Supervert News 2009
Supervert is an alias a nom de plume a moniker for an individual a corporation a brand name. Supervert offers you a unique combination of intellect and deviance. Perversity for your brain. Vanguard aesthetics, novel pathologies.
Gift Ideas from Supervert (and/or Win a Free Book)
In honor of the winter holidays, Supervert will once again be giving away a book a day for the entire month of December. A random winner, chosen daily, will be able to select a free copy of Extraterrestrial Sex Fetish or Necrophilia Variations. (Sorry, Horror Panegyric is pretty much out of stock, though Amazon has a few copies left.)
To enter the contest, simply submit your email address. Contest over...
Looking for other holiday gift ideas? You might enjoy the new editions of classic erotica put out by Bookkake (especially Venus in Furs, which contains Supervert's own Sadistic Introduction to a Masochistic Book). You might want to support Savoy Books by purchasing one of their Lord Horror productions. Or perhaps you would prefer a little dirty talk with Supervert's PSO sweetheart Angela St Lawrence.
Once the new year arrives, don't forget to watch supervert.com for an announcement about a new Supervert publication.
Ballardian Interviews Savoy Books
Ballardian has just posted the first part of a substantial interview with Savoy Books cofounder Michael Butterworth. The site is also sponsoring a microfiction contest -- "because the idea of humanoids competing for something as outré as Lord Horror has a certain black appeal." The grand prize includes a copy of David Britton's impossible-to-find novel Lord Horror. (To put it in perspective, the only copy of Lord Horror currently for sale online is going for over $800.)
Of course, you may also want read Supervert's essay about Savoy Books, Horror Panegyric.
Supervert has been busy with the Naked Lunch @ 50 festivities this year and made a rare public appearance to host the inaugural New York event (which also featured Thurston Moore, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, John Giorno, Anne Waldman, and others).
In December Supervert will resume its annual holiday contest, giving away a book a day for the entire month. And early in 2010, barring force majeure, there will be a new Supervert book. Don't switch that dial.
A Sit-Down with Supervert
Last month Magdalene Sullivan published a very nicely written interview with Supervert called "A Sit-Down with Supervert." It focuses largely on Necrophilia Variations. (Apologies to Ms. Sullivan for taking so long to mention it here... You did a fabulous job, and Supervert's only excuse is having been in Paris for a bit. Thanks.)
Dream Syntax was reading Extraterrestrial Sex Fetish and suddenly realized that "ninfa is espanol for nymph." Yes, that's perfectly right.
Speaking of Burroughs, the festivities celebrating the 50th anniversary of the publication of Naked Lunch continue. See nakedlunch.org for info.
DeviantTwit.ch will be going offline at the end of the month. It was just an experiment.
Finally, Supervert has been neglectful of PervScan lately. Somebody actually wrote to ask if Supervert had been arrested... No, no, there is just a lot going on. More soon...
Little White Lies
The award-winning and fabulously designed English film magazine, Little White Lies, excerpted two sections ("Exophile" and "Time Whores") of Extraterrestrial Sex Fetish for its May/June 2009 issue. You can see the opening spread at Supervert's Flickr account.
RIP J.G. Ballard
Ballardian has posted a series of tributes to writer J.G. Ballard, who passed away on 19 April 2009. Doubtless the most informative and affecting was that by Michael Moorcock, who was a close friend of Ballard for 50 years. Supervert also contributed a brief text in honor of Ballard. It's online at Ballardian but here it is again.
Given the "false," "alternate," and "conceptual" deaths envisioned in his most experimental work, The Atrocity Exhibition, it is difficult to accept the banality of J.G. Ballard's demise. Biographically, it would have been satisfying to contemplate an alternate Ballard killed in the automobile accident he suffered two weeks after completing the text of Crash. "If I had died," wrote Ballard in his memoir Miracles of Life, "the accident might well have been judged deliberate, at least on the unconscious level." Instead, Ballard succumbed to prostate cancer — a sort of kick in the nuts for the writer who, imagining "sexual stimulation by newsreel atrocity films," blithely described how the films were "shown to both disturbed children and terminal cancer patients with useful results." Did he remember writing that on the day he received his diagnosis?
Whether Ballard is remembered as a novelist, a visionary, a stylist, or a philosopher (the "sage of Shepperton"), one thing is certain: his anatomist's gaze was scalpel sharp. Ballard remained lucid even in the difficult art of self-analysis. He recognized, for example, that his era had drastically transformed the role of the writer. "The balance between fiction and reality has changed significantly," he wrote in the introduction to a French edition of Crash. "We live in a world ruled by fictions of every kind... We live inside an enormous novel." For William Burroughs, the antidote was to "cut word lines." For Ballard, "the fiction is already there. The writer's task is to invent the reality." How so? "He offers the reader the contents of his own head, a set of options and imaginative alternatives."
