After reading and trying to dissect the narrative (or lack thereof) of "Naked Lunch", this book was much more clear, more readable.. perhaps more keen...moreAfter reading and trying to dissect the narrative (or lack thereof) of "Naked Lunch", this book was much more clear, more readable.. perhaps more keen with its own medium. The style of the text is reminiscent of all the great American voices of literature, but perverse and often parodied of itself, and of course, it excretes the true creative spirit of creation; not one of inertia and polemic discourse.. but queer expression, the queers of literature.. creating something without the need of it existing.
The great criminals in this novel are disembodied by a "language virus", they're put through an eternal tape loop.. you could say this is the main device used by the book, and it is! but more importantly Burroughs manages to tell us of industrious pasts/presents (remember Subliminal Kid? the one who refuses the Other, yet continues to live obliviously in the confines of his own private super-ego. ) It's with each character we see the rudiments of an exterior force, endlessly ruminating and ruthless with its portrayal of the petty person, the outcasts who refuse to assimilate even with those they're meant to be with.
If you find yourself w/ difficulty when reading Burroughs.. his book "The Third Mind" is a wonderful, awesome expository to his experimental work... next review will be his more straight-forward work I've read. (less)
I remember picking this book at age 16 after rummaging through all the crap from Schildt and others. Nine years later, it's sitting on my coffee table...moreI remember picking this book at age 16 after rummaging through all the crap from Schildt and others. Nine years later, it's sitting on my coffee table like an ancient manuscript or some old papyrus.
K&R2 doesn't fill in gaps of knowledge of arguably one of most fundamental languages, but in fact lives underneath C - it acts as a reference, an excellent tutorial, even a birth of a specification before the ANSI standard was officially released. Ritchie single-handed the entire text which gives both breadth and depth of this important landmark of computer programming manuals.(Kerninghan's strictly focused on typography and organization of the book.) The vagueness of the book is partly what makes it speak volumes of C knowledge; whether it's in the lexicon of C grammar, or (ANSI) functions, pointers, etc etc.
Explanations are the most astute when they are read arduously with pain-staking comprehension. Novices whom overlook the detail of the text will be disappointed and most likely intimidated - particularly by the exercises. It's important to do each exercise pathologically, making sure each exercise follows the output guidelines. They really do make you a better programmer.
People say there might be K&R3 in the future. I find it dubious. The book is very out-dated and, by contemporary standards, immature with the wielding of new features provided by c99 and now c11x. The book is important and withstanding to this day because it still lives beneath the language (unlike other C books which don't have near the brevity.) (less)
"Capitalist Realism" is a seminal text for the fading posture that Capitalism posits. It would be a little absurd to say this text is strictly "Zizeki...more"Capitalist Realism" is a seminal text for the fading posture that Capitalism posits. It would be a little absurd to say this text is strictly "Zizekian" or a Lacanian exercise on the rules of capitalism. At times, the text is actually a clear inversion from Zizek's POV; often illuminating the Proustian vision of the world. The gaze of capitalism is folding itself upon the horizon of future generations, leaving our memory footprints of the past destroyed because we no longer need memory of the past. The old world of temporality is simply collapsing to the point that we don't go forward or backwards in time but instead understand the past "as it were happening," or only remaining in the front.
Probably the best aspect of the book is you don't need to read Zizek, Lacan, Marx or Baidou to dig into the book. If you're looking for an academic exercise, this book could be it. Of course, the book is aimed towards those who don't want direct answers but instead a suspension of what capitalism may look in the future. You are left to your own conclusion.(less)
“Art is that which utters what cannot be uttered: instinct.” Julia Kristeva
A book that reveals theater -- albeit in fragments and under a strong sense...more“Art is that which utters what cannot be uttered: instinct.” Julia Kristeva
A book that reveals theater -- albeit in fragments and under a strong sense of surrealistic visions. It's a black-flow of subversive thought - very rapid and the pace of the text is an infernally bruised, demoniacal serenade. What else is there to say? A lot.
Not only does one experience the text as a kind of Holy Grail (and that term seems so appropriate after learning Artaud had a strong sense of humor.) But one, after reading, lives as a different organism. It exists as an unconscious pigment.. or mapping of worlds yet to come, and yet, at the turn of the century, we notice these ideas illuminated more and more at a microscopic magnitude.
