Read Amalgamemnon by Christine Brooke-Rose Online


A woman about to lose her job as a professor of literature and history delivers a passionate, witty, and word-mad monologue in this inventive novel, which was called "brilliant" (The Listener), "dazzling" (The Guardian), "elegant, rueful and witty" (The Observer) upon its original publication in England in 1984.History and literature seem to be losing ground to the brave nA woman about to lose her job as a professor of literature and history delivers a passionate, witty, and word-mad monologue in this inventive novel, which was called "brilliant" (The Listener), "dazzling" (The Guardian), "elegant, rueful and witty" (The Observer) upon its original publication in England in 1984.History and literature seem to be losing ground to the brave new world of electronic media and technology, and battle lines are being drawn between the humanities and technology, the first world and the third world, women and men. Narrator Mira Enketei erases those boundaries in her punning monologue, blurring the texts of Herodotus with the callers to a talk-radio program, and blending contemporary history with ancient: fairy-tale and literal/invented people (the kidnappers of capitalism, a girl-warrior from Somalia, a pop singer, a political writer), connected by an elaborate mock-genealogy stretching back to the Greek gods, move in and out of each other's stories. The narrator sometimes sees herself as Cassandra, condemned by Apollo to prophesize but never to be believed, enslaved by Agamemnon after the fall of Troy. Brooke-Rose amalgamates ancient literature with modern crises to produce a powerful novel about the future of culture....

Title : Amalgamemnon
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781564780508
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 152 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Amalgamemnon Reviews

