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Member: DavidX

CollectionsYour library (535), Currently reading (4), All collections (535)

Reviews15 reviews

TagsPoetry (53), Kindle (8), Complete Set (6), Fine Binding (4), Thomas B. Mosher (2) — see all tags

Cloudstag cloud, author cloud, tag mirror

About meEgo sum qui sum.

About my libraryFools have a habit of believing that everything written by a famous author is admirable. For my part I read only to please myself and like only what suits my taste.

― Voltaire, Candide


The fire is out, and spent the warmth thereof
(This is the end of every song man sings!)
The golden wine is drunk, the dregs remain,
Bitter as wormwood and as salt as pain;
And health and hope have gone the way of love
Into the drear oblivion of lost things.
Ghosts go along with us until the end;
This was a mistress, this, perhaps, a friend.
With pale, indifferent eyes, we sit and wait
For the dropt curtain and the closing gate:
This is the end of all the songs man sings.

- Ernest Christopher Dowson

GroupsReprints of the Damned, The Chapel of the Abyss, The Hashish Club, The Opium Den, The Underground, The Underground Bar and Grill

Favorite authorsLeonid Andreev, Apuleius, Honoré de Balzac, Charles Baudelaire, William Beckford, Ambrose Bierce, Valery Bryusov, François-René de Chateaubriand, Jules Barbey D'Aurevilly, Ernest Dowson, Alexandre Dumas, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, Théophile Gautier, Jean Genet, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Julien Gracq, Ṣādiq Hidāyat, Zinaida Nikolayevna Gippius, E. T. A. Hoffmann, Joris-Karl Huysmans, Alfred Kubin, Le Comte de Lautreamont (Isidore Ducasse), Auguste Villiers de l'Isle-Adam, Jean Lorrain, Lucian, Charles Robert Maturin, Dmitri Merezhkovsky, Gustav Meyrink, Yukio Mishima, Gérard de Nerval, Walter Pater, Leo Perutz, Petronius, Edgar Allan Poe, François Rabelais, Frederick Rolfe, Marquis de Sade, Fyodor Sologub, Oscar Wilde (Shared favorites)


Also onBlogger, Facebook

Real nameDavid Xavier Gentry


Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/DavidX (profile)
/catalog/DavidX (library)

Member sinceJul 28, 2007

Currently readingThe Dweller on the Threshold by Robert Smythe Hichens
Axel by comte de Auguste Villiers de L'Isle-Adam
Comte De Gabalis: Rendered Out of French Into English with a Commentary by Abbé N. De Montfaucon de Villars
Flames by Robert Hichens

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Just came across some new releases of several Kobayashi films. I know you're a fan from Kwaidan, have you seen the rest? Harakiri is my all-time favorite film.
Here's the new films (they don't seem to be on netflix):

The inheritance [videorecording] / produced by Shigeru Wakatsuki, Masaki Kobayashi ; screenplay by Koichi Inagaki ; directed by Masaki Kobayashi

I will buy you [videorecording] / produced by Masaharu Kokaji ; screenplay by Zenzo Matsuyama ; directed by Masaki Kobayashi

Black river [videorecording] / produced by Ryotaro Kuwata ; screenplay by Zenzo Matsuyama ; directed by Masaki Kobayashi

The thick-walled room [videorecording] / produced by Takeshi Ogura ; screenplay by Kobo Abe ; directed by Masaki Kobayashi

You're going to love Perutz. He's at the top of my all-time favorites.