What exactly does theater declare? What is the criteria for a 'theatre of cruelty?' Does it mean you should peel the skin off your body? Severe an ear? Send a parcel with these included?
I believe Artaud's entire work speaks of a much larger and prevalent idea: developing a gesture. The gestures of theater are, as noted, half-way between gesture and thought. A sound, a dance, etc.
How does one re-build theater? It's a personal endeavor, as the japanese avant-garde artist "Keiji Haino" once discussed in his 1998 interview.
KH : I don't care. In one sense, if I'm going to try and look cool then I want that to end with me. No succession. And for me, expression has got to be like that if it's not going to be a lie. The point lies with the individual. By the individual I don't mean egoism and vanity, I mean how much the individual is capable of offering up himself to the universe. If you do that, individual convenience doesn't enter into it–and if it does then you haven't thoroughly offered yourself up. If you've done something that other people can imitate then you've shown your weak point. In other words, what you were doing had no tension to it. Maybe there is one part of me that wants someone to succeed me, but my methods are designed so that no one can imitate them. For example, even now there's no one who can play guitar like Jimi Hendrix. There are certain parts of what he did that continue to exist in various types of music. You can copy his rhythms. But the way his harmony depends on the fingers half-fretting certain strings, barely touching others–that's amazing because it was something that he didn't sit down and think up. Music that came after him has been analyzed more and more, been explained in really fine detail. Going back to what I said earlier, the reason why people want to go back to a primitive state is that they think that requires no thought. People are tired of having to think. In their minds, they don't want to think but they are thinking all the time–about their families, about what to eat. And that's why they came up with this idea of "world music."
There is something beyond the carnal desires of humanity; a silent scream; or a cosmic vigor. Getting out of the body, in other words.
Simply listen to Keiji Haino if you want to see his philosophy in action. When I first heard the music of Haino, I was immediately in some kind of ecstasy and awe of what art is capable of doing. The art of theater is not for those narrowed few who wish to proverbially curse others, it is however for the people who have a sense of implacable knowledge; a strong utterance to those who seek the numerous plateaus of getting out of our existence (e.g. body.)
Maggie Nelson's recent book "The Art of Cruelty" defines a kind-of metaphysics, and also writes about many forms of cruelty. The text is violent, but also graceful. I recommend it to whom it may concern: a more palpable, and cerebral approach to understanding theater.
*I only read 5-10 pages of this book, I am picking it up next month and I might flesh out this review more!*
Love has many definitions, criterion, theo...more*I only read 5-10 pages of this book, I am picking it up next month and I might flesh out this review more!*
Love has many definitions, criterion, theories, knowledge, quotes... love is discussed in every configuration of thought imaginable, and yet in the 21st century it makes us wonder what exactly it is about love that makes up our share-worthy fortitude worthwhile. i believe love deserves to be pluralistic or "manifolded" in it's definition.
My theory: the law of love re-captures our emotions in entirely new heights when one feigns the old law. But I also believe that love can be "homogenized", celebrated in any sense desirable. What makes love succeed partially is that we can simply love, "to be loved" and "to love."
This book is a ratchet of text in this regard, it doesn't give criteria or fluffy ideas of love. It's more than simply "same sex" relationships kindling together successfully. The text celebrates and succeeds in part of its very idea that love is a verb "to be."
Adapting this novel to film is one of my goals within 20 years. (there was a screenplay for it in the 70s b...moreI want to be a filmmaker when I grow up...
Adapting this novel to film is one of my goals within 20 years. (there was a screenplay for it in the 70s but it never made it to film.) It's so politically correct, yet each character is derisive, funny, offset from the reality that surrounds them. When the camera is going, and the POV shot is directed towards Jack Barron; reality is pushed aside; he's shunned and subsequently rebirth-ed on tape. Is this the Jack we recall when he fell in love with that girl? Why is the narrative tone yellow instead of blue now?
The film is partially about a lie and a fiction, an intermezzo of life in real life and on the set. What is between a journalist who desires a true life, but also wants to make it out ahead. So he chases the dream, and ultimately the story ends in a insincere kind of irony.
Yellow, blue, all these tones are what make up the story. And we not only see this fiction (which was written in 1969) resonate all throughout our modern news media outlets, but we see an important aspect: we feed our thoughts/ideas to political figures because we simply fear mortality of any kind. We want to be immortal creatures. (less)
Two stories are included in this book - if you can find a copy of it, it's totally worth it.
