All the Latest

Darran Anderson briefly mentions “Dr Martens’ Bouncing Souls” in his review of the New Cross-Fucked Musings on a Manic Reality anthology (edited by Tom Bradley). He describes the story as “a bruising but graceful play on language, violence and cocksmanship,” which just about sums it up. (The review appeared in 3:AM Magazine on 27 October 2011.)

The Enigmatic Polygeneration

One of my stories — “Dr Martens’ Bouncing Souls” — features in a new anthology entitled New Cross-Fucked Musings on a Manic Reality (Dog Horn Publishing, December 2010). Here is an extract from Tom Bradley‘s introduction:

In a universe ruled by karma and rebirth, “generation” is a bad word denoting as it does the stifling of spirits in coats of crass skin, the greatest disservice that can be done. Nevertheless, Hugh Fox got to christen the Invisible Generation, Andrew Gallix the Offbeats. So I’ll invent a name to embrace these people. I’ll make it doubly apt, as they produce electricity as well as useful heat: the Enigmatic Polygeneration.

crossfuckFIX2

This appears on the back cover:

This volume is ripe with prime produce sprung from minds that span five decades, but comprise a single literary generation. And who are the Enigmatic Polygeneration? They were christened by Tom Bradley in chapter four of Put It Down in a Book, as follows:

Digital connectivity has rendered physical locality irrelevant and made polyversality the new thing . . . Once space has been erased by the miracle of email, so has time, in terms of its effects on the human frame . . . In a creation where particles can spookily act upon each other at a distance of quadrillions of light years, the Seven Ages of Man are as days in the week, and a generation can span an open-ended number of decades . . . I’ll invent a name that’s doubly apt, as these writers produce electricity as well as useful heat.

In this vast anthology, among other delights, you will meet a pornographic ventriloquist and a man who has spent a lifetime getting laid only because he looks like certain famous people. You’ll be taken deep into the heads of such gentry as Charles Manson, Jack the Ripper (who, we learn, was actually Bram Stoker), and Kerry Thornley, author of a book about Lee Harvey Oswald published before the Kennedy assassination.

Andrew Gallix will give you a crash course in transgression, and underground press legend Hugh Fox will bring you to understand what it means to be the small Jewish boy who would one day become Charles Bukowski’s first biographer. Meanwhile, mighty Dave Migman teaches us how to live and die. Fabulous Adam Lowe reveals his adventures in cross-genre, multimedia literature. And lovely Deb Hoag . . . well, as usual, she’s got a surprise!

Upon Reading “Celesteville’s Burning”

Tom Bradley on “Celesteville’s Burning” 5 October 2010:

“Celesteville’s Burning” is brilliant. It’s the best thing of yours I’ve read. Assuming I’m familiar with all or most of your fiction, I would call this a breakthrough.

As always, the Gallixian wit is everwhere: the “doppelgänger given half the chance”; the “Holy Grail of Franco-Swiss rock criticism”; the “wind in his combover,” and countless other instances that pour forth from every sentence and phrase. You’ve always exploded with linguistic brilliance, syntactic agility and erudition. What a mood enhancer it’s been, throughout your work, to meet with these qualities in an author who does us the honor of assuming the same capacities in his readers.

In “Celesteville’s Burning” you’re displaying further technical mastery. With apparent effortlessness you move in and out of settings objective, subjective, and everything in between. The first to hit me was the light-speed spatial transition of the journalist’s cunt onto Zanzibar’s face, effected right in the middle of a paragraph. All of a sudden we are treated to a blending of her vaginal sensations with the literary sensation caused by Zanzibar: an announcement that we are in the light hands of a master.

You have achieved narrational virtuosity, signaled by your supremely perverse confidence in supplying a plethora of sensory detail in scenes that seem to come from out of nowhere, dreams whose larger purpose you haven’t yet established in our minds — e.g., Grandmother’s house. You know full well that we will not only endure but enjoy the moment of disorientation, and will follow.

The insistent, perverse, yet unfailingly lucid use of French and Franglais — is this also a symptom of a breakthrough? Have you staked out your own territory and sunk roots in the borderland between your two native cultures?

Zanzibar’s ludicrous early success, his lugubrious decline and late failure, his preposterously self-indulged “quantum” writer’s block, and the diseased way in which the established press will exploit it — I sense a breakthrough here, too. You’ve long acknowledged and bewailed the contemptible state of Franco-English letters. But here, with an amazing vastness of detail that only an insider could generate (where did you learn so much about these effete movers and shakers?), you have finally masticated this hideous situation, peristalsed it and shat it out. The despair which “the mainstream” must engender in less hardy souls can’t come near you any more. You are free to laugh from high up, to heap the kind of scorn that will humiliate any member of the lit establishment who reads this.

