Saturday, December 23, 2006

Chávez / Chomsky: Hugo Chávez is wacky

Goofy story:

Hugo Chávez boosted sales back in September by plugging Noam Chomsky's book, Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance at the United Nations in New York. After publically calling out President Bush as an "ex-alchohlic," a "John Wayne" impersonator, and "the Devil," the Venezuelan president applauded Chomsky for his sustained criticism of American foreign policy since Vietnam. The book instantaneously rose to the top ten after Chávez expressed regret for not having met the scholar before he died.

Chávez, however, was mistaken - Chomsky is not dead. He was alive enough, at least, to submit to an interview later that same week. Although Chomsky may have enjoyed the boosted book sales, he was not flattered.


Friday, December 15, 2006

May '68

I've been taking some time as of late to read about history and politics, i.e. - "useful" knowledge of interest to people besides myself. The French seem to like a good riot. I particularly enjoyed these slogans from the May '68 protests:
L'ennui est contre-révolutionnaire.
Boredom is counterrevolutionary.
Je t'aime ! Oh ! dites-le avec des pavés !
I love you! Oh, say it with paving stones!
Je suis marxiste tendance Groucho.
I am a Marxist of the Groucho tendency.
That's right - Groucho Marx was a political genius. New Years: we should do wild ghost dances 'till dawn in hopes that he'll return from the grave.


Friday, December 08, 2006


So it's my birthday in Mississippi and my anthropologist buddy, Jacob, is talking to me about linguistics and digging up human bones as a life-long profession, and I presently get the sense that the dame we're talking to has secretly decided that we're bad news (since I've openly described myself as a Democrat) and then Jacob sez' to me,

"So, where were we?"

"Oh, we were saying something like 'Human beings don't know Shit from Shinola.'"

"That's right! ...err Hey, watch out with that drink out here. We don't want no trouble from the Boys in Blue."

"...Gotcha': I guess we're looking out for Monsieur Po-po?"

"Yep. At any rate, it looks like we've Agreed to disagree about Disagreeing."

A raucous erupts from the bar as the blues band steps outside for cigarettes. Cars honking. The smell of BBQ and Budweiser. Your typical Oxford nightlife confusion.

"Nope. I'd have to disagree."


Friday, November 24, 2006

Golden Adele

Time ran this article about the recently purchased Klimt painting, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I. They are calling the painting the "Golden Adele." Though I do like the painting - it is certainly beautiful - I am very suspicious.,8599,1562173,00.html

Let me explain. In June, the painting was purchased by the New York based Neue Galerie for $135 million. It has been since eclipsed by two modernist paintings, one by Jackson Pollock and one by Willem de Kooning, as the most expensive sale in visual arts history. That's right, one early European modernist followed by two giants of the New York School. In New York. Over $400 million in one year alone.

I certainly do not disaprove of the decisively culturally-minded investment of capital. Nor do I completely disagree with the institution of the museum as an idea. I simply hope that the museum does not become such an institution that its financial girth comes to rival that of, say, the defense budget of the United States. We hope for living art spaces, not over-priced hospitals for dying cultural artifacts.

Atleast, at 4 1/2 feet square, we can appreciate that the painting is bigger than the rather tiny (and in my opinion, horribly uninteresting) Mona Lisa. Although I do prefer the Portrait of Adele to the Mona Lisa, it is only a very minor compliment. Is "Too Much Being Made On Nazi Art?" I think so.

List of Most Expensive Paintings


Monday, November 20, 2006

gradually approaching,

slowly sense the terrible entrance
into the True Sphere of Sagittarius
staring into the lunatic deep

centaurs understand.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Political record and platforms

This line appeared on the Wikipedia entry for Nancy Pelosi sometime on November 13th. It did not exist 5 days earlier:

Pelosi is generally considered to be a far leftliberal in American politics.[5]

Notice the lack of space-age between "left" and "liberal." Wikipedia has quarantined the article on the count of what it calls "weasel words."

My theory is that alcohol and perhaps a dose of rage were possibly involved. I love Wikipedia, because it completely changes every single month.


Sunday, November 12, 2006

On The Metamorphosis

In the past, I've felt more or less indifferent towards "vampire chronicler" Anne Rice. I was impressed, however, when I read her foreword (it's in the Schocken Books edition) to Kafka's wonderfully painful short story:
I was sure that before the end, the story would veer back toward the commonplace. Gregor would turn out to be "dreaming." The rules of realism would ultimately prevail.

Oh, I had a lot to learn about Franz Kafka. With a courage unparalleled in my experience, Kafka forced us to follow Gregor Samsa day to day, in the family home, in his loathsome insect body. The conventional pacing made it all the more harrowing. The solid context in which Gregor expires from contempt, petty cruelty, and finally indifference made it unendurable, yet crucial. Here was a story that defied logic completely and with complete conviction and it meant something.

Well, well... I think Rice might have hit a bull'seye with that one.


Saturday, November 11, 2006

Stupidity can be forgiven

But it must be corrected, right-the-fuck-now. Even the Dalai Lama believes that.


Monday, November 06, 2006

and she slowly realized

the many subtle ways that this Age of Visual Culture
forces upon us its terrible, kaleidoscopic reality.

the only acceptable

and live-able form of life must be
something like a continuous
and sustained act
of colorful, ever-flowing

(Butterfly-Godzilla-Stomp is the name of a dancestep I will create in 2007. It will kill horses, yuppies, and entire platoons of skeleton-ninja shocktroopers.)


Sunday, November 05, 2006

Please Vote for God'ssake !

they say politics comes from polis which meant something like "your fucking city, right now."

What is the secret hidden beneath the Harlequin's smile?

It must be the ancient mystery of eternal servitude and mastery.

*( listen to track number 2 on Silent Shout -- from the Clairmont Lounge to Capital City Country Club, I hear the city cry out the perpetual enslavement of humankind. ethnic-and-otherwise. )

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I refuse to go see Spiderman 3

nor will I go see any other Marvel comics movie in the near future, because Marvel comics is cancelling Nextwave. Nextwave is an extremely smart, good-looking, and funny (really funny) series by writer Warren Ellis. One might say it is a highly stylish parody of every other Marvel comic. Furthermore, it is a timely parody that openly pokes fun at our all-too-familiar "war on terror."

