reshoots, language barriers, epic clashes with the star, and the logistics of moving a 320-ton steamship over a hill without the use of special effects. Hailed by critics around the globe, the film went on to win Herzog the 1982 Outstanding Director Prize at Cannes. Conquest of the Useless, Werner Herzog’s diary on his fever dream in the Amazon jungle, is an extraordinary glimpse into the mind of a genius during the making of one of his greatest achievements.


From Publishers Weekly:

Originally published in the noted director’s native Germany in 2004, Herzog’s diary, more prose poetry than journal entries, will appeal even to those unfamiliar with the extravagant 1982 film. From June 1979 to November 1981, Herzog recounted not only the particulars of shooting the difficult film about a fictional rubber baron—which included the famous sequence of a steamer ship being maneuvered over a hill from one river to another—but also the dreamlike quality of life in the Amazon. Famous faces swim in and out of focus, notably Mick Jagger, in a part that ended up on the cutting room floor, and the eccentric actor Klaus Kinski, who constantly berated the director after stepping into the title role that Jason Robards had quit. Fascinated by the wildlife that surrounded him in the isolated Peruvian jungle, Herzog details everything from the omnipresent insect life to piranhas that could bite off a man’s toe. Those who haven't encountered Herzog on screen will undoubtedly be drawn in by the director's lyricism, while cinephiles will relish the opportunity to retrace the steps of one of the medium’s masters.

unknown
08-03-2009, 08:12 PM
that sounds like just about every experience Herzog goes through to film a movie haha. I might have to check that out; I love his films

Jeff Coleman
08-03-2009, 09:19 PM
Here are a couple of recently published books that might be of interest to people here. Not exactly horror, but teetering on the edge.

http://ellipsispress.com/wp-content/uploads/WASTEBESTCOVER.jpg

"Only Eugene Marten can keep a reader enthralled with the minutiae of a janitorial existence. From the most unlikely of subjects Marten constructs, with great care and taking joy in every sentence, a spellbinding work. Precisely and exquisitely detailed, Waste is a stark little masterpiece."

- Brian Evenson

(Brian Evenson is a reliable guide to contemporary fiction. I also recommend reading Blake Butler's blog for tips on what's new and wonderful: http://www.gillesdeleuzecommittedsuicideandsowilldrphil.c om/. Here's a little thing he wrote about Waste: http://www.gillesdeleuzecommittedsuicideandsowilldrphil.c om/2008/08/smarmump-eliminator.html)

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_6m5DZeT1m88/SFkkoGTdijI/AAAAAAAAAd8/WV7139JPK1o/s400/MPfrontcovermockup

"If there's a real Hell out there in the American heartland, and real ghosts, I suspect Nick Antosca has seen them. Midnight Picnic reinvents the ghost story for our unsettled times--it's a riveting and terrifying 21st Century Book of the Dead that's one of the most frightening novels I've read in years."

- Elizabeth Hand

I haven't read Midnight Picnic yet, but I read Nick Antosca's first novel 'Fires' in one sitting. Based on the quality of that one, I feel reasonably confident recommending anything written by Nick Antosca. Here's his blog: http://brothercyst.blogspot.com/.

Nick Antosca was on the 'Nature of Evil in Horror Fiction' panel at the latest Readercon. If anyone here was in attendance, I am interested in learning more about the discussion. All I know so far is the intriguing name of the panel. I'm all ears. Well, eyes.

Cyril Tourneur
08-23-2009, 07:26 PM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41YYNQWANPL.jpg

this is it...after reading all of céline's work i have to say that this is the book you have to go for, i can't say it shorter than this guy on amazon: This is it: the finest novel of the century. Journey to the End of Night is for wimps; the English-language novelists are prep-school showoffs. This is it: the hard core, the key text of the century.

Jeff Coleman
08-25-2009, 03:44 AM
Boyd Rice has a new book out:

http://www.boydrice.com/news/gx/no.jpg

“Someone once asked ‘why can’t we all just get along?’. Simple: because we hate each other. Or at least a good many of us intensely mistrust and resent one another.”

Russell Nash
08-25-2009, 11:55 AM
http://usera.imagecave.com/gloomysundae/frank/volta.jpg

Is the Vampire myth or reality?

What do you think...? It is hard to believe that someone just by drinking blood (a mere liquid) could defy death. The point is, how many of us would like to live longer?

Russell Nash
08-26-2009, 02:39 PM
http://giotto.ibs.it/cop/copj13.asp?f=9788817004077

Berlusconi's wife: Lies brought divorce : NPR (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112236119)

What a book!:drunk:;)

The New Nonsense
08-29-2009, 12:54 PM
Waterlings by Veno Taufer

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41R38G5FA8L._SL500_AA240_.jpg

An Amazon review:

It is rare to read a collection of poetry all the way through without ever feeling that you know exactly what is going on. But in Veno Taufer's acclaimed work, you sense that you are on the verge of understanding, and that hope draws you on. It is much like the experience of an English-speaking person confronted by a passage in Dutch: you can make out many of the words, and if you know German, many more, but still you can't really read the language. More to the point of Taufer's poetry, it is like looking at ancient inscriptions, where each page represents a stone rune, and you can make out a word or two in each line and get a sense of the meaning. Yet here, of course, you understand every English word, but the whole remains cryptic, runic and strange.

The preface explains that Taufer visited an exhibition in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, that had on display Neolithic sculptures unearthed in the Balkans along the Danube River. The massive oblong carvings revealed the existence of a lost culture with half-human, half-fish beings, those the poet calls the "waterlings" (vodenjaki). Their troubled faces, with open eyes and open mouths, seemed to bespeak of desperation and suffering. The poet got the idea to tell their story from their perspective.

The result is minimalist poetry where everything is seen through water or just above water, and the thinking is fleeting, unfinished, as befits a shifting water-world. The only way to explain it is to give an example: "the sun rises the sun sets/ tree-dry/ the sun stares through a hole/ mouse-gray/ the water runs off/ beneath a fly's shadow/ a fat shadow which drinks it all/ it will ride upon the thunder/ the cloud breaks the sun stares/ out of the water-belly/ that fatter shadow drinks it all/ that drier shadow." And there ends poem no. 7--I added the period.

