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On Expo - Film - In concert

WWW jahsonic.com

"Method of this work:
literary montage.
I have nothing to say only to show."
(Passagenwerk (1927 - 1940) - Walter Benjamin)

2005, Feb 22; 13:55 ::: Teo Macero and Bitches Brew (1969)

Bitches Brew (1969) - Miles Davis [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Teo Macero is a jazz saxophonist and record producer.

He began his career as a performer, recording a few albums, and briefly joining Charles Mingus.

Macero found greater fame as a jazz record producer for Columbia Records. He had a long and especially fruitful partnership with Miles Davis.

Recently, Macero returned to performing, playing saxophone on DJ Logic's Project Logic. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teo_Macero [Feb 2005]

Bitches Brew and post-production

Some might argue Teo Macero deserves much of the credit for Bitches Brew. His contributions were sometimes controversial, certainly important, and perhaps invaluable.

There was significant editing done to the recorded music. Short sections were spliced together to create longer pieces, and various effects were applied to the recordings. One source worth quoting at length reports:

"Bitches Brew also pioneered the application of the studio as a musical instrument, featuring stacks of edits and studio effects that were an integral part of the music. Even though it sounded like an old-style studio registration of a bunch of guys playing some amazing stuff, large sections of it relied heavily on studio technology to create a fantasy that never was. Miles and his producer, the legendary Teo Macero, used the recording studio in radical new ways, especially in the title track and the opening track, "Pharaoh's Dance". There were many special effects, like tape loops, tape delays, reverb chambers and echo effects. And, through intensive tape editing, Macero concocted many totally new musical structures that were later imitated by the band in live concerts. Macero, who has a classical education and was most likely inspired by the '30s and '40s musique concrete experiments, used tape editing as a form of arranging and composition. "Pharaoh's Dance" contains 19 edits - its famous stop-start opening is entirely constructed in the studio, using repeat loops of certain sections. Later on in the track there are several micro-edits: for example, a one-second-long fragment that first appears at 8:39 is repeated five times between 8:54 and 8:59. The title track contains 15 edits, again with several short tape loops of, in this case, five seconds (at 3:01, 3:07 and 3:12). Therefore, Bitches Brew not only became a controversial classic of musical innovation, it also became renowned for its pioneering use of studio technology." [3] (http://www.audiomedia.com/archive/features/uk-0599/uk-0599-brew/uk-0599-brew.htm)

This extensive editing was sometimes controversial in jazz circles as purists and detractors argued that jazz should be "spontaneous." But decades earlier trumpeter Louis Armstrong had quickly perceived the photographic nature of the audio recording, becoming the first musician to assemble a band solely for the purpose of recording it live in the studio. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitches_Brew#Post-production [Feb 2005]

Sound effects or audio effects are artificially created or enhanced sounds, or sound processes used to emphasize artistic or other content of movies, video games, music, or other media.

In motion picture and television production, a sound effect is a sound recorded and presented to make a specific storytelling or creative point without the use of dialogue or music. The term often refers to a process applied to a recording, without necessarily referring to the recording itself. In professional motion picture and television production, the segregations between dialogue, music, and sound effects recordings are quite severe, and it is important to understand that in such contexts dialogue and music recordings are never referred to as sound effects, though the processes applied to them, such as reverberation or flanging, often are. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_effect [Feb 2005]

2005, Feb 22; 10:35 ::: Haruki Murakami

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (1994-1995) - Haruki Murakami [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Murakami Haruki is one of the most popular and controversial of today's Japanese authors. His genre-defying, humorous and fantastic works have sparked fierce debates in Japan over whether they are true "literature" or simple pop-fiction: Oe Kenzaburo has been one of his harshest critics. However, Western critics are nearly unanimous in assessing Murakami's works as having serious literary value. Some of his most well-known works include Norwegian Wood (1987) and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (1994-1995). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_literature [Feb 2005]

Haruki Murakami, born January 12, 1949) is a popular contemporary Japanese writer and translator. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haruki_Murakami [Feb 2004]

Murakami's fiction, which is often criticised for being "pop" literature by Japan's literary establishment, is humorous and surreal, and at the same time reflects an essential alienation, loneliness and longing for love in a way that has touched readers in the US and Europe, as well as in East Asia. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haruki_Murakami [Feb 2004]

thanks to Mr. Seeldraeyers

2005, Feb 21; 21:18 ::: Multimedia

Multimedia is the use of several different media to convey information (text, audio, graphics, animation, video, and interactivity). Multimedia also refers to computer media. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multimedia [Feb 2005]

2005, Feb 21; 20:55 ::: Technique index

adaptation - collage - cut-up - edit - film edit - film technique - instrument - medium - mix - montage - painting - photomontage - remix - recording - sample - version - writing -

2005, Feb 21; 20:55 ::: My Nightingale Is Singing (1984) - Astrid Lindgren

My Nightingale Is Singing (1984) - Astrid Lindgren [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Astrid Lindgren (November 14, 1907 - January 28, 2002) was a Swedish children's book author, whose many titles were translated into over 70 languages and published in more than 100 countries.

Astrid Lindgren grew up in Smalandia in Sweden. Many of her books are based on her family and her childhood on a little farm. Pippi Longstocking, her most famous book, was originally invented for her bed-ridden daughter, Karin. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrid_Lindgren [Feb 2005]

Warning for puffy eyes!, April 18, 2003
Reviewer: Katarina Hjärpe (Lund, Sweden)
"My Nightingale is Singing" is a rare gem by Astrid Lindgren. Not one of her more famous books (even among her short stories, which never made it as big as her novels), it is nevertheless one of her most beautiful ones. When I feel like I need a good cry, this is a book that always does the trick.

Malin - Maria in the English translation - is a girl whose parents have died of tuberculosis, and she's forced to live in the poor house, where nothing is fun or beautiful. Malin can hardly stand it, until she hears the words: "My linden plays, my nightingale is singing..." --via Amazon.com

2005, Feb 20; 11:37 ::: Paul Laurenzi

Paul Laurenzi, image sourced from http://www.eroticartmuseum.de/gallerien/paullaurenzi/laurenzi_gallerie_2.html [Feb 2005]

2005, Feb 20; 11:37 ::: Another friendly comment

screen shot

Think of the biggest pop culture nerd you know creating a Web site and you will have an idea of what jahsonic.com is about. Jahsonic has everything from a historical "gay timeline" beginning in the 1700s to a review of new CDs in categories such as "white music" and "Italo Disco." If you are in any sort of Cultural Anthropology class, or into "Disco Hedonism," this is your site. Check out the blog for weekly favorites. --http://www.jupiterindex.com/_issue/sites.html [Feb 2005]

2005, Feb 20; 09:35 ::: Thanks for the link, Nova!