Danse macabre

A quote from Frederic Jameson related to the "dance of death." It's all a little over my head, but I find it quite entertaining:
The thought gives new and exemplary meaning to a haunting moment in Renoir's La Regle du jeu, when, at the climax of the costume ball in the chateau, now infiltrated by skeletons waving their lamps and celebrating mortality to the tune of Sain-Saens's Danse macabre, the fat lady pianist, hands in her lap, can be glimpsed staring with rapt melancholia at the skeletal autonomy of the keyboard itself, behind which the piano rolls have taken charge with a vengeance. It is a fable of the work of art at that particular stage of its mechanical reproducibility, gazing at its own alienated power with morbid fascination.

I'm no film expert, but I do at least know that the English title of the movie is The Rules of the Game. It's a black-and-white picture about this extravagant party on some over-sized estate that goes terribly wrong. And then people die.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Harlequin

(Just some notes. Nothing serious.)

I dreamed of the Harlequin. She came to reset the wheels of history.

Spanish rhythms fuel her Dionysiac stampede. High-fructose Indian corn scattered like eulogy-garlands. Sugarcane-laced manufactories sacrificed to the tropical night. Her carousers embody an eclectic psychomachia, one at once agrarian and cosmopolitan. The city groans and delightfully clatters into a heap, laying down its cruelty-arms for the day. Aquarius painted everywhere in a hauntingly familiar teal-and-maroon Latin glow.

And yet the cigar smoke lingers on the plantation balcony.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Skeletons are way more awesome than Ninjas. Seriously.

I was discussing Halloween costumes with my buddy, Jon Carll, and a certain revelation occurred to me:

“Skeletons are way awesome-er than Ninjas.”

Yes, I think I see quite clearly now. I must deliver this delicious skeleton-Gospel to the good people of this planet. Before it is too late.

Monday, October 02, 2006

I have been hired

to write "light" legislation, starting December 16th. I will wear a tie, and I will commute to the capitol building down next to Georgia State. I will be a cog. A well-paid cog, but a cog nonetheless.

It's a funny job - I will basically take over a lot of bulk-paperwork that technically falls beneath the qualifications of your average attorney. Here's a paraphrased example:

Commending Prophetess Michelle Johansson; and for other purposes.

WHEREAS, Prophetess Dr. Michelle Johansson is an internationally acclaimed Bible teacher, prophet, psalmist, and media personality; and

WHEREAS, she is the best selling author of Why the Universe Loves Me, selling more than 600,00 copies in less than a year, From Capricorn to Solomon, and several other ground breaking books . . .

(names have been changed for legality reasons. otherwise, this is real. yep.)

Monday, September 04, 2006

New to Me: Warren Ellis

Though I realize the book started back in '97, Warren Ellis' Transmetropolitan struck me as some of some of the best writing I have seen - comics, novels, anything. The prose is aggressive: seething, violent, and dirty with occasional moments of radiant lucidity. Additionally, the book is intensely political. Art does not have to be socially disengaged.

A passage from trade paperback volume 5:
Terrible goddamn place. Some days it's like some bastard nailed a ticket for the bus tour down to fucking Hell to the front of my brain. For every wild everything- depends-on-it first-week- of- being- madly-in-love kiss on a streetcorner, for every beautiful woman stopping to feel the sun on her face and every child dancing in clean rain, there's a kid living in its own shit in a dumpster somewhere wile DAddy sells his ass for milk money, tanks breaking down unwanted houses just to stop homeless people squatting there ... Time was this place didn't make sense and I would live with it. Either it's changed, or I have.

There's all the good things on this ticket and pure fucking evil too. And all the same, I'm going down with you.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Wooster Collective

Word, check it.

Wooster Collective is a little hotspot community for street artists and street art enthusiasts. This piece was assembled entirely out of rubik's cubes. Tons of excellent images.

Friday, September 01, 2006

New to Me: James Joyce

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

Though I am sure the book is required reading for most English major types, I was thoroughly impressed by the description of Stephen Dedalus' artistic epiphany - some devastatingly life-transforming satori:
- Stephaneforos!
His soul had arisen from the grave of boyhod, spurning her graveclothes. Yes! Yes! Yes! He would create proudly out of the freedom and power of his soul, as the great artificer whose name he bore, a living thing, new and soaring and beautiful, impalpable, imperishable.

Her image had passed into his soul for ever and no word had broken the holy silence of his ecstasy. To live, to err, to fall, to triumph, to recreate life out of life! A wild angel had appeared to him, the angel of mortal youth and beauty, an envoy from the fair courts of life, to throw open before him in an instant of ecstasy the gates of all the ways of error and glory. On and on and on and on!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

"The Real World"

What I learned in the "real" world (part 1):

1) Middle-aged losers and/or yuppies incessantly ask you, "Oh, a bachelor's degree! So, what are you doing now? Now that you're in the real world, afterall."

Did I mention that these people can all shove it? Shove it right up your bloated, self-important, unimaginative (and retarded) rectal blow-holes.

2) This city is still racist - cotton gin, country club-conspiracy, but keep smiling about it, Johnny - racist.

3) Highschool friends are just as good as any other friends ya' got.

4) Spider Jerusalem rocks. He will annihilate 50,000 metric tons of cityscape in one cascading blitz of his own semen.

Being a bastard pays.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Mysteries Decoded (part 1; revised)

This is a revised, nearly-complete version of the essay I posted last month. If you read the last one, just skip down to the second paragraph. I eliminated all quotations and expanded a couple of ideas into distinct sections. It may not sound original, but it is my own labored attempt at re-stating and re-interpreting Barthes' early structuralist thought.

Syntax and clarity... Again, my writing still needs work. Enjoy.


Roland Barthes’ essay “The Nautilus and the Drunken Boat” is a wonderful short, critical essay on the work of Jules Verne. The essay is a structuralist analysis of The Mysterious Island, the second and final installment of Captain Nemo’s adventures aboard the Nautilus. With a bit of sarcasm, Barthes calls it an “almost perfect novel,” submitting it as the epitome of a type of childlike delight. Like much of Barthes’ early critical work in the Mythologies, however, the subject of analysis becomes a springing board for a greater critique of modernity. Rather than merely cast judgment on Verne’s credibility as an author, Barthes resuscitates Verne as a symptom of larger cultural epoch.

