Created with Sketch.
85 minutes | 8 days ago
Episode 97: Art in the Age of Artifice
The question of art has been of central concern for JF and Phil since Weird Studies began in 2018. What is art? What can it do that other things can't do? How is it connected to religion, psyche, and our current historical moment? Is the endless torrent of advertisements, entertainment, memes, and porn in which seem hopelessly immersed a manifestation of art or of something else entirely? In this exploration of the main ideas in JF's book Reclaiming Art in the Age of Artifice, your hosts focus on these burning questions in hopes that the answers might shed light on our collective predicament and the paths that lead out of it. Photo by Petar Milošević via Wikimedia Commons REFERENCES JF's upcoming course on the nature and power of art, starting May 10th, 2021 JF Martel, Reclaiming Art in the Age of Artifice Weird Studies, Episode 84 on the Empress card Walter Benjamin, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction Werner Herzog, Cave of Forgotten Dreams Stanley Kubrick, 2001: A Space Odyssey Adam Savage, Special effects designer Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus Kabbalistic emanationist cosmology Henry Corbin’s concept of the “imaginal” Henry Shakespeare, The Tempest Tibetan book of the Dead James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man James Hillman, The Thought of the Heart and The Soul of the World Phil Ford, “Battlefield medicine” Jaques Ellul, idea of “technique” Alain de Botton, Religion for Atheists Paul Tillich, Dynamics of Faith
80 minutes | 22 days ago
Episode 96: Beautiful Beast: On Jean Cocteau's 'La Belle et la Bête'
Jean Cocteau's visionary rendition of Madame de Beaumont's fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast," itself the retelling of a story that may be several millennia old, is the topic of this Weird Studies episode, which proposes a journey down lunar paths to the crossroads where love and death intersect. Drawing on Surrealism, myth, and the occult, Cocteau's 1946 film transcends the limitations of media to become a living poem, a thing that is also a place, a place that is also a mind. This conversation touches on the genius of the child, the mysteries of Eros, the monstrosity of consciousness, and the sorcery of cinema. Photo by Ivan Jevtic on Unsplash REFERENCES Jean Cocteau (dir.), La Belle et la Bête Jaques Maritain, Creative Intuition in Art and Poetry Sergei Diaghilev, Russian impresario Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise (dir.), Beauty and the Beast David Thomson, Have You Seen? Bram Stoker, Dracula Johannes Vermeer, Dutch painter Philip Glass, La Belle et la Bête (opera) Game of Thrones, Television series Weird Studies, Episode 84 on the Empress Card Weird Studies, Episode 94 on the Moon Card
86 minutes | a month ago
Episode 95: Demon Seed: On Doris Lessing's 'The Fifth Child'
Doris Lessing's uncategorizable oeuvre reached strange new heights in 1988 with the publication of her short novel The Fifth Child. The story couldn't be simpler. In the England of the 1970s, a couple determined to live out a dream that many of their generation have rejected -- the big family in the old house with the pretty garden -- conceive a child that may or may not be human. From that moment on, the boy, their fifth, becomes the alien force that will tear their dream to pieces. Profoundly ambiguous and unsettling, The Fifth Child is a weird novel that raises questions about parenthood, family, and the impenetrable depths of nature. Header Image: The Changeling by Henry Fuseli (1780) Additional music: "Fast Bossa Nova: Falling Stars" by Dee Yan-Key REFERENCES Doris Lessing, The Fifth Child Doris Lessing, Shikasta M. R. James, weird fiction author Anne Rice, Interview with the Vampire Weird Studies, Episode 67 on “Hellier” Victoria Nelson, The Secret Life of Puppets David Icke, conspiracy theorist Deros, underground beings from the fiction of Richard Sharpe Shaver Hieronymus Bosch, Dutch Renaissance painter Weird Studies, Episode 86 on “The Sandman” Slavoj Žižek, The Puppet and the Dwarf Louis Sass, “The Land of Unreality: On the Phenomenology of the Schizophrenic Break” Louis Sass, Madness and Modernism Giorgio Agamben, Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life Richard Thorpe (dir.), The Wizard of Oz Frank L. Baum, The Wizard of Oz Weird Studies, bonus episode on Adventure Time James Hillman, The Soul’s Code Doris Lessing, Ben in the World Roman Pulanski (dir.), Rosemary’s Baby Richard Donner (dir.), The Omen Donald Cammell (dir.), Demon Seed