To make this work even more mysterious, the original text is provided on facing pages. The reader, looking to the left of the first two lines cited above in English, will find the following in Slovenian: "sonce rase sonce pade/ suho drevo..." If the reader knows Russian or another major Slavic language, he or she will see the common Slavic roots and feel that the Slovenian is something more primitive and simpler, which may or may not be the case. Intrigued by a language and literature so unfamiliar, the reader may then do a little research and find out that Slovenia was formed back in the 7th century, fell under Austrian rule in the 13th and was incorporated into Yugoslavia after World War I as one of its six republics. In 1991, during the breakup of Yugoslavia and the collapse of the Soviet empire, Slovenia claimed its independence and stepped on the world stage as if from out of the mountains and mists. Yet in the ongoing tug of war between East and West it appears to be locked in the embrace of the great Russian bear.

For American readers Taufer's curious work may lead the way to the discovery of a new country and a new literature. The only precursor I can name is Velimir Khlebnikov, that singular poetic explorer who tried to make the stones speak and the letters of the alphabet reveal their primal meanings, as in "Perun" (1917). Yet Taufer is far less hermetic and far more readable. The sense of prehistory, shadows, games, rituals and impending disaster is deeply felt and subliminally communicated: "we know even more than we tell/ circles circling in circles/ we know even more than we tell/ when dividing itself it loses itself/ we know even more than we tell/ as it gets bigger it disappears in itself/ [...] we know even more but we don't know/ that it hides in itself but it's here."
Toward the end the text becomes denser, the doom more specific and the relevance to modern times more direct. The translation by Milne Holton, guided by the author, is wonderful. The book is beautiful and lovingly designed. A photo of one of the gaping stone waterlings stands as the frontispiece.

After reading the back-story, it was pretty much a no-brainer to pick it up. In fact, the theme kind of reminds me of Robert E. Howard's "The Black Stone" (1931, two years before Taufer was born). Howard's story takes place in the fictional village of Stregoicavar in Hungary, and involves loathsome rites performed around a strange monolith by Deep One-like amphibious creatures. It all takes place along the Danube, just like Waterlings. Later, inspired by Howard, Justin Geoffery wrote "People of the Monolith", again with Stregoicavar as the location. It makes me wonder if perhaps Howard had heard of these fish-people artifacts. Doubtful, but you never know. It seems an odd coincidence. Maybe we'll find out in the new H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard collected letters published by Hippocampus Press.

Lastly, some feel Taufer's work to be magickal texts of sorts -- strange transmissions from some kind of pre-history. To that end, this October Scarlet Imprint Press will release a collection of essays on infamous new and old magick books, or grimiores, titled Diabolical. The last essay in the collection is about the secrets found in the books of Veno Taufer.

Daisy
09-03-2009, 05:35 PM
Searching for Cioran by Ilinca Zarifopol-Johnston, ed. Kenneth R. Johnston (Indiana University Press, 2009)

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_IIXTvsVCFZg/SGL7Gyi_rnI/AAAAAAAAAbs/M5C-cZkVEKM/s400/searching-for-cioran.jpg

From Michael Dirda’s review, published January 25, 2009 in the Washington Post:

The philosophical essayist E.M. Cioran (1911-1995) was born and educated in Romania, where he belonged to an extraordinary generation of young intellectuals, one that included the historian of religion Mircea Eliade (The Myth of the Eternal Return, The Sacred & the Profane) and the playwright Eugene Ionesco (“The Bald Soprano,” “Rhinoceros”). Like his friends, the young Cioran eventually left Romania, in his case traveling to Paris on a scholarship in the late 1930s. Somehow he eked out an existence during the war years and in 1949 emerged as a French writer with his first book in that language, Prčcis de decomposition, translated as A Short History of Decay. While this won him critical praise and a major prize, Cioran nonetheless continued to live the life of an impoverished undergraduate, eating in student cafeterias, sleeping in university housing or cheap hotel rooms. He seems to have owned almost nothing.

Only in about 1960 did he acquire a garret-like apartment, even though he had by then published several other books, now regarded as modern classics, both for the purity of their French and the starkness of their pessimistic thought: All Gall is Divided, The Temptation to Exist and History and Utopia. These, along with such later collections of essays and aphorisms as The New Gods, The Trouble with Being Born and Anathemas and Admirations were all translated over three decades by Richard Howard, starting in the late 1960s. They made an enormous impact on readers, eliciting long appreciations by Susan Sontag, William Gass and many others.

In these books, Cioran is largely a master of the pensée—what one might call the philosophical aphorism. As he once said, his work characteristically “foundered somewhere between the epigram and the sigh!” For the fatalistic Cioran, the master-thinkers include the Buddha, Marcus Aurelius, Pascal and Chamfort, Lichtenberg and Nietzsche. . . . .

Throughout his life in France, Cioran notoriously sought to avoid fame—“I am an enemy of glory”—but not, it turns out, for entirely philosophical reasons. As Ilinca Zarifopol-Johnston reveals in this biography and memoir, Cioran had in his youth—like Eliade to an even greater extent—espoused right-wing nationalist views, full of zealotry and tinged with anti-Semitism.

While originally intending to write a full biography, Zarifopol-Johnston died before she had progressed beyond the rough drafts of Cioran’s Romanian years. These sections her husband has edited, along with her research diary. Thus Searching for Cioran presents portraits of the young Cioran, full of visionary passion and ambition, and of the aged philosopher, suffering from Alzheimer’s disease in a Paris hospice. There is also a long account of Zarifopol-Johnston’s own thoughts and feelings when she returned to her native Romania to speak with Cioran’s brother and surviving friends. . . .

Despite its fragmentary character, Searching for Cioran offers valuable material about an important writer’s early life. Nonetheless, it is too incomplete to be more than a supplement to some fuller future biography. In the meantime, readers can still return to, or discover, Cioran’s own almost hyperbolically desolate essays and aphorisms. Turn to virtually any page and you are likely to find some striking, if lugubrious observation. “Any and all water is the color of drowning.” “When you know yourself well and do not despise yourself utterly, it is because you are too exhausted to indulge in extreme feelings.” “Only one thing matters: learning to be the loser.”

Cyril Tourneur
09-15-2009, 07:11 PM
http://images-eu.amazon.com/images/P/1892391864.02.LZZZZZZZ.jpg


"Moorcock's writing is top-notch." —Publishers Weekly




"The 17 stories in this collection demonstrate the breadth of scope and the excellence in storytelling of sf Grandmaster and multigenre author Moorcock . . . Moorcock crosses genres, bends boundaries, and breaks rules as only a master storyteller can." —Library Journal




"It is all quintessential Moorcock—a wild, fascinating batch of stories fairly balancing the fantastic and the nearly ordinary, and showcasing Moorcock's talent very well, thank you." —Booklist



"A major novelist of enormous ambition." —Washington Post



"A giant of the genre in every possible sense." —Time magazine's Nerd World Blog




"No one at the moment in England is doing more to break down the artificial divisions that have grown up in novel writing – realism, surrealism, science fiction, historical fiction, social satire, the poetic novel – than Michael Moorcock." —Angus Wilson



"The spells that first drew me and all the numerous admirers of his work with whom I am acquainted into Moorcock's luminous and captivating web." —Alan Moore, creator of V for Vendetta



"He is the master storyteller of our time." —Angela Carter, author, Nights at the Circus


Description....

