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Showing posts from May, 2017

Wladimir Velminski wafts us to the wilder shores of Soviet experimentation: cybernetics and telepathy research aimed at controlling society by 'implanting' thoughts. The pseudoscience is extreme

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Wladimir Velminski, Homo Sovieticus: Brain Waves, Mind Control, and Telepathic Destiny, Trans. by Erik Butler,MIT, 2017

In October 1989, as the Cold War was ending and the Berlin Wall about to crumble, television viewers in the Soviet Union tuned in to the first of a series of unusual broadcasts. “Relax, let your thoughts wander free . . .” intoned the host, the physician and clinical psychotherapist Anatoly Mikhailovich Kashpirovsky. Moscow’s Channel One was attempting mass hypnosis over television, a therapeutic session aimed at reassuring citizens panicked over the ongoing political upheaval—and aimed at taking control of their responses to it. Incredibly enough, this last-ditch effort to rally the citizenry was the culmination of decades of official telepathic research, cybernetic simulations, and coded messages undertaken to reinforce ideological conformity. In Homo Sovieticus, the art and media scholar Wladimir Velminski explores these scientific and pseudoscientific efforts at …

Sophie Seita is one of a handful of brilliant ‘new’ poets and performance-enhancers who are changing and will continue to change how we receive and resist the ‘limits’ of poetic form and performative spatiality. She creates texts that are investigative and synaesthetic

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Sophie Seita, Meat, Little Red Leaves, 2015.


excerpt from Meat





In Sophie Seita’s Meat, the witty rigors of the dainty butcher and are butchered (the product of femininity both cleaver and carcass seemingly destined to be sectioned into retail-ready portions). In the racialized and gendered economy of our atmospherically fractured colonial violence, you get you a piece of meat so sweet. Or not. Seita folds us in through the discourses we’ve been eaten by." - Laura Elrick




“How do you translate the sound of a slaughtered animal screaming? What can you say in response to it? It’s in the gory domain of questions like those that Sophie Seita’s remarkable MEAT arrives. By addressing itself to whatever is forbidden the justice of response, MEAT is a long song of the double wound of victimhood—an originary violence followed by the structurally denied ability to speak of one’s being wronged. With Seita’s intelligence, incredible ear, and engaged life as a reader, she distributes her sourc…

Shirley Hazzard - 'And a sudden stripe of light split earth from sky.' Reading Hazzard is like walking in an enchanted garden. Her mastery and control are such that every leaf and petal, every path and pond, every vista is both exquisite and perilous

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Shirley Hazzard, The Transit of Venus, 1980.


The masterpiece of Shirley Hazzard (1931-2016), The Transit of Venus won the National Book Critic's Circle Award and was a finalist for the National Book AwardThe Transit of Venus is considered Shirley Hazzard's most brilliant novel. It tells the story of two orphan sisters, Caroline and Grace Bell, as they leave Australia to start a new life in post-war England. What happens to these young women--seduction and abandonment, marriage and widowhood, love and betrayal--becomes as moving and wonderful and yet as predestined as the transits of the planets themselves. Gorgeously written and intricately constructed, Hazzard's novel is a story of place: Sydney, London, New York, Stockholm; of time: from the fifties to the eighties; and above all, of women and men in their passage through the displacements and absurdities of modern life.


Matthew Specktor: Shirley Hazzard, 1931–2016




Nothing gave me as much happiness as Shirley Hazzard’s “T…