Selected Letters

D.S. Ashwander

Publisher’s Note: “In an otherwise encouraging letter, a reader wrote that by publishing the work of Dan Ashwander we ‘could be said to be exploiting the anguish of schizophrenia,”We agree that this could be said, and that some clarification of our intent is needed. Our desire to publish this work stems from a genuine admiration and respect for Dan Ashwander. He beautifully describes the world as he experiences it. This experience may be very different from ours, but it does show a very full response to an often sad and confusing world. His ideas are valuable and should be published in the tradition of great books such as Memoirs of My Nervous Illness by Daniel Paul Schreber and A Mind That Found Itself by Clifford Beers.”
Excerpt: “When I was living at Gulf Shores, Alabama, John F. Kennedy looking like another man, ran a small grocery store and motel from 1961 to 1964. After I got a job at a filling station in New Orleans, John F. Kennedy went to work there, too, looking like another man through plastic surgery. The last time I was around John F. Kennedy was when he was a man looking like a former State Department worker in Washington, D.C. and we were both in the old building of Bryce Mental Hospital at Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on the same ward. My coffee and cigarettes were the only things keeping me alive then and John F. Kennedy constantly bummed them from me and he got electro-shock treatment each morning. In 1967, I killed John F. Kennedy, through mental telepathy who was on a computer after me.
Two and a half million women in my harem are former men. Two of these men are Charles Chaplin, former actor, and Pablo Picasso, former painter.
I have scientific proof of my ‘cosmic mind’ going from my head into the Cosmos. I bought myself a ratemeter and dosimeter which measure neutron radioactivity. My ratemeter read 30 Roentgens per hour and my dosimeter read 200 Roentgens. I got a very small reading of alpha, beta, and gamma rays on a Geiger counter.” SS

Publisher: Tray Full of Lab Mice
Pamphlet: 58 pages

Cosmic Trigger II

Robert Anton Wilson

Heretical short essays on a range of Discordian topics from “The Mandelbrot Fractal?” to “The Dog Castrator of Palm Springs.” SS

Publisher: New Falcon
Paperback: 256 pages

Bodies Under Siege: Self-Mutilation and Body Modification in Culture and Psychiatry

Armando R. Favazza, M.D.

Bodies Under Siege was first published as a cross-cultural examination of mutilation and self-mutilation and their relation to psychiatric syndromes such as wounding, auto-enucleation (plucking out of the eye) and self-castration. Ten years hence, Favazza has crossed paths with the Modern Primitive movement’s leading exponent, Fakir Musafar (who supplies this edition with a new epilogue and cover photo), and found himself the leading academic expert on one of the biggest subcultural booms since the jitterbug—piercing, scarification, branding and other forms of “body play.” Favazza arranges the bulk of his book by body part (head, limbs, skin, genitals) with information on more arcane forms of self-attack such as monorchy (destruction of one testicle) and trepanation (drilling a hole in one’s skull) as well as a discussion of treatment for psychiatrically disturbed self-mutilators. SS

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University
Paperback: 373 pages

Children of the Void

Regina Snow

While technically a “novel,” Children of the Void is clearly based on the role-playing lives of an extraordinary group of six women who share between them 22 personae and inhabit an “all female world of glamor and discipline” which they call Aristasia (located in present-day London). The Aristasians see our age (inaugurated by the great cultural collapse of the 1960s) as unnatural and psychotic and have seceded from the outside world which they term “The Pit,” erecting their own “Iron Curtain” in order to create their own time-space regions such as Vintesse (the 1920s) and Novaria (the projected future).
The Aristasian girls are divided into two sexes: blonde (ultra-feminine) and brunette (feminine) and even the most casual social relations between the sexes often seem to necessitate corporal punishment such as canings or strappings which are detailed by Miss Snow with a simmering eroticism. In place of what Snow terms “The Void” (the entire post-’60s cultural milieu), the Aristasians inhabit their own lively social whirl of the Cinema Odeon, the Soda Fountain, and the Constant Nymph Club. Their flirtations and chastisements are interspersed with eloquent theoretical analyses of the state of the Pit, in which for example a home is described as “just a dormitory for consumers” and its depraved media manipulations of the “bongos” (pit-dwellers). Includes a glossary of the Aristasian language and an afterword specifically addressed to the “One Girl in a Thousand” who might be inspired to actually cross over the Iron Curtain into the glamorously strict world of Aristasia. SS

Publisher: Wildfire Club
Hardback: 192 pages

A Colour Atlas of Human Anatomy

R.M.H. McMinn, R.T. Hutchings, J. Pegington and P. Abrahams

A mammoth guide to the human body for medical professionals illustrated by one of the 20th century’s greatest unsung artists, Frank H. Netter, M.D. In his career as a medical illustrator, Netter produced over 4,000 illustrations for the CIBA-GEIGY pharmaceutical company’s medical education program, yet it was not until 1989 that he completed the project of an atlas of purely gross anatomy as opposed to specific surgical techniques, disease pathologies and so on. With over 500 color plates, each with multiple cutaway views of each anatomical region, this is an astounding body of work at the end of a highly prolific career. And as befits an artistic giant, Netter is not bashful about it: “At one point Mr. Flagler, the publisher, and I thought it might be nice to include a foreword by a truly outstanding and renowned anatomist, but there are so many in that category, a considerable number of whom have collaborated with me in the past and who are listed elsewhere in this volume, that we could not make a choice. We did think of men like Vesalius, Leonardo da Vinci, William Hunter and Henry Gray, who of course are unfortunately unavailable, but I do wonder what their comments might have been about this atlas. SS

