Meat Science Essays. Michael McClure.
Meat Science Essays
Meat Science Essays
Meat Science Essays

Meat Science Essays

San Francisco, CA: City Lights Books, 1963 (1966). Second Edition, Third Printing. Softcover. "This spate of sense-thought, these romantic, intuitive non-essays will rub an awful lot of people the wrong way, as they have the editor of this book who doesn't at all agree with McClure's lush green ideas. This editor is the friend referred (in 'The Man in the Telephone Booth: A Footnote on [Albert] Camus') and it's obvious to him that McClure doesn't want to understand Camus and never will. The cat is just willfully incapable of it. His whole book is, in fact, an evasion of that very 'suicide and death' which Camus' 'Myth of Sisyphus' aims so Absurdly to confront. McClure's wildly opposite view is nevertheless one which many anti-intellectual (non-Gallic) animals will dig. McClure's 'mammalism' is something you just have to take or leave, along with his tacit presumption (in 'Artaud: Peace Chief') that the perceptions of madness (as in Artaud's 'To Have Done With The Judgment of God') are naturally greater, truer, more profound, etc., etc. than those of any other state of meat, mind, or heart... AFTERTHOUGHT, three years later: What I said above still remains true for me; but it is still an important book." (Lawrence Ferlinghetti [1919-2021]). So writes the legendary poet-&-Founder of City Lights Books, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, in his irreverently admonishing introduction to McClure's "Meat Science Essays." The influence of Postmodernists like Michel Foucault is in evidence here, and McClure seems fresh off a reading of Foucault's Madness and Civilization (1961; the First Edition of "Meat Science Essays" came out in 1963) --especially in the context of Ferlinghetti's criticism of McClure's take on Artaud's masterful "To Have Done With The Judgment of God." While Your Devoted Assistant Curator is not crazy about them, it is a plain fact that many Beat writers were profoundly influenced not only by the literary work of the French avant-garde, but the philosophy of the French Postmodernists. As Ferlinghetti's introduction to the work intimates, the collection is as polarizing as it is intriguing. Early drug experience reportage appears in the form of McClure's experience(s) with peyote, heroin and cocaine--not unlike his friend Philip Lamantia's 1961 work, "Narcotica" [TMB Item #4783]. The tone of the work is very similar to the volcanic extemporizing of Lamantia, as well. In "Cocaine," he writes: "Cocaine is an ace of sunlight that can be snuffed through the nostrils into the brain. For days it lightens the black interiors of the body and lends an ivory cast of sleekness and luminosity to the senses." In "Heroin," he writes: "On a ship in Hong Kong after sniffing heroin, large profiles of statesmen of eternity appeared. They were benign and sizeless. Strength and beauty dripped from them. The silhouettes of darkness and color gazed at me from their warmth and made a soundless blessing." "Meat Science Essays" continues in this vein, shapeshifting deftly from the florescent to the polemic. If you're interested in McClure, you simply must read this crazy little book. Trade Softcover-format, the Second Edition, Third Printing of this capricious cult classic. From the collection of Erin Black Matson, the late artist-poet who with her then-husband, the acclaimed poet & educator Clive Matson, were bona fide members of the Beat Generation as it morphed into the hippie counterculture during the 1960s. The Matsons were colleagues-protégés (in lifestyle as much as literature) of Herbert Huncke, Bonnie Bremser et al. The condition befits its long ownership & use by Erin, who was a tried-&-true Beat-Bohemian to the very end. Book in near fine condition with moderate-to-pronounced shelf-wear to fine-edges & corners of front, back covers; tiny bumps to corners; minute rubbing and a few slight crease-indentations to front, back covers. Near Fine. [Item #4795]

Price: $20.00