Top 5ive Weird Books: Commentary on Matt’s List

Jeremy’s Commentary–

5. Story of the Eye by Georges Bataille. As much as I love religious imagery in art, I think a sex act involving priest’s eye is a bit too much. I did recently watch The Exorcist (for the first time,and with the Dirty Deacon himself) and one famous scene does depict an sex act with a Crucifix. That was pretty disturbing, but of course that was the point. I’d hope the sex-eye makes sense in context. Even so, I think I’ll take Matt’s advice and never read this book.

4. The God Themselves by Isaac Asimov. Sci-fi was at a peak of some sort back in the 60s and 70s. Writers such as Dick and Asimov and Vonnegut (and plenty of others whose names I don’t know) were exploring some pretty basic human concepts in some very weird ways. I have not read anything by Asimov, but I have read the other two, so I can imagine how weird this Asimov book would be. The story Matt describes kind of reminds me of the Plato dialogue, Symposium, where a bunch of philosophers get together and eat and drink and then talk about the nature of love. One of them tells the story of how we got the two sexes. At one point, there was only one sex, one creature that had both sides (as it were). One day some of them split up, and since then the descendants to those two sides have been looking to reunite. Maybe it’s not all that much like the Asimov book, even though both are weird.

3. Homestuck by Andrew Hussie. The Ulysses of the internet? Do we really need such a thing? I would say no. I’m sure this thing stands fine on its own without comparisons to that literary masterpiece (and for Matt to call it “impenetrable” is just incorrect). I haven’t ever gotten into webcomics, though I have no specific aversion to them. Games, on the other hand, are not my jam. Novels I really enjoy. I don’t have an opinion about what-is-it’s, though I’m usually willing to try stuff out. So, setting aside the ill-conceived Ulysses comparison, I’d say there’s a little more than 50% chance I’d check this out.

2. The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak. 

tommy

1. Codex Seraphinianus by Luigi Serafini. So Matt doesn’t like my Ulysses pick, and thnks the novel is too obtuse. Yet he chooses a novel that may actually be indecipherable? Even with Joyce’s most challenging work, Finnegan’s Wake, there exists a cipher (somewhere). He’s not just randomly making up words. He’s combining words from sometimes 2 or 3 different languages, so it takes an incredible amount of scholarship to understand it. But there is something concrete there. He’s not just making shit up, which is what Serafini is doing here. Reading about this reminds of the “book” Richard Kind’s character is “writing” in the Coen Brothers film A Serious Man. The manuscript is called something like “The Mentaculus” [sic]. He describes it as a “probability map of the universe”, but it turns out to be mostly gibberish.

Marty’s commentary–

5. Story of the Eye by Georges Bataille. Weird sexytimes are weird.

4. The God Themselves by Isaac Asimov. Weird alien group sex is weirder.

3. Homestuck by Andrew Hussie. This sounds fascinating. Thanks for pointing this out to me. I plan to Google it later…

2. The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak.  Don’t most books not have pictures? I have to classify this as a WEIRD FAIL.

1. Codex Seraphinianus by Luigi Serafini. I dunno, the Codex seems pretty run-of-the-mill to me. My own elementary school journals are similarly illustrated, and similarly indecipherable.

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