From the legendary author of the "Elric" sagas, this definitive collection captures the incomparable short fiction of one of science fiction and literature's most important contemporary writers. These exceptional stories range effortlessly from the genre tales that continue to define heroic fantasy to the author's critically acclaimed mainstream works. Classic offerings include "The Visible Men", the trilogy "My Experiences in the Third World War", "A Portrait in Ivory" and the Nebula award-winning novella "Behold the Man". With all of his finest stories finally collected in one volume, this is a long-overdue tribute to an extraordinarily gifted, versatile, and much-beloved author.

When_MP_Attacks
09-19-2009, 06:08 PM
http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/c0/c1676.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Barham_Middleton

http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/11045

http://www.aworkinglibrary.com/images/covers/wolfe-limbo.jpg

Cyril Tourneur
09-20-2009, 01:21 PM
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/7/7a/Evola-RAtMw.jpg/210px-Evola-RAtMw.jpg

Occasionally you will run across a text that is so difficult to categorize that most attempts to understand it within a pre-existing framework will come across as sophomoric. _Revolt Against The Modern World_ is such a work. However, difficulty in labeling does not mean that the book cannot be criticized. It's important to read this book with neither an air of detached superiority or to blindly swallow the concepts therein. You can learn a lot from this one.
Evola was the chief proponent of a little-known philosophical doctrine known as Traditionalism. When reading _Revolt_, however, you don't ever get a definition of what Traditionalism actually _is_. Rather, Evola draws upon his encyclopedic knowledge of ancient history and mythology to show how Traditional societies manifested themselves - most effectively in ancient Indo-Aryan society and its four-tier caste system - in their taking for granted the existence of a divine order. A multidisciplinary approach is necessary here, and this book will appeal to anyone interested in history, anthropology, sociology, or esoterica. By refusing to define exactly how this divine order should manifest itself in the realm of the social, Evola pulls no punches. Rather, he shows how the Divine (taken for granted) _did_ manifest itself in the social. Traditional man, he says, was aware of the existence of the Divine and his social institutions and mode of life reflected this larger, grander element of human existence. By the end of the first half of the book he's shown so many examples of how such Traditional societies were ordered that it almost becomes a bit tiresome, but when examining such disparate groups - ancient Greeks, Incans, Chinese, and Indians - it's hard to not be convinced that they all shared some extraordinary commonalities. Extrapolating these commonalities will allow you to deduce a semblance of Divine order from which they emanate.

To Evola's Traditional man, everything in his environment reflected a higher transcendtal order. As a corollary to that, modern "mass man" views nature, history, and his own self and actions as aberrations having no inherent purpose whatsoever. Modernism is not any sort of "progression" from a primitive supernatural worldview but rather a mindset only possible in a very ephemeral point of the four-stage cycle of Hindu cosmology (Kali Yuga) or the Ragnarok of Norse mythology.

By refusing to apologize for its operating paradigm the writing is more brisk and refreshing, as it does not have to offer apologies to modernism or anti-spiritualism on every page. It does occasionally bog down into polemics; Evola takes stabs at all sorts of modern ailments (or his perception thereof) - feminism, egalitarianism, consumerism, and the like, but doesn't offer any sort of prescription for any of it. It's all a part of the cycles. Needless to say, this book isn't going to sit well with Marxists! However, it won't sit well with armchair fascists either, at least those with the brains to really understand what he's saying (if they even exist). Evola _is_ very careful, when making assertions about the correct role of women and men and races of people, to show how all talk of say, the proper role of the sexes is meaningless without a direct living experience of transcendental order on the part of all society memebers. This will undoubtedly strike a nerve with many of us, who have long felt that there is just something that isn't "right" about modern existence and do not feel the need to rationalize the existence of God. When understanding Evola's notion of races, for example, Evola clarifies how the "strictly biological" interpretation of races of men is limiting, a decadent product of modernity. He views a "race" of individuals more as a group that embodies a particular spirit or life force. In this sense, he echoes the "root race" concept that has been well expounded upon in esoteric literature, especially Theosophy. However, viewing everything as a Divine emanation is impossible for most modern men - even those with an open mind can probably not implicitly "understand" it. Keep this in mind when reading Evola.

From a historical perspective, it's important to realize that at the time of his writing the appeal of fascist philosophy seemed to offer some sort of return to Traditional principles, but when one examines Evola's disenchantment with fascism, it becomes clear that he was certainly not a fascist. At the time of writing, radical egalitarianism in the form of Communism was a very real threat in terms of wiping out every notion of culture. Given this, it's no more surprising that some prominent intellectuals sided with Fascist movements. This is open to criticism, but think of how many prominent intellectuals were socialists or communists. History had not yet made it apparent that both of these movements were inherently just totalitarian. I don't believe that Evola's brief involvement with Mussolini invalidates his work; his change in status to that of an "enemy" by the fascist parties in Germany and Italy should attribute a degree of honesty to his work. By the time of this book's writing, Evola does not seem to have any political agenda. He does not believe that a return to Traditional principles is possible. Rather, he's just interested in showing you how it "is". Jose Ortega y Gasset's "The Revolt of the Masses" and Fromm's "Escape from Freedom" are good companions to this book, as they both illustrate the dangers of corruption of the natural, or Traditional, order by mass movements and lowest common denominatorism. Whether or not you think Evola's caste systems and kingships remain the best solution to these problems, however, will probably still be a lot to swallow.

With that being said, you're not left with much after reading this book besides intellectual satiation. Like Oswald Spengler, Evola views "history" as the process of inexorable cyclical forces of waxing and waning. Truly, Traditional principles have a history of creating "successful" societies that Marxist ones do not, but a return to them is impossible for the time being. Whether the Kali Yuga prophecy plays out will remain to be seen, but at least you'll hit the ground running after reading this book.

