Reading 7/22 – Hobbes Leviation

This week we are readin all of chapters 13 & 17 of Hobbes Leviathan. This reading is less than 10 pages in length, and contain the core of Hobbes’ arguement for monarchism.

Additionally we are reading the following paragraphs from chapters 11(¶1&2) 14(¶1-10,18) 15(¶1-5), as they contain some helpful context on his definitions and background assumptions about human nature (less than 9 pages). The rest of these chapters are still fun to read but Hobbes has a tendency to digress.

Here is a link to a pdf of the book.

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 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 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
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!