  • Lynne King
    2018-10-22 21:59

    FINAL REVIEWI've been to the stars and back in this galactic pun-packed exquisite work. I've even sat on a moon beam and talked with the gods...This is my favourite book of all time. It combines aspects of the works of Lawrence Durrell, Henry Miller, Umberto Eco and Anais Nin - my four favourite authors.How can one even attempt to write a review on this book? I'll try...So here goes.“The Flight of the Mind” (the title of Virginia Woolf’s first volume of Letters) immediately sprang to mind in parallel with Indiana Jones’ leap into faith when I entered the pun-punching, far reaching, profound and yet far-reaching world of Christine Brooke Rose (CBR).I also never thought the day would unexpectedly and surprisingly creep up on me when I would find an author, a unique author at that, who could surpass Oscar Wilde in wit.The writing is exquisite with puns and neologisms studding the book. With the help of my faithful Chambers Dictionary, the Greek Myths by Robert Graves and my books on astronomy, I’ve slipped into the water and slowly trodden water carefully and deliciously swum into CBR’s world.I’ve been jettisoned around the universe both in my mind and in my conception on life and have seen a new unexpected side to existence on our planet. The CBR experience has brought the culmination of my somewhat eclectic reading to an all resounding clash of the titans. My innermost thoughts and values have been flattened as I’ve grappled both with myself and with the prose, and it can be very frustrating at times I can assure you with this remarkable individual and how did she cope with this feat of artistry? The simplest, and yet in contradiction, trick in the world - that of a monologue. But then again is this a monologue or is it a soliloquy? The review on the book states the former but I wonder if it is the latter. Surely CBR is talking to herself but for us, the reader to hear? Never mind. Someone I vaguely recall stated somewhere that the most well-known soliloquy in the English language appears in Act III, Scene 1 of Hamlet:“To be, or not to be, — that is the question.” I go along with that.But if this is a monologue, it is one with a difference by “a woman about to lose her job as a professor of literature and history” and she is on a mission through time in every conceivable aspect.Now there are monologues and there are monologues but due to this book I’ve finally started to read properly. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a book addict and I’ve been reading for years but there’s reading for pleasure and reading for learning but I’ve only now discovered the ultimate, that of finally seeing and reading and as a consequence knowing who I am. I’ve discovered myself and what a shock that has been to me. I tingle and I feel embarrassed and coy. To come across a work that I've had to analyse, be it the neologisms that abound and resound throughout.This is a very smart lady. She doesn’t give purely reading pleasure; she whacks it at you and can shock and make you smile at the same time. Such artistry and for two weeks I’ve been on a spellbinding odyssey of ancient/modern times and thoughts of a future world, in trying to unravel both CBR’s complex and yet boomerang writing style and yet there is such profound depth in beauty in her conception of life. Through her I’ve lived with the mythical Greek gods, I’ve been to places pre-birth and have rediscovered trinitarianism; I’ve cried and writhed in trying to come to grips with some of the spectacular unimaginable and unfathomable prose; I’ve been lost in the labyrinth and the Minotaur has been aware of my presence, and chased me and then the ultimate, the scales have fallen from my eyes. I can see and appreciate, through CBR, who I am, what I am. I’ve searched the stars and planets with my telescope both in the early hours of the morning and the evening, apart from being stopped by the clouds deciding to take over.I’ve met the narrator Mira Enketei “who sees herself as Cassandra, condemned by Apollo to prophesy but never to be believed, enslaved by Agamemnon after the fall of Troy". I’ve been brought back to terra firma with a whack and a romp in the guise of Mr Jolly. Now I’m in my comfort zone here and I don’t like it and I’m rebelling living in this “coin perdu”. This individual lives in the land of maize and honey. rusticana, cows, cows and more cows and of course sheep, how could I forget them? I fall over them on my daily jaunts as they escape and run madly along the country lanes. Perhaps they know the abattoir is just around the corner and want to escape that inevitability. Mr Jolly is the normalizing individual but is he? Has CBR purely decided to add a French dash of salt and pepper and the ever pervading AOC piment d’Espelette from the Pays Basque and thrown a spanner in the works? Put susceptible individuals like me off the scent? Concepts of cybernetics spring to mind and the frightening future and possible loss of books. Soon the physical aspects of sex will disappear and everything will be done with the press of the button. Imagine losing the joy of anticipation, the chase, and then the awaited and yet thoroughly expected climax of the catch. I’m in full flight now and had better return to stability, to earth.So in conclusion, this 1984 experimental novella is metafiction at its best and I’ve given you purely a taster from this book. It’s up to you the reader to see if you are up to reading this remarkable woman’s work. This is not a book for the faint-hearted. One thing I do know is that this is a true reference book. I can pick it up whenever I want and know that I’ll always love it.I’ve been on a galactic, interpersonal and all-embracing magical journey. I have absolutely lived this book and all I can say is my, infinitum. This is the first time in my life that I have ever seen a writing style such as this: such soul, artistry and insight. This is a tour de force with all the flights of fancy of the author and all about our language and what a splendid time I’ve had. You don’t need a plot here with such language.My grateful appreciation goes to Scribble. Perhaps indirectly she’s trying to unscramble my already cluttered mind? Here I am at 7 a.m. in the morning in France, sitting out on the terrace with the lights on; and after I finish writing these words, I look at the stars through the telescope and smile. And yes, I do indeed have “a smile in the mind’s eye”.