When_MP_Attacks
09-20-2009, 07:26 PM
http://sitb-images-eu.amazon.com/Qffs+v35lepyZclhlD9Q1ECWY9UpFgEKxx9GrBnw3zNRTBPoed cMUJ1/bik77fAk

Robert Burton's The Anatomy of Melancholy is one of the last great works of English prose to have remained unedited. The present volume inaugurates an authoritative edition of the work, which is being prepared by scholars on both sides of the Atlantic. It will be followed by two further volumes of text with textual apparatus, and two volumes of commentary. Burton concentrated a lifetime of inquiry into the Anatomy, describing and analysing melancholy and its causes - devoting especial attention to love and religion - and recording possible cures. Primarily a scholarly study of morbid psychology, it is also a compendium of curious facts and anecdotes, and combines seriousness of purpose with a marked satirical vein. First published in 1621, it was a great success: four more editions were published in Burton's lifetime, in each of which new material was added, and a sixth, containing his final revisions, was published in in 1651, eleven years after his death. The textual complexity and Burton's extraordinary range of reference have hitherto deterred editors: this is the first scholarly edition to appear. The text is based on a complete collation of all six authoritative editions.

http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/10800

Viva June
09-20-2009, 09:16 PM
Reading something like The Anatomy of Melancholy on a screen must be hellish, though. I would not attempt it, but if I absolutely had to I would much rather read a nice PDF version (http://books.google.com/books?id=GNc0AAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover).

paeng
09-21-2009, 02:12 AM
My apologies if this was already posted; it was mentioned in another forum:

"The Holy Grail of the Unconscious"

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/20/magazine/20jung-t.html

Of course, I've not read it, but it should be available around two weeks from now. It's also mentioned here:

https://philemonfoundation.org/projects/red_book/

Cyril Tourneur
10-07-2009, 01:30 AM
http://bookcoverarchive.com/images/books/the_box_man_a_novel.large.jpg

This is the record of a box man.
I am beginning this account in a box. A cardboard box that reaches just to my hips when I put it over my head.
That is to say, at this juncture the box man is me. A box man, in his box, is recording the chronicle of a box man.
-- Kobo Abé, The Box Man

In The Box Man, Abé explores the isolation of the individual by creating a psychological study of a "box man," one of the homeless who live their lives in cardboard boxes. Abé extends the allegory into hyperbole by making his box man not only sleep in the box, but live in it at all times, even moving about in it by peering through a carefully cut hole. We see that Abé indeed intends for the box man to be an allegory for the existential man when he writes, "Paralysis of the heart's sense of direction is the box man's chronic complaint."
The novel not only studies the internal sensations of the box man but also examines the effects a box man has on those in the external world. The relations between the two are strained at best, and involve the box man being shot at and being paid to simply get rid of the box and, ceasing his existence as box man, rejoin the external world. Also explored is the issue of fake versus genuine box men. Is it sufficient to don a box in order to become a box man?
As always, Abé fills his novels with digressions which flesh out and give depth to the motivations and idiosyncrasies of the protagonist. One of the reoccurring digressions in The Box Man regards vision. Abé writes, "In seeing there is love, in being seen there is abhorrence." This idea, which drives the box man to hide within the cardboard box, is also reflected in Abé's incorporating photographs into the text of the novel. The psychological response to seeing and being seen is one of the central tenets of the book, not only in bringing the man into the box but in the private relationships he has with the other characters.
One trait that differentiates this novel from its predecessors is its sense of lightness. The Face of Another, The Ruined Map, The Woman in the Dunes are all very serious in theme. But by the very absurdity of the existence of its protagonist, The Box Man maintains an element of lightness, and is sometimes outright funny -- a trait previously unseen in Abé's work

Ligeia
10-08-2009, 05:08 AM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41FK4ZtLfgL._SL500_AA240_.jpg

Ligeia
10-08-2009, 05:09 AM
http://www.theangelfestival.com/images/HeavenandHellcover.gif

Ligeia
10-08-2009, 05:25 AM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51vYcln2mvL._SL500_AA240_.jpg

Renee is the concierge of a grand Parisian apartment building, home to members of the great and the good. Over the years she has maintained her carefully constructed persona as someone reliable but totally uncultivated, in keeping, she feels, with society s expectations of what a concierge should be. But beneath this façade lies the real Renée: passionate about culture and the arts, and more knowledgeable in many ways than her employers with their outwardly successful but emotionally void lives. Down in her lodge, apart from weekly visits by her one friend Manuela, Renée lives resigned to her lonely lot with only her cat for company. Meanwhile, several floors up, twelve-year-old Paloma Josse is determined to avoid the pampered and vacuous future laid out for her, and decides to end her life on her thirteenth birthday. But unknown to them both, the sudden death of one of their privileged neighbours will dramatically alter their lives forever.

unknown
10-08-2009, 11:57 AM
that box man book sounds pretty interesting...might have to check it out

Bleak&Icy
10-15-2009, 06:50 AM
http://www.panmacmillan.com.au/cover1/9780522854220.jpg

From Melbourne University Press website:

Grisly corpses, ghostly women and psychotic station-owners populate an unforgiving landscape that is the stuff of nightmares. These compelling stories are the dark underside to the usual story of colonial progress, promise and nation-building, and reveal the gothic imagination that lies at the heart of Australian fiction. This anthology collects the best examples of colonial Australian gothic short stories by authors such as Marcus Clarke, Hume Nisbet, Henry Lawson and Katherine Susannah Prichard, among others. A unique collection of intriguing stories and fantastical yarns that vividly portrays colonial Australia and its hauntings.

Contents:

Ken Gelder and Rachael Weaver, The Colonial Australian Gothic
John Lang, The Ghost Upon the Rail (1859)
Mary Fortune, Mystery and Murder (1866)
Marcus Clarke, The Mystery of Major Molineux (1881)
'Tasma' (Jessie Couvreur), Monsieur Caloche (1890)
Ernest Favenc, A Haunt of the Jinkarras (1890)
Ernest Favenc, Doomed (1899)
Rosa Campbell Praed, The Bunyip (1891)
Francis Adams, The Hut by the Tanks (1892)
Henry Lawson, The Bush Undertaker (1892)
'Price Warung' (William Astley), The Pegging-Out of Overseer Franke (1892)
Hume Nisbet, The Haunted Station (1894)
Guy Boothby, With Three Phantoms (1897)
'Coo-ee' (William Sylvester Walker), The Evil of Yelcomorn Creek (1899)
Barbara Baynton, A Dreamer (1902)
Mary Gaunt, The Lost White Woman (1916)
William Hay, An Australian Rip Van Winkle (1921)
Katharine Susannah Prichard, The Curse (1932)

Bleak&Icy
10-15-2009, 12:38 PM
http://www.panmacmillan.com.au/cover1/9780522854220.jpg



In his famous Preface to Adam Lindsay Gordon's Collected Poems (1876) Marcus Clarke wrote the following description of Australia as re-invented through the Gothic imagination:

What is the dominant note of Australian scenery? That which is the dominant note of Edgar Allan Poe's poetry -- Weird Melancholy. A poem like "L'Allegro" could never be written by an Australian. It is too airy, too sweet, too freshly happy. The Australian mountain forests are funereal, secret, stern. Their solitude is desolation. They seem to stifle, in their black gorges, a story of sullen despair. No tender sentiment is nourished in their shade. In other lands the dying year is mourned, the falling leaves drop lightly on his bier. In the Australian forests no leaves fall. The savage winds shout among the rock clefts. From the melancholy gums strips of white bark hang and rustle. The very animal life of these frowning hills is either grotesque or ghostly. Great grey kangaroos hop noiselessly over the coarse grass. Flights of white cockatoos stream out, shrieking like evil souls. The sun suddenly sinks, and the mopokes burst out into horrible peals of semi-human laughter. The natives aver that, when night comes, from out the bottomless depth of some lagoon the Bunyip rises, and, in form like monstrous sea-calf, drags his loathsome length from out the ooze. From a corner of the silent forest rises a dismal chant, and around a fire dance natives painted like skeletons. All is fear-inspiring and gloomy.

No bright fancies are linked with the memories of the mountains. Hopeless explorers have named them out of their sufferings -- Mount Misery, Mount Dreadful, Mount Despair. As when among sylvan scenes in places

"Made green with the running of rivers,
And gracious with temperate air,"

the soul is soothed and satisfied, so, placed before the frightful grandeur of these barren hills, it drinks in their sentiment of defiant ferocity, and is steeped in bitterness.

Australia has rightly been named the Land of the Dawning. Wrapped in the midst of early morning, her history looms vague and gigantic. The lonely horseman riding between the moonlight and the day sees vast shadows creeping across the shelterless and silent plains, hears strange noises in the primeval forest, where flourishes a vegetation long dead in other lands, and feels, despite his fortune, that the trim utilitarian civilisation which bred him shrinks into insignificance beside the contemptuous grandeur of forest and ranges coeval with an age in which European scientists have cradled his own race.

Jeff Coleman
11-15-2009, 03:48 AM
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_e3BsDt7_O88/SvLqfCKzgaI/AAAAAAAAn5Q/M5qNnQHawdw/s1600/Grimoire.jpg

Here's Dennis Cooper's blog post highlighting Grimoire: http://denniscooper-theweaklings.blogspot.com/2009/11/james-champagnes-grimoire-day.html.

Grimoire can be downloaded here: http://www.archive.org/details/MZR020

Daisy
11-19-2009, 01:20 PM
Today I Wrote Nothing: The Selected Writings of Daniil Kharms, trans. Matvei Yankelevich (Overlook Press, 2007; repr. Penguin, 2009)

http://images.barnesandnoble.com/images/34890000/34891117.jpg

From Publishers Weekly:

In this surprising new collection of Soviet writer Kharms’s short pieces, including poetry and journal entries, readers will find echoes of Beckett, Ionesco and Kafka, among others. Indeed, Kharms (1905–1942) was part the OBERIU (Association of Real Art), a Soviet artists’ collective often described as Absurdist in orientation. A self-proclaimed member of the avant-garde, Kharms made often violent nonsense out of everyday life. In 1931, he was briefly exiled because his work did not promote Socialist Realism, as Matvei Yankelevich explains in an informative introduction. Kharms’s life suffered a complete reversal after his return, a fact that shows in his writing. There’s a youthful showiness to the earliest work that is replaced by a more fierce desperation in the later years, when Kharms often went hungry and knew his work would not be published. The book’s wonderfully contradictory title is in unexpected contrast to the weary resignation of a journal entry: “Today I wrote nothing. Doesn’t matter.” Yankelevich, who provides the fine translations, makes much of the dramatic possibilities inherent in the work but almost combatively refuses to read any political meaning into his subject’s writings, which alternate between playfulness and a sense of futility.

From the Wikipedia entry for Daniil Kharms:

Kharms lived in debt and hunger for several years until his arrest on suspicion of treason in the summer of 1941. He was imprisoned in the psychiatric ward at Leningrad Prison No. 1 and died in his cell in February, 1942—most likely from starvation, as the Nazi blockade of Leningrad had already begun. His work was saved from the war by loyal friends and hidden until the 1960s.

His reputation in the 20th century in Russia was largely based on his widely beloved work for children. His other writings (a vast assortment of stories, miniatures, plays, poems, and pseudo-scientific philosophical investigations) were virtually unknown until the 1970s.

Kharms’s stories are typically brief vignettes, often only a few paragraphs long, in which scenes of poverty and deprivation alternate with fantastic, dreamlike occurrences and acerbic comedy. Occasionally they incorporate incongruous appearances by famous authors (e.g.: Pushkin and Gogol tripping over each other; Count Leo Tolstoy showing his chamber pot to the world; Pushkin and his sons falling off their chairs; etc.)

Kharms’s world is unpredictable and disordered; characters repeat the same actions many times in succession or otherwise behave irrationally; linear stories start to develop but are interrupted in midstream by inexplicable catastrophes that send them in completely different directions.

rresmini
11-20-2009, 08:37 AM
My apologies if this has already been submitted as a recommendation: Brian Evenson's Last Days. You thought Chandler and Hammet's gumshoes had it bad? Saddle up to detective Kline as he navigates treacherous dealings of a cult of self-mutilates.

http://www.brianevenson.com/lastdays.html

Bleak&Icy
11-23-2009, 07:03 AM
http://pixhost.ws/avaxhome/9c/bc/0010bc9c.jpeg

From the publisher's website at Rodopi (http://www.Rodopi.nl:):

Being the first to outline the literary genre, Gothic-postmodernism, this book articulates the psychological and philosophical implications of terror in postmodernist literature, analogous to the terror of the Gothic novel, uncovering the significance of postmodern recurrences of the Gothic, and identifying new historical and philosophical aspects of the genre.

While many critics propose that the Gothic has been exhausted, and that its significance is depleted by consumer society’s obsession with instantaneous horror, analyses of a number of terror-based postmodernist novels here suggest that the Gothic is still very much animated in Gothic-postmodernism. These analyses observe the spectral characters, doppelgangers, hellish waste lands and the demonised or possessed that inhabit texts such as Paul Auster’s City of Glass, Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses and Bret Easton Ellis’s Lunar Park.

However, it is the deeper issue of the lingering emotion of terror as it relates to loss of reality and self, and to death, that is central to the study; a notion of ‘terror’ formulated from the theories of continental philosophers and contemporary cultural theorists. With a firm emphasis on the sublime and the unrepresentable as fundamental to this experience of terror; vital to the Gothic genre; and central to the postmodern experience, this study offers an insightful and concise definition of Gothic-postmodernism. It firmly argues that ‘terror’ (with all that it involves) remains a connecting and potent link between the Gothic and postmodernism: two modes of literature that together offer a unique voicing of the unspeakable terrors of postmodernity.

