Thursday, November 17, 2005

Links 001 - Borderline 'pataphysics

Exploits and Opinions through a land of bookmarks

Second part of pataphysical links, this time with sites centered around pataphysics.

001-03. Borderline 'pataphysics.


First of all I'd like to thank fellow Maybe Logic Academician Bogusmagus for his contribution on 'pataphysics on his website Personal Maybe

A site with many links for R. A. Wilson-related sites and more and more patalinks! There I found reference to a few of the websites below

Image hosted by

Ubuland shows a psychogeographical map of pataphysical organisations on the net. It's Italian, many links from the post about Colleges and Institutes on this blog come from here.

The best

Institute of Pataphysical studies

Now here's a beautiful Australian site with true undertones of the Science.

A musical study of Julio Cortazar's Hopscotch, organisation of almost discordian street performances (with fish), dada theatre shows (also with fish), a musical - "Asylum seekers Jesus, Buddha and Mouhammed flee religious persecution upon their mythical winged bike." (with fish again), a contraption to see and feel the dreams of a chicken… Their recent performance is called 'Ubu Republica'. 'Pataphysics is very much alive and well in Australia!

Image hosted by


Image hosted by

Includes a blog, poetry, journalistic pieces and flashy photogalleries. Publishes an online magazine called 'The Pataphysical Dart-Face'. Which seems nice.

Le pataphysicien net

Which means 'the clean 'pataphysician'. In french. Includes an Oulipian exercise based on the human genome, a comparison between the '@'-sign (called 'arobase' in french) and the gidouille and many links.


The mother of all site pataphysical. In French, very large collection of oulipian exercises, an accurate overview of the functioning of the college, biographies of many pataphysicians, a collection of transformed Mona Lisas, a lot of links… Excellent.

Les Harengères

15 pages about herrings. One of them about the herring in Finnegans Wake. Seems originated in the Netherlands, but written in French. Worth a look.

The Journal Of Pataphysical Reviews

Three issues. A Publication of the Society of Pataphysics.

Something completely different

I'll only mention these because of the word in their URL.

Pataphysics magazine

Not a lot to do with our subject, I guess the word sounded 'cool' or something. They seem to publish an arty-farty paper magazine with intellectual mumbo-jumbo. Or maybe not.

From the site: "Colliding science, ecology, architecture, publishing & social space, PATAPHYSICS contains interviews, photography, theory, art projects, fiction & questionnaires. Each issue has a particular theme: the Holiday Resort issue, an extended 'travel brochure' for a hypothetical resort; the Pirate issue, an intervention with copyright & piracy; the Tile issue, a collection of responses from artists, writers & theorists to an international questionnaire on autobiography and their current projects; the Psychomilitary issue, a fragmentary meditation on the psychological dimension of the defended citadel. Within these themes, differing printing processes combine high- & low-tech."

Image hosted by

Pataphysics Research Laboratory

I my opinion nothing to do with our subject either. Just a fancy site with a fancy name. It seems a collection of 8 blogs where the most extended posting reaches two lines in telegramstyle. Some of those for people whose vocabulary consists mainly of a few substantives; I suppose (hope) these are chat transcripts. I did find a few good links though.

Image hosted by

Virtual colleges

Faculté Uqacienne de 'Pataphysique

This site from Quebec hasn't been updated since 2001. Nice study of Ionesco's "The bald soprano' and a little study of the apostrophe before the word pataphysique…

Image hosted by

Collège de Pataphysique Nautienne

These self-appointed optimates made up a virtual college on the website of the virtual french-speaking republic of Nautia. Good collection of texts in French.

Université de Napierville

Another virtual college. Reminds me of the Annals of Improbable Research, studying extreme subjects like the influence of continetal drift on the transportation costs, on the influence of the reading direction of book titles on the side on cervical damage, proof that King Tut was a lady etc.

Image hosted by


Pataphysics - A Religion In The Making

An excellent situationist text by Asger Jorn linking the recent success of epi-meta-ta-fusica with the gnostic game. " Although the Americans have now claimed the honour of presenting Pataphysics to the world, they didn't dare mention the word religion in their journal. Nevertheless, the enormous success Pataphysics enjoyed last year among the New World intelligentsia has inaugurated an epoch in which the essentially religious nature of this phenomena will be carefully analysed. You'd have to have a cold to miss the stink its causing!"

Pataphysics of Year 2000

A seminal text by Satrape Jean Baudrillard."if we want immediate satisfaction (jouissance) from an event, if we want to live it in the moment as if we were already there, it is because we no longer have any trust in the meaning or purpose of the event. One can spot the same denial in apparently opposite attitudes - in the historicization, in the archiving, in the memorizing of everything related to our past as well as those appertaining to every other culture."

Le Polidor

A historical text by satrape Noël Arnaud about the beginnings of the Collège in this french brasserie-restaurant. According to Stefan Themerson James Joyce used to visit regularly.