L’histoire moderne de la musique (soul, disco, house, reggae, jazz, funk, dub, rap and hip hop, garage, techno…), mais aussi celles d’autres segments de la culture comme le cinéma, l’art, le design, les mœurs, etc. Un site de ouf plein de ressources, mais en anglais ! -- http://www.novaplanet.com/cyber-hardcore/liens-fondamentaux,12,d,2,musique-actu.html [Feb 2005]

See also: Radio Nova

2005, Feb 19; 23:42 ::: An index of horror [...]

Saturn Devouring His Son (1819)

Media: horror film - horror fiction

Genres: bio horror - body horror - erotic horror - exploitation - fantastic - freaks of nature - gore - gothic - magic - monster - psychological horror - slasher - snuff film - vampire - video nasty - werewolf - zombie

Connotations: bizarre - blood - controversial - cruelty - dark - demon - devil - disgusting - disturbing - evil - fantasy - fear - grotesque - inquisition - midnight - night - offensive - pain - phobia - prison - repugnance - shocking - sadism - sick - strange - supernatural - surreal - terror - torture - ugly - violence - visceral

By region: American Horror - European horror - Japanese horror

2005, Feb 19; 22:26 ::: Day and night themes

day - night

2005, Feb 19; 20:45 ::: Galeries St. Hubert (1846), Brussels

Galeries St. Hubert (1846), Brussels

In 1846 King Leopold I laid the first stone for the construction of the royal galleries Saint-Hubert in Brussels, designed by architect J. P. Cluysenaer as an enclosed shopping environment with a glass and metal roof. Although other enclosed galleries had been built in Europe, St. Hubert would be the oldest covered gallery to survive to the present day. --http://history.sandiego.edu/gen/soc/shoppingcenter2.html [Feb 2005]

2005, Feb 19; 20:18 ::: Juxtaposition

Generally, juxtaposition, or contrasting is an act or instance of placing two things close together or side by side, in order to show unlikeness or differences, to note the opposite qualities of the two, etc.

In music it is an abrupt change of elements.

In film the position of shots next to one another is intended to create meaning within the audiences mind.

In literature it occurs when two images that are otherwise not commonly brought together appear side by side or structural close together - thereby creating the reader to stop and reconsider the meaning of the text through the contrasting images/ideas/motifs.

Modernist poetry played extensivley with juxtaposing images, inserting unrelated fragments together in order to create wonder and interest in readers. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juxtaposition [Feb 2004]

Walter Benjamin, writing in the 1920's and 30's, used the Paris Arcades, as the focal point of a study of 19th century Paris. He constructed The Arcades Project by mixing many citations of other authors with his own comments, generating understanding as much by the content of a particular bit as its juxtaposition with other texts. For example, advertising copy might appear right before a citation from Frederick Engels. The quotes functioned as a bit of newspaper collaged onto a painting to provide concrete evidence from the past. Benjamin used montage and fragmentation as a new way to understand and write history.

-- e-Arcades by Robin Michals via http://molodiez.org/dms420/samples.htm [Feb 2005]

2005, Feb 19; 18:01 ::: Walter Benjamin on Céline

There is a remark by Benjamin on Céline in the Arcades Project (p. 300) -‘Gauloiserie in Baudelaire: “To organise a grand conspiracy for the extermination of the Jewish race./ The Jews who are librarians and bear witness to the Redemption”… Céline has continued along these lines. (cheerful assassins!)’

In a letter to Max Horkheimer on April 16, 1938, Benjamin wrote, ‘You may have seen Gide’s dispute with Céline… “If one were forced to see in Bagatelles pour un massacre anything other than a game, it would be impossible to excuse Céline, in spite of all his genius, for stirring up banal passions with such cynicism and frivolous impertinence”… The word banal speaks for itself. As you will recall, I was also struck by Céline’s lack of seriousness. Gide, being the moralist he is, otherwise pays heed only to the book’s intent and not to its consequences. Or, being the Satanist he also is, has he no objections to them?’ (Correspondence, p. 558)

Benjamin describes Céline as a popular novelist (Roman populiste). This form ‘represents not so much an advance for the proletarian novel as a retreat on the part of bourgeois aesthetics… It is no accident that … Journey To The End Of The Night … is concerned with the Lumpenproletariat. Like the Lumpenproletariat, Céline, in his description of it, is quite unable to make visible this defect in his subject. Hence, the monotony in which the plot is veiled is fundamentally ambiguous. He succeeds in vividly portraying the sadness and sterility of a life … But he is quite incapable of showing us the forces that have shaped the lives of these outcasts. Even less is he able to convey how these people might begin to react against these forces. This is why nothing can be more treacherous than the judgment on Céline’s book delivered by Dabit, who is himself a respected representative of the genre. “We are confronted here with a work in which revolt does not proceed from aesthetic or symbolic discussions, and in which what is at issue is not art, culture, or God, but a cry of rage against the conditions of life that human beings can impose on a majority of other human beings.” Bardamu - this is the name of the hero of the novel - “is made of the same stuff as the masses. He is made from their cowardice, their panic-stricken horror, their desires, and their outbursts of violence.” So far so good were it not for the fact that the essence of revolutionary training and experience is to recognise the class structure of the masses and to exploit it.’ (Benjamin Selected Writings, 2, p. 752.) --http://sauer-thompson.com/conversations/archives/001543.html [Feb 2005]

2005, Feb 18; 19:14 ::: Arcades Project (1927 - 1940) - Walter Benjamin

The Arcades Project (1927 - 1940) - Walter Benjamin [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

'World exhibitions were places of pilgrimage to the fetish commodity'. --Walter Benjamin, Arcades Project

If the commodity was a fetish, then Grandville was the tribal sorcerer. --Walter Benjamin, Arcades Project (1927 - 1940)

The files comprised a vast array of interlinked scraps. When Benjamin fled Paris he gave over his collected notes of the Arcades Project to Georges Bataille, librarian at the National Library in Paris. He hid them well. He might have hoped to return one day to complete his researches. But completion was itself an issue. Gretel Adorno once joked that Benjamin inhabited the ‘cavelike depths’ of the Arcades Project and did not want to complete it ‘because you feared having to leave what you built’. --Esther Leslie via http://www.militantesthetix.co.uk/yarcades.html [Feb 2005]

2005, Feb 18; 16:25 ::: Commonplace

Commonplace: a historical precedent for the weblog

During the Renaissance (especially in England), commonplaces (or commonplace books) were for some people a popular way to compile knowledge, usually done by writing information into books. During the height of their prolificacy, commonplaces were used by readers, writers, students, and humanists as an aid for remembering useful concepts or facts they had learned.