The bay area is my old stomping grounds, but I left years ago.
I miss the bookstores but not the traffic.
Comment on this image. Image comments only appear on your own profile page and the image page itself.
Pretty damned good!
Comment on this image. Image comments only appear on your own profile page and the image page itself.
This picture is from 1986. I'm on the right.
It's my pleasure. I wish I could list my whole library but I'm limited by my membership status.
San Diego. You'll never see the dacha if you move there.
Comment on this image. Image comments only appear on your own profile page and the image page itself.
Hey, D. Looks like a sketch version of the famous photo. Nice.
It was unreal. I actually had someone cover a closing shift so I wouldn't miss one.
Ah, thanks. In the interest of full disclosure I should tell you I was playing with a new photoshop-like program. Willow looks great, but I that pic doesn't look much like me. Philharmonic sounds fun, but I'm usually Kona-ing on Saturdays. Maybe when the weather cools down a bit more, though. We aren't all that busy in fall or winter. What did you think of the Met's new Ring Cycle?
Just checking in to say, "Hi." How's your world? Hope all is well.

Interesting comments by Gore Vidal. Thanks for posting them. We need more trouble makers like Gore!
Never heard of the film, but you can believe I will look it up immediately. Thanks for the tip.
Vathek is a gem, and I'm looking forward to the unbowderized version. It is discussed at some length in Warner's excellent Stranger Magic.

Always good to hear from you.


Thanks for the info on the website.
It's a real pleasure to watch a good copy of M & M. The witches ball is a memorable cinematic moment!
I might take a look at one of the new trans. I love the Mirra Ginsburg, but it's incomplete. Also in the TBR pile is a Country Doctor's Notebook by B.

Viy sounds interesting, unfortunately not available on netflix. I'll have to check the story.
It's great to have a decent copy of M & M. I got it from the same guy in N.J. (?)

Kind of expensive for a small paperback, but worth it for the strangeness alone.

Just starting M & M on dvd. I watched the whole thing on youtube. Terrible quality. Got it on amazon for $25.
You might be interested in a little M. R. James conversation starting up here:
Haunted Dolls' House and by M James. Sounds creepy and excellent.
Always great to hear from you, David. Reynard is a delight, if somewhat repetitive. The Oxford World's Classics text was the one book I took with me on a camping trip this summer, so I got to know him pretty well. One gets a real sense of a theme and variations in his adventures. I couldn't help thinking of him as a darker version of Bugs Bunny, and any number of other cartoon tricksters. (My 7-year old son, who exhibits quite a large share of my psychic makeup, has recently taken a real interest in trickster tales, but I think I ought to hold off on Reynard for a few more years. Last week, I read him a tale from a "childrens" book of mysterious Japanese tales, which, unbeknownst to me, climaxes with a little boy finding that his cat drawings have come to life and violently dismembered a rat-goblin, resulting in an orgy of blood all over the walls and ceilings of a Buddhist temple. Gave him a couple night's worth of nightmares.)

Glad you appreciate the Nightwatches pdf...nice to know it's available, considering the scarcity of a published text. This week I've been reading Kyoka's Japanese Gothic Tales (my friend Tomcat and I seem to have separately fallen into a bit of a Japanese kick lately): you might find it interesting if you don't already have it.

Brother, I heard through the grapevine that you're reading "Pendragon Legend". Enjoying it?
Just popped in to say, "Hello, friend." How's the world treating you these days?
Woo hoo!!!!!!!!
So far so good. Our new manager is great, I think. She doesn't put up with booksellers who don't work and she doesn't put up with rude or abusive customers. That helps alot. Hope you're enjoying your world!

I went in and edited the format to get a cleaner look after your first edit. I don't think we need all the tabs.

I went in and edited the format to get a cleaner look after your first edit. I don't think we need all the tabs.

Check the Opium den . . . all messages. Check Dark Tea Times. Profile written. I am working first post.