Quite glad I ordered mine when it was first released.Defi...moreTwo stories are included in this book - if you can find a copy of it, it's totally worth it.
Quite glad I ordered mine when it was first released.Definitely about as Wolfeian as it can get: unreliable narrators that twist and err, much like life! [and these aren't plot twists I'm talkin' about.] I think what makes Gene Wolfe such an outstanding writer is his obvious skill of taking a story apart and letting you put it back together. This thin anthology does that.
The art is from Lisa Snellings-Clark and the stories are inspired by her art.
BTW, is Memoware going to re-printed again? if not, that is so ridiculous because it's my favorite Wolfe short story of all time.(less)
What a beautiful and heart-wrenching story... John Nash is so eccentric, remember: all great thinkers of our untimely history were eccentric during mo...moreWhat a beautiful and heart-wrenching story... John Nash is so eccentric, remember: all great thinkers of our untimely history were eccentric during most of their life... and this book provokes the question that the greatest thinkers are driven to the most extreme conditions of life, academia and ultimately creative prowess... why are thinkers so oblique with their personality?
Read it if you want to take a convincing tale of John Nash that's much more detailed than the 2001 film.(less)
Propaganda is to democracy what violence is to totalitarianism. - Noam Chomsky
After reading five or six Chomsky books - this is without a split-second...morePropaganda is to democracy what violence is to totalitarianism. - Noam Chomsky
After reading five or six Chomsky books - this is without a split-second of thought his best, most highly honored and important texts assembled to date.
I'm not sure who(m)ever edited this book, it seems to be cut with precise trimming. The rhetoric speaks with a strong appeal (fulfilling pathos, ethos and logos) to help engage the reader indefinitely. Yes, Chomsky's monologues can be a bit dry because they are so factually inclusive; but this book does capture Chomsky's emotional sense of self-identity... in particular, his rhetoric isn't fluff, it doesn't drill into emotions too much, and it doesn't always point the finger and demonize a single individual.
The idelogue is all there, patiently waiting for you to read it and eventually surrender to much of the obscenities in the world.
It also sticks to the facts.
What I love most about the book: the frequent theme of Americans attack on foreign soil democracies. Even when a nation shows any interest in developing a real democracy, with honest people and a leader who promises to give voice to his own bourgeoisie, it's been proven repeated again and again that Americans invade and take dispose of those who show this type of mentality. (most of this happens inside latin america, for instance.)
Military-industrial complex is a oft-repeated "theme." Basically: we not only experience military-industrial complex from a conscious, direct, and typical method of looking at the military and how it uses the government as a crux to feed itself. It's a logic that precedes our health care system and our banking system; much of our country is built on industrial institutions.
Here's a creative flow chart displaying how Chomsky explains it using five key points:
Certainly his ideologue about neo-conserativism is quite venerable, passionate... it's important to embrace this in a strong light. He argues that neo-liberalism (which represents the entire spectrum of popular political thought) is dangerous, so dangerous in fact that he puts conservatives in their proper place when speaking of Adam Smith's "Wealth Of Nations." Many neo-cons, when given the criteria of "Wealth of Nations," completely botch the text with their own private agenda. They might read the text to only charm themselves with a taste of what the book really has to offer... they don't actually recognize what Smith was aiming at: division of labor is not the solution but actually symptomatic of itself.
I must mention this: the text is not for the faint-hearted. This is not a Zeitgeist-lets-exploit-sensationalism. It's purely, from an insider-looking-out perspective, a text to be absorbed at only an intellectual depth (deductive reasoning.) (less)
Huge fan of Francis Bacon. I was ecstatic to find out one of my favorite philosophers actually wrote a book on such a fascinating subject: empirical s...moreHuge fan of Francis Bacon. I was ecstatic to find out one of my favorite philosophers actually wrote a book on such a fascinating subject: empirical sensations that attack Kant's metaphysics.
Yes this book does invent a metaphysics. Highly conceptual: he explains the nth degree in art, discarding nouns in art and replacing them with verbs (of course, the text is celebratory of this visibly in the text.)
I've read a few books on Francis Bacon, and I must say this is a worthwhile read. Deleuze understands Bacon much more than any other person I know of. (after all they were friends.)
