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Old 09-10-2008   #1
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Book Recommendations

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.

(Dictated while taking a stroll) I have come to realizewhat a superbly contrived marionette man is. Though without strings attached, one can strut, jump, hop and, moreover, utter words, an elaborately made puppet! Who knows? At the Bon season next year, I may be a new dead invited to the Bon festival. What an evanescent world! This truth keeps slipping off our minds.

- Tsunetomo Yamamoto, The Hagakure
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Old 09-10-2008   #2
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Re: Book Recommendations



"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."

(Dictated while taking a stroll) I have come to realizewhat a superbly contrived marionette man is. Though without strings attached, one can strut, jump, hop and, moreover, utter words, an elaborately made puppet! Who knows? At the Bon season next year, I may be a new dead invited to the Bon festival. What an evanescent world! This truth keeps slipping off our minds.

- Tsunetomo Yamamoto, The Hagakure
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Old 09-10-2008   #3
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Re: Book Recommendations




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.

(Dictated while taking a stroll) I have come to realizewhat a superbly contrived marionette man is. Though without strings attached, one can strut, jump, hop and, moreover, utter words, an elaborately made puppet! Who knows? At the Bon season next year, I may be a new dead invited to the Bon festival. What an evanescent world! This truth keeps slipping off our minds.

- Tsunetomo Yamamoto, The Hagakure
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Old 09-10-2008   #4
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Re: Book Recommendations



The Thirst for Annihilation: Georges ... - Google Buchsuche


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.

(Dictated while taking a stroll) I have come to realizewhat a superbly contrived marionette man is. Though without strings attached, one can strut, jump, hop and, moreover, utter words, an elaborately made puppet! Who knows? At the Bon season next year, I may be a new dead invited to the Bon festival. What an evanescent world! This truth keeps slipping off our minds.

- Tsunetomo Yamamoto, The Hagakure
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Old 09-10-2008   #5
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Re: Book Recommendations



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.

(Dictated while taking a stroll) I have come to realizewhat a superbly contrived marionette man is. Though without strings attached, one can strut, jump, hop and, moreover, utter words, an elaborately made puppet! Who knows? At the Bon season next year, I may be a new dead invited to the Bon festival. What an evanescent world! This truth keeps slipping off our minds.

- Tsunetomo Yamamoto, The Hagakure
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Old 09-10-2008   #6
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Re: Book Recommendations

ok...now two classics which are a must have...





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.

(Dictated while taking a stroll) I have come to realizewhat a superbly contrived marionette man is. Though without strings attached, one can strut, jump, hop and, moreover, utter words, an elaborately made puppet! Who knows? At the Bon season next year, I may be a new dead invited to the Bon festival. What an evanescent world! This truth keeps slipping off our minds.

- Tsunetomo Yamamoto, The Hagakure
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Old 09-10-2008   #7
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Re: Book Recommendations

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)





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




From Wiki (sorry!! )
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).

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Old 09-10-2008   #8
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Re: Book Recommendations



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.

(Dictated while taking a stroll) I have come to realizewhat a superbly contrived marionette man is. Though without strings attached, one can strut, jump, hop and, moreover, utter words, an elaborately made puppet! Who knows? At the Bon season next year, I may be a new dead invited to the Bon festival. What an evanescent world! This truth keeps slipping off our minds.

- Tsunetomo Yamamoto, The Hagakure
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Old 09-10-2008   #9
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Re: Book Recommendations




“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."

(Dictated while taking a stroll) I have come to realizewhat a superbly contrived marionette man is. Though without strings attached, one can strut, jump, hop and, moreover, utter words, an elaborately made puppet! Who knows? At the Bon season next year, I may be a new dead invited to the Bon festival. What an evanescent world! This truth keeps slipping off our minds.

- Tsunetomo Yamamoto, The Hagakure
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Old 09-10-2008   #10
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Re: Book Recommendations

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



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.
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