Christian Bök: Crystallography (1994/2003)

14 August 2016, dusan

“Crystallography’ means the study of crystals, but also, taken literally, ‘lucid writing.’ The book exists in the intersection of poetry and science, exploring the relationship between language and crystals – looking at language as a crystal, a space in which the chaos of individual parts align to expose a perfect formation of structure. As Bök himself says, ‘a word is a bit of crystal in formation,’ suggesting there is a space in which words, like crystals, can resonate pure form.”

First edition published 1994

Second edition, revised
Publisher Coach House Books, Toronto, 2003
ISBN 1552451194
157 pages
via ExP

Reviews: Darren Wershler-Henry (2001), Adam Golaski (Open Letters Monthly 2007), Ian Rae (Canadian Literature 2011).
Commentary: Nathan Brown (2004), James Elkins (2014).


PDF (removed on 2016-8-16 upon request of the publisher)

Roger Shattuck: The Banquet Years: The Origins of the Avant-Garde in France, 1885 to World War I., Rev. ed. (1955/1968)

8 April 2014, dusan

In this book Roger Shattuck portrays the cultural bohemia of turn-of-the-century Paris who carried the arts into a period of renewal and accomplishment, and laid the ground-work for Dada and Surrealism.

“…Then came the idea–a kind of gambler’s hunch–that the trio Rousseau-Satie-Apollinaire represented several significant aspects of the period and could reveal them better than any single figure. The idea would not die. [..] Jarry had forced his way into the group and established himself close to the center of things. He helped clarify my underlying subject: how the fluid state known as bohemia, a cultural underground smacking of failure and fraud, crystallized for a few decades into a self-conscious avant-garde that carried the arts into a period of astonishingly varied renewal and accomplishment. [..] An enormous amount has been written on this era and these men since the first edition of this book in 1958. I have taken account of some of it by changing those passages where new facts have come to light.” (from the Preface to this edition)

First published in 1955
Publisher Vintage Books, 1968
397 pages

Review (Alfred Kazin, The Reporter, 1958)
Review (Sidney Tillim, College Art Journal, 1959)
Review (Justin O’Brien, The Saturday Review, 1958)

PDF (115 MB, no OCR)

Stewart Home: The Assault on Culture: Utopian Currents from Lettrisme to Class War (1988–) [EN, IT, ES]

8 February 2014, dusan

In The Assault on Culture, Stewart Home outlines the subterranean history of mid-to-late 20th century avant-gardes in which artistic and political vanguardism emerge as indissociable. In a comprehensive overview of relatively marginal movements—such as lettrism, situationism, and punk—Home analyzes these radical practices and experiences, which, due to their involvement in alternative forms of sociability as well as their relational, process-oriented, and political character, have remained at the margins of dominant art historiography. Home thereby establishes a critical rewriting of the neo avant-garde from a perspective that shares little with the paradigm of modernist formalism. (from MACBA)

First published by Aporia Press and Unpopular Books, London, 1988
Second UK edition, by AK Press, 1991

Review: Libero Andreotti (J Architectural Education, 1996).
Commentary: Not Bored! (1996, Home’s response)

The Assault on Culture (PDF), EPUB, HTML (from the author)
Assalto alla cultura (Italian, trans. Luther Blissett, 1996, unpaginated)
El asalto a la cultura (Spanish, trans. Jesus Carrillo and Jordi Claramonte, 2002)

See also Home’s Neoism, Plagiarism & Praxis, 1995.