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Showing posts from January, 2018

Norman Levine, like no other writer, manages to convey, squarely, through this single, sad, common reaching out at strangers, the horrific fear scarred across the nervous system of the post-Munch, post-Bacon, human condition

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Norman Levine, I Don't Want to Know Anyone Too Well, Biblioasis 2017.


Norman Levine's stories, so spare and compassionate and elegant and funny, so touching, sad, fantastic and unforgettable, rank alongside the best published in this country. Celebrated abroad, his work was largely unknown in Canada, except among the generations of writers he influenced, from André Alexis and Cynthia Flood to Lisa Moore and Michael Winter, who passed his work among themselves and learned much of their craft from studying Levine's own. His work long out of print, his entire output of short stories are collected here together for the first time, to be discovered by a new generation of Canadian readers and writers.


Norman Levine was a permanent outsider, by temperament and by choice — as Polish born immigrant, as resident alien, as writer, as Jew — and he observed life from the margins with an unsentimental eye. Raised in Ottawa after immigrating, Levine served in the Royal Air Force during t…

Henri Roorda - "Joyful pessimism." In this baleful, little-known treatise, Roorda presents debt and boredom in a world of capital as “his reasons for going,” and he dissects these motivations with such astuteness that his anatomy of himself and his perceived failures becomes spellbinding

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Henri Roorda, My Suicide, Trans. by Eva Richter, Spurl, 2017. 45 pages, free e-book in PDF, EPUB, and MOBI (Kindle) formats: http://spurleditions.com/my-suicide
excerpt


Henri Roorda – a Swiss anarchist, math teacher, and columnist – shot himself in 1925, but left behind this essay, which examines his life and philosophy of “joyful pessimism.”
In this baleful, little-known treatise, Henri Roorda presents debt and boredom in a world of capital as “his reasons for going,” and he dissects these motivations with such astuteness that his anatomy of himself and his perceived failures becomes spellbinding. My Suicide is both melancholy and humorous, political and deeply personal – a meditation on unfulfilled desires and the “uselessness of old age.”


“For a long time I have promised myself that I would write a small book called Joyful Pessimism. This title pleases me. I like the sound it makes and it decently expresses what I would like to say.

“But I believe I have waited too long: I have aged…

Marjorie Worthington - Strange World follows two writers in their turbulent relationship and marriage. Seabrook, a renowned writer of the occult, and Worthington, a novelist and short story writer, find themselves caught in Seabrook’s sadist world and his alcoholic, destructive downward spiral. This intense memoir is also a self-reflecting piece on Worthington’s life while married to Seabrook

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Marjorie Worthington, The Strange World of Willie Seabrook, Spurl Editions,Spurl, 2017.
Excerpt on our blog / Excerpt on Berfrois


This is the somber, quietly stunning account of American author Marjorie Worthington’s life and relationship with William Seabrook.
A bestselling writer on the exotic and the occult, Seabrook was an extraordinary figure from the 1920s to the 1940s who traveled widely and introduced voodoo and the concept of the “zombie” to Americans in his book The Magic Island.
In 1966, years after his death from suicide, Worthington, a novelist and Seabrook’s second wife, cast her eye on their years living in France as lost-generation expatriates; their time traveling in the Sahara desert (where Seabrook researched his book The White Monk of Timbuctoo); their friendships with Aldous Huxley, Gertrude Stein, and Michel Leiris; and the gradual erosion of their relationship.
Worthington was with Seabrook in France and later New York when his life became consumed by alcohol, an…

Count Eric Stanislaus Stenbock - the most outrageous poet you’ve (probably) never heard of. Described by Yeats as a “scholar, connoisseur, drunkard, poet, pervert, most charming of men,” Stenbock is surely the greatest exemplar of the Decadent movement of the late nineteenth century

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Count Eric Stanislaus Stenbock, Strange Tales and Decadent Poems, Ed. by David Tibet, with an afterword by Tim d'Arch Smith,Strange Attractor, 2018.


Described by W. B. Yeats as a “scholar, connoisseur, drunkard, poet, pervert, most charming of men,” Count Stanislaus Eric Stenbock (1860–1895) is surely the greatest exemplar of the Decadent movement of the late nineteenth century.
A friend of Aubrey Beardsley, patron of the extraordinary pre-Raphaelite artist Simeon Solomon, and contemporary of Oscar Wilde, Stenbock died at the age of thirty-six as a result of his addiction to opium and his alcoholism, having published just three slim volumes of suicidal poetry and one collection of morbid short stories.
Stenbock was a homosexual convert to Roman Catholicism and owner of a serpent, a toad, and a dachshund called Trixie. It was said that toward the end of his life he was accompanied everywhere by a life-size wooden doll that he believed to be his son. His poems and stories are replet…