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The Blue Man and Other Stories by Adolf Muschg

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The Voices of Marrakesh: A Record of a Visit by Elias Canetti

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About me"Know not thyself"

- Monelle (Marcel Schwob)

"Alas, alas! How agreeable to my nature are solitude, silence, and darkness!"

- Fernando de Rojas

"I accustomed myself to pure hallucination. I ended by treating my mental disorder as sacred."

- Arthur Rimbaud

"A sign we are, without meaning
Without pain we are and have nearly
Lost our language in foreign lands...".

- Friedrich Hölderlin

"[S]olitude is a state dangerous to those who are too much accustomed to sink into themselves."

- Samuel Johnson

"As knowledge comes, so comes also recollection. Knowledge and recollection are one and the same thing."

- Gustav Meyrink

“Last night dreamed of the boil on my cheek. The perpetually shifting border between ordinary life and the terror that would seem more real.”

- Franz Kafka

"I see so clearly that there are no conclusive signs by means of which one can distinguish clearly between being awake and being asleep, that I am quite astonished by it; and my astonishment is such that it is almost capable of persuading me that I am asleep now."

- René Descartes

"It is better to dream one's life than to live it."

- Marcel Proust

"La seule excuse qu'un homme ait d'écrire, c'est de s'écrire lui-même, de dévoiler aux autres la sorte de monde qui se mire en son miroir individuel; sa seule excuse est d'être original.... Il doit se créer sa propre esthétique."

- Rémy de Gourmont

"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind...."

- Romans 12:2

In his classic novel of the occult, Là-Bas, Joris Huysmans wrote, “Now from lofty Mysticism to base Satanism there is but one step. In the Beyond all things touch.” Jeanne d’Arc is paired with Giles de Rais. Abomination painstakingly decocted yields its transcendental osmazome to make a monstrance of those palates too jaded to lend themselves to utterance of shopworn, vulgar prayers. The distinction between depravity and piety becomes a matter of sensibility. There are sacred precedents. In Virgil we have the story of the calf that was bludgeoned to death so that the divine bees would make a hive of its corpse and leave behind their honey. A similar story exists in the Old Testament's Book of Judges. Scientists claim that these bees were in fact droneflies and the "honey" they produced, an ichorous filth.

There is an innocent under every cornerstone.

Out of the strong came forth the nectar of les fleurs du mal. We feed on the world and the world feeds within us. Consumption is fundamental. The bulbs that swell under the soil to flower the garden call to the cancer dreaming in the marrow of our bones. This is fearful symmetry.

"And they made a compact with me,
and wrote it in my heart, that it might not be forgotten:

'If thou goest down into Egypt,
and bringest the one pearl,
which is in the midst of the sea
around the loud-breathing serpent,
thou shalt put on thy glittering robe...'."
(Acts of Thomas)

I am lustrous fetation stewing in a golden bowl.

I am the perturbing guest. A nowt, a null, I am a sickness unto death, a lesion on the dark back of time. Early on, I am given to understand, I had faith that my flower would bear, some day, the prescribed fruit. Somewhere along the garden path, the angel of idleness waylaid me and informed me that I knew nothing but how to behave, and what generally to expect; I am the story of the faith of my fathers.

Idleness: larder of crime, fruit-basket of perversity... the fanatic idler finds time to ask "what have I received and at what (or whose) cost?" In a crucible of filth, an homunculus grows; a fruiting body for the eucharist of swine.

In Myth and Reality, Mircea Eliade tells us that the dead are those who have lost their memories. To the early Hermetists, as to Proust and Denton Welch, salvation is an act of memory. To remember is to gather and articulate something that has been forgotten, lost, destroyed, to restore to life and consciousness what has been given over to death and forgetfulness. The history of Osiris and Hermaphroditus. It is interesting that memory and salvation are acts of rebellion, widdershins, against nature, time and destiny. Rebellion and knowledge, the good book tells us, are one.