The Mysterious Island. The promise of a mystery is communicated to us upfront. We have no choice in the matter, nor any doubt. Jules Verne will render a mystery, and his heroes, our Enlightened avatars, will solve it for us. There is never any serious danger in this type of story. The Nautilus is the ultimate exploration vessel. Verne describes it as the most perfect and private utopia. Onboard there is no special need for food, air, or fresh water. Camouflaged as a creature of the ocean, the Nautilus is effectively safe both above and below water. There is even a private library and music hall provided for the occasional escape from the vicissitudes of nautical adventure. It is an inconceivable invention, this scientific, luxury vehicle of privileged exploration.

The Nautilus comes to signify an infantile desire for the finite. From this mobile, invincible shell, the reader becomes an accomplice in the imagined project of discovery. Verne proposes to nullify one nature’s most alienating of objects, the ocean. We revel in the disarmament of chaos: the quieting of torrential water, the illumination of impenetrable darkness, the classification of thousands of tons of aquatic vertebrae and flora of every color. The vastness of the ocean becomes increasingly finite. Transmuted into this gem, a map of the Pacific or even a paperback novel, the terror of the deep becomes quaint and deceptively familiar. Like a child playing with blocks, the reader recognizes the ocean as yet another toy for manipulation and exchange. The threat of the unknown is neutralized via cartography, the determined appropriation of each and every hidden crevasse of the earth.

The myth of discovery promises a utopia; it promises a deliverance from chaos. The Nautilus represents the technological impalement of nature. We deliberately emphasize the dual idea of penetration and enclosure. To truly penetrate the mystery of the world, to quell nature with finality, equates to the end of human struggle. It is an impossible task, a completely apocalyptic impulse. In the Nautilus the reader discovers a second womb, a place of complete safety from which we can observe and contemplate the external world.

More specific than any thesis of human nature, the Nautilus characterizes a lingering, yet transformed, Enlightment ideology that quite possibly continues to this day. The mold should be quite familiar still: an insatiable thirst for quick answers, for mysteries solved with theatrical flair and conclusiveness, all wrapped up into a rapidly consumable package. The Nautilus becomes a metonymy for the myth of discovery.

Emergency Broadcast Network

A coworker introduced me to these video clips last week. EBN was an avant-garde performance group that started in the 90's. They commented on the media, by using the technology and techniques of the media: crazy stuff like hooking up a giganto 50 foot projector and satellite dish apparatus to the top of a van and go driving around daytime traffic screaming into megaphones and shooting rockets at historic landmarks. I think EBN's stuff is great, if a little dated.

Take a look at this music video:
Electronic Behavior Control System

or if that doesn't work, try Joshua L. Pearson's website.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Captain Midnight!

Captain Midnight was a national radio show that ran for ten whole years in the US. Much of the show's lifespan coincided with WWII (fortunately for the show's sponsors, Skelly Oil Company and then later, Ovaltine). These things are hilarious.

You can listen to EVERY SINGLE EPISODE online.


Monday, June 19, 2006

Mysteries Decoded (part 1)

This is the beginning of a series of short essays I've been throwing around in my head for quite some time. I figured that I might as well use this space to exercise my critical eye - especially since the little snippets and quotations I was posting garnered very little feedback. Yes, this is my writing, as derivative as it may be. I'd appreciate any comments whatsoever - on style and content - and keep in mind that this is part of some larger picture:


Roland Barthes’ essay “The Nautilus and the Drunken Boat” is a wonderful short, critical essay on the work of Jules Verne. The essay is a structuralist analysis of The Mysterious Island, the second and final installment of Captain Nemo’s adventures aboard the Nautilus. With a bit of sarcasm, Barthes calls it an “almost perfect novel,” submitting it as the epitome of a type of childlike delight. The most interesting aspect of Barthes’ criticism, however, is the fact that the subject of his essays is never the real topic of discussion. Rather than merely cast judgment on Verne’s credibility as an author, Barthes resuscitates Verne as a symptom of larger cultural epoch.

The Nautilus comes to signify an infantile desire for the finite. He writes:

Ships in Jules Verne are perfect cubby-holes, and the vastness of their circumnavigation further increases the bliss of their closure… The Nautilus, in this regard is the most desirable of all caves: the enjoyment of being enclosed reaches its paroxysm when from the bosom of this unbroken inwardness, it is possible to watch, through a large window-pane, the outside vagueness of the waters, and thus define, in a single act, the inside by means of its opposite.
The Nautilus is the ultimate exploration vessel. The ship represents the technological impalement of nature. The threat of the unknown is neutralized via cartography - the determined classification of each and every hidden crevasse of the earth. We emphasize the dual idea of penetration and enclosure with some risk. A knowable universe would indeed constitute a return to the womb, but the intention here is not to diagnose Verne with some sort of private neurosis. More specific than any thesis of human nature, the Nautilus characterizes a lingering, yet transformed, Enlightment ideology that quite possibly continues to this day. The mold should be quite familiar still: an insatiable thirst for quick answers, for mysteries solved with theatrical flair and conclusiveness, all wrapped up into a rapidly consumable package.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

On the Bandwagon

Sharing music? Count me in.

I don't have much to offer, but this guy - Daedelus - I absolutely love. If you like experimental or acid jazz, check this out:

Daedelus - Denies the Day's Demise
Also: Daedelus on MySpace

As noted by my fellow compatriots, I own this CD as well as any other album posted on this page.

Spread the disease. Enjoy.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


School's out; people have lot's of shit on their plate it seems. Death and destruction.

Sorry about your buddy, David: it must feel terrible.

I'm on the Patch now. Chewing gum and chugging bottled water. Sick to my stomach. Insomnia. ...Awesome.

Marie is out-of-town, so I'm trying to keep myself busy and distracted. Reading intensely. Writing and drawing too. Might even have my own artwork to post this summer.

Stay in touch.

Count the Days: foolish-movie-event of the year

(also known as "Tom Hanks Looks Perplexed Over and Over Again")

Critics say:
Tom Hanks was a zombie. Thank goodness for Ian McKellen. It was overplayed, there was too much music and it was much too grandiose.
I'm very interested.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Pynchon on Sloth

From Thomas Pynchon's "Nearer, My Couch, to Thee," an excellent short history of Sloth

(as in the-seven-deadly entropic-or; the "cathode-anode serenity found in the pure, informationless state of signal zero" . . .) :

Sitting there on some medieval death row, going, "So, look, no offense, but what'd they pop you for anyway?"
"Ah, usual story, they came around at the wrong time of day, I end up taking out half of some sheriff's unit with my two-cubit crossbow, firing three-quarter-inch bolts on auto feed. Anger, I guess.... How about you?"
"Um, well ... it wasn't anger...."
"Ha! Another one of these Sloth cases, right?"
". . fact, it wasn't even me."
"Never is, slugger -- say, look, it's almost time for lunch. You wouldn't happen to be a writer, by any chance?"

