Mythopoeia; or, Ex Nihilo: The Process of documenting Everyday Life for that which is not seen by

“English is so plastic-if you haven’t got a word you need you can make it.“

—Joseph Conrad

Everyday life becomes Mythos in later centuries.

Students are required to appear in Lessons with each work as noted below. The versions chosen have been exhaustively selected for those editions original in their language and publication in an effort for the experience of reading them. By reading them, in first printed states and original language, the authors’s intent of how they wished their works to be read will be realized. Technical manuals will illustrate the proper method for achieving brevity in writing.

It is incumbent on students that they read the works in this reading list as ordered: the authors themselves are of small significance when compared to the works produced for which they cannot be listed in chronological order but by schemes influencing. All works listed herein are of great significance and importance, if one wishes proper composing.

[Note: Philosophiæ Naturalis has been included as necessary reading for this class since first published. It is one of the finest — if not, the finest of — examples of mythos-creation where — after reading — citizens have found solace and comfort in their existence in an imaginary world. Other — Seemingly — incongruous works will be shown to be necessary as course progress progresses.]

This course is open to all who secure written permission from Doctor Mabuse.

  1. François RABELAIS. La vie de Gargantua et de Pantagruel as illustrated by Gustave Doré [Paris: J.Bry Ainé, 1854]
  2. Eric SATIE. Le Piège De Meduse [Paris: Éditions Salabert, 1954].
  3. Charles BAUDELAIRE. Les Fleurs Du Mal [Paris: Poulet-Mallassis et De Broise, 1857]. (Hors Commerce edition)
  4. Hans BELLMER et Paul ÉLUARD. Jeux vagues de la Poupée. Quatorze poèmes de Paul Éluard [Paris: Éditions de la revue Messages, 1939].
  5. Jorge Luis BORGES. Pierre Menard, autor del Quijote [Buenos Aires: Sur, 1939].
  6. Edgar Rice BURROUGHS. A Princess of Mars [Chicago: A. C. McClurg & Co., 1917].
  7. William S. BURROUGHS. Health Bulletin: APO-33, a Metabolic Regulator [New York: Fuck You, 1965].
  8. William S. BURROUGHS. Roosevelt After Inauguration [New York: Fuck You, 1964].
  9. Italo CALVINO. Il barone rampante [Turin: Giulio Einaudi Editore, 1957].
  10. Angela CARTER. The Sadeian Woman and the Ideology of Pornography [New York: Pantheon Books, 1978]. (Critical Reading)
  11. Donatien Alphonse François de SADE. Justine ou les Malheurs de la vertu [Paris: Chez les Libraires Associés ( J. V. Girouard), 1791].
  12. Miguel de CERVANTES. Don Quixote as illustrated by Gustave Doré [Paris: Cassell and Co., 1863].
  13. Alejo CARPENTIER. El reino de este mundo [Caracas: Organización Continental de los Festivales del Libro, 1958].
  14. Leonora CARRINGTON. Une chemise de nuit de flanelle [Paris: Librie Les pas perdus, 1951].
  15. Leonora CARRINGTON. Le cornet acoustique [Paris: Flammarion, 1974].
  16. Lewis CARROLL. Logique sans peine as illustrated by Max Ernst [Paris: Éditions Hermann, 1966]. (Critical Reading)
  17. Rikki [DUCORNET]. (when the author was known as Rikki) Weird Sisters [Vancouver: Intermedia Press, 1976].
  18. Angela CARTER. Nights at the Circus [London: Chatto & Windus, 1984].
