Monday, June 18, 2012

EVENT: Joshua Burkett, Ralph White, Mark Feehan




Tuesday, July 3rd, 8pm
at
Brickbat Books:

Joshua Burkett, Ralph White & Mark Feehan




Joshua Burkett

Josh Burkett's name first surfaced in the early '90s, as saxophonist for psychedelic-exploitation band Vermonster (a Wayne Rodgers/Twisted Village project, like Crystallized Movements, Magic Hour, B.O.R.B., and Major Stars), most noted for playing interminable destructo-noise versions of songs from ultra-obscure collector-bait sixties psych artists. Forget about that part; the next I heard from him was finding him first on the bill when the Rolling Psychedelic Circus tour reached western Massachusetts in the fall of 1999, where he played electric/acoustic guitar while sitting down, improvising to loops he set up on a digital delay pedal. This album, housed in a nifty handmade cardboard fold-over sleeve, carries those sparse sounds further back into the mysterious late night fog, with plinking guitars, banjos & other stringed things (sometimes leaving delay-induced lysergic trails), softly-sung barely-there vocals, occasional woodwinds, electronics & noises, organ, tapes, and tablas or other subdued percussion. Fragile and enticing late-night (bed-time and beyond) psychedelic folk music for those not-so-well-balanced people who can still appreciate beauty in its roughest forms. (Aural Innovations)






Ralph White

"White was a member of well-loved punk bluegrass outfit Bad Livers but his solo work is possessed of a much more lonesome spark, exaggerating the implied drone at the heart of the music of Dock Boggs and The Stanley Brothers. "Navasota River Devil Squirrel" was originally released as a CD-R in 2007, but this limited vinyl version comes courtesy of fellow musical loner Joshua Burkett's new imprint. White plays wooden six-string banjo, violin, accordion and kalimba and his voice has a high, eerie quality to it that allows it to blend with the various primitive strategies that the music employs to reanimate traditional and original material alike. The use of kalimba situates aspects of the sound in some avant hillbilly fourth world, while the combination of dense matrices of string and White's transporting vocal is extremely psychedelic." -David Keenan - THE WIRE





 
Mark Feehan

"Formerly of the infamous noise band Harry Pussy. Volcanic Tongue called Feehan and Bill Orcutt, his guitar-mate in Harry Pussy, "two of the greatest six string thinkers of the modern age." He has an upcoming LP on Siltbreeze."

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Featured: Cover Of The Week




 Margaret Hutchings, What Shall I Do This Month
Hardcover (out of print)





This book, and thousands of others, can be purchased from:

Brickbat Books
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Philadelphia, PA 19147

215 592 1207

Open:
Tuesday: thru Saturday, 11am to 7pm
Sunday: 11am to 6pm
Closed Monday 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Event: Closed for Philadelphia Day


Philadelphia was founded by William Penn on June 18th (or Oct 27th), 1682. In celebration of the 330th anniversary of the City of Brotherly Love, Brickbat will be closed Sunday, June 17th, and Monday, June 18th.
Happy Holiday!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Featured: 6 From Melville House







Derek Raymond, Dead Man Upright

The fifth and final book in the author’s acclaimed Factory Series was published just after Derek Raymond’s death, and so didn’t get the kind of adulatory attention the previous four titles in the series got. The book has been unavailable for so long that many of Derek Raymond’s rabid fans aren’t even aware there is a fifth book.
But Dead Man Upright may be the most psychologically probing book in the series. Unlike the others, it’s not so much an investigation into the identity of a killer, but a chase to catch him before he kills again. Meanwhile, the series’ hero—the nameless Sargent from the “Unexplained Deaths” department—is facing more obstacles in the department, due to severe budget cutbacks, than he’s ever faced before.
However, this time, the Sargent knows the identity of the next victim of the serial killer in question. But even the Sargent’s brutally blunt way of speaking can’t convince the besotted victim, and he’s got to convince a colleague to go against orders and join him in the attempt to catch the killer . . . before it’s too late.

