Well, it's been over a month since I last checked in or posted anything here, and I see that my Typepad log is full of long-abandoned drafts that I may or may not revisit in time. I suppose there were some broken promises of little consequence as well, but the plain fact is that I have been very busy. Bought a house and am in the laborious process of packing and slowly moving from one bad part of town to another. Moving is a bitch — especially for a couple of incorrigible pack-rats with far too many books and an unreasonable number of cats.
Also, I've been working on a number of Nine-Banded Books projects. Mostly, I've been preparing Jim Crawford's Confessions of an Antinatalist for press. Jim's a funny guy, and as it turns out, a natural raconteur. I
think it's fair to say that his memoir-manifesto is unlike anything in
the literature, and I mean that in the best possible sense. Antinatalism, as I have learned,
is a subject that rouses hostility and fitful incredulity wherever it's
encountered, and I am hopeful that Jim's personal touch will go some
way toward defusing the prickly, misconceived refrains that are
invariably hurled against us procreative contrarians. Regardless, it's
a helluva good read that hits all the right points with good humor and
a gaggle of memorable analogies and yarns. Jim's book goes to the printer tomorrow, so we should be stocked in a few short weeks. When the big brown truck drops em off, I'll throw up a front-and-back cover along with a postage-free 9BB order link. In the meantime, you can place advance orders through Amazon.
9BB is also set to release a paperback reprint of Peter Sotos' remarkable novel, Comfort and Critique.
This one is being published by arrangement with Void Books, a now
defunct "publisher of high quality, limited edition books for
collectors and connoisseurs of challenging and iconoclastic literature"
that did every little thing just right. Void originally published
C&C in a sumptuous hardcover edition a half-decade ago. The 9BB
edition will be the first priced-to-sell paperback and will feature a
new cover. Peter's stuff isn't for all tastes, but I believe he's one
of the great living writers, and one of the few possessed by genius.
Later down the road, the loose-laid plan is to do a couple of other
Sotos books, including a new work and a reprint of Tool. for which I have begun writing a new introduction.
Also, Ann Sterzinger's dyspeptic novel of unquiet desperation is
now on track for a mid-year release. Her book is called NVSQVAM (Nowhere), and it's a virtuoso display of hipster-bait with heart. Ann is an old-school novelist in a world cluttered with pomo peacockery and derivative neo-realist hackwork. Her stuff straddles the thin line between cynicism and romance, and she knows how to move her guys around. I like what she does and I hope you will too.
Finally, I suppose I should mention that the Samuell Crowell project is chugging along at pace. In
addition to presenting an authoritative and newly revised edition of
the The Gas Chamber of Sherlock Holmes, the 9BB volume will be
supplemented with two equally
weighty essays, the first being an updated restatement of Crowell's air
raid shelter thesis, Bomb Shelters at Birkenau, the second
being a completely new work entitled "The Holocaust in Retrospect,"
which provides a sober and theoretically focused appraisal of key developments in revisionist
and counter-revisionist discourse over the past decade. The book is sparingly photo-illustrated, and I'm writing a publisher's intro; doing my best Barney Rosset, since the big dogs have missed the call. I want you to
read this one, folks — especially if my on-and-off dalliance with the
H-Bomb gives you the willies. Sam's work is studious, and his perspective is utterly without comparison. I also think his book is genuinely important, but time will tell.
There are other projects in the wings, back-burnered or delayed with due apologies to the good people involved. But this is the laundry list for 2010. It's going to be interesting.
In closing, I'd like to encourage anyone who's still checking in to tune the web dial over to Kevin Slaughter's podcast series at Underworld Amusements. There are great interviews with Steve Sailer, John Derbyshire and others. And I'd like to encourage you to pre-order Thomas Ligotti's The Conspiracy against the Human Race, an absolutely captivating book that combines rogue lit-crit with an original study of esoteric traditions in philosophical pessimism to advance a thesis that many readers — though not I — will dismiss as repugnant. Once the dust settles, I'll be back on the beat with a review.
8 thoughts on “Temporarily Stairs”
I spent a while on Wikipedia trying to figure out which Sparklehorse album had the song “Dogriot”. Turns out I confused them with Sparklejet.
I was reading through some old posts at LessWrong and came across one where a silly liberal claimed it was possible for people to be rational about politics.
Checking out his website, which complains a lot about “deniers” in the field of global warming or evolution, I found he had written the following in response to Michael Shermer on 9/11 “Truthers”:
Since you’ve written about Shermer & 9/11 before I thought you might be interested.
Unrelated question, but how does Josef Mengele fit into the Holocaust revisionism narrative?
Thanks. I’m interested.
Mengele reminds me of Dr. Ishii… or Bluebeard. The claims with which we are familiar are based on eyewitness accounts that are easily situated within prevailing public fears over German scientific and technocratic malevolence. The ghastly claims about Mengele’s repugnant experiments are, I think, of a kind with other sensational elements of the Holocaust narrative; which is to say, dubious. Josef Mengele was a doctor. He had an interest in twins and dwarves. After the war, he escaped to South America and bred an army of Hitler clones that now lie in wait for their cue to take over the world. Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess.
Here’s a link to Thomas Kues’ review of the Gerald Posner book, which fairly summarizes the revisionist position:
Dept. of Small World:
I’m writing a capsule preview of Xiu Xiu’s upcoming Chicago show, so I’m doing a little web-spying on the band, and in an interview the lead singer name-checks Peter Sotos. Not the most unlikely coincidence in the world, but it still made me smile.
I met an old lady in a thrift who related her experience at a concentration camp. Mengele had picked her out of a line of women who were going off to be executed, because she was blonde. I noticed her missing thumb and her serial number or whatever it’s called. I should have told her that he was just a myth like Bluebeard! xo
p.s. Cannot wait for Jim’s book.
New Sotos book and a reprint of Tool. Alright!
I don’t think Josef Mengele was a mythical figure. I think that, like the Gilles de Rais (Bluebeard), he was a figure whose life and deeds were darkly embellished through cautionary storytelling.