  • Stephen P
    2018-10-19 23:05

    A dirge of phonics, swelter of ideas, precisions, concisions, visions, a paced poetics of polished sound barely contained. Christine Brooke-Rose's, Mira Enketei is placed as the librarian within her own mind. The shelves filled with volumes, their cross references continuously at hand. Her intellect is teeming. We are not invited to gather within, we are taken into this sumptuous feast without question or intent. It is easy to listen to the brilliance of her words as they dance and play with one another in punned steps of elegance and a chrysalis unfolding of deep planes of meaning. Mythology, history, literature is folded and unfolded in the plaits of her existence, in a world of her becoming, yet where she has now become redundant.To be laid-off as a professor, as will her colleagues, teaching the dead languages of literature, history and philosophy, she is looking into a future rapidly being replaced by the eager minds of high technology. Her only tool which she has refined with studious exploration of thought is her intellect; a dimension missing in others, Her choice is to acknowledge she has not provided it in sufficient quantity to others or it has not been received in this emerging world of computer terminals and data now invisible, passing overhead through the currents of air, servants of the lord of information to be gathered and stored. She has no interest or abilities to reside in this new world but to spend her days in the antiquity of past genius is to relegate herself as a lone refugee. The new world, its electronic flashes, passes her by as a relic to someday be exhumed as a lost antiquity which at some historic point might have provided use, purpose. An interesting corner of life but one not open to a woman of her time. As Cassandra she has been given the gift of prophecy and at the same time is cursed where no one else will see or believe these prophetic renderings so clear to her. The renderings are inclusive of the banalities of life; political, economic, struggles of power, relationships.She, as Renata Adler, though using very different styles, find themselves forced by external social pressures to live the banalities they are commenting on. As Greek Mythology and her life nears one, she sacrifices herself for the thinned plane of survival, to speak the quiet tear born babble of Cassandra in her mind while accepting an overweight man who stepped into her life.This is a man who has firmly occupied for himself a limited dimension which avails itself to the majority of others scurrying to seek the comfort of security, drafting proclamations of status, honor, while crafting trophies of achievement within these limited plains and spaces. He is unaware of missing life's fullest dimension, seeing himself as the key for Mira to be included, acknowledged in his world. As Cassandra she is not only not heard but is silenced for being a woman, a woman in a man's world. She can see but he cannot, this world is in danger of being planed so spare that its slow spin is toward meaninglessness and a vanishing. His life is wedged between the daily rifts of economic barter and the strident male marches towards unquestioned production, influence and recognition. It is coming- to- him as it was ordained at birth by gender. Her protestations were cuddled into declamations of her further comittment to their relationship, as well as the feeble world of a woman's words. Soft, cute, he squelched the very way she spoke-through her varied depths of intellect-poking another accusation, one more Reaganite, "There you go again."Reading Christine Brooke-Rose is to partake in the richest of intellects, while reaching the breadths of what can be known and what we need to keep striving towards. It has the ability to put a male reader, this male reader, somewhat closer to the mind, experience, of women born with an inheritance of underling, their judges and juries all men, and listened to the scope of their highly intelligent thought as proof of their inferiority. Not being,who they are supposed to be, their ability to counter the disinformation is used as further proof against them. A slick wave of the magic hand over the emptied hat and those struck dumb laugh at the poorer sex who are stuck with the powers of speech, metaphor, poetics. Nothing there to increase the production of goods, to stabilize the concrete world of objects, to rant resources into the invisibility of oblivion. This is a man's spectrum. It is all coming to them unquestioned. Life was to be lived in acquisition and production, regaling in the comfort of security, while utilizing the deadly kindliness of the necessary words to keep women in their place, to silence them.How much better this world might have been, might be, if the voice of Christine Brooke-Rose was not buried but sung through the land. In Amalgamemnon we hear the voice sung, poetic, playful, necessary, lifting us towards, thought, that enlarges our desire for further reaching. This is a book for those who love language, the playfulness, punning, referencing, that adds further depths. It is for the courageous not for those who comfortably think themselves courageous. It is for those who can look ahead open-eyed while carrying with them the golden redundancy of meaning and beauty.I must thank Scribble Orca, Lynne King, the Buried Book Club for giving me the opportunity for reading this wondrous, provoking book.Also I must apologize to the fifth star in my ratings. It is left alone to its left, with only darkness and infinity to accompany it when it deserves many partners of a similar shape and sparkle.

  • MJ Nicholls
    2018-11-15 21:11

    For years, it seemed Christine Brooke-Rose was fated to remain entombed in the mausoleum of avant-garde curiosities, shunned for her unapologetically complex and eggheady works like her 60s/70s tetralogy—some of the most cloistered and labyrinthine experimental novels of the 20thC, spooky by reputation. This was until the year of Our Great Unburier 2013, Lord Visigoth of Motorhead, when up and down the American hypermotorhighways and up hither the Swiss hillocks and declivities, the young powerplayers of the Digital Dream connexecuted a volte-face toward the canon of herself, Lady CB-Rose of Englandshire, including the ascension by Brother MJ of her 1984 Dalkey-pubbed novel Amalgamemnon: an unbelievably rhythmical and deliriously dizzying feat of downright stunning wordplay and humour and punk-rock anti-narrative pyrotechnics par expelliarmus—a synaptic fireworks display of obscure reference and witty surrealism and unhinged plot-less brilliance, etched into the luscious acid-free paper from the tallest saplords of King John O’Brien of The Illinoisome Clan. And lo, it came to pass, that the world did sing their unalloyed ecstasies in abundance at this unEARTHED frolic of the 80s British avant-garde. Hear their melodies as they caress the skies!