History of the Pataphysical Calendar

Read a bit more here about this universal calendar.

Pataphysical publishers

The Collège de 'Pataphysique publishes a thick french magazine every three of four months next to a big collection of beautifully printed books. From the beginning a lot of attention was given to the lay-out, paper and printing process because one of the first optimates was a printer. Sadly they publish in very small quantities so most is sold out. You can have an idea of the content of their publications on 'Le coin du scientifictif' (in French).

The main publisher in English is called Atlas Press. Check their Arkhives and Anti-Classics for Dada & surreal-like writings, the most important being the jaw-dropping 'Encyclopædia Acephalica' by Bataille. They also list 'Malpertuis' by Jean Ray next to ecclectic artists and oulipian writers. And of course they host the London Institute of 'Pataphysics on their site.

Image hosted by

Former Dalkey Archive Press 'Center for Book culture' specializes in all thing Flann O'Brian, but lists a lot of fiction from all over the world related to 'pataphysics.

Image hosted by

Exact Change (Classics of experimental literature) lists writers mainly from the turn of the 19th - 20th century. Jarry, Roussel, Chirico, but also Themerson, Cage and Schwitters.

Image hosted by

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Lost numbers

They showed an episode from the first season of Lost here last night, the bit where the character Hurley gets confronted to the strange series of numbers that emanate from a transmitter on the island, numbers that let him win the lotery but at the same time cursed him into getting all kinds of freak accidents and bad coincidences. The presence of both the RAW number 23 and the DNA number 42 made me wonder what the kaballistic gematria would tell.
I came up with the following:

Image hosted by
Which brings the following flow of thoughts to me:
Behind the door, through the fence
The father awaits your willing to pass through
Through both ruin and majesty
Realize what is needed and seize it
Through suffering for the sins ascend in the Brotherhood and hear
The terrific sound of a lion roaring.

BTW, I find it ironic that the answer to life, the universe and everything could mean 'god' to a dogmatic rabbi, especially since Douglas Adams was an even dogmatic atheist!
On the side the symbol for Yah Image hosted by scared the shit out of me when I was a kid in catholic school. I seemed to recognize a face in it, neither good nor evil but very concerned and looking at the side as if something very bad was coming at us. Sort of a demiurgic Killroy pointing to something important from behind the wall of comprehension.
Image hosted by

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Joseph Campbell and the three temptations in Bardo

In "The power of Myth" audiobook, Bill Moyers inteviews Joseph Campbell.
One fragment seemed very significant to me since it literally links to an important series of lessons in Kabbalah.

1. The personal Apocalyps.
One of the main lessons I got in my Kaballah lessons dealt with fear and death, or fear of death. The concept of world-wide Apocalypse as described in the book of Revelations can come in handy to try to visualize the idea of individualized fears if you consider a personal apocalypse.
My teacher meant by this expression the moment of passage from one plane of existance to another, either during lifetime or after decease. He saw a difference between the act of "deceasing" which describes the soul leaving the body and rigor mortis setting in, and the act of "dying", or as mentioned in the bible, "dying on the cross", which describes the necessary qualities for consciousness to reach out above the earthly plane. Which could happen during lifetime for a very few (the adepts: christ, buddha etc.). The essential qualities to obtain this consciousness upheaval are threefold:
- First you have accept to leave your costume - which means your physical body, the costume you're wearing on the stage of life. Well we're all going to, so it may as well be a choice we make. Trouble is both pleasure and pain chain us to our physical body (Malkuth). My teacher considered that ghosts are souls who don't want to realize their physical self is gone and have to dwell around waiting for reincarnation (or the insight that they have left the stage).
- Secondly you need to let go your ego (Yesod). This seems the most frightening part of "dying": you need to realize (= make real) that absolutely everything you thought you were, the idea you have of yourself, every quality, shortcoming, aspect of your character was just that: a character you played on the stage. A role. Which you once learned, performed, and now the curtain's down you have to leave forever. You are not who you think you are. My teacher used to show strange slides during his lessons and the slide accompanying this aspect of death was the scary, absolutely terrified face a woman screaming (I guess something from a Romero or Argento movie). Unchaining the dragon seems the most frightening experience in - or out of - a lifetime. It also points at accepting to become part of a greater entity (I'm not speaking of the Elohim on this relatively low level on Jacob's ladder), to dissolve the individual.
- Finally the most difficult bit is rather vague: you need to be prepared; both in the meaning as "to be drilled" in order to cope with it when it comes AND be able to accept it in all humility. In this most difficult aspect, the main bit is not wanting to ascend in the first place! Kinda like "tickle her without making her laugh", you need to be fully aware of the structure of the sefirotic tree and the possibilities but if you are driven by desire, especially the desire to ascend, your ego's again in control and not your heart (Tifereth). If you do ascend it will be because the necessity arises at that moment for you to do so, not because you will. BTW I don't see a contradiction with Crowley's teachings, I think his idea of 'Will' transcends the idea of individual will (but MIFOS, I dunno enough about Al to evaluate). By accepting this state of things, if and when consciousness arises it will automatically take its surroundings with it. True enlightment supposedly has an influence on the whole material world, which slowly climbs up the ladder as well. "And in doing that you save the world!" (Joseph Campbell about releasing the dragon).
The ultimate goal according to my teacher is this (I guess only kabbalists can get it so I'll whisper it): to bring back the last and lowest stone back to Ayin Sof.
I can go as far as I want into these concepts, but I choose to accept them as useful (dynamic) metaphors rather than literal (passive) beliefs.

