Reading 7/16

Entering the filthy subterranean lair of Georges Bataille… It would be impossible to even attempt a summary of the astonishing breadth of his thought in a week, so these readings will broadly look at his idea of heterology, with a dappling of base materialism.

For next week, from the volume Visions of Excess: Selected Writings 1927-39, let’s look at “The Pineal Eye”, “The Use Value of D.A.F. de Sade (An Open Letter to My Current Comrades)”, and “The Psychological Structure of Fascism”.

If this feels like a bit much to digest (possible given the elliptical nature of Bataille’s writing), focus on the latter two pieces, as I suspect they are where our discussion will center. “The Pineal Eye” is a remarkable piece of writing though — and not very long either – so try and hit it as it’s one of his seminal texts.

See you all next week for this ritual of self-degradation and abasement!

Reading for 7/9

This week we’re reading a few pieces by Renzo Novatore. We’ll be discussing “Toward the Creative Nothing”, “My Iconoclastic Individualism”, and “I Am Also a Nihilist”, all of which can be found in this collection.

Reading for 7/2

Next time we’re checking out a section of Elias Canetti’s Crowds and Power. The reading is the chapter titled “The Command”, beginning on p. 303.

Reading for 6/25

Next week we’re asking ourselves: Is consciousness a maladaptation? We’ll begin with Peter Wessel Zapffe’s The Last Messiah, which you can also listen to a reading of here if you like. Then we’ll take a look at part of Thomas Ligotti’s book setting out from Zapffe’s thesis, The Conspiracy Against the Human Race. The section “Who Goes There?” (pp. 85-119) is all we’ll be discussing but the whole book is worth reading, so I’m including it in its entirety.

Reading for 6/18

Next time we’re discussing a classic of poststructuralist feminism: The Laugh of the Medusa by Helene Cixous. Be there.

My caustic gaze and voluptuous ass
turn patriarchs to stone and make outlaws swoon
While Jacques Lacan, that fascist goon
rots in his tomb under blood-glutted grass

Poets and artists are all full of shit
cops, gods, and judges — drown in my spit!

Reading for 6/11

Next time we’re taking a look at William S. Burroughs’ essay “The Limits of Control” and Deleuze’s response, “Postscript on the Societies of Control”.

Reading for 6/4

Join us next week as we wander from Artaud toward Deleuze & Guattari’s discussion of his ideas in A Thousand Plateaus. We’ll mainly be discussing the chapter “November 28, 1947: How Do You Make Yourself a Body Without Organs?” — pg. 149 in the edition found HERE. Gluttons for punishment might also read through the later chapter “1227: Treatise on Nomadology — The War Machine”, which is quite lengthy but also quite relevant to anarchists – or so we are told by those in the know.

D&G’s writing can sometimes be bewildering. In order to get the most out of this book, it is suggested that you try not to get too hung up on their idiosyncratic argot or searching for readily-intelligible theses and instead allow the language to transport you while remaining aware of the ideas and impressions it evokes. But for those of us who are hopelessly strung out on hermeneutics, this critical introduction to the text provides glosses of each section which may prove helpful. You’re also encouraged to check out the youtube series “Deleuze for the Desperate”, which explores many of the important concepts deployed in Capitalism & Schizophrenia (the two volume project comprising A Thousand Plateaus and Anti-Oedipus).

Remember our reading of Barthes from a while back and, instead of privileging authorial intent, make the book your own!

“To confront the metaphysics I have created for myself, in accordance with the void I carry within me.”

Let’s get relational!

Reading for 5/28

Both of next week’s readings are from the incomparable psyche of Antonin Artaud.

First, the radio play “To Have Done with the Judgment of God”, one of his final works and also one of his most famous. You cannot get the full effect of this piece by simply reading the text, so listen HERE and if you’re interested in reading along (albeit from a slightly different translation), you can reference THIS excellent collection of late Artaud works.

In addition, his essay Van Gogh: The Man Suicided By Society.

And they have pushed me over
into death
where I ceaselessly eat
cock
anus
and caca
at all my meals
all those of THE CROSS.

Reading for 5/21

Alright negators, next week we reach the conclusion of Thomas Disch’s Camp Concentration. We’re picking up where we left off with section 51 (pg. 153 in the paperback with the skinhead on the cover/pg. 74 in the pdf linked below) through the end. You can download the book HERE.

Next week we will also hopefully have some more concrete info regarding the first presentation in the BASTARD monthly series kicking off in June. So if you’re down to help organize it, BE THERE!

Finally, a big congratulations to Lew and a warm welcome to Bradley!

Reading for 5/14

Revisiting an familiar classic: Alejandro’s Its core is the negation

Plus, more BASTARD 2019 news. Hope to see you there!

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