Producing a commonplace is frequently known as commonplacing. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commonplace [Feb 2005]

2005, Feb 18; 16:21 ::: Genre [...]

Keywords: content - convention - form - format - media - motif - mood - originality - setting - style - subject - theme - topic

Media: film genre - literary genre - music genre

Mood: comedy - horror

Setting: science fiction - western

2005, Feb 18; 13:42 ::: Buttocks [...]

Hot Cheeks (2004) Martin Sigrist [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Exposed - Trevor Watson (Photographer), Tony Mitchell [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]

2005, Feb 18; 12:46 ::: A Child Is Being Beaten - (1919) - Sigmund Freud

A Child Is Being Beaten - (1919) - Sigmund Freud [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

From Book News, Inc.
The fifth volume in the series presents a classic essay by Freud followed by discussions that set Freud's work in context and demonstrate its contemporary relevance. "A Child Is Being Beaten" (1919) deals with the childhood beating fantasy (which is often accompanied by sexual arousal), and the theoretical problem of how pleasure and suffering become linked. Contributors represent diverse perspectives as well as diverse regions of the psychoanalytic world. Book News, Inc.®, Portland, OR

Product Description:
This is the fifth volume in the series "Contemporary Freud: Turning Points and Critical Issues," co-published with the International Psychoanalytical Association. This book, like the others in the series, presents a classic essay by Freud, followed by discussions that set Freud`s work in context and demonstrate its contemporary relevance. "A Child Is Being Beaten" (1919) deals with the theoretical problem of how pleasure and suffering become linked. --via Amazon.com

2005, Feb 18; 12:20 ::: Art for art's sake

"Art for art's sake" is the usual English rendition of a French slogan, ''l'art pour l'art'', which is credited to Théophile Gautier.

Whether Gautier was the first to write those words, he was the first to adopt them as a slogan. "Art for art's sake" was a bohemian creed in the nineteenth century, a slogan raised in defiance of those who - from John Ruskin to the much later Communist advocates of socialist realism - thought that the value of art was to serve some moral or didactic purpose. Art for art's sake affirmed that art was valuable as art, that artistic pursuits were their own justification, and that art did not need moral justification - and indeed, was allowed to be morally subversive.

The slogan is associated in the history of English art and letters with Walter Pater, and his followers in the Aesthetic Movement, which was self-consciously in rebellion against Victorian moralism.

The Latin version of the slogan, "ars gratia artis", is used as a slogan by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and appears in the oval around the roaring lion's head in their motion picture logo. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_for_art%27s_sake [Feb 2005]

2005, Feb 18; 11:16 ::: Push, Push In The Bush (1978) - Musique

Logo of the Prelude record label

In the bush (1978) is the A-side of this twelve inch

In the Summer of 1977, I remember being on the highway and hearing "Shake Your Booty" for the first time. I turned to my girlfriend and said,

"I don't believe they got away with that!" Here we were way past the dawning of the aquarian age and Woodstock and free love, yet it seemed that a big taboo was being broken. The 'line' had been crossed. We songwriters still believed that suggestive lyric but not explicit lyric was the order of the day. We spent endless hours crafting new ways of eluding to sex without crossing that magic line. Suddenly the pressure was on to test for a new 'magic line.' Between "Deep Throat" in the cinema and George Carlins' "Seven words you can't say on television" the world was ready for the test.

I did not sit down and invent the phrase "Push Push In The Bush" in a moment of meditative genius. I was in the recording studio ... --http://www.papmus.com/push.html [Feb 2005]

see also http://www.discogs.com/release/225320, Prelude records, Patrick Adams, disco, Musique, http://www.discocity.it/afrofunkydisco_rarita20.htm [Feb 2005]

2005, Feb 18; 10:50 ::: Degeneration (1892) - Max Simon Nordau

Degeneration (1892) - Max Simon Nordau [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Max Nordau (July 29, 1849 - January 23, 1923), born Simon Maximilian Südfeld in Pest, Hungary, was a Zionist leader, physician, author, and social critic.

He was a co-founder of the World Zionist Organization together with Theodor Herzl, and president or vice president of several Zionist congresses.

He was also a social critic who wrote a number of controversial books, including The Conventional Lies of Our Civilisation (1883), Degeneration (1892), and Paradoxes (1896). Of these books, the one most frequently remembered is Degeneration; it was a philistine and moralistic attack on so-called degenerate art, and its arguments were adopted by the antisemitic Nazi Party in Germany.

Nordau died in Paris, France in 1923. In 1926 his remains were moved to Tel Aviv. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Nordau [Feb 2004]

2005, Feb 17; 17:29 ::: Ecorché I (1939-1940) - Ferdinand Springer

Ecorché I (1939-1940) - Ferdinand Springer

2005, Feb 17; 15:44 ::: Mandarijnen op Zwavelzuur (1963) Willem Frederik Hermans

cover image from Mandarijnen op Zwavelzuur (1963)

image sourced from http://www.dbnl.org/tekst/smul003kuns01/smul003kuns01_001.htm [Feb 2005]

His [W.F. Hermans] polemic and provocative style led to a court case as early as 1952. His caustic pieces were compiled in Mandarijnen op zwavelzuur (‘Mandarines in Sulphuric Acid’, 1963), which was reprinted with additions a number of times. It is Herman’s belief that in order to survive people have to create own reality. It is inevitable that all these experiences of reality will collide. Language is essential to create order out of chaos and plays an important role in this process. --http://www.nlpvf.nl/Book/NLPVF_BooktxtDB.php?Book=276

Mandarijnen op zwavelzuur verscheen in 1963. Dat herinner ik mij nog heel goed, want in dat jaar zat ik voor mijn eindexamen. Ik las de verschrikte recensies en één ding wist ik zeker: dat boek moest ik hebben.
Het bleek echter helemaal niet zo gemakkelijk de Mandarijnen te pakken te krijgen. Boekhandelaren raadpleegden dikke uitgeversgidsen om vervolgens het hoofd te schudden.