Table of Contents

Part I: Defining Gothic-postmodernism

Chapter 1 Defining Gothic-postmodernism
Chapter 2 On Gothic Terror
Chapter 3 Generic Investigations: What is ‘Gothic’?
Chapter 4 Postmodernism
Chapter 5 The Gothic and Postmodernism – At the Interface
Chapter 6 Gothic Literary Transformations: The Fin de Siecle and Modernism

Part II: Analysing Gothic-postmodernism

Chapter 7 The Gothic-postmodernist Novel: Three Models
Chapter 8 Gothic Metafiction: The Satanic Verses
Chapter 9 Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita
Chapter 10 Textual Terrors of the Self: Haunting and Hyperreality in Lunar Park

Cyril Tourneur
11-24-2009, 01:43 PM
http://images.amazon.com/images/P/0826321933.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg


Amazon.com Review
The last decade of the 19th century was, for some Americans, a time when great fortunes were to be made. For many others, however, the period was a time of economic dislocation, when the gap between city and countryside, rich and poor, grew ever wider. As the Indian Wars ended and the Gilded Age extended into America's first Imperial Age, social critics such as Mark Twain and William Dean Howells began to examine the dark side of the American dream: violence, poverty, degenerate behavior, suicide, and insanity.
In the late 1960s, another desperate time, historian Michael Lesy took a long look at fin-de-sičcle America. Examining a collection of several thousand glass plate negatives and historical documents from Jackson County, Wisconsin, he concocted a sprawling treatise on a past that had been willfully forgotten, a brooding rejoinder to Edgar Lee Masters's Spoon River Anthology. First published in 1973, Lesy's Wisconsin Death Trip, now reissued in a handsome paperbound edition, became a key text of the counterculture, a book to shelve alongside Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee and Custer Died for Your Sins--and it sometimes reads like a hip product of its time. Lesy documents the unsettling record of one small corner of rural America, turning up accounts of barn burnings, attacks by gangs of armed tramps, threatening and obscene letters, death by diphtheria and smallpox (the Wisconsin townsfolk had, some years, to attend several funerals a week), alcoholism, madness, business and bank failures, and even a case or two of witchcraft.

After reading Lesy's texts and viewing the sometimes unsettling images he's turned up, you would be forgiven for thinking that no one in small-town Wisconsin in our great-great-grandparents' time was well-adjusted--which is, of course, not the case. Hyperbole notwithstanding, this is a remarkable study, one that Lesy himself rightly calls an experiment in both history and alchemy. --Gregory McNamee


Wisconsin Death Trip (http://www.wisconsindeathtrip.com/)

The New Nonsense
11-24-2009, 03:10 PM
Thanks, Tobias. The main location of this book's setting is Black River Falls, Wisconsin. It's not far from where I live. A few years ago some friends and I explored the town and compared photos to buildings that are still standing today. It has really become an iconic book since its publication. There was also a documetary made about Wisconsin Death Trip a few years ago.

Daisy
12-02-2009, 12:47 PM
The Original of Laura by Vladimir Nabokov; Preface by Dmitri Nabokov (Knopf, November 2009)

http://knopfdoubleday.com/marketing/authorpages/the_original_of_laura.jpg

From Publishers Weekly:

Before Nabokov’s death in 1977, he instructed his wife to burn the unfinished first draft—handwritten on 138 index cards—of what would be his final novel. She did not, and now Nabokov’s son, Dmitri, is releasing them to the world, though after reading the book, readers will wonder if the Lolita author is laughing or turning over in his grave. This very unfinished work reads largely like an outline, full of seeming notes-to-self, references to source material, sentence fragments, commentary and brief flashes of spectacular prose. It would be a mistake for readers to come to this expecting anything resembling a novel, though the few actual scenes here are unmistakably Nabokovian, with cutting wordplay, piercing description and uneasy-making situations—a character named Hubert H. Hubert molesting a girl, a decaying old man’s strained attempt at perfunctory sex with his younger wife. The story appears to be about a woman named Flora (spelled, once, as FLaura), who has Lolita-like moments in her childhood and is later the subject of a scandalous novel, Laura, written by a former lover. Mostly, this amounts to a peek inside the author’s process and mindset as he neared death. Indeed, mortality, suicide, impotence, a disgust with the male human body—and an appreciation of the fit, young female body—figure prominently. Nabokov’s handwritten index cards are reproduced with a transcription below of each card’s contents, generally less than a paragraph. The scanned index cards (perforated so that they can be removed from the book) are what make this book an amazing document; they reveal Nabokov’s neat handwriting and his own edits to the text: some lines are blacked out with scribbles, others simply crossed out. Words are inserted, typesetting notes and copyedit symbols pepper the writing, and the reverse of many cards bears a wobbly X. Depending on the reader’s eye, the final card is either haunting or the great writer’s final sly wink: it’s a list of synonyms for efface—expunge, erase, delete, rub out, wipe out and, finally, obliterate.

Ligeia
12-03-2009, 08:24 AM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51AENZgm3HL._SS500_.jpg


The body of a woman who had been hanged infested by the devil -- Hobgoblins that appeared near the castle of Lusignan in 1620 -- A Young Lady murdered by an evil Spirit through her impious wishes, and afterwards transformed into a Black Cat -- The Night-mare -- A young gentleman who sold himself to the devil.

These are just some of the forty-four short stories contained in this strange collection. First published in 1804 during the height of the Gothic literary phenomenon, Isabella Lewis's Terrific Tales sought to capitalize on the public's fascination with spectres, ghosts, demons, and other supernatural happenings.


But the most shocking thing about these horror stories is, as Lewis claims, they are all true! Meticulously culled from accounts in ancient Roman texts, medieval monks' manuscripts, church documents, and actual legal records, and supported by factual evidence, these terrifying and bizarre tales will make even modern readers reconsider their beliefs regarding the supernatural.


This curious book, which is very likely the first such collection of ghost stories published in the English language, is extremely rare today, with only four copies known to exist. The Valancourt Books edition reprints the unabridged 1804 text, together with a new preface, in a cloth-bound hardcover volume with an attractive dust jacket.