Derek Raymond was the pseudonym adopted by Robin Cook, a well-born Englishman who spent a great portion of his life in France. Turning his back on Eton and all his birth class implied, he worked for years at whatever menial jobs or scams came to him, writing all the while, learning the secret life of London the way a cab driver must learn its streets. Soon enough he took the crime novel to heart, taking as his subject the dispossessed and faceless, society's rejects: alcoholics, abused women, prostitutes, petty criminals swarming like pilot fish in the wake of sharks. His life's work culminated in the four Factory novels now seen as clear landmarks in British fiction: He Died with His Eyes Open, The Devil's Home on Leave, How the Dead Live, and I Was Dora Suarez.




Raymond Radiguet, The Devil In The Flesh

Hailed by Jean Cocteau as a “masterpiece,” and by the Guardian as “Bret Easton Ellis’s Less Than Zero, avant la lettre,” this taut tale written by a teenager in the form of a frank “confession” is a gem of early twentieth century romanticism. Long unavailable in the U.S., it is here presented in a sparkling new translation.
Set in Paris during the First World War, it tells the story of Francois, the 16-year-old narrator, who falls in love with Marthe, an older, married woman whose husband is off fighting at the front. What seems to begin as a charming tale of puppy love quickly darkens, and they launch into a steamy affair. In the tense environment of the wartime city, their love takes on a desperation transcending their youthfulness.
And as the badly-kept secret of their relationship unfolds, scandal descends, leading the story to a final, startling conclusion — and causing the book itself to become a scandal when it was first published in 1923, just before the author’s death at the age of 20.

Raymond Radiguet was born in 1903 in Saint-Maur, a small town outside Paris. He was the son of a cartoonist, but little else is known about his childhood until, at age 16, he dropped out of school after an affair with the wife of a soldier off fighting in the first World War, to go to Paris. At the age of 18, after writing a collection of poems that would only be published posthumously, Les joues en feu, Radiguet moved to a fishing village near Toulon to work on the novel that would become his masterpiece, The Devil in the Flesh, which was based on his high school affair. Radiguet died of typhoid fever at age 20. Composer Francis Poulenc said of his death, “For two days I was unable to do anything, I was so stunned.”




Mahmoud Dowlatabadi, The Colonel

Ten years in the writing, this fearless novel—so powerful it’s banned in Iran—tells the stirring story of a tortured people forced to live under successive oppressive regimes.
It begins on a pitch black, rainy night, when there’s a knock on the Colonel’s door. Two policemen have come to summon him to collect the tortured body of his youngest daughter. The Islamic Revolution is devouring its own children. Set over the course of a single night, the novel follows the Colonel as he pays a bribe to recover his daughter’s body and then races to bury her before sunrise.
As we watch him struggle with the death of his innocent child, we find him wracked with guilt and anger over the condition of his country, particularly as represented by his own children: a son who fell during the 1979 revolution; another driven to madness after being tortured during the Shah’s regime; a third who went off to martyr himself fighting for the ayatollahs in their war against Iraq; one murdered daughter, and another who survives by being married to a cruel opportunist.
An incredibly powerful novel about nation, history and family, The Colonel leaves no taboo unbroken.

Mahmoud Dowlatabadi is one of the Middle East’s most important writers of the last century. The author of numerous novels, plays and screenplays, he is a leading proponent of social and artistic freedom in contemporary Iran. Dowlatabadi pioneered the use of the everyday language of the Iranian people as suitable for high literary art, and often examines the lives of the marginal and oppressed in his work, such as in his previous Melville House title, Missing Soluch, his first work translated into English.





Cheikh Hamidou Kane, Ambiguous Adventure

Hailed by Chinua Achebe as one of the greatest African novels ever written, this long-unavailable classic tells the tale of young Samba Diallo, a devout pupil in a Koranic school in Senegal whose parents send him to Paris to study philosophy.
But unknown to Samba, it is a desperate attempt by his parents to better understand the French colonial forces transforming their traditional way of life. Instead, for Samba, it seems an exciting adventure, and once in France he excels at his new studies and is delighted by his new “marvelous comprehension and total communion” with the Western world.
Soon, though, he finds himself torn between the materialistic secularism and isolation of French civilization and the deeper spiritual influences of his homeland. As Samba puts it: “I have become the two.”
Written in an elegant, lyrical prose, Ambiguous Adventure is a masterful expression of the immigrant experience and the repercussions of colonialism, and a great work of literature about the uneasy relationship between Islamic Africa and the West — a relationship more important today than ever before.

