— gnOme (@gnOmebooks) December 1, 2016
The greatest alphabet book ever?
Reviewed at Social Ecologies.
From Tim Powers’ Declare (p 236-7):
And for getting Russian documents translated he found himself having to consult the weird old women in the MI5 Soviet Transcription Centre. This was located in another St. Albans house, in a tiny room which these fugitive White Russians had converted into a little anachronistic corner of Tsarist St. Petersburg, with carved wooden saint-icons standing among the dictaphone cylinders and acetate gramophone disks on the shelves, and a perpetual perfume of tea from the steaming samovar in the corner. To these wizened babushkas the NKVD was still the Cheka or even the pre-revolutionary Okhrana, and they took a particular intense interest in Hale’s researches, often pausing to cross themselves as they translated some musty old report of a Russian expedition to Turkey, in 1883 or a description of burned grass around little coin-sized eruption holes in the grave plots of Moscow cemeteries. All of these old grand-mothers were of the Russian Orthodox faith, but Hale noticed — uneasily — that their use of the term guardian angel was hesitant and fearful, and always accompanied by them splashing their lumpy old fingers in the holy water font by the locked door.
Three extracts from Phil Sandifer’s exploration of horror in philosophy can be found here. All quibbles aside, the core conjunction prompting the work — and advertised in the title — is hugely compelling.
For anyone interested:
@Outsideness If it's the sort of thing you retweet, I'm offering review copies of Neoreaction a Basilisk to NRx bloggers to trash honestly.
— Phil Sandifer (@PhilSandifer) May 6, 2016
(I’m guessing this offer extends beyond the Order of Shadows.)
An odd book (by any reasonable estimation).
… the book is just so damned strange that it has accumulated a veritable industry of speculation about its meaning, deeper origins, and whether the language in which it is written actually has any syntax or not. Serafini has said relatively little about it himself over the years, and denies that the script has any meaning, but no one really believes that …