Ligeia
12-07-2009, 03:35 AM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61CQE-iLYIL._SS500_.jpg

Cyril Tourneur
12-16-2009, 08:33 PM
http://www.nazraeli.com/cover_images/100346_cov.jpg


This crumbling jewel of Northern Italy, built completely on marshland, is steeped in history and irresistibly imbued with romance. Known as “The City of Light” and “Queen of the Adriatic,” Venezia is indelibly tinged with dark intrigue, decadence and decay. Comprising 118 small islands along the Adriatic Sea, Venezia was a maritime power during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and a staging area for the Crusades. The city’s long decline began some 500 years ago; but its survival of two episodes of the Black Death, and the loss of its thousand years of independence to Napoleon Bonaparte in 1797 – as well as the fact that it appears to be sinking slowly into the waters on which it is built – has only added to its mystique. This beautifully produced book brings together a collection of haunting images quietly made by Michael Kenna over the last 30 years, many of which are published here for the first time. Arguably the most influential photographer of his generation, Michael Kenna is the subject of over 35 monographs. The images in Venezia are part of a large retrospective exhibition of Kenna’s work at Palazzo Magnani Museum, Reggio Emilia, Italy in Spring, 2010. This first printing of Venezia is limited to 2,000 hand-numbered, slipcased copies. A SPECIAL EDITION of 250 signed and numbered copies, presented in a clamshell box, is also available.

Daisy
01-04-2010, 04:05 PM
There Once Lived A Woman Who Tried To Kill Her Neighbor’s Baby: Fairy Tales by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya; Selected and Translated by Keith Gessen and Anna Summers (Penguin Books, 2009)

http://bookcoverarchive.com/images/books/there_once_live_a_woman_who_tried_to_kill_her_neig hbors_baby.large.jpg

Excerpts from “Disturbing the Comfortable” by Liesl Schillinger [Review of Ludmilla Petrushevskaya’s There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor’s Baby, published in the New York Times Book Review, November 20, 2009]:

Ludmilla Petrushevskaya was born in Moscow in 1938, at the height of the Stalinist terror, at a time when the Soviet Union was on the brink of war. For decades, censors shunned her fiction because of its impolitic bleakness, and she survived by working as an editor and translator, writing plays and television and radio scripts (when she could), and selling the occasional newspaper article. But with the rise of perestroika and the fall of Communism, she has been rehabilitated, and today is hailed as one of Russia’s best living writers.

The stories in this exquisite collection—vital, eerie and freighted with the moral messages that attend all cautionary tales—reflect only one of Petrushevskaya’s many modes of expression. Readers who would like to experience others can turn to another story collection, Immortal Love, and her short novel The Time: Night, which were both translated into English in the 1990s. In those books, writing expansively, even garrulously, she conveyed the rough texture of life (mostly for women) in Soviet and post-Soviet society, showing the world she observed and overheard in all its unairbrushed detail—the poverty, the alcoholism, the illnesses, the cramped living conditions, the disappointed parents and worthless children, the unreliable suitors and resigned women. Russians long ago put a name to this sort of grim, neorealist writing, which has flourished since glasnost put an end to the enforced optimism of the Soviet period. They call it chernukha — from the word cherny, which means “black”—suggesting a pessimistic sensibility.

Lately, chernukha has fallen out of vogue with Russians who seek escape from reality in their reading. But Gessen and Summers have chosen shrewdly. In these beautifully translated pages, they deliver savory tastes of Petrushevskaya’s dark perspective, but in portions so small and distinct that the chernukha seasons rather than overwhelms them. We are left hungry for more.

Daisy
01-05-2010, 12:48 PM
Asylum: Inside the Closed World of State Mental Hospitals
Photographs by Christopher Payne; Foreword by Oliver Sacks (The MIT Press, 2009)


http://www.designboom.com/cms/images/ridhika09/asylum01.jpg

From Amazon.com:

For more than half the nation’s history, vast mental hospitals were a prominent feature of the American landscape. From the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth, over 250 institutions for the insane were built throughout the United States; by 1948, they housed more than a half million patients. The blueprint for these hospitals was set by Pennsylvania hospital superintendant Thomas Story Kirkbride: a central administration building flanked symmetrically by pavilions and surrounded by lavish grounds with pastoral vistas. Kirkbride and others believed that well-designed buildings and grounds, a peaceful environment, a regimen of fresh air, and places for work, exercise, and cultural activities would heal mental illness. But in the second half of the twentieth century, after the introduction of psychotropic drugs and policy shifts toward community-based care, patient populations declined dramatically, leaving many of these beautiful, massive buildings—and the patients who lived in them—neglected and abandoned.

Architect and photographer Christopher Payne spent six years documenting the decay of state mental hospitals like these, visiting seventy institutions in thirty states. Through his lens we see splendid, palatial exteriors (some designed by such prominent architects as H. H. Richardson and Samuel Sloan) and crumbling interiors—chairs stacked against walls with peeling paint in a grand hallway; brightly colored toothbrushes still hanging on a rack; stacks of suitcases, never packed for the trip home.

Accompanying Payne’s striking and powerful photographs is an essay by Oliver Sacks (who described his own experience working at a state mental hospital in his book Awakenings). Sacks pays tribute to Payne's photographs and to the lives once lived in these places, “where one could be both mad and safe.”

http://www.asylumbook.com/Portfolio.cfm?nK=8848&nL=1&nS=0#0

Bleak&Icy
01-09-2010, 04:18 AM
http://www.inkermenpress.co.uk/components/com_virtuemart/shop_image/product/Axis_Volume_2_4a6ee2a9ecf2c.jpg

From the publisher's website (http://www.inkermenpress.co.uk/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=14&category_id=2&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=4&vmcchk=1&Itemid=4)

Paperback: Second Edition available April 2009 (Ł13.95)
Hardback: (Out of Print)

Muse & Messiah is the first full comparative study of the Polish-Jewish writer and artist Bruno Schulz (1892-1942), based on the latest materials including new interviews with ex-students and biographers, Polish texts, plus all worldwide English studies and influenced works. Rare photographs, detailed chronology, and recent images are included for comparison.

His life and themes are examined with detailed Polish and European influences. New, first-hand corrected information about his home region adds a new dimension to his creative world within contemporary Polish-Jewish tensions. Controversial international debates about his last works are brought up to date in a work that seeks to place his poetic-artistic achievement more centrally to highlight an original, modernist and yet universal vision.

Brian R. Banks began writing as a prelude to living on the London streets, in the Francis Thompson rather than Orwellian mode. Huysmans’ A Rebours focused a five-year study of that author's life at the British Museum aided by transcripted notebooks and the generous help of Prof. Colin Burns.