  • Brian
    2018-10-22 19:16

    I imagine what fun it must be to be a stray thought in the beautiful mind of Christine Brooke-Rose. You know that sooner or later that net is going to snag you - and when it does you will be polished, preened and placed next to others like you in a cascading moment of cacophonous creation. All strays welcome here. CBR will give you a good home.I was blown away by Textermination - so much so that I fear that I may have read this book too close to that work of genius. All of CBR's writing prowess is on display in this novel, but somewhere past mid point things began to unravel a bit for me. This is not a reflection on the work, merely me as a weak reader.Even if you find that her experimental fiction isn't for you, reading her books to come across fabulous neologisms like beaurocrastinate is worth the trip.

  • Gregsamsa
    2018-11-06 20:48

    "Now read Amalgamemnon and join the cult."--MJ Nicholls, to meDONE AND DONE!OK imagine that the S.L.A. were classics- and theory-drenched intellectuals on hard groovy free-associational drugs, taking guerrilla action against the $¥£-hegemony's universal divestment from the humanities.That's the nutshell version; now for my typically interminable version:There's something a little dishonest-feeling about ringing five loud stars ("amazing") of recommendation for a book whose dense references I might [might!] have understood but a fifth of. Then again, how does an easily-mastered book "amaze"? A MAZE, yes, a Corinthian labyrinthine classical-to-futuristic catacomb of connections between the now NOW and Western Mythology Then, but the gods take a back seat to the ORACLES in this consciousness's semi-stream-of take on ancient-to-now teleological "progress."One Mira "inkytie" Enketei (Greek: "in the whale," one of many Jonah references) is descended upon by the officious Ethel Thuban to be informed that her position of lit prof, like all humanities professionals, has been deemed "redundant," unnecessary in a world of newly focused values on one singular value: measurable monetary value. A dense screed ensues. Not a jot of thought escapes the summoning of Classical associations so that enigmatic Orion and prophetic Cassandra bear as much on the proceedings as the present's principles. Magically this mythos-madness results not in a sprawling frenetic Hellenic phone book of endless regressions and asides, but a compact pamphlet (144 pages in my edition) of stunning slimness.How? Well, most of the clutter of expositional amenities, dialog attributions, contextual framing, sensual settings-of-scene, and all explicit characterization are tossed out in favor of a dense and zesty prose style superthick with economic double-duty terms of pun, portmanteau, neologism, and other rhetorical oracle trickery. The root of mimesis especially gets a workout, inflecting words with its sense of simulation (mimecstatic, mimagree, mimintimacy). For pun-intolerant readers, some passages will provoke major groanage: "Killing the goose that'll lay the golden ages? You'll need a wide margin of terror for that." Do I hear facepalming?Losing her job leaves Mira only unpleasant options: she can approach the Employment Computer to be reassigned/reprogrammed into a new societal role, she can say screw it all and go start a pig farm, or she could seek out the security of marriage with one of the dudes groveling at the Computer's cabled feet, at great sacrifice of autonomy and dignity, as he sees even her prodigious intellect as an amusing curiosity, just one more enviable gleaming facet of his new trophy.He gives her condescending pet names that recall rhetorical tropes, for example: "Anna Crusis" (anacrusis: the extra words at the beginning of a poem that do not fit into the meter of the rest), "Anna Coluthon" (anacoluthon, a sudden shift from one syntactical pattern to what the hell? another one) but he's stuck in the rut of a complacent now while Mira is the prophetess with the mostness. The circularity of prophecy is a theme in Amalgamemnon, a book lurking with oracles through which CBR asserts her own oracularity; keep in mind that this was published in 1984:"Soon the economic system will crumble, and political economists will fly in from all over the world and poke into its smoky entrails and utter soothing prognostications and we'll all go on as if.""Soon I shall be as redundant as to between desire and the