In his classical discussion of the subject in the "Summa Theologica," Aquinas termed Sloth, or acedia, one of the seven capital sins. He said he was using "capital" to mean "primary" or "at the head of" because such sins gave rise to others, but there was an additional and darker sense resonating luridly just beneath and not hurting the power of his argument, for the word also meant "deserving of capital punishment." Hence the equivalent term "mortal," as well as the punchier English "deadly."

Philadelphia, by Franklin's time, answered less and less to the religious vision that William Penn had started off with. The city was becoming a kind of high-output machine, materials and labor going in, goods and services coming out, traffic inside flowing briskly about a grid of regular city blocks. The urban mazework of London, leading into ambiguities and indeed evils, was here all rectified, orthogonal. (Dickens, visiting in 1842, remarked, "After walking about in it for an hour or two, I felt that I would have given the world for a crooked street.")

Any discussion of Sloth in the present day is of course incomplete without considering television, with its gifts of paralysis, along with its creature and symbiont, the notorious Couch Potato. Tales spun in idleness find us Tubeside, supine, chiropractic fodder, sucking it all in, re-enacting in reverse the transaction between dream and revenue that brought these colored shadows here to begin with so that we might feed, uncritically, committing the six other deadly sins in parallel, eating too much, envying the celebrated, coveting merchandise, lusting after images, angry at the news, perversely proud of whatever distance we may enjoy between our couches and what appears on the screen.

Poems from the Machine

Some verse I "created" with the aid of William S Burroughs-Arthur Rimbaud poetry generator.


He faces the horizons in the shadowy glade where
A little wild ray of light gods who bit mankind sucked joyfully;
pours burning love the devil's paladins;
like dragonflies threading! when the sap of the world!

basement rent blackberry; kiwi angels faded hypnotized; honeydew candlelight mermaids; darkorchid frosty storm drain

Vision of her big breasts the hidden window.
- like an organ of iron, down the long black river.
For these cracked brains dropping pollen like commas.
- nubile and full-blooded through this horror of space.

storm drain lavenderblush flows seagreen coughing sepia rainbow

And faces the horizons, in the shadowy glade where
at her blessed nipple at times she rouses
on their pale vertebrae: organ-pipes;

Nailing them naked to coloured,
i should rudder and anchor,clamouring birds seen archipelagos of and of singing phosphorus
drowned men sank, down into abysses


Lil' Bro, Jon Carll, wrote this little homage biography and posted it on Wikipedia. It should stay there for most of the day. Thanks Jon.

Your continued donations keep Wikipedia running!
Jeremy eugene abernathy
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Humanities student, artist, aesthete and dungeonmaster extraordinaire, Jeremy Eugene Abernathy will have graduated from Oglethorpe Univesity on May 13, 2006 with a BA in _________. Born and raised in Tuppalo, Mississippi, the birthplace of Elvis Presley, Jeremy combines his down-home southern roots with a cosmopolitanism born of constant reading and extensive travel. His wide academic interests encompass art, religion, literature and symoblism. Recent studies include Jung, Freud, Batailles, and an honors thesis on the works of Haruki Murakami.
This bright and promising young man worked hard to support himself while taking a full courseload at Oglethorpe. He has been gainfully employed as an art gallery sales associate, a superhero (normally spiderman) at children's parties, and as an English language instructor in Japan. Presently the Atlanta resident works as a framer of pictures at Binders Art Supply store and plans to continue working there for the summer. His other summer plans include a trip with his father to Thailand, delving into the works of Joyce, and getting "drunk as fuck!"
Jeremy Eugene Abernathy proposed to Marie Sutherland Lawless in early 2006. They are engaged to be married on the 21st of April, 2007 at 12:00 pm. Her "rock" is enormous.

Retrieved from ""

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Japanese Orpheuse: Myth, Modernity, and the Unconscious in Murakami

This is the presentation I gave at the symposium. I know that only a few people were able to come (sorry I couldn't do likewise), but here is the script. This damn thesis was a lot of work, and now I'm finished. Whenever you guys get time, please take a look and tell me what you think:


Haruki Murakami, or in Japanese Murakami Haruki, is a living, contemporary Japanese novelist. Some titles of Murakami stories:
the novel sekai no owari to haadoboirudo wandarando (Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World);
hitsuji o meguru booken (A Wild Sheep Chase) ;
or the short story with one of his longest titles, “Airplane – or How he Talked to Himself as if Reading Poetry.”

Trust me, the titles sound just as ridiculous in Japanese as they do in English.

I suppose that I have inherited Murakami’s habit for long ridiculous titles. Modernity? Myth? The Unconscious? Japanese Orpheus? How do all these things go together? I promise to deliver answers to these questions, but in doing so, I may have to lengthen the title of my paper. For what began with The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, Murakami’s most difficult novel, turned into an struggle to tie together Murakami’s earlier and later work along with Japanese myth, and solve certain local problems in my chosen methodology: Jungian psychoanalysis. We could call it “How the Wind-up Bird Chronicle sent me on A Wild Sheep Chase.”

I thought I’d begin with some biographical information, but I think I’d rather let the author speak for himself – quote:

The world of literature is probably 85 percent feeling and desire, things that transcend differences of race or language or gender … I suspect that when people say “There’s no way an American can understand Japanese literature”, they’re just revealing a complex. It’s my belief that Japanese literature has to open itself much more broadly than it does now to the scrutiny of the world at large.
In Murakami there are no kimonos or samurai swords or even kamakazi pilots. His Tokyo is the Tokyo of today: popmusic and mass-media; Sony executives and Ginza call-girls; everybody, even grandma’s riding bicycle; Japanese teenagers working part-time at Disneyland or at the local Kentucky Fried Chicken. Murakami is a writer of the global era for the global era.

Today I will:
1) review some of Murakami’s early work, namely the short story entitled “The Dancing Dwarf”
2) introduce the methods of Jungian psychology, and…
comment briefly on The Wind-up Bird Chronicle and Murakami’s role in contemporary world literature.