Occasional articles, reviews and two private poetry collections were published, then The Image of J.-K. Huysmans (1990, New York). This period coincided with the finding of a true muse and running a bookshop. A few years later Muse & Messiah: The Life, Imagination & Legacy of Bruno Schulz was written, in tandem with a book of essays, aided not by grants but personal assistance given without financial interest in Poland, Ukraine, and Czech Republic. The author currently lives somewhere in Central Europe.

Reviews:

"MUSE & MESSIAH is a luminous panoramic journey curved through a twilight cosmos of noise, dust and time;- and where Bruno Schulz’s Drohobycz and native Galicia [palpably] pulsate in a ‘floreomachia’ of vanished perspectives." -- The Quay Brothers, August 12, 2009

"Fans of lost Mitteleuropa, take note: InkerMen Press continues its Hoffmannesque list with an ambitious study of Bruno Schulz’s life and work that teases out some universal literary threads from the Polish Jewish writer’s private and idiosyncratic cosmos." -- Victoria Nelson, author of The Secret Life of Puppets

With Strength I Burn
01-09-2010, 04:45 AM
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_62_yIQxJOJI/Sh9F3aFU7-I/AAAAAAAACVw/okDViKE4PU0/s400/Book_-_Romeo_Dallaire_-_Shake_Hands_With_The_Devil.jpg

From Amazon Page
As former head of the late 1993 U.N. peacekeeping mission in Rwanda, Canadian general Dallaire's initial proposal called for 5,000 soldiers to permit orderly elections and the return of the refugees. Nothing like this number was supplied, and the result was an outright attempt at genocide against the Tutsis that nearly succeeded, with 800,000 dead over three months. The failure of the U.N.'s wealthier members to act as the tragedy unfolded obliged the author to leave military service to recover from PTSD (as well as the near breakdown of his family). While much of the account is a thickly described I-went-here, I went-there, I-met-X, I-said-this, one learns much more about the author's emotional states when making decisions than in a conventional military history, making this an important document of service—one that has been awarded Canada's Governor General's Award. And his descriptions of Rwanda's unraveling are disturbing, to say the least ("I then noticed large piles of blue-black bodies heaped on the creek banks"). Dallaire's argument that Rwanda-like situations are fires that can be put out with a small force if caught early enough will certainly draw debate, but the book documents in horrifying detail what happens when no serious effort is made.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

waffles
01-09-2010, 04:16 PM
In a similar vein, I recommend

Amazon.com: We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories From Rwanda (Bestselling Backlist): Philip Gourevitch: Books

With Strength I Burn
01-19-2010, 01:12 AM
http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/ed/05/ee9ac0a398a03009c47e2210.L._AA240_.jpg

YouTube- Holding on till the very end - Krishnamurti

YouTube- Nirvana - Krishnamurti

rresmini
01-22-2010, 09:34 PM
Fishboy - Mark Richard

http://www.randomhouse.com/boldtype/0898/richard/excerpt.html (http://www.randomhouse.com/boldtype/0898/richard/excerpt.html)

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51%2BxUU53RrL._SL500_AA240_.jpg
From Publishers Weekly:
Seafaring lore finds a macabre new context in this debut novel, a surreal tale of shipboard grotesques in mortal struggle. Protagonist Fishboy, an abandoned child with fish-like eyes and a whistling lisp, shucks mollusks in a squalid cannery where the fishing boats unload their catch. Believing he has killed another worker, he flees to the open sea on a trawler manned by a murderous, deranged crew of outcasts and oddities. As he tries to survive and find a niche among these extreme personalities, Fishboy contemplates his crime and his brief, sorrowful history. Richard, who won the PEN/Hemingway Award for his short story collection, The Ice at the Bottom of the World , renders a vivid, febrile vision wherein the omnipresent sea is both primordial broth and agent of ultimate decay. Steeped in blood, offal and viscera, his characters are scabrous but compelling. His skillful manipulation of prose rhythms and images heightens the immediacy of this odd juxtaposition of nautical legend and mordant, post-nuclear nihilism. Achieving a graceful balance of insight and parody, clarity and hallucination, Richard fashions an imaginative, impressive novel.

With Strength I Burn
01-29-2010, 04:13 AM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/612GqcTAU1L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_.jpg
From the inside of the flap.
In this stunningly original exploration of human consciousness, philosopher and scientist Thomas Metzinger provides fascinating evidence that the "self" does not really exist. Highlighting a series of ground-breaking experiments in neuroscience, virtual reality, and robotics, and his own pioneering research into the phenomenon of the "out-of-body" experience, Metzinger reveals how our brain constructs our reality - our deepest sense of self is completely dependent on our brain functioning.

In The Ego Tunnel, Metzinger examines recent evidence that people born without arms or legs can experience a sensation that they do in fact have limbs - and how we can actually feel a human touch in a rubber hand placed on a desk in front of us. Similarly, he reveals how the state of our experiential self changes when we become lucid while we're dreaming, and how our sense of self can even be transposed into a three-dimensional computer-generated image of our body in cyberspace simply by using virtual reality goggles, creating a conflict between the seeing self and the feeling self. He goes on to discuss the latest research on free-will, machine consciousness, and the evolution of empathy.

Highlighting these examples and more, Metzinger asserts that if our "self" is created by our brain mechanisms and it's possible to alter our subjective reality, then this creates not only a deeper understanding of consciousness, but a need for a new approach to ethics. Our sense of self, our spatial understanding, and the feeling of embodiment can be manipulated and even controlled. Using new kinds of medication, we can even enhance cognition and fine-tune emotional layers of self-consciousness. But what, in an ethical sense, are valuable forms of self-experience in the first place - what is a good state of conscioussness?

Metzinger ultimately argues that we must be willing to engage with serious and pressing ethical questions as well as cultural consequences that will result from a new image of the "self" and the emerging neurotechnology of consciousness. In a time when the science of cognition is becoming as controversial as evolution, The Ego Tunnel provides a highly innovative take on the mystery of the mind.

Ligeia
02-06-2010, 03:21 AM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Pf%2BzGfOnL._SS500_.jpg

Ligeia
02-06-2010, 03:23 AM
http://www.ebooknetworking.com/books/046/501/big0465012612.jpg

Ligeia
02-23-2010, 10:12 AM
http://kimbofo.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451bcff69e201157253cd30970b-300wi

Ligeia
02-23-2010, 10:13 AM
http://www.morrablibrary.org.uk/elephant.jpg

Ligeia
02-23-2010, 10:18 AM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51pAaoNxWRL._SS500_.jpg

Ligeia
02-23-2010, 10:28 AM
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_OUpNpZXvRlM/Ss9P0PUqVCI/AAAAAAAAAPg/emN2q_dtQ20/s400/bodp.jpg