2. Transcript of "the Hero's Adventure" part 4
The Buddha figure is like that of the Christ, of course 500 years earlier. You could match those 2 traditions right down the line, even to the characters of their apostles or their monks. Now there's a perfectly good hero deed formula represented here.
And he (Christ, B.) undergoes three temptations: the economic temptation, where the devil says "you look hungry young man, change the stones to bread". Jesus said "Man lives not by bread alone but every word from the mouth of god". Next we have the political temptation. He's taken to the top of a mountain and shown the nations of the world, and (Satan, B.) says "You can come to control all of these if you bow to me". And then, "Well, you're so spiritual, let's go up to the top of Herod's temple and see you cast yourself down, and god will bear you up and you even won't be bruised". So he (Christ, B.) "You shall not tempt the lord". These are the three temptations of Christ in the desert.
The Buddha also goes into the forest, has conferences with the leading gurus of the day and goes past them. He comes to the tree of illumination and goes through three temptations. They're not the same temptations but they are three temptations. And one is that of lust, another that of fear and another is that of duty, doing what you're told.
And then both of these men come back.

3. Conclusions.
Campbell shows very clearly how the three conditions necessary for spiritual ascend according to kabbalah (freedom from body - freedom from ego - acceptance-patience) play a key role in both the christian and buddhistic myth. Both figures function as metaphors for the consciousness ascending from the material world (Assiyah) through the paradise (Yetzirah) on its way to enter the kingdom of heavens (Jeruzalem in Malkuth of Beriah). The also show the correct insights to the three most important conditions for doing so.
In Christ's story, matter and body get symbolized by the desert stones (the lowest in the matter) as well as the bread (points to hunger, bodily functions, survivalist techniques). The ego is shown on top of the mountain, where archangel Satan tries to fool the self to rule over all its qualities (the nations), while actually this would tend to make the ego (Yesod) rule over the self (Tifereth). When asking to die in assurance of rebirth, the self finally needs to realize its time will come when necessary, not according to its own will. The 'death on the cross' by Christ consciousness in the bible is the moment when the time has come, and even and ascended consciousness start to doubt.
Let me point to the kabbalistic appraoch of evil, where true evil only resides in the kelippotic worlds, the lost kingdoms of Edom where what we call 'demons' reside, without any function in this world, in opposition to the personal Gehinnom, the fifth world below Assiyah which we call 'hell' and is an individual state in the consciousness where for some people it's necessary to stay trapped until they manage to climb up the Jacob's ladder again; as for what we call the 'devil' or Satan, the kabbalah mythos considers Samael as the highest ranking archangel (actually a Seraphim), who when Metatron took his place holding the book of fate, received a new mission as the tester, 'falling' down and climbing up all the levels continuously, testing consciousness on its ascend to be sure it's worth to pass through. Again necessity is the key word, not good nor evil.
In Buddha's story, after transcending the leading gurus, passing them by on his ascend, is tested threefold in a way which do seem similar to the above. While lust points obviously to the matter, fear I link to the concept of unchaining the dragon, the epithome of fear, which symbolizes the abandonment of the ego. The realization of duty points to acceptance, waiting patiently for further evolution.
Both metaphors for rised consciousness perform their necessary task, which means returning to the ego and the matter, but free'd from them, and then try to perform awakening and throw hints for others to take a similar path.

Airflight music

Music is the pathway to the heart
François-Marie Arouet de Voltaire

As I went on, the accents got heavier and heavier, the sounds grew increasingly intense as the consonants sharpened. I quickly realized that if I wanted to stay serious - and I did - my expressive means would not be up to the pomp of the staging... I had just finished Song to the Clouds of Labadas on the music stand to my right and Caravan of Elephants on the left, when I started vigorously flapping my wings and turned to the center. The heavy series of vowels and trailing rhythm of the elephants had just provided a last gradation. But how was I to end? I suddenly realized that my voice, for want of any other alternative, was taking on the ancestral cadence of a sacerdotal lamentation, the wailing style of the hymns that fill Catholic churches in East and West:
zimzim urullala zimzim urullala zimzim zanzibar zimzalla zam
elifantolim brussala bulomen brussala bulomen tromtata
velo da bang band affalo purzamai affalo purzamai lengado tor
gadjama bimbalo glandridi glassala zingtata pimpalo ögrögöööö
viola laxato viola zimbrabim viola uli paluji malooo
Hugo Ball in Cabaret Voltaire