Imagination sings of Memory. Thus Hermes, god of Eloquence and Imagination: "Of all the gods he first honoured Memory with his song, Memory, mother of the Muses; for the son of Maia was in her portion." In Hermes in Paris, Peter Vansittart writes that "a god fuses hindsight with foresight." Der Gott verschmilzt Horizonte. The sleight-of-hand art of interpretation. Lord of transgression, Hermes is a double agent. He plays both sides, trafficking between the lost and the unbegotten, the explicit and the implied. All borders meet in his eccentric person.

Mnemosyne, goddess of Memory, is the muse of poetry. François Villon wrote “I know everything, but I do not know myself.” The gnosis is that, with the assumption of the veils of received ideas, the self must be re-membered, which is to say, reborn of a poetic act. Salvation, as in the tragedy of schizophrenia, is being made whole again: remembering. Cosmogony is God recovering his memory. ذكر Do this in memory of me. Remembrance as commandment: Zakhor. In the present, make the past and the future one.

As the White Queen said to Alice, "it’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards":

When you make the two one, and when you make the
inner as the outer and the outer as the inner
and the above as the below, and when you make the
male and the female into a single one, so that the
male will not be male and the female will [not] be
female, ... then you shall enter the Kingdom.

- Gospel of Thomas

Herakleitos: "the beginning of a circle is also its end." Jesus: "...Where the beginning is, there shall be the end." Out in East Coker, it is always January.

The boundless present. Hermann Broch called it "the immensity of the here and now." An immensity such as resembles an "infinite sphere, the centre of which is everywhere, the circumference nowhere." (Pascal, Hermes Trismegistus).

In the name of the now binding the Nothing and the Infinite, and of action's fruit and the back of the deed. Amon.

About my libraryA breeding ground for apostasy and silverfish. Miroir d'anthracite. It is, by virtue of what it contains and what it excludes, all reasons therefore unknown to me, my daemon, my secret sharer; as an admirer once described George Brummel: "a palace in a labyrinth."

Reading
Have Read

GroupsArab, North African and Middle Eastern Literature, BBC Radio 3 Listeners, Cemeteries & Gravestones, Erotica, I became a fabulous opera, Infinite Jesters, Reprints of the Damned, Rock 'n' Roll, Records and Record Collections, Scyballa, The Chapel of the Abyssshow all groups

Favorite authorsRyūnosuke Akutagawa, Texas Alexander, Umar ibn Muhammad al-Nafzawi, Leonid Andreev, Apuleius, Louis Armstrong, Barbecue Bob (1902 - 1931), Charles Baudelaire, Samuel Beckett, William Beckford, Max Beerbohm, Thomas Bernhard, Chuck Berry, Black Ace, Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, Giovanni Boccaccio, Roberto Bolaño, Jorge Luis Borges, Ishman Bracey, Jocelyn Brooke, Big Bill Broonzy, Norman Oliver Brown, Giordano Bruno, Cab Calloway, Johnny Cash, Nick Cave, Charlie Christian, Eddie Cochran, Joseph Conrad, Alice Cooper, Jules Barbey D'Aurevilly, Dock Boggs, Champion Jack Dupree, Eek-A-Mouse, Mircea Eliade, Roky Erickson, Sleepy John Estes, Ronald Firbank, Flamin' Groovies, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Sigmund Freud, Furry Lewis, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Nikolai Gogol, Witold Gombrowicz, Edmond de Goncourt, Edward Gorey, Remy de Gourmont, Julien Gracq, Henry Green, The Gun Club, Ṣādiq Hidāyat, Jimi Hendrix, Hérakleitos, Hermes Trismegistus, Edward Heron-Allen, Friedrich Hölderlin, E. T. A. Hoffmann, Billie Holiday, Buddy Holly & The Crickets, Son House, Howlin' Wolf, Mississippi John Hurt, Joris-Karl Huysmans, Robert Irwin, Henry James, Skip James, Young Jessie, Ma Jian, Blind Willie Johnson, Lonnie Johnson, Robert Johnson, Tommy Johnson, Louis Jordan, James Joyce, Junior Kimbrough, Franz Kafka, Yasunari Kawabata, Karl Kerenyi, Heinrich von Kleist, Kraftwerk, Alexander Lernet-Holenia, Jerry Lee Lewis, Auguste Villiers de l'Isle-Adam, Leopoldo Lugones, Arthur Machen, Stéphane Mallarmé, Joe Maphis, Marin Marais, Walter de la Mare, Javier Marías, Gustav Meyrink, Octave Mirbeau, Robert Musil, New York Dolls, Michael Nyman, Charlie Parker, Walter Pater, Charley Patton, Petronius, Juan Garcia Ponce, Marcel Proust, Thomas De Quincey, Radio Birdman, Ramones, Jean Ray, Rainer Maria Rilke, Jimmie Rodgers, Frederick Rolfe, Arthur Schnitzler, Franz Schubert, Marcel Schwob, Hjalmar Söderberg, W. G. Sebald, William Shakespeare, Nina Simone, Frank Sinatra, Funny Papa Smith, Sonic's Rendezvous Band, Stendhal, Laurence Sterne, Antal Szerb, Tampa Red, Guiseppe Tartini, Vizconde de Lascano Tegui, Deniz Tek, The Cramps, The Mermen, The Modern Lovers, The Music Machine, Alexander Theroux, The Seeds, The Sonics, The Stooges, The Temptations, The Trashmen, Three Stooges, Tindersticks, Georg Trakl, T. Rex, Big Joe Turner, Paul Valéry, Émile Verhaeren, Antonio Vivaldi, Evelyn Waugh, Oscar Wilde, Big Joe Williams, Robert Pete Williams, P. G. Wodehouse, Link Wray (Shared favorites)

