Posts Tagged ‘Amazon’
June 9, 2014 | by Dan Piepenbring
Above is an advertisement from our seventieth issue—published in the summer of 1977—for Deep Foot and its sequel, Deeper Foot, two apparently seminal avant-garde novels. Click the photo to see the ad in full; it merits scrutiny.
Anyone seriously seeking Truth, Love, and a real and true ALTERNATIVE to the deadness and shallowness of the American Dream, rather than merely seeking people or trips to become dependent upon: THESE BOOKS ARE FOR YOU!
“This generation may hide these masterpieces under their beds,” the ad goes on, “but the next generation will more likely use them like a Bible!”
I’m of that next generation, and I can tell you: we most certainly would, if we only knew where to find them.
Information on the whereabouts of Richard M. Vixen has been hard to come by—we appreciate any tips you can offer. We do know that Avant-Garde Creations, of Eugene, Oregon, was in existence as recently as 1981, when the company took out an ad in Yoga Journal—a questionnaire, in fact, whose first prompt is “Are you conscious of a deep desire to be in an environment in which you could choose to be with any of 20 (or so) people, all of whom you love and who love you?”
Evidence indicates that Mr. Vixen wrote, in addition to the series advertised here, The Game of Orgy (with a foreword by Robert Rimmer) and The Magic Carpet and the Cement Wall, for Kids from 8 to 92. A rhapsodic Amazon review of Deep Foot describes it thus:
A triumphant, voluptuous novel about a woman's enlightenment. A mercilessly erotic, tenderly passionate journey into love and awareness.
When Lotta escaped from her prison of beliefs (about what she thought her life was supposed to be about) she found a whole new world of love and beauty awaiting her, and she fell in love with … Everyone!
A dissenting critic writes, “Reading it felt a bit like watching a non-lethal crash between two clown cars happen in slow motion.”
May 19, 2014 | by Dan Piepenbring
- In 1658, John Comenius published what may have been the first children’s picture book: Orbis Sensualium Pictus, or The World of Things Obvious to the Senses Drawn in Pictures. “The Orbis—with its 150 pictures showing everyday activities like brewing beer, tending gardens, and slaughtering animals—is immediately familiar as an ancestor of today’s children’s literature.”
- Behind Alex Trebek’s veneer of erudition is an everyman, a heavy drinker, a handyman: “Trebek says that when he gets up in the middle of the night—he has terrible insomnia—he will lie awake for hours plotting how to fix the sliver of light peeking through his window, and all the other home-repair projects he wants to tackle next.”
- “Throughout cult-movie history, the American cheerleader has come to stand for something demonic, bitchy, slutty, and secretly lesbian, resulting in an archetype as American as apple pie, football, and well, cheerleading itself: the Subversive Cheerleader Genre.”
- Cell-phone novels, stories serialized in short bursts, have consistently appeared on Japan’s best-seller lists for years; now a few developers are attempting to popularize them in America.
- Amazon puts the squeeze on Hachette: “Hachette, which owns Little, Brown; Hyperion; and Grand Central, says that Amazon is deliberately slowing sales of Hachette’s books in an effort to pressure the French publisher into agreeing to new contract terms on book pricing.”
April 11, 2014 | by Dan Piepenbring
- Today is Rizzoli Bookstore’s last day in business on Fifty-Seventh Street. Visit their beautiful shop before it’s gone.
- An unnerving correlation between philosophy and murder: “Countries with high homicide rates also have citizens who believe strongly in free will.”
- Britain got rich on sheep. “Wool was the white gold of our economy in the Middle Ages: when Richard the Lionheart was ransomed by the Holy Roman Emperor, Henry VI, the Cistercian monasteries of Britain were asked for a year’s haul of fleece to pay for him.”
- “Amazon has purchased Comixology, the largest retailer of digital comics.” Is your local brick-and-mortar comic-book store completely fucked?
- Nobody wants to go to Colonial Williamsburg anymore. “Here’s an idea: market Colonial Williamsburg as so stodgy and weirdly Americana it’s cool, like taxidermy or trucker hats.”
- In an old shoebox, an artist has discovered a series of strangely affecting photos from the Kansas City drag scene of the sixties.
January 29, 2014 | by Dan Piepenbring
If you’re flush, you could spend your days schlepping from to one rare-book room to another, hoping to stumble upon a first edition that’s both a worthy investment and an aesthetic treasure. Or you could just go to Amazon and buy one of these recently published e-books, which will, given their pedigree and initial cost, most certainly appreciate in value.
(“This book is one of the most expensive available on Amazon in Kindle version. It does not exist on paper version. It caters to the richest people. Those who can buy it without flinching. It is not for the poor, stingy, or for those who count their money. Therefore, please do not buy this book if you do not have enough money on your bank account. If you are not wealthy but think you can read this book and ask for a refund afterwards, give up immediately, you are not the readership target. Any unusual thing is expensive! This is the law of supply and demand. Only a privileged few can buy and read this book. The others: go your way. Many free books are available for your long winter evenings. However, if you have a lot of money, and if the price of this book does not disturb you more than that, welcome and good reading.”)
January 28, 2014 | by Dan Piepenbring
- Gift idea: cheese portraits. The medium is the message here—this cheese is made with bacteria cultivated from your mouth or toes. It’s you, indubitably, microbially. The artist adds, “The bacteria that you find in-between the toes is actually very similar to the bacteria that makes cheese smell like toes.” You don’t say.
- Amazon has purchased another block of Seattle. A technofortress, no doubt, soon to be swarming with drones.
- The Sims is the bestselling PC game of all time. It also has—no mean feat—the most poetic, surreal software-update notifications of all time. “Sims will no longer walk on water to view paintings placed on swimming pool walls.”
- Presenting the Daphne, an award for the best book to have been published fifty years ago.
- Melville the prognosticator: Moby-Dick, Benito Cereno, and modern-day imperialism.
January 20, 2014 | by Dan Piepenbring
- Today is supposedly Blue Monday, the saddest day of the year. And Jude the Obscure, 120 Days of Sodom, Germinal: these are among the fifteen most depressing books in literature.
- And yet The Day of the Locust lands on a list of comfort reads.
- Ship first, ask questions later. Amazon’s latest stratagem: “anticipatory shipping,” a program in which the company preemptively sends you products it expects you to buy, “based on previous searches and purchases, wish lists, and how long the user’s cursor hovers over an item online.”
- Not unrelatedly, here’s a roundup of socially resonant dystopian fiction. “These dystopias, I think, speak to a different kind of anxiety … one of widespread helplessness in an unfathomably complex world.”
- “Using science to explain art is a good way to butcher both.” A scorched-earth takedown of Jane Austen, Game Theorist.
- This roundup is looking pretty bleak. In the name of balance, a celebration of literary rule-breakers.