December 18th, 2011 / 7:45 pm

“When he was nineteen, writing La Doublure . . . Roussel felt a literal brilliance running all throughout his person, his writing implements, and his room. The light was so dazzling he had to draw the curtains, afraid that anyone who saw him would be blinded by the rays streaming out of his face.” — Ben Marcus


  1. M. Kitchell

      Roussel is my favorite self-important ego-maniac.  Locus Solus is perfect.

  2. lily hoang

      I’m posting a fan letter to Ben Marcus tomorrow. How apropos. 

  3. Ken Baumann


  4. Anonymous

      can you type the rest of the article?

  5. bartleby_taco

      on a scale of 1 – 10, should i ignore this pile of books that is becoming more desk furniture than reading material and read locus solus instead?

  6. reynard

      i sure can!

  7. Brooks Sterritt

      This reminded me I need to read Impressions of Africa. Awesome quote.

  8. reynard

      but i’m not going to

      A limbless man operates a music machine. A marksman blasts the albumen off a soft-boiled egg perched on a post. A man named Luovic, who “had managed to split his lips and tongue into independent portions,” renders a flawless four-part vocalization of “Frère Jacques” A bird activates a wagon that runs on tracks made from calves’ lungs, perhaps the most enviable image I have ever encountered in a novel. A father and his six sons erect a human echo machine using only their bodies. The father positions his boys throughout a field, like baseball players, then barks a sound that bounces from each son’s chest. A brain-damaged young man is healed by a hypnotizing apparatus that drugs him while he watches films of his childhood. In a set piece predating Kafka’s “In the Penal Colony,” a man is killed by having a document he forged inscribed with a burning poker into the soles of his feet. Less menacingly, a water-driven loom produces photorealist textiles “on a par with master paintings.” And lozenges dropped into a river dissolve to reveal the image of dancers on a banquet table. The narrator, watching the spectacle, observes that “the liquid drawing was so detailed that in places one could make out the shadows of crumbs on the tablecloth.”

      it’s a good issue though you should check it out, hamilton morris on haitian zombies & a thing on bruce chatwin

  9. reynard

      all numbers are imaginary

  10. M. Kitchell

      i’m confused about urgency lately, so who knows, i guess it depends on what’s in the pile of desk furniture.  it’s on my “canon” for sure tho.

  11. 88888888888888888888888


  12. reynard

      it’s in my cannon too

  13. reynard

      if ben marcus had a trillion readers the world would be a triller place



  15. Anonymous


  16. herocious

      all numbers are imaginary