Bookkake

Complete Plays (anthology) - Sarah Kane

I don´t normally post plays, but  felt that Sarah Kane has to be an exception. 

Dealing with subjects such as psychological torture, desire, existence and death, Kane´s plays where often controversial and intense, but must importantly they would break away from the naturalistic forms of theatre and be presented in a transgressive scenario 

Works like Blasted, Crave and 4.48 psychosis made the young play-writer a renowned  figure in the underground London theatre scene. Yet, depression got the best of her and she would sadly end her life too soon, at the age of 29. 

Là-Bas - J.K. Huysmans

Considered a semi-autobiographical novel, The Damned was written during the fin de sicle in Paris, where we follow Durtal a nihilistic writer currently working on the biography of Gilles de Rais, infamous 15th century serial killer, rapist and once a companion of Jean of Arc.

Rais satanic rituals, drive Durtal to investigate the current status of satanism in contemporary Paris. What begins with great distrust, soon becomes a full first hand experience of the occult after he starts an affair with the enigmatic Madame Chantelouve. 

strandbooks:

Okay, these are a bit much… but I kind of like the Faulkner one. Or maybe I just like Faulkner. Hard to say.
What’s your best literary pick-up line?

strandbooks:

Okay, these are a bit much… but I kind of like the Faulkner one. Or maybe I just like Faulkner. Hard to say.

What’s your best literary pick-up line?

(Source: hanniballerector)

Tank Girl - Hewlett & Martin

The most infamous australian tank-driving punk girl (are there that many?) and  her collection of surreal adventures in the post apocalyptical outback. Accompanied by her kangaroo boyfriend and occasional friends, Tank Girl was born within the british fanzine scene of the late 80´s and heavily influenced by pop culture and punk. The vignettes and narrations where often disorganized and chaotic, but that just gave the comic a more noticeable style. 

The comic later was made famous by the tragic and horrible film adaptation of 1995, something that Hewlett & Martin always regretted. Tho i must admit that my inner 12-year-old will always be in love with Lory Petty in that role. 

Lamb - Christopher Moore

For some reason is hard to come across literature that handles humor with such talent; sure there are some funny books out there but mostly they’ll be autobiographies, compilations or satires. Yet, in fiction, the body of works that can be labeled as comedy and still make it to any ¨best books¨ list is no more than a handful.

Lamb is as funny as it is sacrilegious, so it holds a special place for me. The story addresses the gospel according to Biff, Jesus childhood pal and wingman that has a predilection to get into fights and spend money on prostitutes. Their mission is to make a long trip searching for the Three Wise Man that witnessed Jesus birth years ago so they can teach him how to be a messiah. 

Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

I don’t know why I never owned a copy of Catch 22 until now. Is one of those titles that I feel should be on every bookshelf.

There’s not much that can be said about ¨the war novel to end all war novels¨ that hasn’t been plastered all over the internet:

 ¨There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one’s own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane, he had to fly them. If he flew them, he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to, he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.¨

We - Yevgeny Zamyatin

We can be considered the grandfather of the contemporary sci-fi novel. It set the base for dystopian futures that would later be recreated in more famous works like 1984 and Brave New World (although Huxley denied having the novel as a direct influence). 

Native russian Zamyatin, was inspired by his experiences during WWI the rise of the Bolsheviks and the censorship that came upon him and other literary figures of the times. The novel was firstly published in the early 1920´s in english and did not appeared in the russian market until 1988. 

A History of Violence - John Wagner & Vince Locke

The 1997 graphic novel raises the question of how long can you wait for revenge? in the case of Manzi mob family… a long time. And is what Tom McKenna, the character of this novel realizes once his skeletons come out of his closet.

The graphic novel inspired the 2005 film by Cronenberg by the same name, although the director took a different route for the third act of the plot. 

The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning - Maggie Nelson

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Through a series of thematic chapters, Nelson brings forward the meanings behind the aesthetics of violence in culture, taking notes from far apart places that range from slasher film´s billboard in downtown L.A to the Viennese actionism or from Francis Bacon to the photos of Abu Grabib.

The title comes from the ideas found in Artaud´s Theatre of Cruelty, that the author takes as her starting point. After this, we´re presented we a wide variety of interpretation, some times contradictories but most of the times intriguing and challenging. 

Nelson, a critic, poet and scholar, makes some fine points on where this aesthetics is probably taking us, by also looking into where it might come from. 

Money - Martin Amis

¨Markets will heal themselves¨ said neoliberalist advocate Alan Greenspan. And so it went the unregulated and privatized economic boom of the Regan and Thatcher period, that hold money as the magic element that will keep forever flowing.

And so was the period when Amis published ¨Money¨, a dark humorous glimpse (in the form of a suicide note) at the life of John Self, our antihero in this story. An advertising director, with an astonishing consumption of alcohol, tabacco and pornography, that gets ready to film his first feature film, financed and produce by  the yuppie stereotypes of Manhattan in the 80´s.

One of the most interesting parts of the work, is how Amis manage to fit himself into the storyline, developing into a major character, but not as a omnipresent writer, but just as ¨fictional¨character based on himself.

Voyage au Bout de la Nuit - Louis-Ferdinand Celine

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Journey to the End of Night is the most recognizable novel by french author Céline, and it is certainly one of the most influential writtings in french literature.

As a semibiographical vehicle, Journey follows the nihilistic anti-hero Bardamu, from the streets of Paris to the trenches of war, and from the rawness of Africa to the wilderness of Detroit. 

Céline´s political views and antisemitic statements lend him to leave France after the nazis were defeated. He later returned, thanks to an amnesty, but his reputation as a nazi supporter would never wash away. During the 50´s he also became close acquainted to the Beat movement, including the likes of William Burroughs and Allen Gingsberg.