75 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 94: All is Mysterious: On The Moon Card in the Tarot
"Here is a weird, deceptive life." Thus does Aleister Crowley describe the meaning of one of the most sinister and spectral cards in the tarot. In this episode, Phil and JF continue their ongoing series on the twenty-two major trumps with a deep dive into the hopelessly enigmatic world of Arcanum XVIII: The Moon. After a brief chat about Voltron and professional wrestling, your hosts start on the lunar path beset by traps and illusions, in hopes that their half-blind perambulation will lead to startling insights. Image by Damien Deltenre via Wikimedia Commons. References Roland Barthes, Mythologies Anonymous, Meditations on the Tarot Colin Wilson, The Occult Eliphas Levi,_ French esotericist Ishmael Reed, Mumbo Jumbo Weird Studies, [Episode 86 on The Sandman](weirdstudies.com/86) Plato, Republic Antoine Faivre, scholar of esoteric studies Wouter Hanegraaff, historian of philosophy Alastair Crowley, Book of Thoth Henri Bergson, Creative Evolution Carl Jung, Mysterium Coniunctionis Peter Kingsley, historian of philosophy St. John of the Cross, The Dark Night of the Soul J.R.R Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings Weird Studies, Episode 93 on Charles Taylor Algis Uždavinys, Philosophy as a Rite of Rebirth
87 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 93: Living and Dying in a Secular Age: On Charles Taylor and Disenchantment
In A Secular Age, the Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor tries to come to grips with the seismic development that transformed the world after the Renaissance, namely the secularization of the society and soul of Western humanity. What does it mean to live in an age where religion, once the very matrix of social existence, is relegated to the realm of private and personal choice? What defines secularity? Are modern people really as "irrelegious" as we make them out to be? In this episode, JF and Phil squarely train their sights on a question that continues to haunt them, with Taylor as their Virgil in what amounts to a descent into the ordinary inferno of modern unknowing. Header Image by Pahudson, via Wikimedia Commons REFERENCES Charles Taylor, A Secular Age Charles Taylor, The Malaise of Modernity Weird Studies, ep 71: The Medium is the Message Penn & Teller, Bullshit René Descartes, Meditations Theodore Roszak, The Making of a Counter-Culture Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica Jacques Ellul, The New Demons David Foster Wallace's essay on David Letterman Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene Eric Voegelin, The New Science of Politics Karl Jaspers, The Origin and Goal of History
87 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 92: Glitch in the Matrix: A Conversation with Rodney Ascher
With his latest film, a meditation on what it means to believe we live in a computer simulation, Rodney Ascher has once again placed himself among the most innovative and visionary filmmakers working in the documentary form today. While the "Simulation Hypothesis" has been a hot topic ever since The Matrix came out in 1997, it is Ascher's ability to suspend judgement, training his camera on the experience of believers rather than the value of their beliefs, that makes A Glitch in the Matrix such a unique and significant exploration, a strange work of "phantom phenomenology." Weird Studies listeners will recall that Phil and JF devoted an episode to Ascher's films -- most notably Room 237 and The Nightmare -- back in the early days of the podcast. In this episode, Rodney Ascher joins them to discuss his cinematic vision, his take on the weird, and his thoughts on what is real and why it matters. REFERENCES [Rodney Ascher](www.rodneyascher.com), American filmmaker -- [A Glitch in the Matrix](www.aglitchinthematrixfilm.com) Jay Weidner's theories on Kubrick Buddhist idea of the the Arising and Passing Away [Dungeons & Dragons](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dungeons%26_Dragons), tabletop roleplaying game James Machin, _Weird Fiction in Britain 1880-1939 Magic Eye pictures Parmenides, Greek philosopher Wachowskis, The Matrix Alan Moore, "Superman: For the Man Who Has Everything" Conway's Game of Life Joshua Clover, The Matrix (BFI Film Classics) Jonathan Snipes, American composer Clipping, experimental hip hop band "Shining" romantic comedy recut Michael Curtiz (dir.), Casblanca John Boorman (dir.), [Point Blank](https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0062138/?ref=fn_al_tt_2)_ Louis Sass, Madness and Modernism: Insanity in the Light of Modern Art, Literature, and ThoughtSpecial Guest: Rodney Ascher.