Comrade Peasant Marienka

Yes, do check out 'Lesbia Brandon' when you get a chance. And by the way, when I mentioned my dissertation, I was speaking of the past- in fact about 20 yrs. ago!- rather than the present. Did exhaustive research on the figure of the hermaphrodite in 19th C art and Lit.- that's why I'm so knowledgeable on the subject. And it earned me a 1st degree classification, so I didn't do too badly! But, God!, all those long hours at the old British Museum reading room! And because of the nature of some of the texts I was researching, I was made to sit in a special, highly supervised room- where readers had to keep their hands above the tables! ha ha Those were the days.
Greetings fellow Abyssinian! Just to say that if you liked 'Sarrasine', 'Seraphita' and 'Mademoiselle de Maupin', you may also be interested in Swinburne's posthumously published novel 'Lesbia Brandon'. It is hard to come by, though. I know because the figure of the hermaphrodite in 19th C. art and literature was the subject of my undergraduate dissertation, for my sins!
You are here!!!!
King Solomon's Mines is fantastic. So are the 2 sequals to She.

Its Friday night and I'm closing with Vanessa, Jennifer and 2 brand new employees. Don't you wish you were me? How is the new gig (aside from the obvious-It isn't here and an hour long paid lunch)?


Just saying,"Hi!" P.S. I love "She." Actually, all his stuff--which is kinda odd. I don't usually like that sort of thing.
The Worm-ball man is definitely ultra-fab! ;-)
Arg!!! Guess who they talked into being the new head cashier? That's what's wrong with me? Meanwhile...Gore Vidal? Really?
Hey, you weren't listening to KCSC this morning, were you?
Thanks for pointing me in the direction of the Huneker Baudelaire. I've added a couple of etexts regarding Baudelaire by Gautier and Symons if you are interested.
Spinoza I liked too
Let me know what you thought of the Viereck. Uneven, and a bit silly, but I enjoyed it. I also thought it got better as he approached more recent times. Gilles de Retz, Peter the Great, and some of the other sections were a lot of fun.
We need to coordinate our vactions or something. That place is a black hole without someone to talk to!!
Hey....I'm in a pickle. My printer is on the fritz and I need to print something in an email I have. Could I forward it to you so you could print it for me? I'd be most beholden to you....

(I don't think I have your email address, tho)
Can I join the bah humbug society?
Bravo - another great entry at superpremium!
OK, were right vis a vis creepy BN inbreedng. Somehow, I'm more creeped out than ever. Ick.
Aha...Look at you being all Holmsian!! Could you tell where I went to third grade if I showed you the left elbow of my great grandfather's smoking jacket? Hope you managed to stick to the one hour rule. Later, 'gator.
I find it odd that we only share four books! Anyway, I got set free early due to the scary flu, but I wanted to wish you a happy Thanksgiving....or at least one that doesn't conjure memories of the Batan Death March.
Thank you very much! And yes, please do.
Hey, I appreciate that. Truth be told, I actually read the book at least 15 years ago. It left its mark (as you can attest). I started thinking about it yesterday and decided to just write a short synopsis, but then noticed that you had already done an excellent review which I could hardly improve upon. I figured the best thing would be to just give a taste of it, and an awareness of Kubin's artistic achievements, for benefit of the uninitiated.

We seem to have a remarkable similarity of taste in books. I'm currently reading Shelley's St. Irvine/Zastrozzi in the Oxford pb edition. But I've just receive Pamuk's new one, and another Gracq in the mail today, so Percy might just have to wait.

By the way, my edition of Kubin is the version in the old Penguin Modern Classics series. This is the same series as published my beloved volumes of Peake's Gormenghast.
This thread is now dead.

You don't know how tempted I am to respond that the thread is now undead, but I shall let it stand as is. Thanks for a fun time.
Yo david !! what a superb idea !!

Please add following link to your thread :
Thank you my friend, unfortunately, I have no effing idea how to upload a picture.

Sad, isn't it?
Hi David,

I found the complete electronic version of "Varney the vampire"

Check here:
Hi David,

I found the complete electronic version of "Varney the vampire"

Check here:
Hi David,

I found the complete electronic version of "Varney the vampire"

Check here:
impressed by your AZAZEL point!
when will get more about schalken and le fanu ?
Tell me about it !
I'm off to the office where they will grill me that I haven't prepared the ISO 9000 meeting this weekend !