Sadly, to contemplate Ballard's death is to realize that the "options and imaginative alternatives" disappear with him. What new role would he have envisioned for the writer in a world where everyone seems to write — or at least to blog, comment, tweet, and send "text messages?" Would he have offered up a startling insight in interview? Composed one of his brilliant conceptual efforts? One imagines a short story with a title something like "Deleting the Facebook Account of the Last Writer in the World." The protagonist, named Jim, decides that, in an age in which everybody "writes," the true writer is he who erases (in much the same spirit as Robert Rauschenberg once created an artwork by erasing a Willem de Kooning drawing). He tries to delete every trace he ever left on the internet. He hunts down the subscribers of Ambit in order to torch their houses and thereby rid the world of every printed magazine containing his name...
But ultimately he discovers that there is one account, such as a Facebook profile, that he cannot delete. It's bureaucracy. We've all run up against such inane dilemmas. "What do you mean I can't delete myself?" But then, on another level, it's parable. Ballard may be dead, but we refuse to grant him permission to delete the account he created with literature.
Horror Panegyric has sold out. Amazon still has a handful of copies, and of course you can read the entirety of Supervert's essay on the Lord Horror productions of Savoy Books here at supervert.com. Some zealot also scanned the printed book and posted it to Scribd.
Supervert is very pleased at the response to Horror Panegyric and wants to thank everyone who has helped to spread the word about Savoy Books.
Speaking of last year's productions, here is a link to Sadistic Introduction to a Masochistic Book, Supervert's introduction to the Bookkake edition of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch's Venus in Furs. It's a fun text and ought to help tide you over till the publication of Supervert's next book.
Plans to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the publication of William S. Burroughs' Naked Lunch are coming together rapidly. There will be events in Paris in July 2009 and in New York in October 2009. Watch NakedLunch.org for details.
Spadeshift Press has released its first book, Troy Chambers' Sabre's Call. Though the book very kindly mentions Supervert and Savoy's David Britton as inspirations, Mr Chambers clearly has the writer's gene. It is hard not to expect big things from a guy who gives this as his bio: "Troy Chambers has been described by a hospital psychologist as 'Jim Jones searching for an island.'"
Happy New Year
Congratulations to the winners of December's book contest. If you enjoy your book, please consider showing your appreciation by reviewing it, blogging about it, twittering about it, linking to Supervert, etc. Thank you.
Leading up to the holiday season, Supervert's Extraterrestrial Sex Fetish was included on Annalee Newitz's list at io9.com of the Ten Kinkiest Science Fiction Books You'll Ever Read. (Many thanks to Ms. Newitz for her continued support.)
CalypsoFolie posted a picture of his copies of Extraterrestrial Sex Fetish and Necrophilia Variations to Flickr. That looks like a pretty well-worn copy of NV there...
There are some interesting reviews of Necrophilia Variations on GoodReads. After reading the free excerpts of NV available here at supervert.com, Ginya wrote:
It's not the imagery of corpses that is unsettling, it's the mentality and rationale of the narrator that is completely disturbing. His way of explaining his attraction to cadavers is, at the very least, creepy. But most sickening is the way he seems to revel in it all, musing with a certain kind of delight. I decided that the first two chapters were enough and have no interest in reading the rest. This is a book that will seriously make you feel "f*cked up," for lack of a better word.
Hey Ginya, why don't you take a crack at the whole book? Send an email, if you'd like, and Supervert will send you a free copy.
MySpace user Substantial Chaos was inspired by Necrophilia Variations to write "Necrophilia Ramblings."
Headpress 28: The Gospel According to Unpopular Culture includes a review of Horror Panegyric.
Is there a possibility, though, that some covet the material, not because of what they get from it, but because it gives them a certain cachet, a certains sense of being in the know? And if so, what would be the implications of such an attitude? "To enjoy a book because it's a kind of secret among cognoscenti is to enjoy it for the wrong reasons -- to treat it as a fashion item, a badge of your hipness," Supervert argues. "A book ought to sink or rise on its literary merits, and that's what you should read it for. Generations of people have read Paradise Lost, for example, and that doesn't diminish my joy when Milton has Satan say, "Awake, arise, or be forever fallen." If millions of people were to read Motherfuckers, that wouldn't detract one bit from the pleasure that the book has to offer."
The Midnight Bell very kindly spoke of "a terrific & unsettling writer" while linking to Supervert's introduction to Venus in Furs, published by Bookkake. Incidentally, Bookake's founder, James Bridle, has been shortlisted for the UK Young Publishing Entrepreneur award for 2009. Supervert sends a big congratulations to James.
Finally, a mysterious young man named Alexander has released a PDF of his book Fragmentary Annihilation: An Attempt at Overcoming Nihilism and Limitation. The blood of the Comte de Lautréamont flows in the young man's veins and, for the sake of his work, he lets some spill: "I peel away a piece of dead skin from my face, nuisance hangnails amputated with nail clippers, pieces of me fall onto this very paper with a single drop of blood, I wipe off this waste and continue onward." Perhaps give him some feedback too, so he doesn't disappear like the Comte did at the tender age of 26.