Publisher: Mosby-Wolfe
Paperback: 351 pages

Diseases in Wax: The History of Medical Moulage

Thomas Schnalke

Medical moulage is defined as “a wax reproduction of pathologic changes of the body.” While no longer the state of the art in medical education, the moulage pieces reproduced in deluxe color in Diseases in Wax, like the daguerreotype images in the Burns Archive’s Masterpieces of Medical Photography, become an ambiguously sumptuous feast of bodily decay and human misery. Author Thomas Schnalke has not only collected the finest examples of this now lost art but also put together a thoroughly researched history of the field from its earliest beginnings in 17th-century Italy, including biographies of its leading artists. With 331 color reproductions of moulages such as “Untreated tertiary syphilis of the skin and facial bones of a mountain dweller” by Carl Henning, Vienna, 1910, illustrations from such museums as the Elektropathologisches Museum (devoted strictly to electrical burns) where medical moulages can be viewed, and step-by-step demonstrations of moulaging techniques, Diseases in Wax is truly one of the great accomplishments of medical publishing. SS

Publisher: Quintessence
Hardback: 226 pages

Encyclopedia of Unusual Sex Practices

Edited by Brenda Love

An enlightened Mondo Cane of kink—alphabetized, of course. A brief sampling of entries should give some idea of the passionate depth of research that went into creating this volume: maieusiophilia—those who are aroused by women who are about to give birth; golden enemas—enemas using urine instead of water (“this is physically difficult and only a few men are able to urinate while semi-erect”); homilophilia—feeling sexual arousal while listening to or giving sermons and speeches; hybristophilia—orgasm dependent on being with a partner known to have committed an outrage or crime such as rape, murder or armed robbery; sacofricosis—the practice of cutting a hole in the bottom of a front pant pocket and then sticking a hand through to masturbate; sex restaurants—the Swiss restaurant Hjarlter Dam allows dominant women to anchor their slaves to a table or chair leg and certain Japanese coffee shops are equipped with mirrored tiles on the floor to assist customers who may want to look up the waitresses’ dresses (whose uniforms do not include underwear). While not afraid to venture way beyond Psychopathia Sexualis in terms of bizarre and obscure sexual proclivities, editor Love is also generous with basic sex-therapy advice and cultural history on subjects from kissing to impotence. Illustrated with cool miniature dictionary-type line drawings from the likes of underground comic artist Paul Mavrides and medical illustrator and Re/Search cover artist Phoebe Glockner. SS

Publisher: Barricade
Paperback: 336 pages

Erotica Universalis

Gilles Néret

Over 700 pages of beautifully reproduced smut. Starting with some sprung Chinese petroglyphs dating back to 5000 B.C. and those racy murals of Pompeii, this sexy art survey cruises on through demonically-driven medieval revelry; to the divinely decadent draftsmen Aubrey Beardsley and Félicien Rops and the horned-out work of such art-museum stalwarts as Picasso and Dali; and winds things up with such obsessive geniuses of bondage art as Tom of Finland, John Willie and Stanton, representing our own fin-de-siécle. SS

Publisher: Taschen
Paperback: 756 pages

Jeux de Dames Cruelles

Serge Nazarieff

Cruel dames, indeed! Jeux de Dames Cruelles is a beautifully produced coffee-table book of over a century of pornographic photos of woman-on-woman sadomasochism. Some of the earliest daguerrotypes in this collection were actually taken back when Venus in Furs was still a glimmer in the mind’s eye of Herr von Sacher-Masoch. Flagellation by switch, cat o’ nine tails and open hand, even biting of plump-bottomed nuns; naughty schoolgirls, persecuted maids in uniform; chained damsels in distress and often multiple butts in various states of disrobement set up in position for chastisement; a photo composite of a reclining woman daydreaming of erotic spanking scenes and even panel-by-panel douche scenes from bygone years are included in this remarkable survey. Many of the shots were taken for photo calling cards for “specialized” Parisian brothels while others were clearly the European predecessors to Irving Klaw’s happy-go-lucky bondage scenarios of the 1950s featuring the inimitable Betty Page. SS

Publisher: Taschen
Paperback: 160 pages

Laughing Death: The Untold Story of Kuru

Vincent Zigas, M.D.

Nobel-prize-winning medical research told as a contemporary adventure story by a German bush doctor in New Guinea. Kuru was a neurological disorder dubbed the “laughing death” which ultimately proved to be a virus transmitted by ritual cannibalism of the brain. SS

Publisher: Humana
Hardback: 315 pages