I can feel a Gallix novel coming on — and not an invisible palimpsest. This artistic unfolding of yours is heartening and exciting to watch. Some saggy asses in London-Paris-New York that have long needed kicking are in for it now.

Surplus Will: the Stories of Andrew Gallix

The second chapter of Tom Bradley‘s Put It Down in a Book is devoted to a brilliant analysis of some of my short stories. It’s a slightly altered version of an essay that appeared in nthposition in 2007:

Tom Bradley. “Surplus Will: the Stories of Andrew Gallix.” Put It Down in a Book. Cedar Park, TX: 2009. 21-26.

A myriadminded man, Mr Best reminded.
Coleridge called him a myriadminded man…
His unremitting intellect is the hornmad Iago…

— James Joyce, Ulysses

Almost nobody has ever adequately evoked that gorgeous monster-hardon called Paris. But Andrew Gallix has nailed it to the wall like a luminiferous aether of opium jelly. I reckon he can do it because his language is lush and orgiastic as the topic it encompasses. Well up to the task, with plenty left over.

One is left hankering for more, for a whole book of his “Gelignite Dolly-Bird.” She calls for an unzipping and delectating till consciousness succumbs, spilling out into a larger frame: effusion, sheer tsunamic detail of sense and satire, where one gets to fuck and mock multiple celebrities, ankle deep in menses and jizz, all over million-franc Persian rugs.

Gallix’s heroine has only just awakened from a drunken swoon when she sees a silver-greasepainted faun tiptoeing among the piles of her fellow fucked out orgiasts. He has awakened her with his “muffled squishy sound as of manifold foreskins peeled back in unison,” as he despoils the flopped bodies, the semi-comatose pataphysicians, post-structuralists and “pointilllist ponces in pointy shoes.”

Such a silver faun must soon transmogrify into an incubus outright, and so he does. He coalesces into Beauty itself, personified with a dick attached, and he despoils Gallix’s heroine, to the accompaniment of this mentholated whisper: “You can only take so much Beauty…”

And that’s how much Beauty he gives us. The depravity of Gallix’s Paris is transfigured by paragraphs of sheer transcendent Beauty, given out with virtuosic offhandedness, as we ascend into Gallix’s galaxy: “…Fanny’s angelic features were bathed in gold, her halo melting like fondue cheese, and sparkling fruit carved in dewdrops dangled lasciviously from chandeliers like overripe testes.”

This Beauty, this silver faun, is a slender version of that other incubus whom we once saw tiptoeing and despoiling the flopped bodies at Shrewsbury, on the plain between Prince Hal’s camp and the rebels’. That far fatter faun, metallic with chain mail rather than silver greasepaint, was bent over a supine figure, too, like Gallix’s, and likewise whispered in its ear. But he didn’t say, “You can only take so much beauty.” Rather, he huffed, “if thou embowel me to-day, I’ll give you leave to powder me and eat me too tomorrow… with a new wound in your thigh, come you along with me.”

Falstaff’s embowelling cannibal woundings go direct and deep as Gallix’s Beauty, right down to our connective tissue. The former’s stomping ground was a blood-rank battlefield, while the latter’s is a rut-reeking Parisian parlour. But the deeper parallels hold true, those beauteous similarities obtain. As it is in Henry IV Part I, so it is in “Half-Hearted Confessions of a Gelignite Dolly-Bird”: every phrase of Gallix, every juxtaposition of words, is considered and balanced, faithful to the Shakespearean ideal. And, like Will, he waxes hilarious, at will. An almost random selection of one liners from another Gallixean rhapsody, “Forty Tiddly Winks,” will demonstrate:

God knows how much of his mortal coil ended up in the hoover on a weekly basis.

One of them could actually recall being buggered by Bulgakov, and a bloody good shag it was too…

…as if he had spent the night snogging a siren in the snot-green sea. (Not only the Bard, but Joyce is all through this, thoroughly assimilated and metabolized.)

In “Forty Tiddly Winks”, Gallix obliges so-called Judeo-Christian civilization with a hilariously despairing revision of the first several chapters of Genesis. His could be one of those great revisionist insights that penetrate and suffuse the collective awareness and spur new epochs: “The genocide of humanity itself.”

For Gallix, Adam has been replaced by Tim(e), the Miltonic lecturer who lives opposite Cerberus and is perpetually pursued by his own (Time’s) winged chariot. I can see why “Tim is out of joints,” and why he’s in such deep trouble with “them.” It’s because he has found out the most hideous secret of all: Eve and her hung hubby never ate of the tree in the first place, and were never as gods. Tim has Holocausted us all into a hole, Jew and gentile alike. Tim has run out.