Mijn vader, die getuige was van mijn wanhopige pogingen om het boek te bemachtigen, nam met het oog op de naderende sinterklaasavond een besluit. Hij belde Hermans, die ergens in Groningen scheen te wonen. Hermans noteerde de naam van mijn vader op een lijstje en zei dat het boek zou worden verzonden zodra het geld was overgemaakt. Ik herinner mij nog dat mijn vader zei: 'Vreemd, zou die Hermans een eigen boekwinkeltje hebben?'

Inderdaad lag de Mandarijnen enige tijd daarop in de bus. Bijgevoegd was een collage, door de auteur zelf in elkaar geknipt en geplakt, waarop een vrouw te zien was van wie het hoofd bedekt was door de hoorn van een ouderwetse grammofoon. Wat de bedoeling van deze voorstelling was heb ik eigenlijk nooit zo precies begrepen, maar de collage heb ik nog steeds. Onder antiquairs schijnt hij tegenwoordig voor vele honderden guldens verhandeld te worden. --http://www.maxpam.nl/archief/InterviewHermans1.html [Feb 2005]

W.F. Hermans and collage

Het Hoedenparadijs (1991) - Willem Frederik Hermans

2005, Feb 17; 15:01 ::: De boekenpoeper: Het groteske in de literatuur (1982) - Maarten van Buuren

I am looking for De boekenpoeper: Het groteske in de literatuur (1982) - Maarten van Buuren

2005, Feb 17; 15:01 ::: Roman Cieslewicz (1930-1996)

Illustration by Roman Cieslewicz, date unidentified

Roman Cieslewicz (1930-1996).
1949-54 studied at Cracow Academy of Fine Arts. Specialized in poster and display designing. Worked as book and magazine designer.
Since 1962 lived in France where he worked as art director of "Vogue", "Elle" and "Mafia" - advertising agency. He was artistic creator of "Opus International" and "Kitsch". Member of AGI [International Graphic Association]. --http://www.poster.com.pl/cieslewicz.htm [Feb 2005]

2005, Feb 17; 12:12 ::: The Marquis De Sade: A New Biography (1992) - Donald Thomas

The Marquis De Sade: A New Biography (1992) - Donald Thomas [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Product Description:
Donatien-Alphonse-Francois, Marquis de Sade 1740-1814, remains a man whose name is instantly recognized but whose life is obscure. Born close to royalty in the age of aristocratic decadence, he precipitated sexual scandals in the grand manner. Alleged poisoning and unnatural practices with a group of girls in Marseilles earned him a death sentence. While hunted by the law he contrived a winter of pleasures that led to further accusations of sexual crimes.

Imprisoned on six separate occasions, De Sade spent twenty seven years under detention, escaping the guillotine while within sight of it. and spending his last years in the dubious comfort of the asylum of Charenton. For a brief period after the revolution De Sade also became a judge, opposed the death penalty, and saved some of his sworn enemies from prison or execution. He was loved to the end by women who knew the worst of him, and he was fearless in his defiance of injustice.

What manner of paradox was this man? Was he a monster or was he a man of his time, driven to excess and persecuted by his contemporaries? De Sade, an aristocrat, lived through the waning days of Louis XVI, the Revolution, the Terror and the early years of Napoleon's reign. His literary. output fills a library shelf, and even now a English-language edition of his complete writings is in the planning stages.

In this illuminating and dramatic biography, Donald Thomas puts De Sade in perspective, unraveling his complex life and thought against the turbulent background of revolutionary France and considers his legacy in the context of our own time. What manner of man could have written Juliet, Justine and 120 Days of Sodom? This book offers a key. --Amazon.com

Notes to self on this book:

Janin, Jules: Le marquis de Sade In: Revue de Paris, 1834. --http://www.cab.u-szeged.hu/local/gondolatjel/93/bibl.html [Feb 2005]

Geoffrey Wall (auteur de Flaubert: A Life, Faber 2001) serait reconnaissant à celle ou à celui qui pourrait lui donner des informations concernant l'article de Jules Janin sur le marquis de Sade, publié dans la Revue de Paris en novembre 1834. (Nous savons que Flaubert a découvert Sade en 1839 par Janin.) --http://www.univ-rouen.fr/flaubert/14bullet/bulle60.htm [Feb 2005]

and in 1843 famed Critic Sainte-Beuve wrote that Byron and Sade "are perhaps the two greatest inspirations of our moderns." --http://www.time.com/time/archive/preview/0,10987,867495,00.html [Feb 2005]

Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve (December 23, 1804 - October 13, 1869) was a literary critic and one of the major figures of French literary history.

He was born in Boulogne, and studied at the College Charlemagne in Paris. He became friendly with Victor Hugo after publishing a favourable review of the author's work, and had an affair with Hugo's wife. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Augustin_Sainte-Beuve [Feb 2005]

Sainte-Beuve, Charles-Augustin: Quelques vérités sur la situation en littérature in Revue des Deux Mondes, luglio 1843. Vol. III°, Pp. 5-20. --http://marchese-desade.org/articoli/articolistu.htm [Feb 2005]

Du Deffand, Marie-Anne de Vichy-Chamrond marquise: letters of 12-4-1768 and 13-4-1768 in Lettres de la marquise du Deffand à Horace Walpole, Paris: 1812.

Letters written by marquise Du Deffand to Horace Walpole tell the story of Rose Keller.

