December 10th, 2011 / 12:32 pm

Saturday Fodder

In a recent interview with Bat Segundo, Dennis Cooper said, “Well, yeah, my books are in some fundamental way always about reconciling confusion. Because that’s of super interest to me. And language presents this idea that confusion can be corralled and all that stuff. And it can’t. And that tension does interest me.”

“Reconciling confusion” is a terrific way of describing the intellectual/affective exercise at the heart of what draws me to literature. In the absence of confusion, most books quickly lose my interest. Probably this is why I am drawn to “experimental literature” and why I see a connection between it and “genre fiction” (mystery, horror, and sci-fi especially — all three of which rely upon varying levels of confusion/opacity/defamiliarization).

I am currently reading Cooper’s newest book, The Marbled Swarm, which reinvigorates language in ways akin to how Godard reinvigorated cinema between 1961-1967. Affinities aroused so far include: Pauline Réage’s The Story of O, Vítězslav Nezval’s Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, and various of Edgar Allan Poe’s finest stories (e.g. “The Fall of the House of Usher” and “The Pit and Pendulum”). I won’t say anymore about it yet, as I am still caught in its spell and must finish and untangle before expressing the flood of my admiration, but suffice to say: if you have not yet cracked its spine I implore you to do so immediately. Something dark and mysterious haunts each sentence. In the near future I intend to elaborate on how I see The Marbled Swarm as exemplary of an emergent constellation of texts I want to identify as Nouveau Gothic.

But not now. That’s just a teaser trailer. For now, below the jump, in lieu of music (as I’ve done the past few months) I’ll share with you the current cluster of tabs I have open on my computer. Food for your writing…perhaps?


Here is the thrust of methodological localism. The only ontologically stable stuff that exists in the social world is the socially constructed and socially situated individual actor, embedded within a set of relationships with other concrete social actors. —Localism and Assemblage Theory


Note for further elaboration: a lot of this has to do with the way that DeLanda, through Deleuze, is ultimately channelling Spinoza, to whom the language of capacities to affect and be affected is originally due; and also Hume — again via Deleuze’s reading — in order to account for how the individual person exists as an “emergent property” of the assemblage of a quantity of impressions, ideas, and chains of association. —DeLanda, A New Philosophy of Society


Online papers on Consciousness

–Compiled by David Chalmers (Editor) and David Bourget (Assistant Editor), Australian National University


de la colección porque está roto


Panpsychism is the doctrine that mind is a fundamental feature of the world which exists throughout the universe. —Panpsychism entry at Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy




MCCULLOCH: Finally, is there a message you would like to give to artists making comics today?

JODOROWSKY: Kill Superheroes !!! Tell your own dreams.

“I Feel Myself Like a Genius and a Sacred Whore”: A Few Questions for Alejandro Jodorowsky


I don’t know who the f*** these cats are, where they’re from, or what they look like. And frankly, I don’t care. All I know is, they’re making some of the rawest, illest new underground hip hop I’ve heard in ages. Straight gully sh*t. Not for the faint of heart. —Music: DJ Jedi’s Spin City for December 5, 2011 [recommendations from @djjedi]


The actual list of the top ten films as chosen by the editors of Cahiers du Cinéma is not online, but the cover of the December issue with the ten titles swirling in some sort of electrified vortex into or out of “2011” is.


Most scholars dismiss research into the paranormal as pseudoscience, a frivolous pursuit for the paranoid or gullible. Even historians of religion, whose work naturally attends to events beyond the realm of empirical science, have shown scant interest in the subject. But the history of psychical phenomena, Jeffrey J. Kripal contends, is an untapped source of insight into the sacred and by tracing that history through the last two centuries of Western thought we can see its potential centrality to the critical study of religion. —Authors of the Impossible The Paranormal and the Sacred


What I am trying to pick out with “apparatus” is a thoroughly heterogenous ensemble consisting of discourses; institutions; reading practices, close or otherwise; regulatory decisions; laws; administrative measures; letterforms; writing machines; philosophical, moral and aesthetic propositions—in short, the disposed as much as the indisposed. —The apparatus of digital literature: a stenographic disposition in five minutes or less, Ben Robertson


One possible use for literature on the Net, and also the investigation of the Net as a process, is that it can function as an antidote to the atrophied armature of post-modern thought that still hangs over avant-gardists on two continents. Post-modern poetics, especially in America, has always favored indeterminacy as a mode of expression; but I use the term “atrophied” because this kind of poetics has become closed on indeterminacy. —Benjamin’s Desktop: Unpacking the Phenomenon of Literature Online, Adam Fieled



A/V 13 features a paper by David R Cole on ‘Traffic Jams: Analysing Everyday Life through the Immanent Materialism of Deleuze and Guattari’, an inter-review with Felicity Colman on her latest book Deleuze and Cinema: The Key Concepts, Giuseppina Mecchia with ‘Anthro-politics: Reconsidering Capitalism and Schizophrenia’ Marc Newman on ‘Deleuze’s Coldness and Cruelty in the Masochistic Film Spectator’ and Martin Wood on his film linking Deleuze’s philosophy with free-style rock climbing, Lines of Flight: Everyday resistance along England’s Backbone.