Everything. Devoured.
I learn to hold my, will power.
Everything. Devoured.
I learn to hold my, will power.
When it comes, it falls in pieces.
Eating holes and gems unbound.
Birds and hearts and flags and everything.
Said, everything. Devoured.
I learn to hold my, will power.
Said, everything. Devoured.
I learn to hold my, will power.
Money matters. Does mercy matter?
Suddenly, as things are clearer,
See the sights are getting nearer.
Said, everything. Devoured.
I learn to hold my, will power.
Said, everything. Devoured.
I learn to hold my, will power.
Money matters. Does mercy matter?
Suddenly, as things are clearer,
See the sights are getting nearer.
Said, everything. Devoured.
I learn to hold my, will power.
Said, everything. Devoured.
I learn to hold my, will power.
Money matters. Does mercy matter?
Suddenly, as things are clearer,
See the sights are getting nearer.
Everything. Devoured.
I learn to hold my, will power.
I said, everything. Devoured.
I learn to hold my, will power.
When it comes, it falls in pieces.
Eating holes and gems unbound.
Birds and hearts and flags and bugs.
Said, everything. Devoured.
I learn to hold my, will power.
Said, everything. Devoured.
I learn to hold my, will power.
Spies in the Wire by Cabaret Voltaire (1984)

Image hosted by

Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Tridoshic Sefirot

The ayurvedic medicine separates three essences through which the living tissues can be influenced. They are called the Tridoshas and consist of three elements: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The can be more or less associated to the elements earth, fire and air (water).
The idea to separate the world into triads seems intriguing. Most cultures give a more or less dualistic worldview. The Yi King use hexagrams based upon two extremes: Yin an Yang (yet pointing to the origin, the Tao where dualism disappears); the kaballistic tree makes use of two side pillars, one rather active and one rather passive symbolizing the path of consciousness wandering about away from the central path. In kabbalah also the dualism disappears above a certain level of consciousness.

Image hosted by

In the sefirotic worldview the right, active path makes use of the following sequence:
Netzach (eternal repetition)
Chesed (compassion)
Chochmah (wisdom)
And the passive path uses the following emanations:
Hod (reflection)
Geburah (justice)
Binah (understanding).
As a mental exercise I would like to think what would happen with 'Sefirot PO Tridoshas'. In other terms, how would the tree look like if tradic instead of dualistic? I suppose for a dogmatic kabbalist this could be the representation of one of the fallen kingdoms of Edom, an kellipotic experiment that didn't work out because the energetic relationship between the emanations couldn't come to balance.

Image hosted by

I wonder what aspects of earth, fire and air could be meaningful on the level of realization (reflection / repetition), on the level of formation (justice / compassion) and on the level of creation (understanding / wisdom).
Of course problems arise. Some mirrored paths (like the one through Daath) couldn't be mirrored no more. Numbers change so does the gematria and the meaning of all things. Kabbalah is an extremely fine-tuned mathematical system. Frankly I doubt it would be possible to build an equally working model if changing the premises. Also my knowledge of ayurveda is to say the least very limited!
I'll let this rest and maybe I'll pick up the thread in the future.

Loplop Dadamax sees a similitude with "The Hat makes the Man" by Max Ernst!
Watch your overcoat.

Image hosted by

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Furnisculpture - 001

I studied interior architecture in the '80s and got hooked to either artists committing themselves to the creation of spaces or volumes that look like or possess atributes of furniture, or furniture designers entering the world of sculpture. I collected a lot of clippings throughout the years. Here a first attempt at providing a visual encyclopedia of furnisculptures and sculptirniture.

Vito Acconci

American Sculptor and Installation Artist, born in 1940.
Vito Acconci from Brooklyn, New York has been a forerunner in performance and installation art since the mid-1960's and has recently been creating award-winning architectural spaces as well.

Image hosted by
Collision house, 2001

Image hosted by
Image hosted by
Image hosted by
Mur Island, 2003

Image hosted by
Stretched Facade, 1984

Image hosted by
Name Calling Chair, 1990

Image hosted by
Largo do Glicério Viaduct

Image hosted by
Adjustable Wall Bra, 1990-91

Image hosted by
Ground Bra, 1991

Image hosted by
Mobius Bench

Image hosted by
Memphis' Cannon Center, 2004

Image hosted by
Making Shelter : House of Used Parts, 1986

Image hosted by
Instant House, 1980

Image hosted by
Loloma Transit Center

"When you stop to ask yourself a question,
ask nicely."
Vito Acconci

How to immanentize the Eschaton

Image hosted by

Friday, November 04, 2005

Links001 - 'pataphysique

Exploits and Opinions through a land of bookmarks

I collected quite a lot of bookmarks on the subject of 'pataphysics throughout the years. For those of you who wish to understand the title of this blog, give it up and go elsewhere. For those of you who do not wish to understand anything but want to add to their confusion, follow the links below and let your mind flow with the go.