The kiddy classroom in “Forty Tiddly Winks,” like the sixth chapter of Genesis, is peopled by critters procreatively bizarre enough to be identified with the Nephilim. Those tots prematurely pubesce, “ovulating wildly” as they gaze up at the forbidden fruit that oozes “Angel-come,” in a paragraph that, beyond its other-dimensional strangeness, is physically delicious, like so many other Gallixian structures.

Miss Ramsay, the kiddies’ teacher, is terrible and unparaphrasable. She is the trans-sexed YHWH, jealous, apple-forbidding, seeing that “it was good.” She skips ahead a few pages to peek at the end of the Good Book, and finds herself suddenly in the middle of Saint John’s rant. Seeing the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse “beyond the pale, skimming candy-floss clouds on foot-propelled micro-scooters,” Miss Ramsay is turned into a serpent coiffed medusa — one of many magical metamorphoses in this strange Gallixy.

Those micro-scooters go beyond art and beyond criticism, and scoot into realms we can only speculate about. We can only tentatively hazard that something seems to be undulating, or breathing, behind these stories, as in the Hindus’ Unthinkable That — unadulterated strangeness.

This is my favorite kind of writing, all the more pleasurable for its rarity (almost nobody has the chops to do it): exploding with allusions to the big, the timeless, the Biblical, the Shakespearean, the Miltonic, the Joycean, claiming its own niche among those gorgeous monster hardons through sheer dint of artistic and intellectual doughtiness, and at the same time dancing light as a mote of hashish ash.

Nietzsche distinguished between artists who wring their works from a deficit of vitality, and those who blast forth from sheer surplus will. Andrew Gallix is clearly to be counted among the latter.

All the Latest

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Tom Bradley mentions me and the Offbeats in his brilliant essay on Crossing Chaos Enigmatic Ink (a small publishing house) which features in the latest issue of Exquisite Corpse (June 2009). Here’s the relevant extract:

Crossing Enigmatic Ink: Locus of the Enigmatic Polygeneration

“…Weltanschaungen, however earnestly professed by the immediate consciousness, are mere mental fads among scribblers. We’re all just trying to give a few copies of our books the widest possible angle of dispersion, in the hope that someone might accidentally bury a fragment of a page in a jar in the preservative desert, Qumran-wise. All contrived explanations of the world that may or may not obtain on the far side of our dust jackets are just temporary means of distraction from the unscientific horror of being remaindered and pulped. In the meantime we busily concoct for our output critical neologisms that might hawk a few vendible price units. We’re almost as prolific confecting generic tags as we are writing stuff to paste them on. We secrete names of Movements for the mongers to itemize, and busily stake claims to the most squalid promo gimmicks, as we fall prey to the teasefully withheld blandishments of that Babylonian harlot best described by Andrew Gallix

…an increasingly reactionary publishing world driven by marketing departments (who have transformed “literary fiction” into a genre) and their academic lackeys (in thrall to the Booker novel)…

— and Jonathan Penton, of Make It New Media:

And when we live with the sort of impersonal, venal corporations that control Twenty-First Century industry, literature suffers. The so-called “publishers” that currently produce the majority of America’s books don’t understand or care about literature that does not immediately make a clear profit. They put fiction and poetry next to blockbuster movies and celebrity tell-alls, and do not see the point. And they haven’t just purchased our printing presses — they’ve purchased the names of the publishers of yesteryear, and attempt to harness the goodwill once generated by these publishers, portraying themselves as the continuing keepers of culture while pushing books down the eternal spiral of the lowest common denominator.

Either spirit exists or it’s a phantasm — or maybe it constitutes some mentally masturbatory Heisenberg quibble that doesn’t exist but nevertheless obtains. In any case, the most intimate access we have to the collective soul’s ungenerated immateriality comes in, and on, books. In this postlapsarian shit-hole of an earth, the naked spirit is presented as nearly unencumbered with existence as it can be via a thin layer of inky molecules on paper (a hundred-percent green, in Crossing Chaos Enigmatic Ink’s case). A book is the closest the insensible can come to being sensed, as John of Patmos knew. In his insular malnourishment he made a bagel sandwich of it:

And I saw a mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire. And he had in his hand a little book open…And he said unto me, Take the little book, and eat it up.
— Revelation 10:1-2, 9

Writing, if good, transcends time as handily as space, and constitutes the only human permanence. We have no idea what the kithara sounded like before or after Milesian Timotheus added a string to it. Apelles’ paintings are lost tantalizations. Meanwhile, Plato’s dialogues are realer, more present, than the dork in the next cubicle.