Ofcourse I didn't, I went windsurfing ! WOOHOO

Human Condition is 9 hrs long! Gorgeous black and white cinemascope! Probably
Nakadai's best.
Incidentally, I recommended "Beckett on Film" to Ben; recent films of all the plays
also available from netflix.

I'm looking foraward to seeing it again. It's been 35 yrs or so. Still favorite film of all-time with Harakiri and Kwaidan.

"Human Condition" will be available next month on netflix. Hurray! ;-)
Thanks David for that awesome recommendation! What a perfect gift for Valentine's Day!

Not at all, thank you. You said everything I would have said if I'd been around. That old "paid by the word" canard makes my blood boil.
It's so unfair that an artist who cared so passionately about his craft and its dignity should be labelled a hack by people with tin ears.
Thank you for your gracious note and for making me a LibraryThing "friend". Look forward to discussing great writing with you for a LONG tome to come.
Dave: slide me the name of the best English translation of THIEF'S JOURNAL, will you? There are a couple I'm considering, one the Grove Press edition (1991) and the other is the 2004 edition from Olympia Press (which I'm partial to because of the "glorious" history of that press).
Hi David,

Thanks for the compliment! I love Twilight, totally, ya know? How'd you know? What bookstore do you work at? Maybe I'll have to drop by sometime. I'd love to take a look at your books! I thought you might enjoy this clip I linked - it makes me think of me too! Woohoo!

Are you single?
Thanks again for that link! It's on my profile page as "my personal philosophy and mission statement". Btw, I have a daughter with Down Syndrom & autism so I'm especially sensitive to the idea that the real "freaks" among us in society are the ones masquerading as "normal" - whatever "normal" is - the ones who don't look so "freakish" on the outside, but inside, they're wacko Jacko! Well, maybe wacko jacko's not a good example.

Thanks for your kind words. If I had read a couple of the excellent reviews of Bulgakov on LT (yours in particular) prior to posting, I might not have bothered! (I'm still looking for a nice cheap copy of Zanoni, per your wonderful review.)

I'm hoping that the Baudelaire excerpt on Poe will stimulate some discussion on that thread. After several years lapse, I'm reading Les Fleurs du Mal again and realizing why I fell in love with "decadent" literature in the first place. Beautiful stuff!

You may have noticed that I've begun another blog, Tijuana Bible, which I had originally envisioned as a private group on LT (but there are quite enough of those already). The emphasis, I expect, will be on visual and aural arts. I have a mania for macabre animation of the 20's and 30's, which I'm enjoying sharing with my children.

I love that link! I've meant to see that movie for years but for whatever foolish reason have yet to do so. I've got to see that soon! I may take your link and put it on my profile page. Thanks!
Are you trying to say you don't like my library?

Well let me tell you something, Mister, you say I should read Shopaholic & Sister? Puhleez. Shopaholic Takes Manhattan is so much superior - a smarter man might've known that. I'm beginning to have second thoughts about you, you meanie-weenie you....

Thanks David!

Just been going through your blog. Fascinating stuff! Need to get my hands on some Meyrink immediately. It's funny how we've seemed to move in very similar circles and yet until recently had not become acquainted with one another. Better late than never!

Just read your review of Melmoth. Excellent.
Budelaire turned me on to Maturin back in the 60's. He mentions Melmoth in one of his essays. Not sure if it was "The Essence of Laughter".
How's "The Evil Guest"? LeFanu is another old favorite.
Thanks. Sadly, I'm currently sans internet, so I may be a ghost for a while. I have to rely on others (or their absence ) to get online. Arg, as Chuck would say.
I think I am going to Kilmt, perhaps this one
My kitty is even prettier when she's awake. Of course, to see that rare phenomenon you have to have a good chunk of time and the ability to sit, staring, for hours on end. Even then, if you blink you could miss it.
Hmm, demonstrating it, I did it in bold rather than explaining.

one of these your text to be bolded,
OK, italics and bolding:

for italics one of these . Then the text you want italicized. To end the italics, one of these

bolding same thing, except with the letter b. So it is your text and then

Sorry for the lapse. Thank you for note.