001-01. Colleges and institutes.

  • "He engagingly confessed that he had no idea what it meant, but simply that (pataphysics) was a 'buzzword' to indicate the sort of thing they were trying to do. For a 'pataphysician, of course, this definition is as good as any other, all things being equivalent"

Collège de 'pataphysique

The official homepage of the noble institute which started in 1958. The fourth Vice-curator is presently an Ugandese crocodile, Sa Magnificence Lutembi (the first one, Sa Magnificence le docteur Irénée-Louis Sandomir was a painting). In French, this site only started a few years ago and it shows. The structure seems sometimes a bit weird with links cross-leading to other links, links not working and many pages obviously under construction. But still the best site worldwide on the subject. Gives answers to the questions 'What is 'P?', 'What is the collège' etc. Lists exhaustively the publications of the college and their activities. Every of the 70+ departments has its own pages. I like the lay-out of the site. Books published by the college cannot be ordered, you have to be a member in order to delve into their treasures (hehehe) and most of the older books are sold out anyway, but the most recent publications can be found in a little parisian bookshop librairie Va l'Heur, 27 r. Rodier 75009 Paris. Some higher members of the Collège ('Optimates') of non-French nationality started their own institute in their country of origin. Mosbunall of them are listed below. Other associations have no thing to do with the college, they'll be listed another time.

Image hosted by

United Kingdom


The Institutum Pataphysicum Londinense is the British counterpart of the collège. For the moment their website found a place in the larger site of the excellent Atlas Press.The LIP has already published a large amount of books and is united in several divisions: the bureau of subliminal images, The Committee for Hirsutism and Pogonotrophy, The Department of Dogma and Theory, The Department of Potassons, The Department of Reconstructive Archaeology, The Office of Patentry and The Pataphysical Museum and Archive. This last one, located in Highgate, London, can be visited by appointment. Many books can be purchased in bookartbookshop, 17 Pitfield st. in London. The LIP also tries to unite all institutes (outside of the Collège) to collaborate and intended in 2003 to start a website groupingas much information as possible. Patience is a 'pataphysical virtue, so wait & see…

Image hosted by


A lot of organisations here, most of them started under the major influence of Enrico Baj. More Italian pataphysical links on the excellent Ubuland.

Institutum Patafisicum Mediolanense

Milanese institute, the first foreign institute founded in 1963 by Farfa. Brought together Enrico Baj, Dario Fo, Umberto Eco etc. Sadly no website.

Istituto Patafisico Vitellianense

Only three pages on this Italian institute. Dates back to 1994. In Italian. This institute started in Viadana under Enrico Baj, Imperatore Analogico e Digitale, now deceased.

Image hosted by

Istituto Patafisico Partenopeo

Beautiful flashy site from Naples under the rectorate of Mario Persico. In Italian. They publish a magazine 'Patapart' folded and cut in different bizarre formats.

Image hosted by

Simposio Permanente Ventilati Patafisici Benacensi

Started in 1987 in Riva del Garda.

Collage de 'Pataphisique

From Lovere, this institute was founded in 1991 by belgium-born Tania Lorandi. Organizes happenings.

Istituto Patafisico Ticinese


Turin Institute of Pataphysic

Started by Propagatore Generale Virgilio Dagnino in Turin in 1979.

Dipartimento Etrusco di 'Patafysica

Started in 2001 under Prefetto Poliedrico Etrusco Yari Spadoni. They seem to publish a bulletin "Soluzioni Immaginarie" in Italian. No website.


Novisimo instituto de altos estudios pataf’sicos de Ubuenos Aires

A large site concerning the activities of this Argentinian institute. In Spanish. Hosts a beautiful collection of gidouilles. Patagonia and borges are well represented.

Image hosted by


Bâtafysika - Nederlands Instituut voor 'Patafysica (NIP)

The chairman of this Dutch institute is a gigantic steam pump constructed in the 20s to preserve the region of Friesland of floods. The site is in Dutch.

Image hosted by


Centre de recherches Périphériscopiques

A Swiss institute. Not very active on the net, deals mainly with 'contrepets' and other wordgames. They seem to publish little books (in french) but none is mentioned online.

Image hosted by


Vlaams Patafysisch Instituut

No idea if this still exists (and I live there), this Flemish-speaking institute is only known to me by its two members: the now deceased sado-pornografic sculptor Roland Monteyne and filmmaker Harry Kumel (who made the only belgian movie with Orson Welles).