  19. Anton CHEKHOV. Пари [1889].
  20. G. K. CHESTERTON. The Club of Queer Trades [London: Harper & Brothers, 1905].
  21. Sonja BENSKIN MESHER. .. RANDOM .. [Cardiff: Flying Things Printers, 1963].
  22. Richard BIDDLE. A Ghostly Song [London: John Calder (Publishers), 1956].
  23. Mauricio Montiel FIGUEIRAS. Tweed [Mexico City: DYN, 1942].
  24. Sean FRASER. The Raven’s Trousers [Hamburg: Ténèbraes Verlag, 1952].
  25. W.N. HERBERT. Automonograph [Port Ellen: Slee Corbie (Press), 1967].
  26. Viviana HINOJOSA. La trompeta acústica de la tía Leonora [Paris: Éditions Albert Skira, 1936].
  27. James KNIGHT. From Eden Banished; or, The Harrowing of Wonderland as Told by Alice [Wickenburg: His Ruined Palace, 1969].
  28. Mina POLEN. Fenómeno with illustrations by Remedios Varo [Tepoztlán: Dynaton, 1950].
  29. George SZIRTES. Garbo Laughs [Hermosa Beach: Insomniac, 1947].
  30. Joseph CONRAD. Heart of Darkness [London: Blackwood’s Magazine, 1899].
  31. Robert COOVER. The Public Burning [New York: Bantam Books, 1978].
  32. Julio CORTÁZAR. Rayuela [Buenos Aires: Editorial Sudamericana, 1963].
  33. Francis DELAFIELD. A Hand-Book of Post-Mortem Examinations and of Morbid Anatomy [New York: William Wood & Co., 1872].
  34. Antoine GALLAND, Translator. Les Mille et une nuits, contes arabes traduits en français [Paris: la Veuve Claude Barbin, 1704–1717].
  35. Giovanni BOCCACCIO. Il Decamerone [Florence: i Giunti, 1573].
  36. Geoffrey CHAUCER. The Canterbury Tales [Westminster: William Caxton, 1478].
  37. Isabel ALLENDE. La casa de los espíritusi [Barcelona: Plaza & Janés, S.A., 1982].
  38. Rikki DUCORNET. The Stain [New York: Grove Press, 1984].
  39. Nikolai GOGOL. Шинель [1842].
  40. Edward GOREY. The Vinegar Works: Three Volumes of Moral Instruction [New York: Simon & Schuster, 1963].
    • The Gashlycrumb Tinies
    • The Insect God
    • The West Wing
  41. Joris-Karl HUYSMANS. Là-bas [Paris: Darantière pour Tresse & Stock, 1891].
  42. Alfred JARRY. Ubu Roi ou les Polonais as illustrated by Roberto Matta [Paris: Atelier Dupont-Visat, 1982].
  43. Georges BATAILLE L’Histoire de l’oeil [Paris: Jean-Jacques Pauvert, Paris (1967)].
  44. Franz KAFKA. In der Strafkolonie [Leipzig: Kurt Wolff Verlag, 1919].
  45. Franz KAFKA. Der Prozeß [Berlin: Verlag Die Schmiede, 1925].
  46. Le Comte de LAUTRÉAMONT. Les Chants de Maldoror (Chants I, II, III, IV, V, VI) [Paris: E. Wittmann, En Vente Chez Tous Les Libraires, 1874].
  47. Professor LORENTO. Amateur Amusements [New York: Hurst & Co., 1878]. (Critical Reading)
  48. H. P. LOVECRAFT. The Call of Cthulhu [Chicago: Weird Tales, 1928].
  49. Herman MEVILLE. Moby-Dick; or, The Whale [New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1851].
  50. Isaac NEWTON. Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica [London: The Royal Society, 1686].
  51. Kenneth PATCHEN. The Memoirs of a Shy Pornographer [New York: New Directions, 1945].
  52. Mervyn PEAKE. Titus Groan [London: Eyre & Spotiswoode (Publishers) Ltd, 1946].
  53. Mervyn PEAKE. Gormenghast [London: Eyre & Spotiswoode (Publishers) Ltd, 1950].
  54. Mervyn PEAKE. Titus Alone [London: Eyre & Spotiswoode (Publishers) Ltd, 1959].
  55. John PHIN. The Amateur’s Handbook of Practical Information for the Workshop and the Laboratory
    [New York: The Industrial Publication Co., 1870].