What can give a better recommendation for Sologub than such a rejection!

"These stories give further evidence of his rather unpleasant and overly sensual attitude towards life... The day for this type of story is passed."

I love finding odds and ends in old books - postcards, letters... luckily I have a bookstore near my home which is an old house (and several large storage sheds) filled with very old books. I spend my weekends spelunking in the stacks, breathing in dust, boric acid and aerosolized rodent dung - and more often than not I come up with a pearl (found a book on flagellants and another on bibliophilia which contains a chapter on books bound in "man-skin"). O depraved cruel world that has such pleasures in it!

What a dandy library! I can't believe, though, that it's in Oklahoma. It could only be housed in an ornate ivy covered crypt in Pere Lachaise or a locked storage shed in N.O.'s St. Louis Cemetery #1. Do you suppose that if I passed through Oklahoma and swung a bottle of absinthe on a thurible chain, it could locate your books, like a lodestone? I'm taking notes from your blog for my next Amazon binge.
Forgot to tell you I finished Melmoth. I was wondering how on Earth Maturin was going to find his way back up from the four or five layers of narrative. Anyhow, I loved it!

Three Drops of Blood is quite nice.

What a gorgeous poem! Just let me know when you are ready to read the Gracq.

You are pretty cool too. And it's not fair. I want to go to New York and see you and Paola. It's not fair!!!!
Tell Dennis to be good, then!
Meeting in Manhattan would be great! Let's make it happen, then.
I work in NYC, but I don't live there.
The Strand is fantastic. Last time I was there was November, and I went with our friend Mary (urania1). It was lots of fun!
Where are you?
Ha ha ha!!!!
The painting is marvelous indeed! I also wish I looked so pretty when I recline on the couch to read and, since that is not the case, I wish at least I had a cushion as beautiful as that.
Thanks for the comments on my library. To tell you the truth, many of my books are, alas, in boxes. Their number keeps increasing, also because I have a fantastic used bookstore at about ten minutes from my house and, since it is one of the local libraries' bookstore, the prices are increadibly cheap and the stuff I have found at times, simply amazing. This is due to the fact that they also accept donations from privates. I go every Saturday morning, and never come home without a few books.
You also have a very impressive library. So far I have taken a cursory glance, but I will come back when I have more time.
By the way, I greatly enjoy reading your posts!

Paola :-))
Juan is now in the apartment of Adonijah...

Voyage is a clever diversion. The Nocturnal Expedition is meatier and more rewarding. Each is made of tiny chapters with big margins. The Voyage is worth picking up as long as you get an edition with both of them. My edition has a foreward by older brother Joseph De Maistre (at the end of the volume!) and a play about lepers as well. I haven't gotten to those yet.
I picked up Melmoth a few month ago after reading your review on superpremium. I started it last weekend. Wow! How did I miss this book? Thanks for pointing it out. Someday I may have to pick up that cool folio society edition.
Thanks for commenting on my pre-raphaelite books. I'm a big fan of the movement and European Decadence in general. Good stuff.
Regarding the Carl Larsson room. It already looks pretty cool. When it is finished it will be gorgeous or gloriously tacky.
Slowly, very slowly getting better.

And Odysseus indeed.

The Dedalus 19th cent. French Horror was great. Just ordered
the Dedalus Decadents. Should be interesting. I'm going to have to work my way through more of them.
Seraphita sounds good. A beautiful edition of it would be even better. I wonder if that's been done?

Have you read Eugenie Grandet? I noticed Dodo translated it early in his career. My conscience is now nudging me Balzac's way, although I'm digging in my heels. If you have read it, into which category does it fall: drudgery or delight? Further, can you recommend a god translation?