Cheikh Hamidou Kane was born in 1928 in Senegal. Educated in a Koranic school, he went on to study philosophy and law at the University of Paris, before returning to Senegal where he became a government minister and, later, a UNICEF representative traveling throughout Africa. He lives in Dakar.







Lars Iyer, Dogma

The sequel to the 2011 hit Spurious—which was acclaimed by The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The Washington Post, which called it “fearsomely funny”—Dogma finds Lars and W. still, continually and without cease, arguing, although this time in a different country.
This time out, the duo embarks on a trip to the American Deep South, where, in company with a band of Canadians who may or may not be related to W., they attempt to form a new religion based on their philosophical studies. Their mission is soon derailed by their inability to take meaningful action, their endless bickering, the peculiar behavior of the natives, and by a true catastrophe: they can’t seem to find a liquor store that carries their brand of gin.
Part Nietzsche, part Monty Python, part Huckleberry Finn, Dogma is a novel as ridiculous and profound as religion itself.

Lars Iyer is a lecturer in philosophy at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He is the author of two books on Blanchot (Blanchot's Communism: Art, Philosophy, Politics and Blanchot's Vigilance: Phenomenology, Literature, Ethics) and the novel Spurious, which was 3:AM Magazine's Book of the Year in 2011. He writes at his blog Spuriousand is also a contributor to Britain's leading literary blog, Ready, Steady, Book. His literary manifesto, "Nude in Your Hot Tub, Facing the Abyss" appeared in Post Road and The White Review.





The Collected Stories of Heinrich Boll

These diverse, psychologically rich, and morally profound stories explore the consequences of war on individuals and on an entire culture. The Collected Stories of Heinrich Böll provides readers with the only comprehensive collection by this master of the short-story form.
Includes all the stories from Böll’s The Mad Dog, Eighteen Short Stories, The Casualty, and The Stories of Heinrich Böll. A Nobel Laureate, Böll was considered a master of 20th century literature, and The Collected Stories of Heinrich Böll contains some of his finest work.


Heinrich Boll was born in Cologne in 1917. Despite his background as a Catholic pacifist, Böll was conscripted and saw combat during the second World War. He was wounded four times before surrendering to American Soldiers. He published his first novel, The Train Was on Time, in 1949. His best-known novels include The Clown, Billiards at Half-Past Nine, and Group Portrait with Lady. Böll served as president of PEN and was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1972.




These books, and thousands of others, can be purchased from:

Brickbat Books
709 South Fourth Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147

215 592 1207

Open:
Tuesday: thru Saturday, 11am to 7pm
Sunday: 11am to 6pm
Closed Monday

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Featured Yayoi Kusama




Infinity Net, The Autobiography Of Yayoi Kusama
Hardcover
SOLD!


In 1957, encouraged by Georgia O’Keeffe, artist Yayoi Kusama left Japan for New York City to become a star. By the time she returned to her home country in 1973, she had established herself as a leader of New York’s avant-garde movement, known for creating happenings and public orgies to protest the Vietnam War and for the polka dots that had become a trademark of her work. Her sculptures, videos, paintings, and installations are to this day included in major international exhibitions.
Available for the first time in English, Infinity Net paints a multilayered portrait of this fascinating artist. Taking us from her oppressive childhood in postwar Japan to her present life in the psychiatric hospital where she voluntarily stays—and is still productive—Kusama’s autobiography offers insight into the persona of mental illness that has informed her work. While she vibrantly describes the hallucinatory episodes she experiences, her tale is punctuated by stories of her pluck and drive in making her artistic voice heard. Conveying the breadth and ambition of her own work, Kusama also offers a dazzling snapshot of 1960s and 1970s New York City and her encounters with its artists—she collaborates with Andy Warhol, shares an apartment with Donald Judd, and becomes romantically entangled with Joseph Cornell. Replete with the sense of the sheer necessity within an artist to create, Infinity Net is an energetic and juicy page-turner that offers a glimpse into Kusama’s exhilarating world.
This book, and thousands of others, can be purchased from:

Brickbat Books
709 South Fourth Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147

215 592 1207

Open:
Tuesday: thru Saturday, 11am to 7pm
Sunday: 11am to 6pm
Closed Monday  

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Featured: Maria Wirtemberska

Maria Wirtemberska, Malvina, Or The Heart's Intuition

First published in Warsaw in 1816, Malvina, or the Heart’s Intuition has been largely—and unjustly—ignored by the Polish literary canon. Ingeniously structured and vividly related by a Tristram Shandy-esque narrator, Maria Wirtemberska’s psychologically complex work is often considered Poland’s first modern novel.This splendid translation by Ursula Phillips should restore Wirtemberska to her rightful place in the literary pantheon while providing fertile new ground for the study of the international development of the novel.
The romantic story of the young widow Malvina and her mysterious lover Ludomir, Malvina combines several literary styles and influences—from the epistolary to the Gothic. Nobel laureate Czeslaw Milosz argues that Malvina is quintessentially a sentimental novel—a model of the genre whose chief aspiration is to promote a change in sensibility and inspire new forces of feeling and imagination. For this reason Wirtemberska may be compared to her English contemporary, Jane Austen.
A work of genuine artistic daring and sophistication, Malvina, or the Heart’s Intuition has been overlooked by critics for too long, and readers have been denied the pleasure of reading one of literature’s major landmarks—until now.




This book, and thousands of others, can be purchased from:

Brickbat Books
709 South Fourth Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147

215 592 1207

Open:
Tuesday: thru Saturday, 11am to 7pm
Sunday: 11am to 6pm
Closed Monday  



Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Featured: Two From Dalkey Archive




Vitomil Zupan, Minuet For Guitar
 Paperback

 Ranking with the best novels about World War II, Minuet for Guitar is also a masterpiece of Slovenian fiction. Taking cues from the wartime epics of Ford Madox Ford and Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Zupan tells the harrowing story of partisan soldier "Berk" and his surreal experiences as a guerilla during the Axis occupation of Ljubljana. Running parallel to the jumble of Berk's wartime experiences is his no less peculiar encounter with an old enemy during a vacation at a Spanish coastal resort. Together, the two men try to make sense of their wartime memories, leading past and future into a danse macabre undermining the certainties of each. A document of the horrors and tiny comedies of war, and an exploration of the nature of beauty and morality when subjected to the absurdity of history, Minuet for Guitar is an overwhelming literary achievement.








 Drago Jančar, The Galley Slave
 Paperback

The Galley Slave is a tour de force of historical fiction centered on the misadventures of an Everyman of indeterminate origins named Johan Ot, who is part picaresque anti-hero, part Josef K. Driven by a restlessness that he can barely comprehend, Ot consorts with merchants, peasants, pilgrims, pagans, heretics, thieves, and prostitutes, while continually trying to evade the forces of the Inquisition. Everywhere he encounters superstition, the Church, political power, and the mob inextricably linked and wreaking pious, desperate violence on anyone who stands out. The Galley Slave paints a vivid, Bruegelesque panorama of a brutal and plague-threatened late-medieval Europe, seen through the eyes of a rebel in spite of himself as he flees across the length and breadth of the Slovenian lands, from Austrian-controlled Styria to the Venetian-dominated Adriatic coast, in an endless quest to survive.