The Dancing Dwarf: just a warning, “The Dancing Dwarf” (or odori kobito) is probably Murakami’s most fantastic story.

“The Dancing Dwarf” begins with the words:

A dwarf came into my dream and asked me to dance.I knew this was a dream, but I was just as tired in my dream as in real life at the time. So, very politely, I declined. The Dwarf was not offended but danced alone instead.

Old records are scattered around the room, and the dwarf performs a frenzied jig to the an odd musical assortment on a portable record playter: Glenn Miller, the Rolling Stones, and Great Selections for the Classical Guitar. The narrator insists that this is a dream. The dream ends and the narrator returns to what we assume is a normal, intelligible reality:

I washed my face with great care, shaved, put some bread in the toaster, and boiled water for coffee. I fed the cat, changed its litter, put on a necktie, and tied my shoes. Then I took a bus to the elephant factory.
The Elephant Factory? The sudden turnabout makes us pause in disbelief. Reality and dream have suddenly traded places, juxtaposed in magical confusion. Our nameless hero really does work at an “elephant factory” where living elephants are literally mass-produced through detailed industrial process:

We don’t make elephants from nothing, of course. Properly speaking, we reconstitute them. First we saw a single elephant into six distinct parts: ears trunk head abdomen, legs, and tail. These we then recombine to make five elephants, which means that each new elephant is in fact only one-fifth genuine and four fifths imitation. This is not obvious to the naked eye, nor is the elephant itself aware of it. We’re that good.


Let’s pause for a moment to discuss Murakami’s style. Three important considerations:

1) automatic writing – Murakami does not plan his stories in a traditional way; he writes things as they come. He describes writing as a very physical process, since writing this way is very difficult.
2) frame narrative – Murakami uses and abuses multi-linear storytelling techniques, by introducing newspaper clippings, stories the narrator hears second-hand, and, above all, dreams. Murakami creates several interweaving “rivers of narrative.”
3) Magical Realism – Murakami’s writing genre is called “magical realism,” the most famous example of which is Garcia Marquez. By Mixing a very realistic and detailed, everyday world with the magical, Murakami begins with a very believable story, and makes it impossibly absurd, or at times, sinister – a moment Freud calls the “Uncanny” or in Lacan, the Real.

A short summary: the dancing dwarf appears to the narrator in a dream. Somehow the young man’s dream coincides with reality. The narrator becomes interested with a mysterous new girl at the factory, and he goes to ask her out. She will only give him a date, if, coincidentally, he can impress her with his dancing. The dwarf appears to him in one more dream. He offers a bargain, “I’ll make you a deal. If I enter your body, you’ll become the best dancer in the world. That way you’ll be able to seduce her, or anyone for that matter. But whatever you do, you can’t say a word. If you do, then your body is mine, forever.” The young man agrees to the bargain. He goes to the dance hall and is finally able to impress the new girl. The whole time, he manages to get by without saying as much as a word. The story ends, and I won’t say how exactly, with the image of the new girls’ corpes, decomposed and covered with maggots. The narrator magically brings her back to life.

The Jungian method in literature, based in the theories of psychologist Carl Jung, is a mostly synchronic, comparative technique that uses motifs from world mythology. These lietmotifs are called archetypes, or “eternal symbols.” Archetypes are related to the unconscious and, more specifically, a theory of the mind called the collective unconsious. By treating the story as if it were a dream, we raise the elements to the same plane of time and examine the structural interactions, disregarding the elements’ chronological place in the narrative.

I my paper, I compare “The Dancing Dwarf” to two ancient Japanese stories, the fairytale called “Urashima Taro” and the story of Izanami and Izanagi from the Japanese creation myth. The legend of Izanami and Izanagi is from the Kojiki, the Japanese “record of ancient matters.”

Izanagi and Izanami are the first parents in Japanese myth. The goddess Izanami gives birth to everything in the world. Finally, by giving birth to fire, she is burned and dies. Her husband, Izanagi, laments and visits the underworld to find his dead wife. She asks him to wait, saying “Whatever you do, don’t look at me.” It is completely dark, so he can see nothing. However, the god cannot wait any longer and makes a fire. He sees his wife in a terrible state of disintegration; maggots are squirming and roaring on the corpse. Hereupon he is awestruck and flees. The goddess says, “He has shamed me!” and pursues him with the hags of the underworld.

The legend is related to the Sumerian myth of Ishtar and the Greek myth of Orpheus.

Returning to the “The Dancing Dwarf:” The plot is essentially driven forward by a simultaneous, dialectical conflict with the narrator’s shadow alter-ego, the dwarf, and with the femine Other. As in the tale of Urashima, the hero must leave his everyday world to meet with the mysterious female. The common motif is the motif of two parallel worlds: the underworld or the nighttime world of dream and the unconsious, and the daytime world of everyday life. In most ways, we can consider “The Dancing Dwarf,” structurally, as a microcosm of Murakami’s major works. Because of its mythological structure, and since, like much of Murakami’s fiction, it parodies or inverses the logic of modern concepts such as linear time, the division between wakefulness and dream, and industrial mass-production - I call “The Dancing Dwarf” a “postmodern fairytale.”

When using the Jungian method in my research, a couple of difficulties surfaced.

1) How can a symbol both universal and particular at the same time, that is, archetypal and have a specific function in Japanese literature?
2) In reference to Murakami, what is it about the unconsious that makes it so

With those questions in mind, we turn to The Wind-up Bird Chronicle. Like most of Murakami’s long fiction, the story centers on a middle-aged Tokyo man who works at a boring dead-end job, and who suddenly wanders into an absolutely strange world outside of his own. The book is Murakami’s most ambitious work, combining several epic rivers of narrative. I follow a scholar named Matthew Stretcher in summarizing these various rivers into 3 simultaneous narratives:

1. A protagonist named Toru in search of his lost wife, Kumiko
2. A mother and son team, named “Nutmeg” and “Cinnimon,” who run a clinic for alternative healing
3. the historical chronicle of wartime Japan – events leading up to the World War.

Like the other stories, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle operates on the principle of ego and alter-ego. For example, I make the argument that all the main female characters may actually be the same woman, Kumiko, reincarnated if you will, behind a carnival of doppelganger masque. In order to find Kumiko, Toru navigates these various doppelganger personalities including one of his own, in what resembles an archetypal quest: like that of Orpheus or as in our Japanese myth of Izanagi.