The Eburonic Convent of 'Pataphysics

Although connected through the Science (another name for the 'P), the Convent seems the brainchild of a non-active member of the College, member of the 'Sous-Commission des Onomonymes' with the rank of Resident. Supposedly the band The Residents is one of the main influences in the auditive evolution of the ArchiOvate, who seems the same person as the keeper of this very blog you're reading now. Watch these spaces somewhere in 2007 for an elaborated overview of the EC'P.


Institut Pataphysique Vestrogothique

Since 2003 under the leadership of Rektor Magnificus Elis Ernst Eriksson (who died in 2004 at the age of 96).


Suomalais-Ugrilainen Patafysinen Keittöseura - Finno-Ugriska Patapfysiska Kökssällskapet

Institute from the region of Lapland in Finland, started in 2001. Son Emphytéose Timo Pekkanen, the founder, is a bicycle maker.

'pataphysique à la flamande

My all times favourite book goes by the name of Malpertuis written by belgian writer Jean Ray (aka John Flanders, aka hundreds of pessoadonyms… whatever fitted him) from the city of Ghent in Flanders.
Jean Ray wrote horror stories in french, which he sometimes translated in dutch under the name of John Flanders and vice versa. He got his fame after translating a few pulp novels from Germany in the twenties. He felt the stories utterly dull and stupid, so without telling his editor he soon started to write completely new stories based solely on the image on the cover. Luckily the illustrator Alfred Roloff had a bizarre sense of surrealism, so Ray's extremely weird stories of Harry Dickson became much loved by the belgian surrealist scene. See more here , although they're wrong about Ray's nationality…
Ray was a serious prankster, a jester with a sad face like only the flatlands of Flanders can produce under a grey sky. He pretended to have a sioux grandmother, to have smuggled on all seas, to have lived fantastic adventures. Later on it was proven he almost never had left his town. But he wouldn't let people call him a liar. One day the circus was in town . During an interview with some journalists, they joked about his claim to have lived among the wild animals. Ray who was by then well over his seventies calmly asked the guard to open the cage and walked self-assured among the lions and tigers while the audience watched amazed. Too big for his own life in my opinion. A few square meters of my library are dedicated to his books.
Made into a movie by one of the few belgian pataphysicians, Harry Kümel. Screenwriter was another 'pataphysician Jean Ferry. The one and only belgian pic featuring the big man himself, Orson Welles, in (one of?) his last role as Cassave, or Zeus the decaying übergod. A gigantic role for a gargantuan being (he spend most of his scenes laying down in a huge bed - it looked as if the bed was a part of his enormous body).
Shortly told, Malpertuis deals with the decay of the greek gods because man ceased to believe in them. They all live in a gigantic house in the center of the city, a house which they never leave and seems to be infinite from within.
  • The Tessaract was one of belgium's best SF short stories, also written by Ray, featuring people trapped in a hypercube .
Those gods live in a community without realizing what they are. When one of them totally disappears they act as if he never existed. One man gets to live amongst them and get confronted to all the avatars of godliness without realizing it. The 'deus ex machina' is a sinister creature called Eisengott, who seems to control and take care of them and at some point seems to symbolize Christ. If this plot does not intrigue you I'm the one to blame: the story is vivid, strange, with a lot of peculiar characters and can be read on several ontological levels separate or at once. The movie seems very all right to me, and the book rocked my world when I first read it in my 20ies.

Anyway combining Oulipian wit and a few main titles of Harry Dickson, I came up with the following French list of stories (to be written?)

Hardi Sonic
le haut ricain… mais que l'eau m'est chère!
avec Beaume Tell, Cuvette Georgelier et mrs. Crânewoq
par Jan Lohndfers (aka Jay Near)

Hardi Sonic se retrouve victime de flatulences en plein ébat matrimonial. Il serre les fesses, mais son épouse Cuvette Georgelier n'apprécie guère…
De l'étroit vent que l'époux te sert (Les trois cercles de l’épouvante)

Le paysans bourrus remplissent le paysage, à tel point que le pauvre Beaume doit leur passer sur le corps avec un tracteur.
Mais ces corps-là ont du sillon (La maison du scorpion)

Une des rares incursions du maître gantois dans le porno pur et dur. En même temps un réquisitoire contre l'art pour l'art.
Et ni de l'art, et bande… là (La bande de l’araignée)

Le pauvre Beaume a toutes les peines du monde à empêcher son maître de se mêler des affaires de flics. A bout d'arguments, il lui ordonne de garder ses distances.
Laisse aux bourres, respecte! (Les spectres-bourreaux)

Les interjections volent vraiment au ras des paquebots dans la famille Sonic. Tant de vulgarité entre Hardi et Cuvette à propos de poulet.
Foutre! T'es cette miss d'ailes? (Le mystère des sept fous)