These books, and thousands of others, can be purchased from:

Brickbat Books
709 South Fourth Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147

215 592 1207

Open:
Tuesday: thru Saturday, 11am to 7pm
Sunday: 11am to 6pm
Closed Monday 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Featured: This Will Have Been

 


This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s
Printed cloth flexi-cover with thumb index


 Art of the 1980s oscillated between radical and conservative, capricious and political, socially engaged and art historically aware. Published in association with the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, this fascinating book chronicles canonical as well as nearly forgotten works of the 1980s, arguing that what has often been dismissed as cynical or ironic should be viewed as a struggle on the part of artists to articulate their needs and desires in an increasingly commodified world. The major developments of the decade—the rise of the commercial art market, the politicization of the AIDS crisis, the increased visibility of women and gay artists and artists of color, and the ascension of new media—are illuminated in works by Sophie Calle, Nan Goldin, Mike Kelley, Jeff Koons, Sherrie Levine, and Lorna Simpson, among others. Essays by leading scholars provide unique perspectives on the decade's competing factions and seemingly contradictory elements, from counterculture to the mainstream, radicalism to democracy and historical awareness, conservatism to feminist politics.Complete with critical texts on each work, This Will Have Been brings into focus the full impact of the art, artists, and political and cultural ruptures of this paradigm-shifting decade. More than 200 full-color reproductions of works in a range of media, including drawing, painting, photography, and sculpture, illustrate this ambitious guide to a period of artistic transformation.




This book, and thousands of others, can be purchased from:

Brickbat Books
709 South Fourth Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147

215 592 1207

Open:
Tuesday: thru Saturday, 11am to 7pm
Sunday: 11am to 6pm
Closed Monday  

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Featured: Manuel Vázquez Montalbán


Born in Barcelona in 1939, MANUEL VÁZQUEZ MONTALBÁN (1939–2003) was a member of Partit Socialista Unificat de Catalunya (PSUC), and was jailed by the Franco government for four years for supporting a miners’ strike. A columnist for Madrid’s El País, as well as a prolific poet, playwright, and essayist, Vázquez Montalbán was also a well-known gourmand who wrote often about food. The nineteen novels in his Pepe Carvalho series have won international acclaim, including the Planeta prize (1979) and the International Grand Prix de Littérature Policière (1981), both for Southern Seas. He died in 2003 in Thailand, on his way home to Barcelona.





The Buenos Aires Quintet

The Argentine army’s “Dirty War” disappeared 30,000 people, and the last thing Pepe Carvalho wants is to investigate one of the vanished, even if that missing person is his cousin. But blood proves thicker than a fine Mendoza Cabernet Sauvignon, even for a jaded gourmand like Pepe, and so at his family’s request he leaves Barcelona for Buenos Aires.
What follows is perhaps Manuel Vázquez Montalbán’s masterpiece: a combination white-knuckle investigation and moving psychological travelogue. Pepe quickly learns that “Buenos Aires is a beautiful city hell-bent on self-destruction,” and finds himself on a trail involving boxers and scholars, military torturers and seductive semioticians, Borges fans and cold-blooded murderers.
And despite the wonders of the Tango and the country’s divine cuisine, he also knows one thing: He’ll have to confront the traumas of Argentina’s past head on if he wants not only to find his cousin, but simply stay alive.







The Angst-Ridden Executive

When Antonio Jauma, a director of the multinational conglomerate Petnay, is murdered, his widow seeks out private investigator Pepe Carvalho, who had met and forgotten the playboy executive after their single chance encounter—back when Carvalho still worked for the CIA.
Jauma was a “womanizer,” according to a friend, “of the least pleasant sense,” and the police have decided that the murder is the work of an unhappy pimp. But Carvalho doggedly pursues his own phlegmatic investigation, with time out for his signature book burning (Sartre’s Critique of Dialectical Reasoning; Sholokov’s And Quiet Flows the Don), cooking (leek soup and a freshly-caught steamed turbot), and running with his girlfriend Charo, whose last name he can’t remember.







Murder In The Central Committee

At a meeting of the central committee of Spain’s Communist Party, in a room both locked and guarded, general secretary Fernando Garrido is stabbed to death. But the Party refuses to believe it was an inside job.
They turn to former member Pepe Carvalho. But he’s soon out of his depth in unfamiliar Madrid, where he spends nearly as much time investigating the chorizo, lamb-kidneys, and tripe, and the uninspiring selection of wine on offer, as he does murder.
With time out for his signature book burning (Engels’s The Housing Question), cooking (shellfish risotto), and an ill-advised bajativo (cognac, crème de menthe) inspired romp with Gladys, Pepe Carvalho leads a wry and cynical tour through the labyrinth of post-Fascist Spanish politics amid violent jostling for power.




