Weekend links 704


The Yolk (1953) by Gertrude Hermes.

• “By 1910, a quarter of the 129 million litres of alcohol consumed annually by Frenchmen was absinthe. Of course, the wine industry was threatened by this growing desire for ‘industrial spirits.’ The Pernod Company was the primary producer, but there were dozens of distilleries offering variations of the ambrosial concoction. The Green Fairy had become the Green Curse.” Barnaby Conrad III on the intersections of absinthe and art.

• At Wormwoodiana: “The Zombie of Great Peru is a transgressive novel written in 1697 by Pierre–Corneille Blessebois…a memoir of occultism, seduction, slapstick, and humiliation, set in the racial and sexual hothouse of colonial Guadeloupe. It contains the first appearance of the word ‘zombie’ in literature.” Doug Skinner, the translator of a new edition, talks to Bill Ectric about the book.

• “I have been lucky to have the time to understand, or misunderstand, the concept of sound. It’s all about the sound. I don’t play styles, I don’t play genres, I don’t play jazz. I play my repertoire, my language, my own poetry.” Bill Laswell talking to Paul Acquaro and David Cristol about his career as player and producer.

• New music: Rhan-Tegoth by Cryo Chamber Collaboration. A couple of months ago I was wondering whether Cryo Chamber would be continuing their series of Lovecraftian albums, and, if so, which entity they might choose for the theme of the next one. Now we know.

• “Zines, at their most glorious, are indifferent to dignity, reckless in the statements they reel off, determined to make a virtue of their limited resources.” Sukhdev Sandhu on the history of the fanzine.

• At Unquiet Things: Hazy Shade of Winter: The Artwork of Julius Sergius von Klever.

• Mix of the week: DreamScenes – December 2023 at Ambientblog.

• At the Daily Heller: Daniel Pelavin’s Pipe Dreams.

• Old music: Buchla Christmas by Warner Jepson.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Isaac Julien Day.

Pipeline (1962) by The Chantays | Pipeline (2005) by Monolake | Banzai Pipeline (2020) by The Surfrajettes

Weekend links 289


Fathomless Sounding (1932) by Gertrude Hermes.

• Over at Greydogtales (“weird fiction, weird art and even weirder lurchers”) I talk about art, design, the writing of this blog, and I also reveal more about my ongoing Axiom project. The latter currently stands at two novels, a couple of half-finished stories and a few pieces of artwork. I may be unveiling some of the art in the new year so watch this space.

• Howard Brookner’s Burroughs: The Movie (1983), a definitive film portrait of William Burroughs, is released at last on DVD/Blu-ray. US-only for the moment but further releases elsewhere are promised. The director’s nephew, Aaron Brookner, has a documentary about his uncle released next year.

• “…beautifully articulated bawdiness, perverse pleasures and a radical, though nondidactic, political view.” Melissa Anderson reviews Boyd McDonald’s Cruising the Movies: A Sexual Guide to Oldies.

The crisis, as Ellis and Silk tell it, is the wildly speculative nature of modern physics theories, which they say reflects a dangerous departure from the scientific method. Many of today’s theorists — chief among them the proponents of string theory and the multiverse hypothesis — appear convinced of their ideas on the grounds that they are beautiful or logically compelling, despite the impossibility of testing them. Ellis and Silk accused these theorists of “moving the goalposts” of science and blurring the line between physics and pseudoscience. “The imprimatur of science should be awarded only to a theory that is testable,” Ellis and Silk wrote, thereby disqualifying most of the leading theories of the past 40 years. “Only then can we defend science from attack.”

Natalie Wolchover on A Fight for the Soul of Science

• Mixes of the week: A mix by Front & Follow, and The Ivy-Strangled Path Vol. XIV by David Colohan.

• “Psychedelics can’t be tested using conventional clinical trials,” says Nicolas Langlitz.

• At Dangerous Minds: Ralph Steadman illustrates Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451.

• Why does Moby-Dick (sometimes) have a hyphen? Erin Blakemore investigates.

• My thanks again to Dennis Cooper for including this blog on his year-end list.

• Cian Traynor was given 20 minutes to ask Ennio Morricone some questions.

Lolita at 60: Ten writers reconsider Nabokov’s novel, page by page.

• At Ballardian: High-Rise: Wheatley vs Cronenberg.

Poison Ivy: The Queen of Psychobilly Punk

The Cinema of Hotels: a list

Solo intimacy DIY

Moby Dick (1970) by Led Zeppelin | William Burroughs Don’t Play Guitar (1996) by Islamic Diggers | Physical (2001) by Goldfrapp