Sous un trance catatonique, Hardi Sonic démontre aux forces de l'ordre qu'un sombre complot se trame parmi les descendants du trône de France.
Gendarmes, allez vers de la lys (Le mystère de la vallée d’argent)

Hardi Sonic se met à brailler des banalités dignes de la conchiance des nations.
Paix pour leur monde (Le démon pourpre)

La chair est faible: Beaume se complaît à tenter tout Krafft-Ebing pour les besoins de la Science.
Goût freudien, gai lard! (Les gardiens du gouffre)

Hardi pousse son audience de Charybde en Scylla en se remémorant une des périodes les plus vaseuses de sa carrière, dans les vieilles rues de Rouen.
J'ose pire: le vieux Rouen (Le vampire aux yeux rouges)

Après s'être massacré les dents sur du nougat dur, Hardi décline toute aide de son élève: il s'agit d'une expérience de mécanique quantique.
Laiffe, che fens l'atôme (La flèche fantôme)

Hardi conseille à son élève de rester à table et d'apprécier sa cuisine de célibataire, sinon il va lui broyer les parties avec son matériel de serrurier.
L'étau mord, assis, dîne! (Le minotaure d’acier)

Beaume chante les louanges de Tolkien: surtout un passage du "Silmarillion" concernant Morgoth le passionne.
Do, re: seul "the Melchor" (Le secret d’Aylmore House)

Hardi montre à son élève sa dernière invention: un habit pare-balles de forme ronde, fabriqué à base d'un tissu particulièrement résistant.
Manteau fort: boulle. (Le bourreau fantôme)

Hardi démontre à son élève les grandeurs du charactère brittanique: à chaque instant de la journée, la fière Albion veille!
Pas d'heure de ronde: l'âme anglaise (La maison de la grande peur)

Pour son anniversaire, Beaume offre à son maître un jardin planté de saules.
Ta saulaie! (La sonnette)

Hardi se demande si le ragoût que mrs. Crânewoq lui sert ne serait pas d'origine teutonne.
Tu n'est pas chleue, daube? (Le chapeau de Neptune)

La pièce de théâtre du génie de Honfleur fut un désastre.
Un veau: on nomme Allais (On a volé un homme)

Hardi et son élève enquêtent auprès de romanichels qui campent près d'un plan d'eau. Ceux-ci possèdent un plantigrade habillé.
Ours en froc de ce lac (Au secours de la France)

Hardi n'estime pas qu'il mérite l'honneur d'être considéré le clinamen sonnant le déclin des anciennes traditions.
Je ne fus le dé aux rites mourants (Le fantôme des ruines rouges)

Hardi et Beaume sont aux prises avec une horde de malfrats sous les ordres d'un être froid et sinistre.
La bande du Jules Hiver (Les vengeurs du diable)

Ils les fouettent à mort avec trois dizaines de baguettes d'osier.
Leurs trente verges les tuent (L’étrange lueur verte)

Some other intriguing titles to patalyze one day
La terrible nuit du zoo - Le studio rouge - La disparition de Mr. Byslop - Les momies evanouies - L’aventure espagnole - Les plus difficiles de mes causes - L’homme au mousquet - Le savant invisible - Le cabinet du docteur Selles - Le loup-garou - X-4 - La maison des hallucinations - Les signe des triangles - L’aventure d’un soir - Le diable dans la prison - Le dancing de l’épouvante - Le mystérieux retardataire - La guillotine ensorceléeUsines de mort - L’énigme du sphinx - La rue de la tête-perdue - on a tué mr. Parkinson! - La nuit du marécage - L’affaire du pingouin - De fauteuil 27 - La tete à deux sous - L’aventure espagnole - Les momies évanouies - La disparition de monsieur Byslop - La terrible nuit du zoo - Le studio rouge - Les enigmes de la maison Rules - La cité de l’étrange peur - La résurrection de la Gorgone - Dans les griffes de l’Idole Noire - Les vingt-quatre heures prodigieuses - Les nuits effrayantes de Fellston - La mitrailleuse Musgrave - l’Ile de la terreur - Le mystère de la foret - La maison hantée de Fulham Road - Le temple de fer - La chambre 113 - La pieuvre noire - Les mystérieuses études du Docteur Drum - Les sept petites chaises - La maison des hallucinations - On a tué mr. Parkinson - Le mystère des sept fous - Le lit du diable - Le fantôme du juif errant - Le vampire aux yeux rouges - Les vengeurs du diable - La tête à deux sous - Le savant invisible - X-4 - L’ïle de la terreur - Le châtiment de Foyle - Le temple de fer - Le singulier Mr. Hingle - Mysteras - La cour d’épouvante - Les voleurs de femmes de Chinatown - La mitrailleuse Musgrave - Le dieu inconnu - L’homme au masque d’argent - Les illustres fils du zodiaque - Le signe des triangles - Les maudits de Heywood

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Mother hedonism and father sin

We went to a theatre performance a few nights ago where the dutch author Tom Lanoye read from his latest book "Fort Europe - Canticle of division" together with three actors for the dialogue bits. In it he deals with the dubious attitude of most europeans throughout history towards the european unification. Irony is an integral part of the writings of most dutch intelligensia, especially this one, and the public didn't need smileys to get the non-jokes told by characters, not necessarily the author's POV.
One part I found particularly of intrest for here dealt with the religious background. I bought the book & roughly translate a bit here. A female stam cell biologist obsessed with the concept of the 'new mankind' on her way to Dubai speaks about her feelings towards the old continent.