VenuesFavorites | Visited

Favorite bookstoresAll Books Considered, Bartleby's Books, Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar, Bookhouse, Daedalus Bookshop, Heartwood Books, Hole In the Wall Books, Normal's Book & Records, Read it Again Sam, Second Story Books, Second Story Books - Rockville, MD, The Captain's Bookshelf, The Kelmscott Bookshop

Homepagehttp://thechapeloftheabyss.blogspot.com/

Real nameMorbo Gallico

LocationUnder the all-overs

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/benwaugh (profile)
/catalog/benwaugh (library)

Member sinceSep 6, 2006

Currently readingVertigo by W. G. Sebald
Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition by Frances Amelia Yates
The Green Face by Gustav Meyrink
The Venetian Vespers by Anthony Hecht
The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa
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Yup. 'Join to post' is displayed at bottom of each thread.

Thanks.
I've long attended Chapel. Tonight I was moved to murmur vespers with the congregation but found that I wasn't allowed to do so. May I become a member? despite my having just stretched a bit of word-play to a ridiculous--no, to a vomitous, because that sounds more decadent--degree? Cheers.

That's a nice Anatole France quote.

A "by the way" from me, on the strength of The Return I have ordered the three volume set of de la Mare's short stories. I anticipate some entertaining reading.

https://www.librarything.com/work/14926369/book/108249589#
Thought you might like to get this one.
Here's Jeremy Clarkson eating an ortolan:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYy7xoz0FZo

I remember reading about Anthony Bourdain having a similar dining experience. It's in one of his anthologies.
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Aren't you supposed to cook the ortolan before you eat it?
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Mmme Chantelouve

American Blues by Putumayo has Sugar Pie DeSanto and several other interesting tracks,
I'm going to read Savage Detectives over break. As you hold it such high esteem, do tell me what I'm in for.
And I meant to mention that I always thought You Can Hang it on the Wall wd've been a great song for the Ramones to cover

I haven't checked recently but Blue Guitars was the most complete compilation I've seen.
Not sure if it's still available on vinyl or cd, but worth tracking down.

