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Member: veilofisis

CollectionsYour library (505), Architecure/Interiors (38), Art, Etc. (47), Beauty/Cosmetics/Fashion (10), Botany (30), Children's (9), Coffee Table Fare (33), Collectible/Leather/Vintage (105), Drama (41), Fiction (Classics) (199), Fiction (Modern) (76), Fiction (Short Stories/Collections) (83), Fiction (Gothic) (84), Film (6), Food (Cooking/Instructional) (16), Food (History) (24), GLBT (31), History (34), Memoir/Autobiography (14), Misc. Non-Fiction (74), Myth/Symbol/Folklore (19), Philosophy (10), Poetry (38), Perfume/Aromatics (5), Religion/Spirtuality/Esoterica (30), Valuable (10), Read In 2014 (13), Currently reading (14), All-Time Favorites (52), Read but unowned (1), To Read/Reread (43), Read In 2013 (24), Read In 2012 (31), Read In 2011 (49), All collections (516)

Reviews24 reviews

TagsPaperback (260), Hardcover (244), Gothic (122), Decadence (84), Dedalus (37), Folio Society (32), To Blog (20), Weird Fiction (20), The Realm of the Unreal (17), Everyman's Library (15) — see all tags

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About me'I rot before I ripen.' -- Frederick Seidel

About my libraryI’m a literature addict and am particularly fascinated by movements that favor darker, more inward modes: the Gothic (especially), the Decadent, the Romantic. I admire books that carry some profound import along with their venom and find myself drawn to authors whose lives mirror their fictions: Gustav Meyrink, Algernon Blackwood, Oscar Wilde, Charles Maturin, Mohammed Mrabet, Poe, Byron, Paul Bowles. I’m drawn to older stuff, clearly, but when I’m reading a more modern work, I like it to have a strong awareness of the past and a certain numbing self-relevance, if that makes any sense at all. In non-fiction, favorite subjects are botany, chess, mysticism, esoterica, and Middle-Eastern studies (particularly literature, art, and architecture; less so on the politics and religion).

I’m a student pursuing a lit degree, and so my library is heavy with classics and things that should be classics. A lot of shelf-space is taken up with Gothic titles, as that’s my main area of interest and study. I’d like to think I’m well-rounded, but I know I’m more devoted to my obsessions than I am open-minded to good work for good work’s sake: but collecting books tends to justify some of that narrow-mindedness, by allowing us to explore the things that interest us in a way that maintains their relevance in our lives whether or not we ever read, discuss, or write about them academically. I find their presence comforting and vaguely validating; a perusal of my bookcases always leaves me feeling more intelligent and more alive, regardless of whether the titles are just words with (as yet) no meaning and only mystery. That mystery is the reason I’ve been drawn to fiction all my life: and particularly to what we might call ‘forgotten fictions.’ Someone needs to keep a candle burning for Melmoth the Wanderer, or Venus in Furs, or The Golem, or The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner. I like being one of those people who cries ‘read this’ to other people; because even if they never open the book, I’ve done something important: something I can admire myself for. Books are a kind of self-worship, then, I think—and the best kind, because they make us better, not worse, for our own pride; and what a Gothic or Decadent or Romantic idea that is: how my books have poisoned me! Maybe I’ve poisoned them, too…

(While we're on the subject: I keep a pair of blogs for reviews and such, one on the Gothic and another on the Decadent. The links are below. Please take a look. :)

therealmoftheunreal.blogspot.com
aportraitinflesh.blogspot.com

Groups50 Book Challenge, Arab, North African and Middle Eastern Literature, Bookcases: If You Build/Buy Them, They Will Fill, Cthulhu Mythos, English majors!, Folio Society devotees, Gothic Literature, ISLAM, New York Review Books, Queer and Trans Litshow all groups

Favorite authorsAischylos, Charles Baudelaire, William Beckford, Algernon Blackwood, Paul Bowles, George Gordon Byron, Baron Byron, Mohamed Choukri, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Joseph Conrad, Allen Ginsberg, Joris-Karl Huysmans, Paul Leppin, H. P. Lovecraft, Medlar Lucan, Charles Robert Maturin, Gustav Meyrink, Octave Mirbeau, Mohammed Mrabet, Edgar Allan Poe, Georges Rodenbach, Mário de Sá-Carneiro, William Shakespeare, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Georges Simenon, Hermann Ungar, Oscar Wilde (Shared favorites)

VenuesFavorites

Favorite bookstoresOld Capitol Books

Favorite librariesMonterey Peninsula College Library

Homepagehttp://therealmoftheunreal.blogspot.com/

Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

Real nameJourdain

LocationCalifornia

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/veilofisis (profile)
/catalog/veilofisis (library)

Member sinceJan 3, 2011

Currently readingThe Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg
The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne (Complete Novels of Mrs. Ann Radcliffe) by Ann Radcliffe
The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
The Beetle by Richard Marsh
The Jewel of Seven Stars by Bram Stoker
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