Published in the 1920s in Victorian England, Havelock Ellis’s case-study "Florrie," narrates the life of a suffragette who pursued feminism in public life and begged for chastisement and confinement in private life. Ellis as an early emancipated psycho-analyst taught Florrie how to accept her fantasies and gradually encouraged her to have her first orgasm through flagellation. --http://pages.emerson.edu/faculty/Katrien_Jacobs/articles/masochism/masochism.html [Feb 2004]

On Thursday May 19, 1977, 20-year-old Carol Smith (not her real name) left Eugene, Oregon to visit a friend in the Northern California town of Westwood, almost 400 miles away She had no car or money for a bus, but she was used to getting around with her thumb, so she hitchhiked. --http://www.crimelibrary.com/criminal_mind/psychology/sex_slave/index.html?sect=19 [Feb 2005]

The case of Neville George Clevely Heath was one of a series of famous post-1945 murder cases that occurred in the UK. --http://www.stephen-stratford.co.uk/neville_heath.htm [Feb 2005]

Thaw was a cocaine addict, or at least showed signs of drug abuse which caused him to have a wild-eyed stare most of the time. His drug abuse also seems to have fueled in him a kind of sadism that he took out mostly on women -- beating them with dog whips (as he did to Evelyn) and scalding them with boiling water in hotel bathtubs. --http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/century/sfeature/sf_interview.html [Feb 2005]

Myra Hindley (July 23, 1942-November 15, 2002), known as the "Moors Murderess", was born in Crumpshall in the English city of Manchester. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myra_Hindley [Feb 2005]

At the office Christmas party, Brady, relaxed by a few drinks, asked Hindley for their first date. It was to be the beginning of her initiation into his secret world. That first night he took her to see The Nuremberg Trials. As the weeks went by, he played her records of Hitler's marching songs and encouraged her to read some of his favourite books - Mein Kampf, and Crime and Punishment, and de Sade's works [actually, two works: The Life and Ideas of the Marquis De Sade (1934) by Geoffrey Gorer and a heavily expurgated version of Justine, for sale over the counter at W.H. Smith] --http://www.crimelibrary.com/serial_killers/predators/moors/feather_4.html?sect=2 [Feb 2005]

In addition, readers should look at Heine's important scholarship: Maurice Heine. Le Marquis de Sade. Edited by Gilbert Lely. Paris, 1950. --http://neilschaeffer.com/sade/bibliography/ [Feb 2005]

On returning to England, he [Swinburne] met Richard Monckton Milnes, who introduced him to Richard Burton and (in 1862) to the works of the Marquis de Sade. Though Swinburne laughed at Sade's literary style, he was evidently liberated by finding that it was possible to write explicitly about the connections between pain and pleasure. Swinburne's poetry at this point becomes more daring and confident; but it also becomes more deeply informed by grief, love, loss and anger. --http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=5111 [Feb 2005]

Richard Monckton Milnes, 1st Baron Houghton (June 19, 1809 - August 11, 1885) was an English poet and politician. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Monckton_Milnes%2C_1st_Baron_Houghton [Feb 2005]

[H]ankey also supplies sado-masochistic erotica to Swinburne, Richard Burton and Richard Monckton Milnes. --http://www.eroticabibliophile.com/people19.html [Sept 2004]

The brothels of 1875 - - Mary Jeffries ran the most exclusive brothel in the Victorian Era. Her chief assistant was a Mrs. Travers. She kidnapped children by offering to watch them while the parents went to gather luggage or buy tickets. Jeifries catered to nobility. "There was no form of sexual vice for which this murderess did not cater" (Terrot, 1960, p.91). Stead (Tenot, 1960, p.54), writing for the Pall Mall Gazette, described one of her houses,

"Flogging or birching goes on in brothels to a much greater degree than is generally believed. One of Mrs. Jeffrles' rooms was fitted up like a torture chamber... There were rings in the ceiling for hanging women and children up by the wrists, ladders for strapping them down at any angle, as well as the ordinary stretcher to which the victim is fastened so as to be unable to move. The instruments of flagellation included the ordinary birch, whips, holly branches and wire-thonged cat-o'-nine-tails."

Every once in a while the plight of child prostitutes catches and mo-mentarily holds the public awareness and consciousness. The Victorians were captured by reporters like Stead (Rush, 1980), and books such as Trafficking in Young Girls or War on the White Slave Trade (Sims, 1910) and Traffic in Girls and Florence Crittenton Missions (Edholm, 1893). Ennew 1986) pointed out that during the Victorian era the upswell of public sentiment/awareness for the sexual plight of children, coexisting with their exploitation, supports the contention that the present level of con-cern and activity regarding child prostitution is not unprecedented. However, left unsaid about these waves of consciousness is the entire ocean of blame for the victim surging behind it. --http://home.pacbell.net/tonyprey/burning/ [Feb 2005]

Portrait imaginaire de Sade (1938) - Man Ray

The cover on the Dutch translation of The Marquis De Sade: A New Biography (1992) published by Bert Bakker has this Roman Cieslewicz illustration of Sade

2005, Feb 17; 01:27 ::: Frank R. Paul

City of the future (1942) - Frank R. Paul

Frank Rudolph Paul (1884 - 1963) was an Austrian-born illustrator of US pulp-magazines in the science fiction field. A discovery of Hugo Gernsback (himself an immigrant from Luxemburg), Frank R. Paul was very influential in defining what both cover art and interior illustrations in the nascent science fiction pulps of the 1920s looked like. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_R._Paul [Feb 2005]

2005, Feb 16; 13:12 ::: Neoclassicism

Late Baroque classicizing: G. P. Pannini assembles the canon of Roman ruins and Roman sculpture into one vast imaginary gallery (1756)

Neoclassicism (sometimes rendered as Neo-Classicism or Neo-classicism) is the name given to quite distinct movements in the visual arts, literature, theatre, music, and architecture. These movements were in effect at various times between the 18th and the 20th centuries. What could these "neoclassicisms" have in common? Late Baroque classicizing: G. P. Pannini assembles the canon of Roman ruins and Roman sculpture into one vast imaginary gallery (1756)

What any "neo"-classicism depends on most fundamentally is a consensus about a body of work that has achieved canonic status (illustration, above). These are the "classics." Ideally- and neoclassicism is essentially an art of an ideal- an artist, well-schooled and comfortably familiar with the canon, does not repeat it in lifeless reproductions, but synthesizes the tradition anew in each work. This sets a high standard, clearly; but though a neoclassical artist who fails to achieve it may create works that are inane, vacuous or even mediocre, gaffes of taste and failures of craftsmanship are not commonly neoclassical failings. Novelty, improvisation, self-expression, and blinding inspiration are not neoclassical virtues; neoclassicism exhibits perfect control of an idiom. It does not recreate art forms from the ground up with each new project, as modernism demanded. "Make it new" was the modernist credo of the poet Ezra Pound. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoclassicism [Feb 2005]

2005, Feb 16; 13:12 ::: De Roma instaurata (Rome Restored) (1444-1446) Biondo Flavio