And, just as Soul is captured best in print, so proportionally vast is the sacrilege that occurs when literature gets stolen, raped, pimped, whored-out, used as corporocratic asswipe. This makes resistance to big media nothing less than the most important dharma of generated existence. HarperCollins vulgarizes the only non-ephemeral part of us. And despite the majority of our seven authors’ cries denying the existence of the “s” word, they will all join in the following exhortation —

Extend to “communications corporations” the same malign neglect with which you treat the stupid movies their books are churned out for no other purpose than to be turned into. Wish them entropized into papier mache by the blizzard of broken glass that will result when globally warmed hurricanes move north. Leave them languishing at the bottom of a demolition site to warm the thermically equilibrious heart of GX Jupitter-Larsen himself. Supercellular mesocyclones can blow the Big Apple all the way up the Brahmins’ fart-hole, for all anyone who loves lit cares. Odessos-Schmodessa.

Let proximity itself go down the same municipal sewer system. Digital connectivity has rendered physical locality irrelevant and made polyversality the new thing. A generically schizoid reviewer can be sitting right here in Nagasaki writing an article for a magazine in Baton Rouge about a publisher in a London quantumly bilocated, spookily acted upon, in Ontario — and, throughout the entire transaction neither a single cubic inch of flesh will have been pressed, nor gustable cock sucked.

To the same degree that carefully drafted prose sails above extempore gab, the quality of schmoozing has been enhanced. When a school of scribblers eschews congregation at a specific longitude-latitude, what the PR folks call “the presentation self” gets wholesomely idealized. When, to paraphrase Hugh Fox’s epigraph, the Who gets unsecured by landscape, all the somatic curses of generated existence are stripped away. Once space has been erased by the miracle of email, so has time, in terms of its effects on the human frame.

The envy inspired by exquisitely smooth foreheads and cheeks; the superciliousness engendered by wrinkles and arthritic gaits; the mutual revulsion that results in commingling the disparate B.O.s of maturity and im-; the disharmony of voices cracked with senectitude and late teen hormones; the ambiguous eros ignited when the androgyne grace of late adolescence rubs against grizzled moobs; the subcortical whiffs of the Freudian family-disease that obtrude on every animal awareness when figures substitutable for parent and spawn rub elbows, when personal encounters take place among people separable by more than a sibling’s number of years — none of this signifies through the hermetic medium of the internet.

In a creation where particles can spookily act upon each other at a distance of quadrillions of light years, and, in the meantime, the foreclosed home right next door, upon being scheduled for demolition, spookily begins to sport the name of our fifth planet in disembodied black light — the seven ages of man are as days in the week, and a generation can span an open-ended number of decades.

In a universe ruled by karma and rebirth, “generation” is a bad word, denoting as it does the stifling of spirits in coats of crass skin, the greatest disservice that can be done. Nevertheless, Hugh Fox got to christen the Invisible Generation, Andrew Gallix the Offbeats. So I’ll invent a name to embrace Crossing Chaos Enigmatic Ink’s stable. It will be a “sticky statement,” many-worldly enough to encompass the catalogue’s quantum proclivities, and will also contain a mnemonicism referring back to the brand name from whose womb this septuple existent is undergoing parturition. I’ll make the name doubly apt, as these writers produce electricity as well as useful heat:

The Enigmatic Polygeneration …”

Surplus Will: Tom Bradley on Gallix

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The mighty Tom Bradley has published an article about my fiction in nthposition:

Tom Bradley, “Surplus Will,” nthposition 7 August 2007

“A myriadminded man, Mr Best reminded. Coleridge called him a myriadminded man… His unremitting intellect is the hornmad Iago…”
— James Joyce, Ulysses

Almost nobody has ever adequately evoked that gorgeous monster-hardon called Paris. But Andrew Gallix has nailed it to the wall like a luminiferous aether of opium jelly. I reckon he can do it because his language is lush and orgiastic as the topic it encompasses. Well up to the task, with plenty left over.

One is left hankering for more, for a whole book of this Gelignite Dolly-Bird. She calls for an unzipping and delectating till consciousness succumbs, spilling out into a larger frame: effusion, sheer tsunamic detail of sense and satire, where one gets to fuck and mock multiple celebrities, ankle deep in menses and jizz, all over million-franc Persian rugs.

Gallix’s heroine has only just awakened from a drunken swoon when she sees a silver-greasepainted faun tiptoeing among the piles of her fellow fucked out orgiasts. He has awakened her with his “muffled squishy sound as of manifold foreskins peeled back in unison”, as he despoils the flopped bodies, the semi-comatose pataphysicians, post-structuralists and “pointilllist ponces in pointy shoes.”