By the time you finish reading this book you will be a different person. I am not claiming that this book will change the way you think and act. I am...moreBy the time you finish reading this book you will be a different person. I am not claiming that this book will change the way you think and act. I am simply referring to the fact that the cells in your body, including the neurons of your brain, are continuously changing. By the time you finish reading this book you will "literally" be a different body and a different brain. Every word that you read is having an effect on the connections between your neurons. And every breath you take is pacing the metabolism of your cells. This book is about what just happened to you. - Opening Preface
What a damn excellent book! I discovered Scaruffi when I was 18 years old. I often use his site as a reference point for exploiting and discovering the deepest secrets in our cultural warehouse of thought: philosophy, art, music, paintings, politics, etc. He's a connoisseur in our world; he exists outside any pigeon-holed world and doesn't reprehend artists' for their expansion and re-definition of thought. No doubt, P. Scaruffi is a force to be dealt with delicately.
"The Nature of Consciousness" is a top-bottom approach to understanding science and consciousness. It goes into large and essential components of science and particularly physics. "How are our bodies separated from our mind?" is the focal point of the book that explains it thoroughly [using epistemology] the different foregrounds/backgrounds of an embodiment known as "Mind / Matter."
The book shines on behalf of its in-divisive themes and non-linear approach; the book is a collage of textual concepts; this book could indeed manage to represent every scientific universe. (albeit in a spoiled manner.) "Mind vs Matter", which was strictly a Descartes (Cartesian, in other words) science, is gutted out and compared to Spinoza's idea of having a single, One substance (Monism). Further chapters discuss Bertrand Russell's ideas of our substance (the one I resonated with most): everything humans do is an extension of ourselves, not only the indivisible substance of ourselves but a feedback of isolated telepathy as well.
Also I must mention this book discusses logic, and the arguments that have been discussed thoroughly throughout the centuries on why logic is simply unfeasible. To quote the book:
[..]the mind can do any reasoning at all in the face of the gigantic complexity that surrounds it.]
The problem with logic goes hand-in-hand with philosophical issues dealing with infinity. Logic is one of the more recent developments in philosophy (to exclude theology)... Russell+Leibniz, etc.
I could go on, on and on some more (in fact I only read 3/4ths of the book... the book does tend to be ad-eundem (repeated) at moments, especially when it discusses sex as evolving our brain. But no worry - this book is a definite must-snatch if you have any deep-seated interest studying how consciousness, science, sex, genes, and perhaps most importantly: how our emotions affect our memory and may not affect our memories.
My first book of Antonin Artaud (otherwise known as Little Anthony.)
I remember driving 40 miles to get obtain this book - it was a hellish ride in sn...moreMy first book of Antonin Artaud (otherwise known as Little Anthony.)
I remember driving 40 miles to get obtain this book - it was a hellish ride in snow and mud. My heart was palpating and racing because I already read on the internet much of this book. I was excited, but also nervous because of how intimidating his text was. When I finally received the book, I studied it in my car, reading more than half in a single sitting, I then drove back home, locked myself in my room and read this book repeatably, over and over, for at least a week. I closed the book and never looked at it for another year. (actually I read The Theatre and Its Double.. but i'll leave that for another review.)
The book is a strange amalgamation of every literary style broken into shards and excised into an anthology. The translation is one of the best I've ever read of Antonin Artaud, or any author I know of. A translation is difficult because it explores the gap between "quantity and quality." It's very difficult to make a translation erect itself, but fortunately this translation *really holds up.*
The book begins with a new acquataince he met in a bar. If you've studied surrealism, you have heard his name before: Andre Breton. These letters enclosed in the book are essential to Artaud's staple of thought because Artaud's original ideas are wrapped in these letters without any political overtones (which is why they eventually broke off their relationship.. Breton also believed he was mad.)
The book features text on the Red Race. He says they never separated culture from civilization, and how our culture is full of 'larval confusion.' There's also an essay about opium - and why banning opium is not an optimal route.
There's cartography in this book as well - akin to Crowley's work - and surprisingly, some of the best diction i've heard in literature.
If you are interested in neurologically scarred individuals who fall out of civilization and actually focus on the immanence of life, buy this book immediately. (less)
Vincent Van Gogh was an utter failure in life. He had four marriages which grew into dissolute vapor by the time he was 30 years old.
