An interview with D. Harlan Wilson on They Live (Cultographies), postmodernism and paranoia, and Battle Without Honor or Humanity: Volume 1

Bill Ectric:

Here’s an interview with D. Harlan Wilson…

Originally posted on Muzzleland Press:

D. Harlan Wilson is the editor-in-chief of Anti-Oedipus Press, the managing editor of Guide Dog Books, and the author of numerous books, fiction and nonfiction alike, including They Live (Cultographies), Primordial An Abstraction, Hitler: The Terminal Biography, They Had Goat Heads, and many, many more. He is also a literary critic and a professor of English and Chair of the Humanities at Wright State University-Lake Campus. You can find out more by visiting his website.

With the recent passing of “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, They Live is receiving more attention as a classic in paranoid science fiction 80s filmmaking. As someone who spent a lot of time analyzing the film, how do you see its messages and methods as relevant today?

7_373321They Live is very much about the culture of the 1980s—especially the Cold War, Reaganism, and the primacy of consumer-capitalist media. It’s by far Carpenter’s most political film. It…

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Wild Imagination

Wuthering Heights

Cambridge man Mike Dash, writing at A Fortean in the Archives, reflects on the weird imagination that informed Emily Brontë’s classic novel Wuthering Heights. Here’s an excerpt from the blog:

More than a quarter of a century has passed since a couple of psychologists named Theodore X. Barber and Sheryl Wilson first published their important study into the central role that a percipient’s fantasy life plays in the nature, frequency and detail of the paranormal claims they make… I was particularly interested to discover the other day just how closely one of the most notable figures in nineteenth century English literature fits the model of the fantasy-prone personality. Emily Brontë, as is well known, was one of three literary sisters, living with their father in a Yorkshire parsonage in the first half of the nineteenth century. The eldest of the three, Charlotte Brontë, produced Jane Eyre (and three other inferior novels); the youngest, Anne, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Emily, the middle daughter, of course became famous as the author of Wuthering Heights, by common consent one of the most powerfully imaginative and original works of fiction in the English language.

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Emanations 5

Emanations 2 + 2 = 5

Carter Kaplan has announced that, “Emanations: 2 + 2 = 5 is now in the final stages of production,” saying:

Here is a glimpse of the cover art by Ruud Antonius, taken from his painting The Fourth Plinth  (oil on panel, 100 x 80 cm).
Mr. Antonius is a Dutch painter who lives in the United Kingdom.  He has a large following in Europe where in the world of fine art surrealism enjoys greater support than it does in Britain and the United States.  Please click HERE to visit Mr. Antonius’s web site.

Here is the tentative table of contents:

Tales

ROBERT MEADLEY
Meeting Dr. Malthusian
C.E. MATTHEWS
In the Spirit of Enterprise
MICHAEL BUTTERWORTH
Hey, Mr. Pressman
GENEVIÈVE LAVERGNE
That Needlework
GARETH JACKSON
Numad
TESSA B. DICK
Seasons
JEFFREY FALLA
The Sword and the Tiger
TANTRA BENSKO
Catnip Pinata
RUUD ANTONIUS
J. P. Holmes, Junior
PARAMITA DUTTA
The First Time
AZIZ MUSTAFA
I was Latching on the Moon
NEHA SINHA
The Old Lady and the Sea
PHILIP MURRAY-LAWSON
Good Deed Day
MARLEEN BARR
Bedbugwoman
D. HARLAN WILSON
Dithyrambia
ANDREW DARLINGTON
My Little Black Egg
ELKIE RICHES
Most Women do not Creep by Daylight
SUSHMA JOSHI
The Zia Motel
JIM MATTHEWS
An Interview with Archibald Mansions
BILL ECTRIC
Doctor Waxwing’s Hotel of Rooms
MICHAEL G. CHIVERS
The Squalling Terror
CARTER KAPLAN
Cold Echoes (part III)
HORACE JEFFERY HODGES
The Uncanny Story

Verse
(in progress)

Themes

MARIELLE RISSE
Becoming the Buddhist Queen Elizabeth
HOLLY BAUMGARTNER
Eastern Promise
VITASTA RAINA
Writing Un-writing: A Theory of Time

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Remembering the Midnight Monster Shows

Spook Show at the Orpheum

At Paleofuture, Matt Novak has a good essay on the “spook shows” of the 1940s, 50s, & 60s. We had a couple of these in my home town when I was a kid. Of course, I was always there in the thick of it.

Midnight ghost shows (sometimes called “spook,” “voodoo,” or “monster” shows) promised a night of creepy and playful stunts. There were glowing ghosts, floating objects, psychic readings and dozens of other illusions, all playing off the nation’s interest in spiritualism between the two World Wars.

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Analogue Recording and Hauntology

accda-omega4

From Celluloid Wicker Man, here is Adam Scovell writes “There seems to be an overt connection between analogue recording technology (of both the visual and aural varieties) and the narratives surrounding paranormal activity in 1970s British fantasy television.” He goes on to say:

Of course, there are no doubt connections between the interest in such activity (with the genuine events surrounding the Enfield Haunting for example, recently made into a drama on Sky) and the technological means of the period with which people thought they could capture such activities but, in hindsight, the relationship goes far deeper than mere necessity.  Instead, a better and more interesting way to view this technology is through the aesthetics of physical electronics and how the presence of such material in attempts to find paranormal activity in fictional narratives finds a natural link with reel-to-reel recording equipment, motion sensitive flash-bulb cameras, oscilloscopes and endlessly huge thermo gauges.

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Didion on Burroughs

TheSoftMachine

1966 is calling.

At a site called The Beat Patrol, I found a good review by Joan Didion, an author I really like, on William S. Burroughs, another author I really like. Originally published in 1966 in Bookweek, NOT the modern Book Week for children’s books), it begins:

There sometimes seems a peculiar irrelevance about what is claimed for William S. Burroughs, both by those who admire him and those who do not; the insistent amorphousness of his books encourages the reader to take from them pretty much exactly what he brought to them. Burroughs has been read as a pamphleteer for narcotics reform. He has been read as a parabolist of the highest order. He has been read as a pornographer and he has been read as a prophet of the apocalypse. The Naked Lunch I read first on a beach in the Caribbean and the Naked Lunch I reread a few weeks ago in a hospital in Santa Monica, the book I read once when I was unhappy and again when I was not, did not seem in any sense the same book; to anyone who finds Burroughs readable at all, he is remarkably rereadable, if only because he is remarkably unmemorable. There are no “stories” to wear thin, no “characters” of whom one might tire. We are presented only with the fragmented record of certain fantasies, and our response to that record depends a good deal upon our own fantasies at the moment; in itself, a book by William Burroughs has about as much intrinsic “meaning” as the actual inkblot in a Rorschach test.

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30 Years of Future: Essential Cyberpunk

iO9cyberPic

Via iO9, Diana Biller writes:

It’s now been over three decades since cyberpunk first exploded, and in that time we’ve seen gorgeous movies, read fascinating books, and seen dozens of offshoots like steampunk (and my new favorite, deco punk) develop. Here are the 21 cyberpunk books you absolutely must read.

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