infinitive and as embarrassing to the new society, unlike the seemingly wasteful ones and zeros in the sixteen or thirty-two or sixty-four bits behind the lightning languages of digital neotutors, with each his load of essential information in databanks and beautifully random memories.""The situation in Libya after the coodaytah will apparently remain shrouded in mystery until radio-communication can be re-established and we'll all go on as if.""No she'll say she'll never be on the side of the terrorists but she'll see the genealogy of events as a constantly widening spiral of repression--terrorism--repression--terrorism and she'll know for a fact that this will always start with repression.""Soon we shall have simulating machines for opinions, arguments, loves, hates, imaginings.""...that your argument must inevitably and each time lead to that of the terrorists, which will always be the daytaunt: arrest me, kill me, detain me without trial and you'll be no better than me. That will be the real dilemma of freedom from now on, and all the more so for the escalation of their methods, out of their very success, to state level.""The so-called rich countries will go on making vast loans to those of the third world--At superhigh interests, which will increase with every debt consolidation, each time to be carefully rescheduled and pre-meditated, risking, for mounting profits, the world's whole banking system which in its collapse would plunge the people of all nations but especially the poor into the deepest misery. Will those always be your moral imperatives?"All of this (and more!) firmly verifies the words of another GoodReadster, Jonathan: "CBR has serious Cassandra skills."Ah Cassandra, Orion, Andromeda. While the Greeks are emphasized, the allusionism does not dead-end back there, but the whole is leavened with present-consciousness bleed-through of voices from radio call-in show blather and sports chatter; government spokesperson "daytaunt;" an address before the UN General Assembly; the family tree of a computer-based virtual family (The SIMS!) including one wooden branch slyly taking on the lady's last name; The Standard Fairy Tale elements and actors whose Olde Timey actions start in the future tense and its questors are the radio hosts mentioned above; the obliged prattle of a family get-together; Imperialism-is-heroic Hollywood-optimism war scene romantics; and general pop ephemera, all of it unfortunately (imho) general rather than early 80's UK specific, so no Christine the Strawberry Girl. No Christine, Banana-split Lady.Among all the above it would be easy to pass over the letters, but it is from these epistolary passages (realistically short, for a change) that flash refractions of the world these words are written within, and it is in those occasional spaces that the glimmer of personal pathos blinks and signals among the thick clouds of learnedness.But unlike so many reference-happy Ivory Tower obscurantists, her Greco-Onan indulgences aren't all worshipful of the West's supposed originary gushing font. [Ever notice how many Greek Classic book covers feature a fountain?] She will read some Greek beads, as with the Prometheus/Pandora double-standard:"Why should scientific curiosity be heroic in men and silly and mean in women? Your legends won't tempt me, even to be negated."OH SNAP!Nor is she above serrating off some spurs of niggling Nietzschean nonsense:"If woman be the warrior's rest* should man be the warrior of her rest?"--*Thus shat Zarathustra.Meanwhile back at the pig farm, piglets are given names of states--as in the United ones of America--while the place serves as HQ for some radically seditious goings-on and a subversive cell's in-fighting threatens to spring the clockwork of a political kidnapping. I shouldn't tell you how that thriller sub-plot ends up. (view spoiler)[wistful, poignant, as if... (hide spoiler)]OK remember how Mr. Law and Order and Harmony APOLLO gifted Cassandra with eyes into the future and when she still wouldn't put out he spit in her mouth (rude!), delivering the curse that mooted the gift by making her unbelieved by everybody? She later ends up as a concubine to AGAMEMNON, who here serves as an amalgamation of the many indignities heaped upon her gender. Mira/Cassandra/CBR thusly harbor(s) some feelings regarding Law and Order and Harmony and they ain't lovey-dovey. They are bitter, caustic, and spitefully funny.