Ever listen to "Blue Guitars" by Eddie Lang and Lonnie Johnson? 2 records recorded in the late
20's, early 30's, probably some of the best all-time blues/jazz guitar.
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I'm not certain, but, looking past the giraffic neck, I can detect majestic qualities.
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Is it me, or does the unclad lady bear a striking resemblance to a young Queen Victoria?
Turns out Christopher McCandless died because the scientific community thought potato seeds were safe to eat, and passed that on to field guide publishers. Turns out they contain an amino acid that was used by the Nazis to kill Jews. If you lack caloric intake and are of low body weight, you have extremely high chances of paralysis and are then led to starve and rapidly wither. He wasn't the ignoramus many thought him to be.

Now the bipolar nut who went to co-exist with grizzlies, there's an idiot ... Have you seen that documentary?
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Very nice.
You should check out Andre Gide's early novels. I've in multiple critical books that they are very near to the symbolist decadent aesthetic.
White Noise. Still need to read Libra, which I've had on my shelf for years. I remember you saying you enjoyed White Noise moreso.
Reading Kathy Acker, William Burroughs, and Don DeLilo in my first semester at state university as a Junior. Also reading Dorian Gray and Great Expectations, and the latter I will probably just skim through. Many other books as well. About twenty in all.
So did you ever finish the Cendrars, those many moons ago?
Solopsist manifesto is a great phrase and apt enough description of Hadrian the Seventh. For what audience does one write such a manifesto? A bunch of people who don't matter, I suppose. Call that solopsism-lite!
Haven't gotten around to reading the Catulle Mendes stories yet but I'm really glad I got my hands on it. Two of the stories are more like novellas in terms of length. There's only 4 in total and the book is 240p. long. Two of the shorter stories are described in the intro as very much influenced by Poe, are something like studies of the occult. The first story is the longest and is similar to Dicken's Edwin Drood. The last one is a sensual fantasy.
Hello,
Regarding André Corthis I'm afraid I have no idea... I see there is one old book in my library which has been entered from my father's library catalogue actually, and I don't know what it is. Besides, this title (Demons) is not referenced in her bibliography in wikipedia, so I don't even know if it really exists...
Sorry I can't be of assistance,

Miss C
Hello.
Many thanks for your commiserations on the demise of my short-lived bookshop.
Despite my failure, I remain fairly optimistic about the future of the book and the bookshop. The kindle, I think, is a flash in the pan, appealing only to gadget lovers, a different demographic from the bibliophile. Most businesses selling things have taken a battering from the internet, but it's perhaps been more injurious to Waterstone's et al than 2nd hand shops, since the high price of postage (especially in Britain) can double or triple the price of a 2nd hand paperback. The real villains are the landlords, as ever, never putting rents down no matter how hard the economic times. I can understand greed, and their wanting to grab every last bit of profit a business makes, but to grab more than that, forcing businesses to close and thus losing their own incomes is baffling to me. (There's a great quote about such people by Keynes, but I can't find it for the moment.)
Anyway, now I've got that off my chest I'll say thanks once again and keep up the good work.
Simon
Hello.
I'm writing to tell you how much I love your Chapel of the Abyss group, it's a great source of books to add to my to-read list (almost none of which I've been able to find!). But I especially like the gallery of book illustrations. I was wondering if you ever browse the Deviant Art website? If not, it's a site for struggling artists to promote themselves, and it has some wonderful artists on there. Some of them do stuff very much in the vein of the work in your Chapel of the Abyss gallery. I can recommend Xeeming and Offermoord, plus a great many others. If you're interested, I've started putting some of my favourites from DA in my Librarything gallery.
Anyway, keep up the good work.
I'm hoping he's a little like Mirbeau, very anti-decadent but not satirical, just intensely vehement. The Pit looks interesting too.
Check out Kuprin's Sulamith. The Spanish version of it has a very telling description:

http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=6743951458&searchurl=kn%3Ds...

...but there is also an english translation.
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I would like to see a Wolvertonized version of this.
i don't suppose i have much that you haven't already seen or heard of, i do have some nice editions of various books which i was hoping to show off but alas, i could not fathom the technicalities of uploading photos....
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That's a rather smutty hand gesture.
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