The library is full of books never-released, forbidden, all brilliant. The valet, crisp and proper, takes your luggage into the elevator then into your room.
Inside the head were rickety chairs, a torn sagging couch. The center of the room was dominated by a large, ornate podium accessed by a short flight of stairs. That’s where the book was kept.
High Weirdness | The MIT Press
High Weirdness is the first book in a very long time that's given me the feeling of discovering a secret truth—a set of corridors through the maze of consciousness, existence, anomaly, and synchronicity. It's the sense of complete novelty yet utter familiarity, like suddenly remembering a dream that you've been having every night and then forgetting. Davis is describing, perhaps even retrieving, the strange attractor driving the visionary seventies. It's a sensibility all but lost to the utilitarian, conformist predictability of the digital age. Yet it's also precisely the terrifying and awesome novelty we need to recover if we're going to preserve the uniquely human ability to embrace paradox, celebrate ambiguity, and laugh at death. Don't be afraid. It's just the weird.
- Douglas Rushkoff
author of Team Human and Present Shock
Why 'Slaughterhouse-Five' Resonates 50 Years Later - The Atlantic
Fifty years have passed since the publication of Slaughterhouse-Five. It’s the same age as me. And the older I get, and the more lumps fall off my brain, the more I find that rereading is the thing. Build your own little cockeyed canon and then bear down on it; get to know it, forward and backward; get to know it well. So I don’t know how many times I’ve read Slaughterhouse-Five. Three? Four? It never gets old, is the point. It never wanes in energy. This book is in no way the blossom of a flower. Slaughterhouse-Five is more in the nature of a superpower that the mutant author had to teach himself to master—and then could use, at full strength, only once.
A Brief History Of The White Horse Tavern, NYC's Legendary Literary Watering Hole: Gothamist
In the mid-20th century, literary luminaries including James Baldwin and Anaïs Nin frequented the watering hole, and Jack Kerouac was a particularly unruly patron. The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation notes that Kerouac was ejected from the bar so many times that someone took it upon themselves to carve “JACK GO HOME!” on a bathroom stall. Legend has it that the idea for the Village Voice (RIP) was born over drinks at the bar, known colloquially as "The Horse." And most famously, the White Horse is where Welsh poet Dylan Thomas swilled his final drinks before his death; his portrait still hangs by his usual seat.
Against the stark white landscape the roaming, disgraced official looked like words drawn on a perfectly clean parchment.
On the right side of the cover was a drawing of a bird, the beak painted in gold. On the left side was a well, a child’s hand visible just above the edge.
You Can't Rely on Inspiration: Essential Writing Advice from J.G. Ballard | Literary Hub
[O]ne’s become used to these overlong novels in which everything is explained and tidied up. At the heart of every good short story lies a certain ambiguity, a sort of “Yes, but.” That’s very seldom found in novels. And yet this ambiguity is the very stuff of life.
The Great Work: Alchemy and the Power of Words – Emergence Magazine
But the novel I started writing soon transformed itself into something else. A book which I began to write in conventional English became a book written in my own version of Old English, the language which my Anglo-Saxon narrator would have spoken. But this, while it might be the most obviously unusual feature of the novel, was not the most significant surprise the book sprang on me.
Penguin – Science Fiction Covers: Part 1 - Visual Melt
Penguin Books have always had a strong ethos when it comes to their creative direction, whether utilising the classic minimalist coloured stripe or allegorical illustration, they always hit the mark.
Penguin Science Fiction covers deserve a closer look, in particular the talented creative directors, artists and illustrators that helped shape the way the future looked.
“At the stroke of midnight the objects in the house came alive. They murdered their owners, set up a Constituent Assembly and subsequently a Great Purge of the cupboard.”
Talk with me | Aeon
In 1913 the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein fled the interruptions and distractions of Cambridge to live as a hermit in Norway. No one knew him there, and he could focus on his work on logic in isolation. It worked. He lodged for a while with the postmaster in Skjolden, a remote village 200 miles north of the city of Bergen, and later had a hut built overlooking the fjord. Alone, he wrestled with the ideas that would metamorphose into his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1921). Anyone who tried to pass the time of day with him got short shrift. ‘Go away! It’ll take me two weeks to get back to the point where I was before you interrupted me,’ he is supposed to have shouted at one local who made the mistake of greeting him as he stood pondering what could not be said.
It was about as big as the book underneath. The scales and claws were haphazard. There was a powerful emission, probably a common defense mechanism.
There were stairs at the opposite end of The Library, leading to another, smaller library that was full of books made from large, moist green leaves.
Bookcases covered every inch. Each volume was a detailed record of the subjects’ eating habits at the institute.