  • Nathan
    2018-10-27 19:52

    "I shall soon be quite redundant at last despite of all, as redundant as you after queue and as totally predictable, information-content zero." --Great First Lines, Zettel #2a45But what do we need them for? teachers of DEAD languages, of history of philosophy of.... LITTerature??! Sweep them away. We are in a New Age! Who reads Herodotus? You mean I have to know who Agamemnon is in order to read your book? That’s just a bit much isn’t it? And “Cassandra”? No one talks about Cassandra today. Isn’t it just a bunch of cynical job=protection she’s writing here? What, she thinks she’s Joyce, keeping scholars busy for a hundred years? Looking out for nothing but their own behinds. What we need today are JOB=skills and ancient dead greeks don’t come into the picture. Maybe only JJ James&sons had a bigger ejo than Ms CBR. I mean, the characters are all flat two dimensional not=round rather ..... well they do get all jumbled up don’t they, kind of amalgamated. I couldn’t tell.You can really tell just by reading this book that CBR thinks her job is no longer relevant and she thinks she should receive special rights because who reads books any more and who reads books in order to read other books -- nomans that’s who! You should be able to just pick up any old book and read it just like it is. But nooooo! she thinks courses on greek literature, courses on the wake and on herodotus and courses in “gender studies” and “culture studies” and “xyz studies”.... but it’s really all just about her ejo you can tell, her ejo and job security, that’s all. I mean, what the hell does “Enketei” even mean?And jokes about Hegel’s cow? how am I even supposed to “get” that and then marx this and marx that. You’d think she’s against the way the world is moving.Half the time I didn’t even know what was going on. What we need today more than ever are books that tell us about our world today like a newspaper and books with plots and characters for their plots and we can fill up all those plots in the cemetery with people like this that write books just for their own ejos and make the rest of us feel stupid and what education really means is how to get a job and we don’t need to know Latin for that we certainly know that what good is it doing paying all these people to teach philosophy because we are all philosophers because we all have our own opinions and I don’t need anyone telling me what to think you’d think we wouldn’t need books like this one here making us feel stupid because when it comes right down to it it’s all just a matter of taste like licking a cherry=stem and I know what I like but I may not know much who’s to say that someone’s better than me just because and things like this that I hear being said I wanna know who failed who who made who, ya’know? hmyes iSaid hmyes iWill hmyes