  56. Edgar POE. The Raven as illustrated by Gustave Doré [New York: Harper and Co., 1884].
  57. Michael REYNOLDS. Locomotive Engine Driving, A Practical Manual for Engineers in Charge of Locomotive Engines [Ludgate Hill: Crosby Lockwood and Son, 1888].
  58. Guillaume APOLLINAIRE. Les Onze Mille Verges ou les amours d’un hospodar [Paris: de Gaucher, 1907].
  59. A. N. ROQUELAURE. The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty New York City: E. P. Dutton, 1983.
  60. Pauline RÉAGE. Histoire d’O [Sceaux: A. Beurq pour Jean-Jacques Pauvert, 1954]. (Un des 20 exemplaires de tête sur Arches avec la vignette gravée de Hans Bellmer sur le Titre)
  61. Whitley STRIEBER. The Hunger [New York: William Morrow, 1981].
  62. Dorothea TANNING. Demain [Paris: Éditions Georges Visat et Cie., 1964].
  63. J. R. R. TOLKIEN. Leaf by Niggle [London: Dublin Review, 1945].
  64. Roland TOPOR. Joko Fete son Anniveraire [Paris: Buchet/Chastel, 1969].
  65. Herman MELVILLE. Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street [New York: Putnam’s Magazine, 1853 (November/ December)].
  66. Nathaneal WEST. Miss Lonelyhearts: A Novel [New York: James Laughlin, 1933].
  67. Kathy ACKER. The Childlike Life of the Black Tarantula, No.s 1-6 [San Diego: Community Congress Press, 1973].
  68. G. K. CHESTERTON. The Poet and the Lunatics: Episodes in the Life of Gabriel Gale [London: Cassell, 1929].
  69. Lord DUNSANY. The Charwoman’s Shadow [New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1926].
  70. VOLTAIRE. Candide, ou l’Optimisme [Paris: Sirène, 1759].
  71. Jonathan SWIFT. Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World [London: Benjamin Motte, 1726].
  72. Laurence STERNES. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman in 9 volumes. [1759-1767].
  73. René CREVEL. Mr. Knife, Miss Fork (translated by Kay BOYLE as illustrated by Max ERNST) [Paris: Black Sun Press, 1931].
  74. Edward GOREY. The Black Doll: A Silent Screenplay [New York: Gotham Book Mart, 1973].

Shinkystonk

Until you have seen Zombie Fish Fingers crawling down the street like dead n breaded caterpillars you haven’t looked into The Hand Of Horror.

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They can smell an unplayed upright piano from miles away and are compelled to produce undead ‘shinkystonk’ cacophonies.

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‘Shinkystonk’ or ‘Shonkystink’ music was first played by dead crabs on the sea floor upon pianos discovered in the wrecks of Spanish galleons.

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It’s believed the ‘tunes’ of Shinkystonk were telepathically transmitted to dead fish and crabs by necromantic Moon Cicadas.

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Whatever its origins, Shonkystink causes ex-‘hepcats’ to rise from roadsides and writhe in broken-backed delight, wheezing in a parody of breath.

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Mediums wearing haunted crabshell headphones claim to have received Shinkystonk, but efforts to play it inevitably result in smashed digits.

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A record called ‘Shonkystink Favourites’ by one Marjorie Bloater is notorious for causing psychotic reactions in 90% of live hepcat listeners.

Superfish

Socky the Superfish

Apparently a Superfish called Socky also escaped the destruction of Krypton and swims in our oceans. His nemesis is a giant prehistoric otter.

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Also, shoals of vampire salmon. Anything they bite turns into radioactive goujons. They control jellyfish with their minds.

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Socky’s best friend is a sea louse called Freddy Flechson, who takes risqué photos of limpets. His catchphrase is ‘It’s Superfish, y’all!’

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These are tasteful shots of limpets for Marine Glamour – none of your prawn pawrn… The editor is a squid called Ridley.

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Somehow Ridley manages to smoke cheroots in the ocean depths. She exhales into a pufferfish, and flicks saturated ash onto a masochistic sole.

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Another villain is King-Pin of the Herrings – a kilometre long with a fin in every pie, in that he fences stolen subaquatic pies.

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Socky’s girlfriend is a sea trout called Ruth Roe. She campaigns against overfishing. He conceals his super-identity by wearing a moustache.

The Adventures of Doc Moreau & I, 11: The Great Escapist

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Doc Moreau has escaped from his holding cell yet again. This time he appears to have genetically modified a stag beetle into a skeleton key.

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Doc Moreau’s most poetic crime was when he trained stick insects and stonechats to break all the bones of a journalist he was suing for libel.

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Doc Moreau’s most ridiculous offence was stitching nine giraffe necks together so that he could check on his wife in their ninth floor apartment.

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Necky, the nine-neck-long giraffe, requires a fire engine ladder at full stretch to support his neck. But he can also put out fires by spitting.