I just read The Idiot. I was surprised to find it so much like a play. The Epanchin mom was my favorite character. I was constantly thinking about how if I was forced to write for TV I would cannibalize, update and bastardize it for characters, plot lines and dialogue. "If I wrote for Gossip Girl, how would I use this?" If anyone noticed, I would reluctantly confess and I'd be the intellectual toast of Tinseltown. For a day. Wheeeee!
How is Marius?
I've seen The Read Shoes. I haven't seen [The Tales of Hoffman].
Happy reading today :)
Hey, I love your blog, especially the art blog. You introduced me to some artists with whom I was not familiar. I loved the Jean Delville "L'ecole de Platon," and the article on Sargent (with whom I am familiar) was definitely interesting. The pictures you showed of Simeon Solomon hit all of my pleasure buttons.
By the way, Hermit of Peking is an excellent bio of a fascinating character.
Absolutely agree with you about Gore Vidal. The greatest living writer in the language period. No one else has his breadth, his range of style, his wit or intellectual power. I'm hoping against hope that the Nobel committee will do another Lessing and give the award to Vidal this year. It could be their last chance to award it to him, and he should have received it long ago. However, I think Myra's shade has a long reach, and that book probably scuppered his chances of getting it.

Alas, there was something wrong with the youtube link....
Thanks for getting in touch: I'm extremely excited!
You have a really interesting library and we have many interests in common, besides dissolution. (why wait until you grow up? Start immediately, say I!)
I notice that you have The Quest for Corvo. I had no idea this book was in print! Corvo was connected to the hermit of Peking, Edmund Backhouse, a notorious forger and pornographer. I have long wanted to read the Quest to learn more about this connection. off to amazon now! Backhouse wrote two scatalogical novels (both unpublished) about his sexual shennanigans with the Last Empress of China and her Eunuchs. Needless to say they are must reads, right?!

I notice you also have Steiner's Knowledge of the Higher Worlds (they appear to have changed the translation of your edition). I was brought up as an anthroposophist, both my parents are active anthros, I went to a waldorf school and read widely in Steiner's works when I was young and experimental (before I became a dandy).

Excellent blog! I'm enjoying reading your reviews. Do please stay in touch!

Thanks for the link to the Meyrink exhibition, some awesome images! Let us know how those Kubin translations differ when you're able to compare them.
I support that verdict on The Blind Owl - one of my favorites!
I'm glad you are enjoying The Blind Owl. It is such an absolutely unique work that it would be tough to think of anything comparable. For an author like Hedayat, the prospect of ever coming up with anything as complete and total as a work of art must have been a dismal thought.

In short - yes, a masterpiece...
Also "Harakiri" is another all-time great film by Kobayashi
with Nakadai.
Human Condition has been in my netflix queue for a long time.
I'm not holding my breath. ;-)HC is a tour-de-force performance
by Nakadai.
"Human Condition" is 10 hrs long in 3 parts. From the
novel by Jumpei Gomikawa, which I've never found a trans.,
so it remains elusive.
Hi Davidx,

Kwaidan is an old favorite; the book and the movie. There was a
shortened version with only 3 of the 4 stories. I think I've seen all
of Kobayashi. He's one of my all-time favorite directors. I'd recommend
"Human Condition"; four, three hour films, if I remember correctly.
Good luck finding it, though. ;-)
"... a bootleg vhs of a japanese laser disc..."

The ONLY way to watch a film, as far as I'm concerned!

I appreciate your kind comments re my notes on Junger, et al. I always feel dreadfully inadequate about these little pieces, usually written and posted with little reflection as a 3 year old tugs my leg, or late at night, after a hard day of said leg tugging.
If you care, I've posted a short item about "The Holy Mountain" on my blog. If my review is too ambiguous, I'll say for the record that I liked it, for the occult elements as much as for the early 1970's wardrobe choices...
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