De Roma instaurata (Rome Restored) (1444-1446) Biondo Flavio [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Product Description:
Biondo Flavio (1392?1463), humanist and historian, was a pioneering figure in the Renaissance recovery of classical antiquity. While serving a number of the Renaissance popes, he inaugurated an extraordinary program of research into the history, institutions, cultural life, and physical remains of the ancient Roman empire. The Italia Illustrata (1453), which appears here for the first time in English, is a topographical work describing Italy region by region. Its aim is to explore the Roman roots of the Renaissance world. As such, it is the quintessential work of Renaissance antiquarianism. This is the first edition of the Latin text since 1559. --Amazon.com

Flavio's first work was De Roma instaurata (Rome Restored, 3 vol, 1444-1446) a reconstruction of ancient Roman topography. It was and remains a highly influential humanist vision of restoring Rome to its previous heights of grandeur by recreating what Rome used to look like based on the ruins which remained. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flavio_Biondo [Feb 2005]

2005, Feb 16; 13:12 ::: Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720 - 1778)

The Prisons (Le Carceri) () - Giovanni Battista Piranesi [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Product Description:
Full reproduction of Carceri: 30 etchings depict rickety catwalks, iron rings, faceless humans, innumerable staircases, immense vaults, projecting beams, pulleys, wooden ladders, hanging ropes and chains, iron rings imbedded in walls, faceless humans and more. All create a system of visual frustration beyond ordinary perception and understanding.

Ever since they were published - the first edition in the late 1740s, the second, even darker one in 1761 - Piranesi's monstrous images of prisons as cruelly proliferating mega-cities have inspired designers, writers and architects. As early as 1760 a spectacular set for Rameau's opera Dardanus copied one of Piranesi's boundless prison spaces. It was the beginning of a blackly glittering stage and film career for Piranesi's images, from Metropolis and Blade Runner to the moving staircases at Hogwarts. In today's architecture, you see Piranesi's imagination in Tate Modern, and London Underground's Jubilee line. --Jonathan Jones, http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/critic/feature/0,1169,931809,00.html [Nov 2002]

Piranèse, Deuxième frontispice - Le Antichità Romane, tome II

The film directors my parents worked with also read Planète; it was fashionable among the circle of friends my parents had. Square pages; about a hundred of them, printed not too small; a classy metallic bronze or green cover photo of some ancient statue on black background; and many illustrations inside: pen drawings by the most brilliant artists of the day, etchings by Renaissance masters, or else black and white photos, stylish but not snobbish. It was grand. I especially remember their enlarged details from some of the Carceri series by Piranesi (1720-1778) ; those "prison" interiors, with their strange architecture, and more anguish and sense of vastness than what Escher did in our century in a different mode. --Esther Rochon, http://www.sfcanada.ca/communique/RochonpieceEng1.htm [Mar 2004]

Giovanni Battista (also Giambattista) Piranesi (4th October 1720 in Mogliano Veneto (near Treviso) - 9th November 1778 in Rome) was an Italian artist famous for his etchings of Rome and of fictitious "prisons". --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piranesi [Feb 2005]

2005, Feb 16; 13:12 ::: The Grotesque (1972) - Philip John Thomson

The Grotesque (1972) - Philip John Thomson [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

An index of the grotesque by

Abnormality - Absurd, The - Adamov, Arthur - Aggressiveness and Alienation - Aristophanes - - Bagehot, Walter - Bakhtin, Mikhail - Barth, John - - Beckett, Samuel - Bellerive - Benn, Gottfried - Bergson, Henri - Bizarre, The - Blake, William - Bosch, Hieronymus - Brecht, Bertolt - Browning, Robert - Brueghel, Pieter - Callot, Jacques - Camus, Albert - Canetti, Elias - Caricature - Carroll, Lewis - Chesterton, G. K. - Clayborough, Arthur - Cleveland, John - Coleridge, Samuel Taylor - Comic, The - Comic and the Terrifying, The - Cramer, Thomas - Curtius, Ludwig - Dali, Salvador - Dante - Daumier, Honore - Definition, A - Disharmony - Dickens, Charles - Diderot, Denis - Donleavy, J. P. - Durrenmatt, Frederich - Ernst, Max - Extravagance and Exaggeration - Faulkner, William - Fellini, Federico - Freud, Sigmund - Genet, Jean - Goya, Francisco - Grandville - Grass, Günter - Graves, Robert - Grosz, George - Heller, Joseph - Hinchcliffe, A. P. - Hoffmann, E. T. A. - Hugo, Victor - Ionesco, Eugene - Irony - Jarry, Alfred - Jean Paul - Jennings, L. B. - Kafka, Franz - Kayser, Wolfgang - Kempner, Friederike - Knight, G. WIlson - Lautreamont - Lawrence, D. H. - Lear, Edward - Lewis, C. S. - Macabre, The - Mensching, Gerhard - Morgenstern, Christian - Moser, Justus - Nabokov, Vladimir - Orton, Joe - Parody - "Playfulness" - Psychological Effect, The - Pinter, Harold - Poe, Edgar Allan - Rabelais, Francois - Raphael - Rilke, Rainer Maria - Ruskin, John - Satire - Satiric and the Playful Grotesque - Schlegel, Friedrich - Schneegans, Heinrich - Shakespeare, William - Smollett, Tobias - Steig, Michael - Sterne, Laurence - Symonds, John Addington - Swift, Jonathan - Tension and Unresolvability - Thomas, Dylan - Unintentional Grotesque, The - Vischer, F. Th. - Vitruvius - Waugh, Evelyn - Wright, Thomas
--http://mtsu32.mtsu.edu:11072/Grotesque/Major_Artists_Theorists/Theorists/Thomson/thomsonindex.html [Feb 2005]

see also grotesque

2005, Feb 15; 22:45 ::: Language index [...]

definition - context - communication - conversation - dictionary - discourse - etymology - expression - grammar - linguistics - literature - meaning - mouth - oral - proverb - saying - semantics - speech - thesaurus - tongue - term - verbal - vocabulary - writing - word

2005, Feb 15; 20:46 ::: Thesaurus [...]

"Wanting connections, we found connections - always, everywhere, and between everything. The world exploded in a whirling network of kinships, where everything pointed to everything else, everything explained everything else ..." -- From Foucault's Pendulum (ASIN/0345368754), Umberto Eco, 1988

The word thesaurus is New Latin for treasure; coined in the early 1820s. Besides its meaning as a treasury or storehouse, it more commonly means a listing of words with similar or related meanings. For example, a book of jargon for a specialized field; or more generally a list of subject headings and cross-references used in the filing and retrieval of documents. (Or indeed papers, certificates, letters, cards, records, texts, files, articles, essays and perhaps even manuscripts.)