84 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 91: On Susanna Clarke's 'Piranesi'
In this episode, Phil and JF explore the vast palatial halls of Susanna Clarke's novel Piranesi. Set in an otherworld consisting of endless galleries filled with enigmatic statues, Piranesi is the story of a man who lives alone -- or nearly alone -- in a dream labyrinth. As usual, our discussion leads to unexpected places every bit as strange as Clarke's setting, from Borge's infinite library and Lovecraft's alien cities to Renaissance Europe, where the art of memory was synonymous with wisdom and magic. SHOW NOTES Susanna Clarke, Piranesi Joshua Clover, 1989: Dylan Didn't Have This to Sing About , The Matrix (BFI Modern Classics John Crowley, Little, Big Christopher Priest, The Prestige (+Christopher Nolan's screen adaptation) Susanna Clarke, [Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Strange%26_Mr_Norrell)_ JF Martel, "The Real as Sacrament" (forthcoming?) Frances Yates, The Art of Memory Mary Carruthers, The Book of Memory: A Study of Memory in Medieval Culture Plato, Phaedrus Henri Bergson, Matter and Memory Jorge Luis Borges, "The Library of Babel" Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Carceri d'invenzione Maurits Cornelis Escher, Duch artist H. P. Lovecraft, At the Mountains of Madness Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space Gyrus, North: The Rise and Fall of the Polar Cosmos Emerald Tablet, foundational Hermetic text Joshua Foer, Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything Weird Studies ep. 42 - On Pauline Oliveros, with Kerry O'Brien Giovanni colleague? Allen Ginsberg, "America" Rodney Ascher, A Glitch in the Matrix Walter J. Ong, American philosopher Weird Studies ep. 71: The Medium is the Message Thomas Ligotti, "The Night School" Thomas Aquinas, Christian philosopher and theologian Erasmus, Christian philosopher Marsilio Ficino, Christian philosopher
70 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 90: 'The Owl in Daylight': On Philip K. Dick's Unwritten Masterpiece
Weird Studies has so far devoted just one show to Philip K. Dick, and that was way back in April 2018, with episode 10, "Adrift in the Multiverse." Last fall, as another foray into Dickland began to feel urgent, Phil and JF talked about which of his books they should tackle. The answer that seemed obvious was VALIS, the semi/pseudo-autobiographical masterpiece that constitutes PKD's most explicit attempt to make sense of the theophanic experiences that altererd his life in 1974. But then Phil suggested The Owl in Daylight, a novel on which PKD worked feverishly in the last years of his life but left unwritten. And sure enough, reviewing and analyzing a book that doesn't exist proved to be the best way of getting to the heart of Dick's incomparable oeuvre. SHOW NOTES Gwen Lee, What if Our World is Their Heaven? The Final Conversations of Philip K. Dick The Selected Letters of Philip K. Dick, volume 6 Philip K. Dick, The Exegesis Anonymous, Meditations on the Tarot Secondary qualities, philosophical concept Samuel Barber, Adagio for Strings Burt Bacharach, American musician Philip K. Dick, "The Preserving Machine" Jorge Borges, "The Approach to Al-Mu'tasim" The Good Place, American television series Philip K. Dick, Valis Weird Studies, Episode 78 on John Keel's 'Mothman Prophesies' Richard Wagner, Parsifal Weird Studies, Episode 73 on Carl Jung
79 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 89: On Ishmael Reed's 'Mumbo Jumbo,' or, Why We Need More Magical Thinking
Ishmael Reed's 1972 novel Mumbo Jumbo is a conspiracy thriller, a postmodern experiment, a revolutionary tract, a celebration, and a magical working. It is a novel that, over and above prophetically describing the world we live in, creates a whole new world and invites us to move in. For Phil and JF, Mumbo Jumbo exemplifies art's creative power to generate new possibilities for life. It is also the perfect occasion for pinpointing the difference between the kind of magical thinking that fuels virulent conspiricism, and the more profound magical thinking which alone can save us from it. **Image: **Albrecht Dürer, Two Pairs of Hands with Book REFERENCES Ishmael Reed, Mumbo Jumbo Harold Bloom, The Western Canon For more on Colin Wilson's concept of lunar religion, see The Occult Weird Studies, episode 36: "On Hyperstition" William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch Carl Van Vechten, American writer Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea, Illuminatus! MC5, "Kick Out the Jams" Karl Pfeiffer (dir.), Hellier, webseries Jasun Horsley, 16 Maps of Hell Ramsey Dukes (Lionel Snell), SSOTBME Anonymous, Meditations on the Tarot Fats Waller, American jazz musician Owen Barfield, Saving the Appearances: A Study in Idolatry Weird Studies, episode 57 - "Box of Gods: On Raiders of the Lost Ark" Hans Jonas, The Gnostic Religion: The Message of the Alien God and the Beginnings of Christianity Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature
