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June 08, 2005

Tag, I'm it

I recently presented a paper about Suzuki Koji's novel, "Ring" upon which a number of films in several countries have been based. For people who have not read the book, or seen any of the films, the central conceit is of a chain-letter style curse. An effective basis for a horror plot and an even better story on which to base the marketing of a horror film.

Well, I try not to forward chain letters in any form no matter how much bad luck I am supposed to have attracted as a consequence and so have thus far been resolute in avoiding the current book tagging that has been going on in the Canadian blogosphere. This despite some past bad behaviour on my part. There is a limit to any resolution, however, and how could I ignore being tagged by Antonia Zerbisias, Canadian media doyenne and foil to ever-so-slightly right of centre Bob Tarantino of Let It Bleed. Bob, mercifully, has already been tagged...

Number of books I own: Regular Flea-readers may already know my home suffers from a condition my mother describes as "book blight". I have a plan in the works to address the problem, somewhat pressing with thoughts of moving back across the Atlantic, but for now am happy to house them all in two cities in one country instead of four cities in two countries (not counting books at the office which actually adds up to three cities).

Last book I bought: A collection, the first volume of "Serenity Rose" which I gather is "the comic book journal and assorted spooky galleries of ms. serenity rose, local witch." I have not yet had time to read it but pretty much everything put out by Slave Labor is wonderful and this "goblin danse" looks especially promising.

Last book I read: A novel, "The Risen Empire" by Scott Westerfeld which is the first book in his "Succession" series. This was the best space opera I have read since Peter F. Hamilton's "The Reality Dysfunction". Fun to describe a galactic empire governed by the undead as hard science fiction but Westerfeld pulls it off nicely.

Five books that mean a lot to me: This is a question that should probably be treated like Desert Island Discs, let us assume various books of the Bible and the collected works of Shakespeare are on the list. Given this is the Flea, let us also assume "Dune" and "The Lord of the Rings". Five books... only five books. Talk about Sophie's Choice. Hmm... I will limit my answer to five of my favourite grimoires.

Steps to an Ecology of Mind by Gregory Bateson. To my mind, many problems in relationships and public policy stem from problems in the ways we are taught to think. Bateson is good for what ails us.

Illuminatus! by Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea. Any undergrads reading this who have yet to read Illuminatus! should do so at once. Your education has become far too practical and this trilogy should go some way to correcting that.

Looking Awry by Slavoj Žižek is "an introduction to Jacques Lacan through popular culture" and is one of the best entry points I know of into semiotics, psychoanalysis, structural analysis and film theory.

A True & Faithful Relation of What passed for many Yeers between Dr. John Dee (A Mathematician of Great Fame in Q. Eliz. and King James their Reignes) and some spirits published by Méric Casaubon based on transcripts of work by Dr. John Dee and Sir Edward Kelley. Reading my Magickal Childe edition is like taking a warm bath. Just be certain to take care with your Enochian pronunciation. Klaatu, verata... uh... necktie!

London AZ... this is the Indispensable grimoire to navigating my favourite city and, with luck, my soon to be home once again.

I have recently posted a longer list of books of more general importance that is worth a look if these five are not more than enough!

Tag five more: Oh no. The link ends here! There was no obvious jinx attached to this exercise beyond blogospheric pressure though the latter may be worse than the former. I am going to risk it. So Antonia, we have an insight into your off-line reading but when do we get a look at your blogroll?

Posted by Ghost of a flea at June 8, 2005 09:33 AM

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? Better read than dead from Classical Values
There's some sort of awful book confession meme going around the blogosphere, and last night I learned to my horror that Matt Sheffield has tagged me! (Which means I have to disclose personal information about my precious books.) The last... [Read More]

Tracked on June 19, 2005 09:38 AM


I'm hurt, Flea. Deeply, irretrievably hurt.

I tagged you five days earlier than Queen Z. *sniffle* But did you notice? *sob* NO! *WAIL!*

Posted by: Damian [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 8, 2005 11:39 AM

My sincere, profuse apologies! The difference is Antonia emailed and your tag did not ping my trackbacks... so sorry!

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 8, 2005 12:15 PM

I should have e-mailed you, I guess. I just assumed you check my blog half a dozen times daily, like I check yours.

Unrequited blog-stalking: there's a pop-culture topic for you!

Apropos of nothing at all, buying a man a beer over lunch is a much better way to say you're sorry than going all Hallmark. Just sayin'. ;)

Posted by: Damian [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 8, 2005 01:09 PM

Oh well if you're not to busy playing golf... :p

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 8, 2005 01:11 PM

Yeah, I hate these things myself, such a grump!

Illuminatus! - that's a trilogy, yes? Aren't you sneaking in an extra edition or two? Maybe I'm remembering it wrongly. If judged illegal, possibly Foucault's Pendulum would suit.

Speaking of book lists, this is a nice practical one for MBAs

Posted by: urthshu [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 8, 2005 07:35 PM

Illuminatus! is indeed a trilogy but then the Bateson book is a collection of essays, the John Dee book was channelled communication with angels and the London AZ is an atlas so I am bending the word "book" all over the place... Looking Awry might be the only strict qualifier which would be a great disappointment to its Lacanian author.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 8, 2005 08:58 PM