The three big religions - Yahweh's, Jesus's and Mohammed's - all came to maturity in a desert. They base themselves not on life, but on survival. Hence their patriarchy. Women pass life to the next generation, men protect it till their last breath. A man fights and shouts on his deathbed, as if treated unfairly. A woman nudges her shoulders and closes her eyes.
The real Europe has a bit of everything, but no desert. The desert transforms humanity. Science sets it free. The European science. There is no other. Europe is a matriarchy colonized by three patriarchal religions.
That's why Europe's not longer in Europe.
That's why I had to leave today's America. A patriarchy colonized by another patriarchy. Surprising that I could work there for so long.
America is an experiment gone wrong. Once started as a secund, better Europe. Our first colony that was able to free itself, thanks to romantics - French of course, like Lafayette. Romantics have the courage to shape a whole new continent. They have no courage for the New Mankind. They're too much in love with the old one, themselves. (…)
The Enlightment, starting in Paris, did not take root in Manhattan. Manhattan is well known for its rocky underground. And the soft underbely of the United States is pregnant of religious farmers on the run for enlightment.

As mentioned before, not all statements may be part of the author's reality tunnel. Robert Anton Wilson's and Timothy Leary's concept of 8 circuits reality levels comes in handy here.
It seems a double path leads from the abrahamic creation myth: the patriarchal bio-survivalist (first circuit) developped the concept of sin in order to survive as a species in harsh circumstances. Therefore the invention of laws, rapidly becoming morality through the lenses of the religious leadership. Grounded in Malkuth, this way of life was particularly useful in the desert.
Image hosted by

The matriarchy on the other hand was based on Ishtar's breasts, a wild culture of wealth in the gigantic woods of Europe. Many abrahamic creation maps show the garden of Eden in the vicinity of a mountain, from which the main earth rivers flow - just as milk flows from a breast. Feeding and protecting, this hedonistic relationship seems to hint to the socio-sexual circuit.
Image hosted by

Looking at ancient wordmaps I suddenly realized they often drawed the garden of Eden centrally near a large mountain and rivers flowing from it.

ThePsalter map (13th century) shows Jeruzalem at the center of the world and the earth paradise at the eastern top, but Mount Sinai's in Jeruzalem and three rivers flow from there: the Don to the North, the Nile to the South and the mediterranean to the West. (from a Dutch magazine "Knack" special edition "Atlas from here to Utopia", about world maps)

and here the same Illustrator'd by yours truly:

This "Mappa Mundi" from the french town Saint-Sever shows the way to the far East. Paradise seem surrounded by mountains where all the earth rivers seem to find their source.

John Hopkinson's "Synopsis Paradisi" (1598) shows Eden at the meeting of Tigris and Euphrates in a mountaineous region in present-day Iran (strange to realize how the American Bible nuts bombed the garden of Eden a few times).

This map from "De Statu Saracenorum" by William of Tripoli (ca 1271) finally situates the earth paradise in the East, between Mount Caucasus and Mount Taurus, and - to conform to the law of fives - five rivers flow from there: the Nile, the Phison (Ganges), the Gyon, the Tigris and the Euphrates. This book was used to try to convince muslims to believe that they were meant to become christians eventually.

(These three last world maps from "Carnet Trimestriel du colège de 'Pataphysique" nr 16 about Adam and the paradise)

Of course this all links back to the fall and the original sin… children will have to grow up and leave the garden of Eden. Whether they accepts this as a necessity or resent it as a punishment will depend on the POV of the people surrounding them.

Both patriarchy and matriarchy got mingled in Europe, the heimat of western civilization, and it resulted in an unhappy marriage.

Hedonism provided by the biosphere (nature) added to the concept of sin from the new culture gave birth to guilt.

Image hosted by

Visualised in a sefirotic tree this shows how the guilt-tripping european is filled with disdain for the rest of the world: consciousness chained to Yesod or the ego.
Image hosted by

This worldview was transmitted to the United States. Notwithstanding the couragous idealism of the founding fathers (trying to break free from patriarchy in their concept of a new nation), the worm was already in the fruit. Religious madness started all over again in a period in time where Europe had emptied religion and kept hiding in its empty shells for remaining upright.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...