50 minutes | 4 months ago
Holiday Bonus: Magic, Madness, and Sadness
Weird Studies will launch its fourth season on January 6th, 2021. But to celebtrate the end of very strange year, we thought we'd release a conversation which until now was available only to our top-tier Patreon backers. Therein we discuss the philosophical underpinnings of "Puhoy," memorable episode of the brilliant animated series Adventure Time. This was JF's introduction to a show that Phil has often recommended for its novel treatment of complex ideas and downright weirdness. Watch "Puhoy" on YouTube: Part 1 Part 2
80 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 88: On Neil Gaiman & Dave McKean's 'Mr Punch'
Before Coraline, before American Gods, in the early days of the Sandman series, Neil Gaiman collaborated with Dave McKean on some truly groundbreaking graphic novels: Violent Cases (1987), Signal to Noise (1989), and the work discussed in this Weird Studies episode. The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr Punch (1994) is the story of a boy whose initiation into the dark realities of life, death, and family plays out in the shadow of the (in)famous Punch & Judy puppet show. Unlike some of Gaiman's more overtly marvellous offerings, Mr Punch is a subtle fantasy whose weirdness hides in the gaps and folds of lost time. It is in Dave McKean's brilliant art that the magic shines through, letting us know that the narrative is only part of a vaster, hidden thing. In this episode, Phil and JF discuss the themes, ideas, and mysteries of an unparalleled piece of comics art. REFERENCES Watch Aaron Poole's 9-minute short film "Oracle" Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean, _The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch "That's the Way to Do It! A History of Punch and Judy", Victoria Albert Museum _ Ronald Briggs, Father Christmas Clement Greenberg, American art critic Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics J. F. Martel, Patreon Post on The Untimely Weird Studies, Episodes 20 and 21 on the Trash Stratum Weird Studies, Episode 72 on the Castrati Samuel Pepys, English administrator and diarist Nick Lowe, The Beast in Me
67 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 87: Glyphs, Rifts, and Ecstasy: On Arthur Machen's Vision of Art
It would be wrong to describe Arthur Machen's Hieroglyphics: A Note Upon Ecstasy in Literature (1902) as a work of nonfiction, since the book features a narrative frame that is as moody and irreal as the best tales penned by this luminary of weird fiction. But if the eccentric recluse at the centre Hieroglyphics is a fictional philosopher, he is one who, in Phil and JF's opinion, rivals most aesthetic thinkers in the history of philosophy. The significance of this text lies in its willingness to disclose a function of art that few before Machen had dared to touch, namely its capacity to generate ecstasy by confronting us with the mystery that beats the heart of existence. In this episode, your hosts discuss a work which, in their opinion, comes as close to scripture as the nonexistent field of Weird Studies is likely to get. REFERENCES Arthur Machen, Hieroglyphics: A Note Upon Ecstasy in Literature Thomas Ligotti, Songs of a Dead Dreamer Weird Studies, Episode 3 on the White People J.F. Martel, Reclaiming Art in the Age of Artifice Weird Studies, Episode 63 on Colin Wilson’s 'The Occult' William Shakespeare, Hamlet Indra’s Net, philosophical concept James Machin, Weird Fiction in Britain, 1880 – 1939 Weird Studies, Episode 5 on Lisa Ruddick's 'When Nothing is Cool' Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism Rudolph Otto, German theologian
84 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 86: On E. T. A. Hoffmann's "The Sandman," and Freud's Sequel to It
