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Amok Journal Sensurround Edition by Stewart…
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Amok Journal Sensurround Edition (edition 1995)

by Stewart Swezey (Author)

Series: Amok Journal

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912238,334 (4.23)1
A Compendium of Psycho-Physiological Investigations Compiled by the editor of Fourth Dispatch this astounding and bizarre compendium is culled from the furthest reaches of forensic medicine, sexology, psychiatry, and anthropology. Topics include autoerotic fatalities, self-mutilation, amputee fetishism, trepanation, shockumentaries,' cargo cults, totalitarian art and much more. Heavily and graphically illustrated throughout.'… (more)
Member:terminal_beach_books
Title:Amok Journal Sensurround Edition
Authors:Stewart Swezey (Author)
Info:Amok Books (1995), Edition: Sensurround Ed, 488 pages
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Amok Journal Sensurround Edition by Stuart Swezey

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Possibly the driest, greatest, wildest, unsettlingest book ever. I couldn't stop reading it and finished it in one sitting. My mind was reeling after. ( )
  davemee | Oct 27, 2015 |
[Originally published in EST magazine, 1996]

It's hard to see that this is anything other than the sort of anthology carefully calculated to appeal to devotees of that ever-vague field, the "weird". Sure, Stuart Swezey's introduction tries to suggest the "pursuit of a neurobiological basis for mystical and ecstatic experience" as a theme, but this is just nonsense. Instead, the Amok Journal will appeal to all those assiduous students of the fringes of human behaviour, people who enjoy reading about extreme and unusual practices.

Apart from a lengthy interview with Gualtiero Jacopetti (director of the legendary Mondo Cane) and one with Laibach's Ivan Nowak (part of a section on Slovenian art movement Neue Slowenische Kunst), the book consists of reprints from other sources. A section on auto-erotic deaths reprints several studies of and reports on the phenomenon from psychological and medical journals. These are interesting as much for the detailed accounts of erotic asphyxiation as for the contrast between the dry scientific reportage and the comi-tragic nature of what is being reported.

A similarly uneasy disjuncture between reality and reportage adds interest to sections on self-mutilation and amputee fetishes. The pleasing scientific objectivity is echoed to some extent in a series of pieces dealing with self-trepanation (its very rare practitioners report better results than from taking drugs).

There's an all-too-brief section on cargo cults of the south Pacific, which hints at the incredible power of culture-shock to inspire influential new mythologies, but is really no more than a taster. There is even seventy pages of material on the effects of infrasound, both from the scientific and the religious point of view, to delight anyone who has spent long hours listening to the recordings of such groups as The Anti Group or Lustmørd. (It'll hopefully dispel much of the misinformation that exists too).

There's certainly some writing here that is best not read on a full stomach, but anyone with an interest in the topics featured will enjoy the Amok Journal. ( )
1 vote bduguid | Aug 26, 2006 |
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A Compendium of Psycho-Physiological Investigations Compiled by the editor of Fourth Dispatch this astounding and bizarre compendium is culled from the furthest reaches of forensic medicine, sexology, psychiatry, and anthropology. Topics include autoerotic fatalities, self-mutilation, amputee fetishism, trepanation, shockumentaries,' cargo cults, totalitarian art and much more. Heavily and graphically illustrated throughout.'

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