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On Hell

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  42 ratings  ·  10 reviews
On Hell transcribes a body broken by American empire, that of ex-con Rafael Luis Estrada Requena, hacking itself away from contemporary society. Johanna Hedva, author of Sick Woman Theory, takes the ferocious compulsion to escape (from capitalism, from the limits of the body-machine, from Earth) and channels it into an evisceration of oppression and authority. Equal parts ...more
Paperback, 108 pages
Published February 14th 2018 by Sator Press
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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Ken Baumann
I loved this book so much I published it.
Christina Dongowski
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ich habe ein bisschen gebraucht, um mit dem Buch warm zu werden, aber im Nachhinein hätte ich einfach dran bleiben sollen. Eine Einstiegshürde war die Sprache voller Expletives. Mir kam das sehr puritanisch-amerikanische Klemmi-Avantgarde vor, aber dann wird klar, dass Hedva die Registerwechsel in der Sprache das sehr bedacht aufbaut. Man liest das Transkript von Interview-Aufnahmen, die die „Erzählerin“ mit R, einem Ex-Hacker, der nun seinen Körper hackt & sich selbst zu einem Flugwesen umbauen ...more
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"When you're inside you think all sorts of shit especially shit that doesn't make sense like you think why can't I walk through walls or what would happen if I smashed my head on the ground enough times that my head could dig a hole through this suck-pit and then I could escape."
Maya Man
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
These words rip through you and force you to confront the world you live in, the people you live alongside, and yourself and consider the effects and consequences of “gravity”. I’ve never read a book with more swear words on each page, but once you get past the initial jolt in your mind from reading them so often you are able to see R and his ideas very clearly. The text reveals a system that remains powerful and perseveres subtly until someone like R (Hedva) comes and opens your eyes to the fac ...more
Jul 10, 2019 rated it did not like it
I don't quite know what I just read. It came across as trying to be edgy and experimental but it fell flat.

I don't consider myself sensitive or anything but so much of this story was crude. I think maybe the goal was more to be raw and the exact opposite of purple prose but it did something wrong along the way.

I want to find something to like about this book but I am struggling. All of the critiques of society in the story, of which there are many, are shallow and unexplored. There is little t
Michelle Ferrall
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book. On Hell touches on racial inequality, the justice system, and the desire to break free from our society. It’s short and sweet and I plan on reading it again. This is the type of story where the reader will take away something new each time. There is an unexpected plot turn, giving you perspective on both characters. Hedva leaves just enough to the imagination. She doesn’t explain the themes, but lays out enough for the reader to contemplate on their own. Plus, the book ...more
Vivienne Strauss
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a book like no other I've read and I've read a variety. At times I wasn't sure if I "liked" it, but hell, I couldn't stop reading. It feels like the rambling monologue of an insane person to start with but then you get to see his point. I loved the open ending.
Kent Adams
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An amazing and powerful novel, especially if you've read Hedva's other works.
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, owned, novella
I was so pleased by Salt Is For Curing as my first book from Sator Press that I decided to try another, and ended up selecting On Hell. I did not know what I was getting into.

At first I wasn't sure that I was going to finish this book because it is just so vulgar. And I don't just mean "bad words" (though it is pretty much wall-to-wall swears) but in the full sense of the word -- making coarse and explicit reference to sex and bodily functions at all times. This book starts out as a series of in
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Johanna Hedva (yo-haw-nuh head-vuh) is a Korean-American writer, artist, musician, and astrologer, who was raised in Los Angeles by a family of witches, and now lives in LA and Berlin. Hedva’s practice cooks magic, necromancy, and divination together with mystical states of fury and ecstasy. There is always the body — its radical permeability, dependency, and consociation — but the task is how to ...more

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