Today, I’m mostly concerned with the connection between the stories in modern-day Tokyo and the accounts of the Japanese occupation of China during the Sino-Japanese War. A passage from Narrative 3:

[long quotation involving Japanese soldiers stationed at a Zoo. They have to “liquidate” some tigers, much like later, they have to execute some Chinese students.]

3 narratives, covering 2 distinct historical periods, united by one image: the image of the well, a tunnel into the unconsious. What makes the unconscious so collective in the Wind-up Bird Chronicle is this memory of history and violence that each of us, Japanese or otherwise, must come to face.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Net Radio

Soma FM: currently my favorite radio station . Lot's of good ambient, good variety. Definitely thumbs up. Try "Cliquehop" and "Beat Blender."
(the bit-rate on campus usually sucks, but it's worth a try, I promise. You can access Soma on iTunes as well.)

Radio Io: one of the more consistent radio stations. good selections of imports - give it a try. (the commercials are bad ... just turn down the dial)

ioBeat - house music, ambient, etc. (usually better at night)

ioEdge - also very good. indie rock, new music, etc.

Any recommendations?

Album Covers, Satire, Trans-Pacific Dissonance

More at Kozyndan dot com

Film 101: the Cinema is a Black Mass

Some poison-enveloped candy, via literary critic Walter Benjamin,

"Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction:"

Thanks to the camera, therefore, the individual perceptions of the psychotic or the dreamer can be appropriated by collective perception. The ancient truth expressed by Heraclitus, that those who awake have a world in common while each sleeper has a world of his own has been invalidated by film – and less by depicting the dream world itself than by creating figures of collective dream such as the globe-encircling Mickey Mouse.

The representation of human beings by means of an apparatus has made possible a highly productive use of the human being’s self-alienation … Not only does the cult of the movie star which it fosters preserve that magic of the personality which has long been no more than the putrid magic of its own commodity character, but its counterpart, the cult of the audience, reinforces the corruption by which fascism is seeking to supplant the class consciousness of the masses.

All this in order to distort and corrupt the original and justified interest of the masses in film – an interest in understanding themselves and therefore their class. Thus, the same is true of film capital in particular as of fascism in general: a compelling urge toward new social opportunities is being clandestinely exploited in the interests of a property-owning minority.

Working on my Modern Art final as well as my Aesthetics paper, Benjamin and Deleuze in-hand. Seriously though, Benjamin is an incredibly lucid thinker - beautiful and dead-on-target with his assessments of politics, art, and the commercial age. He died in 1940 - and he achieved so much. I'm amazed.

Max Ernst

(Click that last thumbnail)

Georges Bataille on Max Ernst:

What is the foundation of the turbulent and violent world of Max Ernst if no the catastrophic substitution of a game, of an end in itself, for the laborious work with a view to a desired result? The serious philosopher conceives philosophy as a laborious activity and in so doing he imitates carpenters and locksmiths ... He constructs his philosophical furniture, a well-oiled philosophy responding as a lock does to the key made for it. The person who recognizes the powerlessness of work, on the contrary is dazzled and fascinated by the play which serves no purpose.

If he announces, if he calls for, the death of philosophy, the philosopher who plays sees in him a brother, Max Ernst. Next to this friend he accepts being swallowed up in this collapse of the real, in which death, half-glimpsed, compellingly represents the decisive move, in which the world, as it ceases to exist, falls apart; where thought is only the measureless applause given to the death of thought.

Sunday, April 09, 2006


On of my favorite Faulkner moments - the prisoner, stalking for alligators (the Cajun with him) lost in forgotten Mississippi-Louisiana swamp, somewhere in the flood-sunken abyss below Vicksburg. From If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem [The Wild Palms]:

Doubtless he did not know himself how it happened, what was happening. But he doubtless remembered it (but quietly above the thick) rich-colored pristine cigar in his clean steady hand) what he knew, divined of it. It would be evening, the ninth evening, he and the woman on either side of their host's empty place at the evening meal, hearing the voices from without but no ceasing to eat, still chewing steadily, because it would be the same as though he were seeing them anyway - the two or three or four pirogues floating on the dark water beneath the platform on which the host stood, the voices gobbling and jabbering, incomprehensible and filled not with alarm and not exactly with rage or even perhaps absolute surprise but rather just cacophony like those of disturbed fowl, he (the convict) not ceasing to chew but just looking up quietly and maybe without a great deal of interrogation or surprise too as the Cajun burst in and stood before them, wild-faced, glaring his blackened teeth gaped against the the inky orifice of his distended mouth, watching (the convict) while the Cajun went through his violent pantomime of violent evacuation, ejection, scooping something invisible into his arms and hurling it out and downward and in the instant of completing the gesture changing from instigator to victim of that which he had set into pantomimic motion, clasping his head and, bowed over and not otherwise moving, seeming to be swept on and away before it, braying "Boom! Boom! Boom!", the convict watching him, his jaw not chewing now, though for just that moment, What? What is it he is trying to tell me? thinking (this a flash too, since he could not have expressed this, and hence did not even know that he had ever thought it) that though his life had been cast here, circumscribed by this environment, accepted by this environment and accepting it in turn (and he had done well here - this quietly, soberly indeed, if he had been able to phrase it, think of it instead of merely knowing it - better than he had ever done, who had not even known until now how good work, making money, could be) yet it was not his life, he still and could ever be no more than the water bug upon the surface of the pond, the blumbless and lurking depths of which he would never know, his only contact with it being the instants when on lonely and glaring mudspits under the pitiless sun amphitheatred by his motionless and rivetted semicircle of watching pirogues, he accepted the gambit which he had not elected, entered the lashing radius of the armed tail and beat at the thrashing and hissing head with his lightwood club, or this failing, embraced without hesitation the armored body itself with the frail web of flesh and bone in which he walked and lived and sought the raging life with an eight-inch knife-blade.

One paragraph: three sentences. Also, Faulkner never actually uses the word 'alligator.'

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Gravity's Rainbow - have copy. Prose like ribbons of Stygian glee, riddled with machine gun fire. The magazine drops, metallic echoes of warfare: the Art of angels.

A: There is no more class.
Q: What about reading?
A: No, none of that. Save what pleases.
Q: Thesis?
A: You know what to do.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Roland Barthes: Operation Margarine?

