Evan Michelson — a dealer, at Obscura Antiques & Oddities in Manhattan, in anatomical curiosa and weird antiques, and co-star of the Science Channel reality show Oddities—is unique in her disposition to defend, with some heat, the virtues of the moral philosopher and political radical Jeremy Bentham—not a subject that rouses many of us to throw down the gauntlet.
Luc Sante is—to use that blurb-whore phrase deservedly, just this once—a writer’s writer.
Kim Carsons, the “morbid youth of unwholesome proclivities” who stars in William S. Burroughs’s novel The Place of Dead Roads, would love Richard Barnett’s gorgeously illustrated new book, The Sick Rose: Disease and the Art of Medical Illustration.
In hindsight, the 19th century, with its far-flung outposts of colonial power and its scientific expeditions deep into the Conradian jungles of empire, looks like a golden age of exotic contagions, tumors, abscesses, and other morbid curiosities, not to mention…
“We’re all black centipedes at heart,” the novelist and mordant social satirist William S. Burroughs once observed. Clearly not a people person.
At about eight in the evening of Saturday, the fifth of February, 1818, Matthew Lewis was tucking into dinner on his sugar plantation in Savanna-la-Mar, Jamaica.
To me, centipedes are a means to a philosophical end: anatomizing the emotion of disgust.
Is there a personality type that gravitates toward giant centipedes?
Are we our things? Are they us?
Part of a Series: “Self-Help for Surrealists.”