Such a silver faun must soon transmogrify into an incubus outright, and so he does. He coalesces into Beauty itself, personified with a dick attached, and he despoils Gallix’s heroine, to the accompaniment of this mentholated whisper: “You can only take so much Beauty…” And that’s how much Beauty he gives us. The depravity of Gallix’s Paris is transfigured by paragraphs of sheer transcendent Beauty, given out with virtuosic offhandedness, as we ascend into Gallix’s galaxy: “…Fanny’s angelic features were bathed in gold, her halo melting like fondue cheese, and sparkling fruit carved in dewdrops dangled lasciviously from chandeliers like overripe testes.”

This Beauty, this silver faun, is a slender version of that other incubus whom we once saw tiptoeing and despoiling the flopped bodies at Shrewsbury, on the plain between Prince Hal’s camp and the rebels’. That far fatter faun, metallic with chain mail rather than silver greasepaint, was bent over a supine figure, too, like Gallix’s, and likewise whispered in its ear. But he didn’t say, “You can only take so much beauty.” Rather, he huffed, “if thou embowel me to-day, I’ll give you leave to powder me and eat me too tomorrow… with a new wound in your thigh, come you along with me.”

Falstaff’s embowelling cannibal woundings go direct and deep as Gallix’s Beauty, right down to our connective tissue. The former’s stomping ground was a blood-rank battlefield, while the latter’s is a rut-reeking Parisian parlour. But the deeper parallels hold true, those beauteous similarities obtain. As it is in Henry IV Part I, so it is in “Half-Hearted Confessions of a Gelignite Dolly-Bird”: every phrase of Gallix, every juxtaposition of words, is considered and balanced, faithful to the Shakespearean ideal.

And, like Will, he waxes hilarious, at will. An almost random selection of one liners from “Forty Tiddly Winks” will demonstrate:
“God knows how much of his mortal coil ended up in the hoover on a weekly basis.”
“One of them could actually recall being buggered by Bulgakov, and a bloody good shag it was too…”
“…as if he had spent the night snogging a siren in the snot-green sea.” (Not only the Bard, but Joyce is all through this, thoroughly assimilated and metabolized.)

In “Forty Tiddly Winks”, Gallix obliges so-called Judeo-Christian civilization with a hilariously despairing revision of the first several chapters of Genesis. His could be one of those great revisionist insights that penetrate and suffuse the collective awareness and spur new epochs: “The genocide of humanity itself.”

For Gallix, Adam has been replaced by Tim(e), the Miltonic lecturer who lives opposite Cerberus and is perpetually pursued by his own (Time’s) winged chariot. I can see why “Tim is out of joints”, and why he’s in such deep trouble with “them”: it’s because he has found out the most hideous secret of all: Eve and her hung hubby never ate of the tree in the first place, and were never as gods. Tim has Holocausted us all into a hole, Jew and gentile alike. Tim has run out.

The kiddy classroom in “Forty Tiddly Winks,” like the sixth chapter of Genesis, is peopled by critters procreatively bizarre enough to be identified with the Nephilim. Those tots prematurely pubesce, “ovulating wildly” as they gaze up at the forbidden fruit that oozes “angel-come,” in a paragraph that, beyond its other-dimensional strangeness, is physically delicious, like so many other Gallixian structures.

Miss Ramsay, the kiddies’ teacher, is terrible and unparaphrasable. She is the trans-sexed YHWH, jealous, apple-forbidding, seeing that “it was good.” She skips ahead a few pages to peek at the end of the Good Book, and finds herself suddenly in the middle of Saint John’s rant. Seeing the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse “beyond the pale, skimming candy-floss clouds on foot-propelled micro-scooters,” Miss Ramsay is turned into a serpent coiffed medusa — one of many magical metamorphoses in this strange Gallixy.

Those micro-scooters go beyond art and beyond criticism, and scoot into realms we can only speculate about. We can only tentatively hazard that something seems to be undulating, or breathing behind these stories, as in the Hindus’ Unthinkable That — unadulterated strangeness.

This is my favorite kind of writing, all the more pleasurable for its rarity (almost nobody has the chops to do it): exploding with allusions to the big, the timeless, the Biblical, the Shakespearean, the Miltonic, the Joycean, claiming its own niche among those gorgeous monster hardons through sheer dint of artistic and intellectual doughtiness, and at the same time dancing light as a mote of hashish ash.

Nietzsche distinguished between artists who wring their works from a deficit of vitality, and those who blast forth from sheer surplus will. Andrew Gallix is clearly to be counted among the latter.