The German polymath E. T. A. Hoffmann is one of the founding figures of what we now call weird literature. In this episode, JF and Phil discuss one of his most memorable tales, "Der Sandmann." Originally published in 1816, it is the story of a young German student whose fate is sealed by a terrifying encounter with the eponymous figure during his youth. The story packs several tropes that would later become staples of the weird: the protean monster, the double, the automaton... Your hosts discuss how Hoffmann uses these tropes without letting any of them coalesce into a stable thing in the reader's mind, thereby effecting a slowbuild of ambiguity upon ambiguity that culminates in a true paroxysm of dread. The argument is made that Freud does essentially the same thing in his famous essay "The Uncanny," wherein Hoffmann's story plays an important role. REFERENCES E. T. A. Hoffmann, The Sandman Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto Edgar Allan Poe, American writer Sunn o))), American metal band La Monte Young,, American composer Stuart Davis, Aliens and Artists Sigmund Freud, The Uncanny Neil Gaiman, Mr. Punch Jaques Offenbach, Tales of Hoffmann Frank Zappa, American musician Ernst Jentsch,, German psychiatrist E. T. A. Hoffmann, The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr Weird Studies, episodes 73 and 74 on Carl Jung
77 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 85: On 'The Wicker Man'
Since its release in 1973, Robin Hardy's The Wicker Man has exerted a profound influence on the development of horror cinema, a rich vein of folk music, and the modern pagan revival more generally. Anthony Shaffer's ingenious screenplay gives us a thrilling yarn that is also a meditation on the nature of religious belief and practice. Just in time for Halloween, Phil and JF discuss the philosophical ideas that undergird this folk horror classic, focusing on the perennial role of sacrifice in religious thought. REFERENCES Robin Hardy (director), The Wicker Man Stanley Kubrick (director), The Shining Terence Fisher (director), The Devil Rides Out Piers Haggard (director), Blood on Satan’s Claw John Boorman (director), Deliverance Rob Young, Electric Eden Gerald Gardner, English wiccan Margaret Murray, English anthropologist Cecil Sharp, English ethnomusicologist Phil Ford, "Taboo: Time and Belief in Exotica" Friedrich Nietzsche, Untimely Meditations
79 minutes | 7 months ago
Episode 84: Mona Lisa Smile: On the Empress, the Third Card in the Tarot
This second instalment in our series on the major trumps of the traditional tarot deck features the Empress. As Aleister Crowley writes in The Book of Thoth, this card is probably the most difficult to decipher, since it is inherently "omniform," changing shapes continuously. In a sense, the Empress is variation itself. Her card becomes the occasion for a conversation about the less knowable side of reality, the one that tradition associates with the Yin, nature, potential, and -- controversially -- the feminine. This in turn leads to a discussion of white versus black magic, and how the two may not always be as diametrically opposed as we might believe. REFERENCES P.D. Ouspensky, The Symbolism of the Tarot Anonymous, Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey into Christian Hermeticism Weird Studies episode 82 on the I Ching Patrick Harper, The Secret Tradition of the Soul Aleister Crowley, The Book of Thoth Simon Magus, religious figure Henri Gamache, The Mystery of the Long Lost 8th, 9th, and 10th Books of Moses Solomon grimoires Lionel Snell/Ramsay Dukes, English magician Weird Studies episode 3 on Arthur Machen's "The White People" Joséphin Péladan, French magician Susanna Clarke Piranesi Shawshank Redemption, film Franz Liszt, musician Twin Peaks: The Missing Pieces
78 minutes | 7 months ago
Episode 83: On David Lynch's 'Lost Highway'
