Our old friend and longtime contributor to The Cult, Jeffrey Sartain, is dropping in with some very exciting news for you all. There's a new book! Well no... not by Chuck Palahniuk. Rather, it's a new book about Chuck Palahniuk. You see, Jeff is the undisputed king of all things related to the academia of Palahniuk. Therefore, I doubt you're ever going to find a more thorough examination of Chuck's works then Sacred & Immoral.
With that, I'll hand the mic over to Jeff.
I’m happy to announce the publication of Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk. The book is an academic anthology, intended for scholars, students, and fans, and features eleven original essays about Chuck’s post-Fight Club novels, as well as an interview with Chuck, an up-to-date Chuck bibliography, and a unique foreword by Monica Drake. This book has been a labor of love, as I think anyone who reads it can tell. Each and every author represented here is a die-hard fan of Palahniuk’s work; our goal is to demonstrate the powerful meanings that readers are able to draw from Palahniuk’s literature, and to inspire further scholarship and conversation about his work. read more »
Here's your quote- Thomas Pynchon loved this book! Almost as much as he loves cameras.
Where to begin with Pynchon? Despite being fascinated by premonitory erections and scenes of submissive turd eating, I was defeated by Gravity’s Rainbow in college. This was before I felt the postmodernist bite, and I barely made it a hundred pages in. Years later, I attempted V., trudging through 19th Century British colonies and the Namibian Hereo Wars along with Stencil and the Whole Sick Crew, coming out the other end with less of a grasp of the historical framing than when I began. Ironically, The Crying of Lot 49, possibly Pynchon’s easiest to digest (ie: shortest), still sits on my shelf, unread. read more »
Come, listen, let me tell you a story: märchen and sagen to people your dreams.
Listen. Look, in my dayjob I work with some people who can most delicately be termed characters. You know the type; at home with the mindspring of Kaufman and Solondz. One gentleman in particular I vibe well with, and depending on the amount of drudge to be done that day, to be working next to him is a bane or boon; he is a storyteller. The man yarns. I have been gifted new chapters of the same story on the regular for nearly two years, delivered cantabile-like with purposeful pauses. Another coworker once said to me, "Can't you just imagine Frank around a campfire, scaring the pants off some booger-faced kids with his stories?" Affirmative. Mad Frank in the maelstrom; eyes out on stems, as they say. He has perfected the most treasured art of storytelling: delivery. read more »
Send in the muthafuckin' clowns.
Jamey’s got a problem. A problem with over-sized shoes and a red rubber nose. He’s been abducted by clowns and forced to join the circus. Accessible only by a network of port-a-johns and situated on the precipice of hell, The Pilo Family Circus has existed for centuries, harvesting human souls. But Jamey doesn’t want to be a clown. He wants to go home. Unfortunately, every time he puts on the face paint he becomes JJ- a sadistic bastard with a penchant for terrorizing midgets and gypsies. JJ loves circus life, and has no intention of giving it up. So when Jamey becomes involved in an underground movement aiming to bring down the circus from the inside, JJ decides he might just have to kill him. read more »
Moods, Masochism, and Murder: A ConversationInterview by Mirka Hodurova
Stephen Elliott is “giving” away his latest, yet to be released book; a memoir entitled The Adderall Diaries: A Memoir of Moods, Masochism, and Murder .
But...with a few simple and lovely conditions attached.
A new release from Elliott is always a pleasure, compounded now by his generous, and to me, slightly counterproductive, offer to let 500 fans get their eager hands on a copy well in advance of its September release date. He's named this venture the Lending Library and participants are simply requested to read the book, sign it, and then must pass it on to the next person on the list within a week. read more »
Attention writers! Lock and load, because it's time to prowl the wasteland of procrastination and start collecting scalps. Translation: It's time to get serious about your writing. Here at The Cult, we do not rest until we're sure that every writer with potential that is reading this has taken that fateful plunge into improving their craft. We're relentless in this endeavor; to make you all better writers and to hopefully, get you published.
What started this year with Chuck Palahniuk reading and reviewing 6 stories every month for an upcoming anthology, has just evolved into another beastly arm of The Cult's writers' workshop... this one belonging to badass scribe Craig Clevenger!
Yes, Clevenger returns to us all (thank God!) as the first visiting author for our new 'Authors in Residence' series. This is different from previous Master Intensive Workshops, as it is not lecture and homework based, but more of a classroom creative writing course... a two week 'Shotgun' Intensive to focus on the material that you, the student, are working on.
Important: Craig is not going into this with a pre-arranged agenda. Rather, he is going to accept two samples from all the students before the class actually begins. Samples should be 2,000 - 3,000 words long and should be emailed to Mirka@chuckpalahniuk.net only after you have registered for the class. Let me be clear: This sample you send will not be used as part of any of the lessons in the actual class. Rather, it is just a sample to let Craig see your range and style of writing.
To ensure personal attention and an intimate classroom style setting, both Shotgun Intensives will be limited to only 15 Students. But don't worry, there are two to choose from! And you know what else?
Registration is now open!
July Class Is Now Sold Out!
September Class Is Now Sold Out
read more »
A sober, sardonic recount of life in The Process. Flagellation optional.
Console your eyes; the Thetans throwing beaucoup bucks at the Dianetics funnel have come to level with us lowly, turning their best tricks toward inspirational--there is now a commercial for Scientology. Commercials for cults! It is a new day, people. In between some slick editing and some guy mouthlusting about my life-- "It's yours!” without a slink of irony--I thought I saw Thora Birch smiling back from my set. What? No. What? There is no Birch confirmation, but this is all to preface that right before I was to read Love, Sex, Fear, Death I was already in the mindset to wonder how one fumbles themselves into a cult. read more »
The fireworks aren't over just yet! It's my pleasure to announce that Craig Clevenger's second short story (an excerpt from his forthcoming novel Saint Heretic) is now live.
Now watch those eyebrows and fingers, so you don't get hurt when you absorb this fireworks finale; Craig Clevenger will be returning to the site in a new capacity, as the first visiting author for our new 'Authors in Residence' series that we are unveiling this year.
This is different from previous Master Intensive Workshops, as it is not lecture and homework based, but more of a classroom creative writing course. A two week 'Shotgun' Intensive to focus on the material that you, the student, are working on.
To ensure personal attention and an intimate classroom style setting, both Shotgun Intensives will be limited to only 15 Students. But don't worry, there are two to choose from! read more »
A literary manifesto that will excite and offend all the right people.
God is Dead
God’s not dead, (no) he’s alive
- Christian song
Opinions are like assholes. What I want are facts- cold, hard facts. Like Antonius Block in The Seventh Seal, I want knowledge, not belief.
God Is Not Great offers a little bit of both. But it is more an argument against religion than a scientific study on the existence of god. So if you are of a similar opinion, Hitchens will be preaching to the choir. The book contains a handy (but short) list of references, but otherwise assumes a certain amount of knowledge on the reader’s part. If you are not familiar with things like 16th century philosophy, the history of astronomy or the Burgess Shale, you will learn little here other than names and dates. Hitchens doesn’t go into much scientific detail. He cites and moves on. read more »
When style affects our ability to connect
An unnamed motorist is sitting at a stoplight when he is inexplicably struck blind. A good Samaritan offers help and from there it spreads, introducing us to our cast of characters, becoming an epidemic in the process. An ophthalmologist’s wife remains unaffected, but feigns blindness in order to accompany her husband to quarantine. Together they experience the horrors of a world without sight, and we become witness to the best and worst of humanity. read more »