The first example of this genre, Roget's Thesaurus, was published in 1852, having been compiled earlier, in 1805, by Peter Roget.

Although including synonyms, entries in a thesaurus should not be taken as a list of synonyms. The entries are also designed for drawing distinctions between similar words and assisting in choosing exactly the right word. Nor does a thesaurus entry define words. That work is left to the dictionary.

In Information Technology, a thesaurus represents a database or list of semantically orthogonal topical search keys. In the field of Artificial Intelligence, a thesaurus may sometimes be referred to as an ontology. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thesaurus [Feb 2005]

2005, Feb 15; 11:12 ::: Retiary organisation

Retiary organisation is an organizational method which needs a complex mapping or guidance system for navigation. In blood circulation, telephone networks or power distribution it means that many alternative routes are available to reach a destination passing through many nodes. To connect any two nodes needs a guide or map. In the human context each member of a network needs an address(or phone number) to find any other individual (node) in the net. In electronic devices the points in networks are also identified and accessed by unique addresses. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retiary [Feb 2005]

Retiary organization, a web or network. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hierarchy#Criticism_and_alternatives [Feb 2005]

see also hierarchy, nexus, rhizome

2005, Feb 15; 10:17 ::: Welcome to Sarajevo (1997) - Michael Winterbottom

Welcome to Sarajevo (1997) - Michael Winterbottom [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Natasha's Story (1997?) - Michael Nicholson [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

This is the heartwarming story of ITN reporter, Michael Nicholson's rescue of Natasha, a nine-year-old orphan from war-torn Sarajevo. When Michael discovered 200 children in an isolated orphanage on the outskirts of Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia, he rapidly developed a bond with Natasha and, following an impulse, he smuggled her out of Bosnia by putting her name onto his passport. Natasha now lives with Michael and his family. -- amazon.co.uk

The siege of Sarajevo
The siege of Sarajevo was the longest siege in the history of modern warfare. It lasted from April 5, 1992 to February 29, 1996. It was fought between the forces of the Bosnian government, who had declared independence from Yugoslavia, and Serbian paramilitaries, who sought to secede from the newly-independent Bosnia. An estimated 12,000 people were killed and another 50,000 wounded during the siege. Reports indicate an average of approximately 329 shell impacts per day during the course of the siege, with a high of 3,777 shell impacts on July 22, 1993. The shellfire caused extensive damage to the city's structures, including civilian and cultural property. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Sarajevo [Feb 2005]

War correspondent
A war correspondent is a journalist who covers stories first-hand from a war zone. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_correspondent [Feb 2005]

Yugoslav wars
The Serb-Croat conflict was greatly complicated in Bosnia by the presence of the large Muslim (Bosniak) population, which caused it to develop into a three-way conflict that was by far the bloodiest of the Yugoslav wars. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yugoslav_wars [Feb 2005]

2005, Feb 16; 09:25 ::: Dennis Cooper

Dennis Cooper (1953 - ) is a poet, writer and performance artist, most noted for transforming the visual/verbal aesthetic of punk into its written counterpart. His literary aspirations were explored early on and often took the form of imitations of Rimbaud, Verlaine, De Sade, and Baudelaire. He wrote poetry and stories in his early teens that explored scandalous and often extreme subjects. As a teenager, Cooper was an outsider and the leader of a group of poets, punks, stoners and writers. After high school he attended Pasadena City College and later Pitzer College where he encountered a poetry teacher who was to inspire him to pursue his writing outside of institutions of higher learning. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_Cooper [Feb 2005]

The [George Miles] quintet is one of the finest works from the "Transgressive Fiction" movement, a literary genre identified in 1993 by Los Angeles Times critic Michael Silverblatt. Alongside Cooper, the movement also includes David Sedaris, Scott Heim, Gary Indiana and Kevin Killian. Visual motifs include eye-catching covers, italicized texts and undersized formats. Atlantic Monthly journalist Anne H. Soukhanov gave this apt definition of "Transgressive Fiction," which could also describe Cooper's writing:

A literary genre that graphically explores such topics as incest and other aberrant sexual practices, mutilation, the sprouting of sexual organs in various places on the human body, urban violence and violence against women, drug use, and highly dysfunctional family relationships, and that is based on the premise that knowledge is to be found at the edge of experience and that the body is the site for gaining knowledge. -- Anne H. Soukhanov. "Word Watch." The Atlantic Monthly (December 1996): 128.
--http://www.disinfo.com/archive/pages/dossier/id848/pg1/ [Feb 2005]

2005, Feb 16; 09:25 ::: Sex index

adultery - arousal - bondage - desire - erotica - fantasy - fetishism - gender - genitalia - heterosexuality - homosexuality - intercourse - love - lust - masturbation - nudity - orgasm - paraphilia - perversion - pornography - prostitution - rape - nudity - pregnancy - sadomasochism - sex film - sex manual - sex philosophy - sexual revolution - sexology - sexploitation

2005, Feb 15; 12:08 ::: Our Right to Drugs: The Case for a Free Market (1992) - Thomas Stephen Szasz

Our Right to Drugs: The Case for a Free Market (1992) - Thomas Stephen Szasz [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

From Publishers Weekly
The "war on drugs," charges Szasz, is a hypocritical moral crusade, a pretext for strengthening the state and scapegoating deviants. It is also racist, he asserts, pointing out that blacks are arrested on drug charges at a rate far out of proportion to their drug use. In a hard-hitting, controversial polemic, the well-known critic of psychiatry ( The Myth of Mental Illness ) advocates a free market in drugs, both for pharmaceutical medicines (including opiates) and for substances like heroin and marijuana. Szasz believes that state-sanctioned coercions to protect people from their own vices are futile and violate our fundamental rights. Futher, he maintains that labeling drug abuse as illness medicalizes a social problem and helps turn drug abusers into lifelong patients. In his blueprint for decriminalization, states could ground motorists whose driving ability is endangered by drug use; he also supports compulsory drug testing in occupations where a worker's impairment jeopardizes public safety. --Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc--via Amazon.com

Product Description:
"My aim" states Szasz, "is to mount a critique of our current drug laws and social policies, based on the fundamental premise that a limited government, epitomized by the U.S., lacks the political legitimacy to deprive competent adults of the right to ingest, inhale, or inject whatever substance they want. . . In summary my argument is that the constraints on the power of the federal government, laid down in the Constitution, have been eroded by a monopolistic medical profession administering a system of prescription laws that, in effect, have removed most of the drugs people want from the free market. Hence, it is futile to debate whether the War on Drugs should be escalated or de-escalated, without first coming to grips with the popular and political mindset concerning the trade in drugs generated by nearly a century of drug prohibitions."--via Amazon.com

Dr. Thomas Stephen Szasz (born April 15, 1920 in Hungary) is Professor Emeritus in Psychiatry at the State University of New York Health Science Center in Syracuse, New York.

