Reading for 3/22

Before finishing the Bachelard, we’ll take a slight detour through the utopian dreams of Charles Fourier by way of Dominic Pettman’s Peak Libido. Take a peak at Chapter 3 (pg. 73): “Get Thee to a Phalanstery (or How Fourier Can Still Teach Us to Make Lemonade)”. Until then, stay fierce.

Reading for 3/15

We’ll finish Bachelard’s book in two weeks, but for a change of pace, let’s read the chapter on Max Stirner from Roberto Calasso’s The Forty-Nine Steps (pg. 144). Our next BASTARD Conference will be held on Sunday, June 5th to coincide with the Bay Area Anarchist Bookfair. Bring ideas for themes and presentations in the coming weeks if you’ve got em. See you soon.

Reading for 3/8

Continuing with Bachelard’s Lautréamont; this week discussing Chapters 4 (“The Biographical Problem”) and 5 (“Lautréamont: Poet of Muscles and Cries”). By the way, I noticed that there is a section of endnotes in the back of the book which provide some contextual details for allusions along with page numbers for quotes Bachelard pulls from Maldoror (unfortunately from a different edition than the one we’re reading, though they still may help roughly locate a passage), all of which may prove useful. Look forward to seeing you soon!

Reading for 3/1

We never really decided on a reading last week, but it seemed like folks were generally into continuing to devour material on Maldoror, so let’s return to Bachelard’s book on Lautreamont from a couple weeks ago. Chapter 2 seems to focus on some of the same things we discussed in our first reading, and Chapter 3 looks like it might be relevant to our conversations last week starting out from Calasso, so let’s try and do both Chapters 2 and 3. I know that’s a bit longer than we usually like readings to be, but let’s push ourselves with the ever-present caveat to just read as much as you have the time, energy, or inclination to. Until we meet again, stay fierce.

Reading for 2/22

Next week, we’ll take a look at Roberto Calasso’s Literature and the Gods, specifically Chapter 4 — “Musings of a Serial Killer”. Lots of interesting-looking material here at the intersection of Lautreamont, Stirner, Artaud, and others. I know we had discussed starting Maldoror this week as well, but the aforementioned chapter is about 15 pages already, which puts us near our self-imposed limit on length for a single reading. As such, let’s make the first 20 or so pages of Maldoror optional for the real masochists, and perhaps do that as our sole reading for the following week so we can be sure everyone has the time and energy to read it carefully before discussing. Stay fierce.

Reading for 2/15

On Tuesday we’ll begin Gaston Bachelard’s Lautreamont. For those who haven’t read the prose poem Bachelard is largely writing about here, The Songs of Maldoror, a copy of that is also linked for you to look at if you so desire. We may decide to start reading Maldoror alongside Bachelard’s text in the coming weeks, but for the moment it’s not strictly necessary that you do so. Bachelard’s opening chapter, “The Vigorous Poetry of Aggression”, will be the course du jour when we next gather together.