Ceasing to be human is a fugitive event; it can’t be captured by a single narrative or conceptual context. Perhaps the proper way to pursue the matter is by way of historical inquiries into the forms and occasions of its appearance. —On Being Singular, Gerald L. Bruns


Voodoo Terror
An Eerie Publications Presentation
From Terror Tales, July 1976



What A Journal of the Plague Year doesn’t have is zombies—at least not explicitly. Still, the numberless, suppurating victims are apt to behave like the undead at every turn, crowding the novel with “walking putrefied carcasses, whose breath was infectious and sweat poison.” —The Zombie Apocalypse of Daniel Defoe, Andrew McConnell Stott


Call For Papers: 5th International Deleuze Studies Conference (June 25-27, 2012), themed panel “Deleuze and Modernist Literature”

You Should Submit!!!


  1. Helen

      I’m interested in what Kripal has to say, and in your (too brief) mention of your thoughts on the opaque, mysterious (sacred? or at least unsettling) in experimental/genre fictions. It’s all very self-serving on my part, as I wrote a (non experimental) novel which is about origins, erasures of self/memory/names and has lots of (possibly psychological) ghosts wandering around. But I think the gothic trope is a little played out.

  2. 6BatofMoon9

      There was a New Gothic movement in the Nineties. English was good enough for us.

  3. Christopher Higgs

      English is never good enough.  Unless we’re talking muffins.  English muffins are good enough, I guess.  But not if we’re talking sweet muffins.  Who ever heard of an English muffin out servicing a blueberry muffin?  Or a banana-nut muffin?  I don’t know for whom you speak, 6BatofMoon9, when you say “us,” but when it comes to sweet muffins, English is not good enough.  It just isn’t. 

  4. M. Kitchell

      god damn there is too much i need to respond to here, haha:

      re humanoids:

      re jodorowsky: that pull quote fucking rules

      re cahiers: oh how the mighty have fallen (aka “what a terrible fucking list”)

      re paranormal: damn it chris, i already have too many books to read

  5. Brenda Kwang

      Sure, I like Dennis Cooper’s writing too. But, sheesh, why all the hagiography about reinvigorating language. I mean, son, he’s not a Poland Spring, for eff’s sake! Sheesh.

  6. Christopher Higgs

      Mom?  Why are you posting here under this ridiculous pseudonym?  (Calling me “son” is a dead giveaway!)  You promised you wouldn’t read my posts anymore.  You also promised to stop using the word “hagiography.”  Sheesh.  We’re gonna have to talk about this at our therapy session on Wednesday.  (btw, Dad can’t make it because he’s still in Reno with Yvonne.)  Wait.  Is that what this is about?  I don’t even know what you’re implying with the whole “Poland Spring” thing.  Is that some thing between you and Dad?  Some kind of code?  Speaking of codes, is that Peanuts avatar some kind of code?  Sheesh.  Mom, every time you do this you completely reset our progress.  You know that, right?  You know it makes it impossible to trust you when you…forget it.  We’ll talk about this at therapy on Wednesday.    

  7. deadgod

      What I’m trying to single out with this term [dispositif] is, first and foremost, a thoroughly heterogeneous set consisting of discourses, institutions, architectural forms, regulatory decisions, laws, administrative measures, scientific statements, philosophical, moral, and philanthropic propositions–in short, the said as much as the unsaid.  Such are the elements of the apparatus.


      The apparatus is precisely this:  a set of strategies of the relations of forces supporting, and supported by, certain types of knowledge.

      Let me briefly summarize three points:

      a:  It is a heterogeneous set that includes virtually anything, linguistic and non-linguistic, under the same heading:  discourses, institutions, buildings, laws, police measures, philosophical propositions, and so on.  The apparatus itself is the network that is established between these elements.

      b.  The apparatus always has a concrete strategic function and is always inscribed into a power relation.

      c.  As such, it appears at the intersection of power relations and relations of knowledge.

      –Agamben, “What is an Apparatus?”  (Agamben is here quoting Foucault.)

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  13. Cole

      Thanks for the link to the Deleuze CFP. Now I’m thinking about going to Deleuze Camp.