He is a prolific author and speaker, probably most well known for his books The Myth of Mental Illness and The Manufacture of Madness: A Comparative Study of the Inquisition and the Mental Health Movement which set out some of the arguments with which he is most associated.

These stem from classical liberal roots (notably the work of philosopher John Stuart Mill) which are based on the principles that each person has the right to bodily and mental self ownership and the right to be free from violence from others. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Szasz [Feb 2005]

2005, Feb 15; 11:48 ::: Is Love a Form of Mental Illness?

“The language of Valentine's Day cards and love songs-‘crazy for you,’ ‘madly in love,’ et cetera-may reveal an important truth. Sometimes, love looks like a mental disorder, says British clinical psychologist Frank Tallis. . . . The author of ‘Love Sick: Love as a Mental Illness,’ Mr. Tallis has a private practice in London, where he says he often has patients who are suffering mentally because of love. ‘Some people are referred to me because of an admission to depression or anxiety disorder, but in fact, once we'd explored issues around their problems, it was clear they were just in love.’ . . . -- via http://theszaszblog.blogspot.com/2005/02/is-love-form-of-mental-illness.html [Feb 2005]

2005, Feb 15; 11:30 ::: Drugs

Currently working on:

alcohol - cocaine - ecstasy - hashish - heroin - LSD - opium - pot - speed

drugs in film - drugs in history - drugs in literature - drugs in music

2005, Feb 15; 09:51 ::: Drug lit

The Road of Excess: A History of Writers on Drugs (2002) - Marcus Boon [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

From Library Journal
Instead of providing a chronological history of drugs in literature, Boon (English, York Univ.) offers a sprawling, extensively researched work that explores the "more subtle, micropolitical histories of everyday interactions between human beings and particular psychoactive substances." Each of the book's five chapters focuses on writers (e.g., Baudelaire, Burroughs, Coleridge, Freud, Huxley, Kerouac, and Southey) and works associated with a particular class of drugs: narcotics, anesthetics, cannabis, stimulants, and psychedelics. Boon originally intended to confine himself to writers from the Romantics to the present but expanded his scope when after questioning the apparent lack of drug literature prior to Thomas De Quincey's Confessions of an English Opium Eater (1822). This is an ambitious effort, but as Boon himself notes in his chapter on cannabis, readers "will notice a tendency in my writing toward digression." A tighter focus would have helped, especially since many of the anecdotes have been covered elsewhere-most recently in Sadie Plant's Writing on Drugs. Still, this is a solid work of scholarship that should be of interest to most academic libraries.

What casual reader knew Yeats was a hash smoker? Who would have guessed Proust had a penchant for opium? Maybe Sartre's mad, tangential ramblings betray the fact that he was a speed freak; but who knew he indulged, on occasion, in mescaline hallucinations? Marcus Boon's new critical study The Road of Excess documents these trips as well as those of the usual suspects of 'Drug Lit': De Quincey and Coleridge, Baudelaire and Michaux, Burrows [Burroughs?] and Kerouac, Phillip K. Dick and Tom Wolfe. -- [Feb 2005]

Drug books occupy a curious niche in the world of letters. My local bookshop calls their section "Altered States," and its volumes range promiscuously between history, mysticism, natural science, user manuals, social policy and poetry. Drugs may be the ultimate object of interdisciplinary studies. What other field can encompass Alan Watts and Irvine Welsh, Walter Benjamin essays and Advanced Techniques of Clandestine Psychedelic & Amphetamine Manufacture? --Erik Davis via http://www.techgnosis.com/druglit.html [feb 2005]

2005, Feb 15; 09:22 ::: Transgressional fiction

Transgressional fiction is a form of literature in which the story centres around one or more characters who feel confined by the current norms and expectations of (usually Western) society. These characters, throughout the course of the story, attempt to break out from those boundaries and find that which they are looking for, be it better self-identity, inner peace, or anything else that they are unable to attain within the current boundaries.

Many of the characters' actions may be considered frequently anti-social and/or violent and nihilist, and so the genre is no stranger to controversy. The genre encompasses a number of famous modern works, some of which are listed below, not to mention a surprisingly wide variety of authors.

At the same time, less bound by societal restrictions, its proponents claim it is capable of pungent commentary upon the society its characters inhabit.

Minimalism is a common method of writing in transgressional fiction.

American novelist Chuck Palahniuk often uses the phrase transgressional fiction when describing his form of writing.

Literary ancestry

The basic ideas of trangressional fiction are by no means new.

In particular, it can be argued that the 19th century French author Émile Zola's works about social conditions, and 'bad behaviour' are direct ancestors. Zola's works were extremely controversial at the time. Later French work from the twentieth century is also a possible influence.

Dostoyevsky's novels Crime and Punishment (1866) and Notes from Underground (1864) also deal with some common themes, as does Norwegian writer Knut Hamsun's Hunger (1890).

In the United States, Charles Bukowski is a possible ancestor, as is perhaps Jack London.

In England, the genre owes a considerable influence to so called working class literature, which often portrays proletarian characters trying to escape the poverty trap by inventive means. In the USA, the genre has tended to focus more on middle class characters.

Authors of transgressional fiction

Notable works of transgressional fiction

This is a short list of works of transgressional fiction that are of considerable popularity.

  • American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
  • A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
  • Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
  • Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture by Douglas Coupland
  • Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transgressional_fiction [Feb 2005]

see also Transgressive

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Blogs I Frequent

  • http://www.sauer-thompson.com/conversations/ Philosophical conversations between two Australians Trevor and Gary, covering a wide range of philosophical topics.
  • http://www.bekkoame.ne.jp/~aabb/plus9.html A daily, art-related, weblog from Osaka, Japan.
  • http://www.mixoftheweek.com Pre-recorded, weekly mixes of soul, house, techno, dub and other groovy sounds. Consistent high quality.
  • http://www.novaplanet.com/radiolive/novalive.asp radio-station, broadcasting from Paris

    your Amazon recommendations - Jahsonic - early adopter products