Since myth is a type of speech, everything can be a myth provided it is conveyed by a discourse. Everything can be a myth? Yes, I believe this, for the universe is infinitely fertile in suggestions.

Einstein's brain is a mythical object. Paradoxically, the more the genius of the man was materialized under the guise of his brain, the more the product of his inventiveness came to acquire a magical dimension, and gave a new incarnation to the old esoteric image of a science entirely contained in a few letters: E=mc2. There is a single secret to the world, and this secret is held in one word; the universe is a safe of which humanity seeks the combination: Einstein almost found it, this is the myth of Einstein. In it, we find all the Gnostic themes: the unity of nature, the ideal possibility of a fundamental reduction of the world, the unfastening power of the word, the age-old struggle between a secret and an utterance, the idea that total knowledge can only be discovered all at once, like a lock which suddenly opens after a thousand unsuccessful attempts.

Actually, like all resilient totems, wine supports a varied mythology which does not trouble about contradictions. This galvanic substance is always considered, for instance as the most efficient of thirst-quenchers, or at least this serves as the major alibi for its consumption ('It's thirsty weather'). In its red form, it has blood, the dense and vital fluid, as a very old hypo-stasis. This is because in fact its humoral form matters little; it is above all a converting substance, capable of reversing situations and states, and of extracting from objects their opposites - for instance, making a weak man strong or a silent one talkative. Hence its old alchemical heredity, its philosophical power to transmute and create ex nihilo.

Myth is a language that does not want to die: it wrests from the meanings which give it its sustenance an insidious, degraded survival, it provokes in them an artificial reprieve in which it settles comfortably, it turns them into speaking corpses.

Modern poetry always asserts itself as a murder of language, a kind of spatial, tangible analogue of silence. Poetry occupies a position which is the reverse of that of myth: myth is a semiological system which has the pretension of transcending itself into a factual system.

Statistically, myth is on the right … The oppressed is nothing, he has only one language, that of his emancipation; the oppressor is everything, his language is rich, multiform, supple, with all the possible degrees of dignity at its disposal: he has an exclusive right to meta-language.

Also, one very cool Barthes-ism:
“Operation Magarine” - the mystifying device by which political systems inoculate the public with “a touch of evil.” The people are relieved of the system’s greater evils by distraction via the admittance of a lesser evil. For example, perhaps the contemporary debate over stem cell research is a type of ‘operation margarine’: it distracts the public from the real evils of the medical establishment - the all consuming money-bureaucracy that robs control from doctors as well as patients, who are now considered “health consumers” rather than real human beings.

Friday, March 31, 2006


Kennesaw State University fucked me over. They moved the time-slot for my paper, and now I can't even go to the conference. Anyways, I posted my introduction below - and here is another cut-out:

Write with blood: and you will experience that blood is spirit … I hate reading idlers … Another century of readers and the spirit itself will stink.
- the advise of a writer who had already begun to read behind and in-between the lines etched into the history of philosophy, who had the courage and wisdom to radically assert that
The extraordinary courage and wisdom of Kant … has won the most difficult victory, that over the optimistic foundation of logic, which form the underpinnings of our culture.
Kant, we ask? The optimistic champion of logic overturned the foundations of logic? In all seriousness, Nietzsche suggests that the project of reason a priori, pursued to its limit as in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Critiques, reinforces the limit of intelligibility. As reason attempts to cross the boundary of this limitation, attempting a discursive theory-of-everything – reason crosses itself.

But science, spurred by its powerful illusion, speeds incessantly toward its limits where its optimism concealed in the essence of logic runs aground. Socratic man comes to gaze into the illuminable ... When he sees here to his horror how logic coils up at these limits and finally bites its own tail.

The cosmic symbolism of music resists any adequate treatment by language, for the simple reason that music, in referring to primordial contradiction and pain, symbolizes a sphere which is both earlier than appearance and beyond it.

We all talk about poetry so abstractly because we are all bad poets. At bottom the aesthetic phenomenon is quite simple: all one needs in order to be a poet is the ability to have a lively action going on begore one continually, to live surrounded by hosts of spirits. To be a dramatist one all one needs is the urge to transform one-self and speak out of strange bodies and souls.

cut my losses

Both the Apollinian and the Dionysian are marked as crossings that move beyond the everyday: to the world of beautiful images over which Apollo presides; or to the self-oblivion of the ecstatic state, as in the descent to Hades, as in crossing, in that direction, the river of Lethe.
-John Sallis, in reference to The Birth of Tragedy

Lethe, the river of forgetting, delineated the ancient boundary between the world of the dead and the world of the living. In fact – fictively speaking – Hades was surrounded by a number of rivers, one of which, the River Styx, famously encircled it nine times over. Lethe was the point of non-crossing, a limit, yet it was also the point of crossing – in short, it was the site a double-going – on both sides of which stand shades, specters, and phantoms.

Aletheia, incidentally, was the Greek word for “truth” – a-lethe-ia: “an un-forgetting.” Heidegger describes aletheia as an “unconcealment.” Truth is the process by which objects appear to us, for in revealing themselves from the concealment of undifferentiated phenomena, appearance-as-such appears in the objects’ revelation.

“Revelation,” a word spoken with its mystical connotation in-tact, is appropriate. By anology we can appropriate Godamer’s aesthetic concept of in-sight: “In order to understand our experience of art, we are tempted to search the depths of mystical language for daring new words like the German Anbild [ in-sight ] – an expression that captures both the image and the viewing of it." One is surprised at the extent to which perception – or an idea of visual re-presentation carried to its mythological extreme – invades every system of communication.

Phantom: from Greek, “to make visible”
Specter: from Latin, “to appear”
Shade: from Old English, “a disembodied spirit; a ghost”
– and in Modern English –
Shade: verb, “to produce gradations of light or color, as in painting”
Shadow: noun, “one who follows, especially in secret” – the assassin has arrived. Already we can hear the echoing footfalls of the double-goer.
Dionysos vs. the Crucified ... (the ellipses mark the struggle about to begin)

Monday, March 27, 2006

the MoMA

I saw a lot of art in NYC. It was wonderful. After so many museums, though, I feel more and more sensitive to the dishonesty of museums.