These books, and thousands of others, can be purchased from:

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709 South Fourth Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147

215 592 1207

Open:
Tuesday: thru Saturday, 11am to 7pm
Sunday: 11am to 6pm
Closed Monday  

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Featured: Confessions Of An English Opium Eater



Thomas De Quincy, Confessions Of An English Opium Eater 
Illustrated by Laurence Chaves 
(out of print) 
Hardcover 




 




These books, and thousands of others, can be purchased from:

Brickbat Books
709 South Fourth Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147

215 592 1207

Open:
Tuesday: thru Saturday, 11am to 7pm
Sunday: 11am to 6pm
Closed Monday  

Monday, June 4, 2012

New Arrivals: Photography

UTA EISENREICH: A NOT B
Hardcover

Book with recent photographic work by Uta Eisenreich, focussing on the shortcomings of our cognitive tool-kit. A NOT B walks us along the fine line between common sense and uncommon nonsense in a realm reminiscent of pre-school books, assessment tests and optical illusions. Uta Eisenreich is fascinated by the attempt to establish order within an inconsistent reality that constantly exceeds the borders of comprehension. She photographs ever-changing combinations of elementary objects arranged by basic methods of classification. From one image to the next, the meaning of things keeps transforming. A web of clues and associations is spun, triggering the viewer to discern underlying patterns and make sense of the illusory correlations of a-logical connections. Design by Julia Born.
129 p, ills colour, 22 x 29 cm, hb, English




JAN KEMPENAERS - SPOMENIK
Hardcover


During the 1960s and 70s, thousands of monuments commemorating the Second World War – called 'Spomeniks' – were built throughout the former Yugoslavia; striking monumental sculptures, with an angular geometry echoing the shapes of flowers, crystals, and macro-views of viruses or DNA. In the 1980s the Spomeniks still attracted millions of visitors from the Eastern bloc; today they are largely neglected and unknown, their symbolism lost and unwanted. Antwerp-based photographer Jan Kempenaers travelled the Balkans photographing these eerie objects, presented in this book as a powerful typological series. The beauty and mystery of the isolated, crumbling Spomeniks informs Kempenaer's enquiry into memory, found beauty, and whether former monuments can function as pure sculpture.
68 p, ills colour, 33 x 25 cm, hb, English




CITY PEOPLE - RINGEL GOSLINGA
Hardcover

City People is a personal encounter of Ringel Goslinga with the city he lives and works in: Amsterdam. For this project he documented the different circles of his social surroundings, resulting in 122 black and white portraits made with a large format camera. The portraits vary in intimacy, but the intensity of every portrait is constant. In this publication all portraits are categorized which results in a documentation of a city and its citizens.
304 p, ills bw 16 x 20, pb, English




ERIK VAN DER WEIJDE - SUPERQUADRA
Hardcover

Brasilia is best known for the grandeur of its Monumental Axis. It connects two wings with the so-called Residential Axis. This is a twelve kilometre expressway lined with large residential blocks, which are named Superquadras. All Superquadras have a distinct configuration, with an average of eleven residential buildings raised on pilotis, large greenbelts and regular rows of trees alongside the entire periphery of the Superquadras. For all buildings, referred to as slabs, a height limit of six floors was set. Between one Superquadra and the next there is an Entrequadra.These are reserved for recreational areas. This book documents many of these buildings and shows its specific architectural rhythm.
176 p, ills bw, 16 x 22 cm, hb, English




These books, and thousands of others, can be purchased from:

Brickbat Books
709 South Fourth Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147

215 592 1207

Open:
Tuesday: thru Saturday, 11am to 7pm
Sunday: 11am to 6pm
Closed Monday 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

New Arrivals!





...just got in 200-300 titles, mostly classic fiction and children's books, noir, mystery, and contemporary fiction and essays. I'll be posting the highlights over the next week.