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Doc Moreau is believed to have defrauded the Chimerican government of billions of drachmas with his cat/dog, or ‘cog’, power source.

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The idea that a cat/dog amalgam which chased itself could be a source of near-perpetual motion is laughable but at the time was widely admired.

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Rumours are coming in Doc Moreau’s threat to create the Midgard Serpent using a ‘king konga’ of conger eels may have been no idle boast.

The Dwarfs

Larval coils
In wet earth
Awaiting spring

Time’s tectonic pulse

The mourners wore bird masks
And cackled as the coffin was lowered

A troubling thought
A gleam
In the darkness

Best not to think about it

Hahaha yes I suppose you’re right they do look a bit like maggots especially that one haha it’s a funny old world isn’t it

Croaking
Crow King
Dancing in your blood

Angry Penguin God

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When I was a priest of the Angry Penguin God, I worked on the Prophecy Switchboard, interpreting all the wierd guano believers pronounced.

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We had a tiny office at the back of the Ice Temple. As you can imagine, it was never warm. Cost a fortune keeping that place refrigerated.

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We were wrapped up in feather shawls and had earflaps on the beaky skullcaps. You could coat your feet in warm blubber, but it was never enough.

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One priest was psychic and had to sort prayers into an orthodox pecking order. I just read the prophecies as they came in by pneumatic tube.

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Egg stuff was easy: the Angry Penguin God gave us a soul to nurture while it went fishing in the stars. Good souls hatched, bad souls boiled.

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Parables were tough: why were there polar bears, theologically speaking? Were narwhals inherently evil? Would this life ever become Spring?

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Then there was the North-South heresy: did it matter to an Angry Penguin God that some prophets mingle-mangled the fauna of the frozen lands?

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Fundamentally, the prophets all sought to say why the Angry Penguin God was so angry all the time and for all time: was it us or the weather?

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Crazy stuff had to be reported to the Penguin Inquisition, who’d shuffle round and peck your skull clean of heretic brains.

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Interesting stuff had to be verified at the Cults Wing of the Ministry of Verification. We weren’t allowed to tell the worshippers that.

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They had a Cults Wing and a ‘Science’ Wing: the whole Ministry was like a giant flightless bird that told you what was true and what was false.

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But the Holy Feather didn’t want believers knowing we had to okay all our prophecies with a bunch of faceless bureaucrats.

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They really didn’t have any faces, I can vouch for that. Just a hole where you popped the pneumatic cylinder. It was like feeding them fish.

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I fell foul of Regurgitation Theology: let a codicil through hinting faith wasn’t literally imparted by vomiting in the mouths of the faithful.

Definitions

Life is a hurricane full of fauces and feathers.

In a twist its fangs go deep on you and chew you, in the other one it covers and caresses you.

The night is a sea of bat wings that fall down over us as an avalanche.

The caress of silky wings moves some and drives others mad.

Forgetfulness is a marsh of oil that gulps everything down.

Every now and then, the most luminous flowers come out of its waters. Shining.

Desire is a tide of foamy mist that sticks as it strokes the skin that goes forward rattling. It is the air that closes.

Dawn is a wave of modest and sparkly faeries with little bells on their feet.

Only birds and the river embrace so much luminosity.

Pain is being inhabited by a castle with doors that open and close, screeching and slamming.

It is the corridors we walk endlessly.

Anger is a wounded beast that runs through the veins scratching the guts.

It is an ivy that suffocates the viscera. It is stabbing the water.

The day is an uproar, an explosion, a tweet concert, is the wind rising, is wings and photosynthesis. Comes and goes and goes around.

Doubt is a lost tide, never wanted, never expected, never forgotten.

Comes and goes, grows and shrinks. Sometimes, it seems to disappear.

Sadness is a flock of swallows flying in circles inside the chest.

Every now and then, one of them crashes against the heart.

The afternoon sun is an omen epidemic that ends up in a very red sunset full of green clouds. As it were.

Ego is a ravenous monster.

Blind and deaf, lost in a labyrinth, it only knows its own size and the flatteries that feed it.

Hate is a wick looking for the sun, a volcano in the iris, a worm coiled under the skin, the sweetest drug and the biggest promise.

The sea is a wreckage, a déjà vu, an insomniac dream, the silence that roars, the sleepy horizon. It is what we were, what we are and will be.