Two radical thoughts:
1) The museum space is sterile and elitist; it is artificially separated from the real, living world.
2) The movements following art of the 1950's point increasingly towards the death of elitism -- Enter urban graffiti, comic books, collage, and pop art.

Anyways, some new favorites:

Klimt's landscapes - very underrated. must be seen in person.

Kandinsky's early work - a richness totally inspired by Russian fairytales. part of the Symbolist movement.

More Magritte - just call me "Gramaphone Assassin"

Early Cubism - the quality of works by Picasso and Braque is unparalleled. they worked side-by-side, playing off of each other. sometimes they purposely mixed up their paintings to throw people off.

Graffiti artist turned abstract painter - Basquiat.

David Wojnarowicz - absolutely badass. painter / film director. died of AIDS in 1992.

Left: a dream image. novelist Yukio Mishima's face appears at bottom.

... more Wojnarowicz

... and yes, that is a tail-devourer.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


When a man buries a pole in the sand,
he automatically creates a sundial and begins to mark time.
To begin marking time is to begin creating a culture.

In the beginning there was Void. The world was cloaked in boundless oceanic darkness penetrated only by the glowing din of scattered, innumerable and unnamed nebulae. Islands of gleaming, radiant antiquity. A wordless, untested rorschach of hoary archaic night.

The first map was not at all of-this-world. The blasphemy of astrological cartography was the invisible connect-the-dot graffiti etched into the otherwise capricious nebulae. Before there were no codices and tomes of charts and tables - no statistical graph-iti - inquiring into the 'reason' of the heavens. The first map was a contract written in blood. What 'real' terrain could astrology claim? To draw the heavens was to inaugrate the extraterrestrial despotism of the stars over the earth.

The philosopher-priest sat watching the shadow of the gnomon, the man-made phallus emerging from the adobe floor. Astronomy existed for centuries, before sundials, through the artifices of this simple device. It was only a stick. But the astrologer, his robes caked with the months of dust, watched the stick with the patience of an ascetic before his god. The span and ebb of the equinox was indicated, prophetically, in the signs and language of shadows. Pythagoras the Magician wanted more.

Gnomon - the "indicator." The signifier.

Babel, Eiffel, the Collosus - all were predestined in the chronomancer's first, archetypal erection. It was a phallus to measure against nature. Men could only ride the bull when they made-believe its testicals were smaller than theirs'.

Already the dramatis personae had appeared. Chronos, Mars, the Pleides - Time, War, and the Seven Sisters. The zodiacal signs weaved the first and eternal narratives in their luminous procreation. Constellations of meaning. Movements of negotiation, struggle - erotic and violent: necessity and purpose spelled with finality in the frost of stellar opalescence. The constellations decided the destiny and doom of every man, woman, and child. The golden threads of necessity were already bound before the first babe cried its dissent.
Why, why, oh why have I been born into a life that has already begun to end?

The heavens return no reply, for their law has already spoken. In dreams we can still the whispering of the daimon, the muse, the alien will of extraterrestrial Idea. The cosmos was a despotism; it was never a democracy.

Then there emerged those heroic ones, the archetypes of anarchy, taking up arms in the gigantomachal war against heaven. Gilgamesh the master of slaves. Pythagoras the magician. Gilgamesh conquered others. Pythagoras conquered himself. And then... there came Socrates, the fateful slayer of magic.

Pythagoras the Ionian trekked to seek the wisdom of all the wizards of antiquity. The hermits-arcane who chose not the wars of men, taking up instead the greater gigantomachy of the stars. He culled their secrets and added them to his own giodesic thaumaturgy of number, sphere, and line: Egyptian necromancy. Persian polito-theurgy. The ecstatic theophanies of the Cretan priestess. He even visited the barbarian shamans of the cold North, learning the indescipherable babble of their runic incantations. It was the age when all of the arts and sciences were considered magic.

Who knows what would have transpired if he had consulted the occult alchemy of the Taoist geomancers. History never recorded the handshake between Pythagoras and the old sage, Lao Tze. Pythagoras extended his hand in partnership. But who would have understood the meaning of this Occidental salute? Lao Tze could only smile and bow in silence. The signs were confused; the distance between the two men grew with the bowing. The East, the true Orient, receded infitely away from Pythagoras' salutory grasp.

The war between Europe and Asia had already begun with the kidnapping of Io, the woman who gave Ionia its name. The children of Gilgamesh had already taken up arms against the children of Herakles. Gemini smiled over the battle between twins. Pythagoras, a true son of Io, would have nothing of it.

Rumors circulated the ancient world: they said that the coffin lids of the pharoahs, the sarcophogae of the skeleton-kings locked away in their cyclopean palace-crypts, were inscripted with maps sufficient for navigating the ways and by-ways of intergalactic currents. Celestial code maps - the secret of magical interstellar travel beyond - transcribed from the last whisperings of cold dying lips. Schematics for dragonboats seaworthy enough for the primordial ocean of night, the "River of Heaven." Just as one could sail the Mediterranean in life, Pythagoras heard, one could sail the Milky Way in death and in mystical un-death.

Pythagoras wondered to himself, pondering the secrets lurking behind the black mirror of the sky ocean...

Friday, March 17, 2006

Sky and Castle

Ben, three paintings by René Magritte:

Castle in the Pyrenees

("Magical Realism")

The False Mirror

(Puts a new spin on "in the eye of the beholder." More like: "In the eye of the beholder beholding this painting beholding you." Or: "In the eye, and only in the eye, beholding-as-such is manifest.

Or yet again: "In the eye of the beholder as it reads 'in the eye of the beholder' typed across the computer screen.)

The Red Model

One of the most impressive Magritte images ever, period. (followed by a period . )

We can re-name it "Shoeless" if we want. Magritte wouldn't care -- Dead men tell no lies. Living ones do.

Magritte was part of the Surrealist movement, but his style has been recently called "magical realism" in order to distinguish his quiet style from the psychedelic movement of Dali. And it's a good call too. Magical realism is a genre that crosses between painting and literature, and given Freudian ideas about the Uncanny, I'd definitely group Magritte into magical realism.

Here's an essay by Fredric Jameson that mentions Magritte, Pynchon, and even Burroughs. I heard him speak at UGA last month. He's a chubby, sweaty scholarly-type that mumbles a lot, but he's definitely brilliant. The talk was basically a narratology and a Post-colonial critique of Aristotle, the Illiad and Odyssey, Livy, Marx, and others.