No place to live...moreVincent Van Gogh was an utter failure in life. He had four marriages which grew into dissolute vapor by the time he was 30 years old.
No place to live, rarely able to eat (artists of world understand this like an atavism.) He couldn't even sustain friends for more than weeks at a given time because of his "stay oft" between mental wards on and off during his life.
He discovered painting or, as I like to believe, painting discovered him. No doubt the The Middle Age art historians love to relish and heavily contemplate the life of a lonely artist. Why? Because there's a honest disconnection - a severed snake's body - of understanding them. They are fascinating because they do one idea very, very well: becoming imperceptible in their own world of art. It's not inside the art that matters, it's not the depictions of lines, contours, shapes and fine artistry that makes his art speak. It's precisely in his nervous system we see reflected back unto his canvas a message of pure thought and consciousness.
Or, as the 20th century painter Francis Bacon once said: ["[R]eal painters do not paint things as they are...They paint them as they themselves feel them to be".]
The book doesn't contain every painting of his, nor does it describe every painting (although it does explain most of them with impressionistic words.) What I love most about the book is the historical aspect; the idea of Vincent Van Gogh as being a kind of martyr to his own populace at the time is quite riveting and revealing!
The final pages of the book show his last painting: "Wheat Field with Crows." Many people say this is his most profound and violent work he ever did. The history of it is intriguing and worthwhile to study: he spent years (most of his life!) studying pointillism and symbolism in the literary field, yet the painting is a powerful blow to the canvas caricature entirely. The reason he did this painting before he died was because he wanted to attack essence, in short: symbolic art.
So get the book if you want to learn more about Van Gogh. Better even, read Artaud's essay "Van Gogh: The Man Suicided by Society" found in Artaud's anthology collection. I'll leave this review with a quick poetic excerpt:
[Besides, one does not commit suicide alone. No one was ever born alone. Nor had anyone died alone. But, in the case of suicide, a whole army of evil beings is needed to force the body to perform the unnatural act of depriving itself of its own life. And I believe that there is always someone else, at the extreme moment of death, to strip us of our own life.] :) (less)
I am still re-reading this book. I read it many years ago but I went ahead and wrote a retrospective review first. I will expand this review to gut an...more I am still re-reading this book. I read it many years ago but I went ahead and wrote a retrospective review first. I will expand this review to gut and carve the characters in a few weeks...
To read "East of Eden" by Steinbeck is to study rites and layers of pace and structure. The book is a gem in the workhouse of American literature because it tells a story of a sepia themed environment... it's a story about struggle, defeat, celebrations of triumph for women and, at other times, how women are strangled by the pragmatics of men. "East of Eden" cannot be matched to anything Steinbeck has written in neither the past nor the future. The book was written after a harsh divorce, and Steinbeck relocated back to the Salinas Valley to write "East of Eden" (previously he was located in New York.)
The opening chapter to the book could be one of the most elegant, fantastic and finely-sepia-toned imagery to ever be written in a book. I could perhaps only compare it to Lautremont's "Maldoror" but even then, surrealism is much different than photographic-esque word "collages" that paint contours of nature and her valleys in such a profoundly strong shade of beauty. This chapter when juxtaposed to the misfortune of the Hamiltons is what defines the book: a yearning to understand the American life. (read: not dream.)
After deep contemplation and in constant wonder of the book -- I realize the intersection between both families (Hamiltons and Charles+Cal) create a parallel story that is simply unmatched (at the time of print) to any other story I know of. The book is a fuzzy landscape that witnesses how volatile some of characters can be, and ultimately how controlling fate (determinism) can lead to disappointment/disavowal of life.
The theme does challenge and even propose an interesting ideal. The proposed idea: (after reading the letters of Steinbeck, I discovered this.) women are victimized when they try to emulate men. It's inescapable in our culture for certain females to desire feminity while others wish to be like their counterpart. The feminine mystique, the book proves, should be only to desire femininity - otherwise it can lead to self-destruction in the end.
On a final note: there are biblical references (many of them from the Old Testament), the book uses them in an almost perverted and visceral sense because of the unruly/brash-ish personality of Cathy Ames. But they aren't the typical references you'd expect: the book is littered with abstract biblical maxims taken to the limit.(less)