David Lynch's Lost Highway was released in 1997, five years after Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me elicited a fusillade of boos and hisses at Cannes. The Twin Peaks prequel's poor reception allegedly sent its American auteur spiralling into something of an existential crisis, and Lost Highway has often been interpreted as a response to -- or result of -- that crisis. Certainly, the film is among Lynch's darkest, boldest, and most enigmatic. But of course, we do the film an injustice by reducing it to the psychological state of its director. Indeed, one of the contentions of this episode is that all artistic interpretation constitutes a kind of injustice. But as you will hear, that doesn't stop Phil and JF from interpreting the hell out of the film. Just or unjust, fair or unfair, interpretation may well be necessary in aesthetic matters. It may be the means by which we grow through the experience of art, the way by which art makes us something new, strange, and other. Perhaps the trick is to remember that no mode of interpretation is, to borrow Freud's phrase, the one and only via regia, but that every one is just another highway at night... REFERENCES David Lynch (dir.), Lost Highway Alfred Hitchcock (dir.), Vertigo Arnold Schoenberg, Three Keyboard Pieces, op. 11 James Joyce, Finnegan’s Wake Weird Studies, Episode 81 on The Course of the Heart Jacques Lacan, French psychoanalyst Slavoj Žižek, Slovenian philosopher Arnold Schoenberg, Pierrot Lunaire Cabinet of Dr. Caligari David Foster Wallace, "David Lynch Keeps his Head" in A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never do Again Leonard Bernstein, West Side Story Patreon audio extra on Penderecki's "Threnody" Trent Reznor, American musician David Bowie, "Deranged" Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt, "Oblique Strategies" Tim Powers, Last Call Manuel DeLanda, Mexican-American philosopher
90 minutes | 8 months ago
Episode 82: On The I Ching
The Book of Changes, or I Ching, is more than an ancient text. It's a metaphysical guide, a fun game, and -- to your hosts at least -- a lifelong, steadfast friend. The I Ching has come up more than once on the show, and now is the time for JF and Phil to face it head on, discussing the role it has played in their lives while delving into some of its mysteries. REFERENCES I Ching, Wilhelm-Baynes translation I Ching, Stephen Karcher translation Game of Thrones, HBO series George R. R. Martin, A Song of Ice and Fire George R. R. Martin, “Sandkings” in: Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories H. P. Lovecraft, American writer Graham Harman, Weird Realism: Lovecraft and Philosophy Aleister Crowley, “777” Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, Cannibal Metaphysics Joel Biroco, Calling Crane in the Shade (website) Philip K. Dick, American novelist Lionel Snell, a.k.a. Ramsey Dukes, British occultist Richard Rutt, _Zhouyi: A New Translation with Commentary _ Mervyn Peake, Gormenghast Redmond and Hon, Teaching the I Ching Weird Studies, episode 72, On the castrati Weird Studies, episode 77, On the fool tarot card Anonymous, Meditations on the Tarot The Usual Suspects (movie) Colin Wilson, The Occult
77 minutes | 8 months ago
Episode 81: Gnostic Lit: On M. John Harrison's 'The Course of the Heart'
The British writer M. John Harrison is responsible for some of the most significant incursions of the Weird into the literary imagination of the last several decades. His 1992 novel The Course of the Heart is a masterful exercise in erasing whatever boundary you care to mention, from the one between reality and mind to the one between love and horror. Recounting the lives of three friends as they play out the fateful aftermath of a magical operation that went horribly wrong, Harrison's novel gives Phil and JF the chance to talk contemporary literature, metaphysics, Gnosticism, zones (see episodes 13 & 14), myth, transcendence, history, and arachnology. Together, they weave a fragile web of ideas centered on that imperceptible something that forever trembles at the edge of our perception, beckoning us to step into its world, and out of ours. REFERENCES M. John Harrison, The Course of the Heart M. John Harrison, "The Great God Pan" Arthur Machen, The Great God Pan Philip K. Dick, Ubik Philip K. Dick, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch Weird Studies, Episode 14 on Stalker Jonathan Carrol, American novelist Robert Aickman, British writer Magic Realism, literary genre Phil Ford, “An Essay on Fortuna, parts 1 and 2,” Weird Studies Patreon John Crowley, Ægypt Jorge Borges," The Approach to Al-Mu'tasim" Strange Horizons, Interview with M. John Harrison M. John Harrison on worldbuilding Thomas Ligotti, American horror writer Weird Studies subreddit Albert Camus, French philosopher David Abram, The Spell of the Sensuous Spiders’ nervous systems Valentinus, gnostic theologian Simon Magus, religious figure Wiccan goddess and god Bruno Schulz, The Street of Crocodiles Weird Studies, Episode 37 with Stuart Davis
