Book Crossing

Louise has urged me to check out the site before, but i never actually registered to it until i saw that one may receive free advance reader’s copies of some books. Quite mercernary of me, eh?

There seems to 353 members in Baton Rouge today. Six books have been released into the wild in the past couple of weeks. I forgot the reason why it’s hard for me to stay excited about this site is because so many people have tastes in books that are uninteresting to me. I hate being an elitist pig, but so many of the books being introduced into public places, in hopes of recruiting a new reader, seems to be pulp. I’m not keen on many of the locations that these people pick either… Walmart, sporting goods shops, and computer gaming shops. Few of the books released seem to be picked up by anyone who might care to report them back to Bookcrossing. That’s even more discouraging than whatever snobbery i have towards other people’s tastes.

I’m still mulling over whether to drop off a few extra copies of books in some more strategically located places at the most opportune times, or to horde them all and be a library unto myself.

Manly P. Hall

I’m still trying to figure out what i’m doing with a copy of Manly P. Hall’s ‘The Secret Teachings of All Ages’ on my desk. It seemed like a great thing to order a few weeks ago, but i have no memory of discovering it. It simply popped into my head that i must acquire this book, with no traceable prompting. The author is as peculiar as a blank slate to his encyclopedic work as Potocki is a protean colossus to his convoluted stories.


Yow! In mucking about trying to figure out who this Guenon character is, i realized that he’s mentioned in that Fortean Times piece on Potocki. With mention of an underground city of Argatha, visions of Hollow Earth sprang to mind, and i started seeing goddamned Nazis everywhere again. I even ran across a thread on Barbelith that made me more suspicious of Guenon, even though his name does not seem to be mentioned. Nope, not a bit of that is relevant, but Hollow Earth stuff is just nutty.

Fortunately, there’s a slightly less insane reference to Argatha with an actual connection to Guenon that’s 100% Nazi-free. It’s even dragging in Jacques Vallee, UFOs, and the ‘Tao of Physics’.

I’m rooting for the Freemasons

Just thought it should be noted. No, i haven’t deciphered all of Bill’s allegiances, but we already know we’re on different sides off many arguments. I’m a hardcore liberal who sincerely believes that Glassjaw is an absolutely crap band.

The Christian establishment has committed too many greivous errors and pointless atrocities to be trusted as a spiritual champion. Members of the establishment may be sincere in their desire to make a better world, but liek that Jesus guy say, chop that rotten tree down. The Catholic Church tolerated, possibly even actively supported the Nazis during WW2. We could go back through time and find all of its other mistakes, but that’s big and recent enough mistake for me to want to ignore anything it has to offer now.

The Nazi persecution of the Freemasons only cements my sympathies to the Freemasons, no matter how suspicious i am of them.

Why can’t they lay this shit out in comic books?

I am only reading the reviews of the books on Amazon, and some quickly googleed up pages to find out who these cats Bill is referencing are. In purest ignorance, i have doubts about the arguments of this Guenon character. Although i dearly love science, i could see this ‘industrialized science’ being a threat, as there is no insight or wisdom, only immediate practical application with no foresight. As for his fear of democracy being an appeal to the law of the brute force of matter, bullshit. This sounds like the words of a devotee of divine right. He seems well-versed in the major branches of religion, but his reviewers seem to propose that he’s still caught into a trap of matter versus spirit, something i cannot accept. Ignoring or denying spirit is a failure, but i will not accept that spirit is inherently superior, as it’s like arguing that a three dimensional representation is better than a two dimensional one. Are you really willing to say statues are inherently better and more true than a painting or photograph?

Jan Potocki

I have yet to make any significant progress with The Manuscript Found in Saragossa, despite Bill’s exhortations, as i keep trying to tie him into the tapestry of his times, as his life must be more peculiar and extraordinary than this celebrated book.

One short biography. I’d like to see more documented details of his time in Paris, particulalrly his connections to people who were part of the Bavarian Illuminati, like Abbé Barruel and Adam Weishaupt. I was into the Bavarian Illuminati when i was obsessed with Robert Anton Wilson’s Illuminatus. Was his book about Herodotus and early Russia real, a prank, or insanity? And what the hell was he doing in Mongolia?

I’m also surprised to see an article about the man and his damnedly odd book in a back issue of one of my favorite magazines. See? The McSweeney’s crowd ain’t all bad, comrade…

words of Charles Fort

“Sometimes I am a collector of data, and only a collector, and am likely to be gross and miserly, piling up notes, pleased with merely numerically adding to my stores. Other times I have joys, when unexpectedly coming upon an outrageous story that may not be altogether a lie, or upon a macabre little thing that may make some reviewer of my more or less good works mad. But always there is present a feeling of unexplained relations of events that I note, and it is this far-away, haunting, or often taunting, awareness, or suspicion, that keeps me piling on.”

(Talents, p. 862)

I Tego Arcana Dei

yeah, yeah…. i know that the book Holy Blood, Holy Grail is a castle of suppositions built on the shifting sands of Pierre Plantard’s forgeries. Still, Foucault’s Pendulum might not exist in the form that it does without Holy Blood, Holy Grail being published. There are still a lot of pieces in it that i want incorporated into a new narrative.

One is Poussin’s “Les Bergers d’Arcadie”. Sauniere of Rennes-le-Chateau bought a replica of this painting among a few others. It’s the inscription of Et in Arcadia Ego that’s the important part. Nevermind the assertion that the painting has Rennes-le-Chateau in the mountainous background or that the tomb actually existed. The geography is all wrong for the Rennes-Le-Chateau to be in that painting, and the tomb that the HB, HG authors said that it might really be was a 20th century construction, something made in homage to Poussin long after even Sauniere was dead. I truly do like the idea of the anagram though. Truth is almost irrelevant. Bill, is the anagram of Et in Arcadia Ego, the much cooler I Tego Arcana Dei actually proper Latin for, “Begone! I conceal the secrets of God” or is it so much more fanciful, pleasing bullshit?

Hypnerotomachia Poliphili

I refuse to read The Rule of Four any more than i have. It’s amateur dross riding off the coattails of the Da Vinci Code to exploit a market dredging the obscure and arcane for another pop culture, paint-by-numbers thriller. It’s not the dredging that I object to, but how lazily it’s executed.

The book that the Rule of Four authors hang their story around is Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. I haven’t been able to wrap my mind around it yet as it’s obtuse as hell. I don’t even know if it deserves to be rescued from the clutches of the half-assed efforts of those Ivy League boys.

It’s hard to embrace a book that keeps being hyped as having a nearly sexual obsession with architecture. It makes me think of that Dan Clowes ‘Eightball’ comic in which he rips on the creepiness of the old Harvey comics like Richie Rich and Caspar the Friendly Ghost, with one character that is sexually obsessed with octagons, and begins masturbating every time he sees a ‘Stop’ sign.