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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.

"...[T]he memory of men - the probable location of heaven."

- Adolfo Bioy Casares

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
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GroupsArab, North African and Middle Eastern Literature, BBC Radio 3 Listeners, Cemeteries & Gravestones, Erotica, Folio Society devotees, I became a fabulous opera, Infinite Jesters, Reprints of the Damned, Rock 'n' Roll, Records and Record Collections, Scyballashow 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, Bank Street Books, Bartleby's Books, Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar, Bookhouse, Capitol Hill Books, Daedalus Bookshop, Dutton's Books, Heartwood Books, Hole In the Wall Books, Midtown Scholar Bookstore, Normal's Book & Records, Read it Again Sam, Second Story Books, Second Story Books - Rockville, MD, Tattered Cover Book Store - Colfax Avenue (Denver), The Captain's Bookshelf, The Kelmscott Bookshop, The Lantern - Bryn Mawr Bookstore, Too Many Books

Homepagehttp://thechapeloftheabyss.blogspot.com/

Real nameHerminien Chickenbread

LocationUnder the all-overs

Account typepublic, lifetime

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

Member sinceSep 6, 2006

Currently readingThe Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa
The Nag Hammadi Library by James McConkey Robinson
Reading Writing by Julien Gracq
A History of the Byzantine State and Society by Warren Treadgold
Harmony Junction: a Polyphony of Love and Ideas in the Fullness of Time by Goddard Graves
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