77 minutes | 9 months ago
Episode 80: The Pit and the Pyramid, or, How to Beat the Philosopher's Blues
Your hosts' exploration of mysticism and vision in pop music continues with two powerful pieces of popular music: Radiohead's "Pyramid Song" from the 2001 album Amnesiac, and Fran Landesman and Tommy Wolf's "Ballad of the Sad Young Men," from the 1959 Broadway musical The Nervous Set. Synchronicity rears its head as the dialogue reveals how these two gems, selected by JF and Phil with no expectation that they might form a set, begin to glow when placed side by side, amplifying and focussing each other's eldritch light. This episode touches on Neoplatonic myths of spiritual ascent, African-American spirituals, Plato's realm of Forms, Gnosticism, dream visitations by the dearly departed, the travails of the Beat generation, the objectivity of hope, the implosion of America, and that particularly modern condition of the soul which Phil calls the "Philosopher's Blues." REFERENCES Radiohead, "Pyramid Song" Fran Landesman and Tommy Wolf, "The Ballad of the Sad Young Men" Edgar Allan Poe, "The Pit and the Pendulum" Charles Mingus, Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Plato, Phaedrus Plato, Republic Plato's Unwritten Doctrines The Secret History of Western Esotericism Podcast, episode 69: "Plutarch's Myths of Cosmic Ascent" William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience Pierre Hadot, French philosopher Algis Uzdavynis, Philosophy as a Rite of Rebirth: From Ancient Egypt to Neoplatonism Charles Taylor, Canadian philosopher Phil Ford, "The Philosopher’s Blues" (Weird Studies Patreon exclusive) Peter Sloterdijk, German philosopher Ferdinand de Saussure, French linguist JF Martel, Reclaiming Art in the Age of Artifice JF Martel, "Stay With Mystery: Hiroshima Mon Amour, Melancholia, and the Truth of Extinction" in Canadian Notes & Queries, issue 106: Winter 2020, edited by Sharon English and Patricia Robertson Ray Brassier, Nihil Unbound: Enlightenment and Extinction Jay Landesman and Theodore J. Flicker, The Nervous Set, musical Phil Ford, Dig: Sound and Music in Hip Culture Jay Landesman, American publisher and writer Marshall McLuhan, "The Psychopathology of 'Time & Life'" Marshall McLuhan, The Mechanical Bride: Folklore of Industrial Man William Butler Yeats, "Sailing to Byzantium" Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country For Old Men Mike Duncan (Twitter) Jeff Chang, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation Karl Marx, Capital: Volume I
65 minutes | 9 months ago
Episode 79: Love, Death, and the Dream Life
In this episode of Weird Studies, an improvised analysis of two pop songs -- Nina Simone's version of James Shelton's "Lilac Wine" and Ghostface Killah's visionary "Underwater" -- becomes the occasion for a deep dive to the weird wellspring of artistic creation. In trying to understand these songs and why they love them so much, your hosts touch on themes such as necromancy, decadence, liebestod, visionary experience, the Muslim image of paradise, the necessity of rifts, Norman Mailer's concept of "dream life," and the magical operation that is sampling. Header image: Boris Kasimov, Wikimedia Commons REFERENCES James Shelton, "Lilac Wine" Nina Simone, "Lilac Wine" from the album WIld is the Wind (1966) Ghostface Killah, "Underwater, from the album Fishscale (2006) MF Doom, "Orange Blossoms," from the album Special Herbs, Volume 4, 5 & 6 Richard Strauss, [Salome](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salome(opera))_ Weird Studies, episode 25: David Cronenberg's Naked Lunch C. G. Jung's practice of active imagination JF Martel, Reclaiming Art in the Age of Artifice Thomas Mann, Death in Venice Paul Horn, Visions Alexander Mackendrick (dir.), The Sweet Smell of Success Les Baxter, American composer Les Baxter, "Papagayo" Debussy, [Nocturnes](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nocturnes(Debussy))_ Rebecca Leydon, music scholar Weird Studies episodes 73 and 74, on C. G. Jung's aesthetic vision Alexander Courage, Theme from Star Trek ("Where No Man Has Gone Before") Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene Norman Mailer, “Superman Comes to the Supermarket" James Joyce, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake
Terms of Service
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
© Stitcher 2021