  • Ian
    2018-11-20 02:12

    She Doesn't Exist AnymoreInside the whale of a modern Western State, narratrix Mira Eketei imagines different personae or manifestations of herself, different characters, living at different times, past, present and future. One predicts she will be made redundant from her academic position, so much of the novel projects the future, even if it doesn't look forward to it. Just as time pushes the present into the past eternally, the future that Mira tensely anticipates (forever in the future/subjunctive mood) obliterates the past. Our focus is so much about what is just around the corner in front of us, that we have begun to ignore both the present and the past. We live in heightened anticipation, always trying to get a purchase on the future. We need capital to consume, only we don't save in the present to spend in the future. We spend in the present and the future out of borrowed capital that we intend to repay in the future future.As a result, the present is little more than a constant barrage of possible futures and acquisitions that we grasp as if we were drinking water directly from a fire hydrant. Talk back radio and current affairs television (and now the web) are our primary sources of information, well, doesn't have to be true, it hasn't happened yet. (Newspapers traditionally sell more in the lead-up to a Budget, when it is all speculation, than they do after the Budget has been delivered, when everything is known.)With so much focus on the future and its technological infrastructure, there is no time left for the past. History is outdated, outmoded, irrelevant, useless, obsolete, as are its practitioners.Equally, if we survive and thrive on technologically-infused dreams of the future, there is no present or future role for those who create visions of the past (usually in past tense, though intended to inform the present): writers, poets, musicians, film-makers, even more or less so, critics.So Mira, in all her guises, visualises, fantasises, creates, alone, in her own mind, in not just a room of her own, but a home of her own, well, perhaps a pig farm in the country.Brooke-Rose uses the term "redundant" to describe not just the extinguishment of employment status, but the du- or multi-plication of functionality, ostensibly in case of failure, the capacity to replace and be replaced. In the future, nothing is irreplacable. Especially characters. And each new character brings their own plot. From these ingredients, Brooke-Rose concocts a rich, visionary, almost dystopian, soup. She juggles an enormous number of narrative, stylistic and theoretical balls in the air, without ever hesitating or dropping any. Few, if any, authors have understood our present (her future, as it turned out), let alone our future, more insightfully than her. Like Pynchon and DeLillo, she writes in a style designed especially for now. Sadly, she doesn't exist anymore, except in her writings and our minds. Her books remain a gift from the past to the present. She has given us a present, our present.VERSE:Authority Demolishes Stately Family HomeThose who would control the future Must make the past redundant and History irrelevant to the storiesThat we strive hard to tell today."I Will Sing Tales of Love and Legend"Tonight, we’ll make love beneathConstellations flush with stars,All named for Gods and Goddesses,Nebulous and magnificent,Cassiopeia, Orion, Andromeda.You, my substitute lover, Agamemnon, And I, Cassandra, your little Sandy,Alias Mira Enketei, also known as ME.Like matter and anti-matter,We’ll make contact and explode.Dialectical materialism, Aspiring to the happy status ofDelectable metarealism,In a novel made up by The author, Christine Brooke-Rose,Perhaps unheeded and unhinged.Tomorrow, I’ll be the first person to be Redundant, while the past will cease To be apart, merged with the present, thenAnnulled by the future, as if foreseen.I will disappear beneath you,Obedient Slave to your Master,Two Hegelian moral imps,Conditionally amalgamatedIn relentless disputationAnd antagonistic direlogue.Man might believe he is salvation,But still denies the worth of woman.Hence, no female should conceal the factThat love can be a big mixtake in The revillusionary madlanes Of her telematic memory.SOUNDTRACK:Annette Peacock - "My Momma Never Taught Me How to Cook""I say, Hey, man! My destiny is not to serve. I'm a woman. My destiny is to create."Robyn Hitchcock and the Venus 3 - "She Doesn't Exist" - "Vigilance""I'm in love with everything that's been left unsaid."Magazine - "Sweetheart Contract" - "You Never Knew Me""I don't want to turn aroundAnd find I'd got it wrongOr that I should have been laughing all alongYou're what keeps me aliveYou're what's destroying meDo you want the truth or Do you want your sanity?"Luxuria - "Redneck""I am a major prophetI'm heaven and hell bent strongI am the height of a signWide of the markDeep as the AmazonFeel my wild sadness blowing downFeel my wild sadness blowingAll the way downI stand before youIn full possession of the factsI make no use of effectsNo use for clever counterbalancing actsI've broken every bone of meaningIn this body and this soulI've bought knowledgeAt the cost of a complete Loss of self-control"Wire - "Mannequin"

  • Hadrian
    2018-11-18 23:16

    A schizofrenetic logosarythmic book which never settles in the fermented present. The novum metamporproses into an analcyclosis of historia, Gesangstkunstwerk, and Humanitas. OK, I can't imitate the style anymore. It's too much work. The book is filled with puns. It's all puns and portmanteaus. There's a humanities professor who is losing their job, they fear the growing power of technology, and everything is in puns and nothing is ever told in the present tense. It's almost all past, conditional, and future. That's all I've got.

  • Jonfaith
    2018-10-29 19:53

    Swing low, Iscariot, enter the judas lens and speak to an issue with a tissue of lies. Allegiances will be lifted, greetings will be declared closed till the next balance shit, turning the other cheek to cheek till the next unloading of yellow terror from the underbellies of monsters in the sky disguised as ideologies.Likely a two star experience, though I laughed aloud frequently. I tend to imagine I would've raved about this in my 20s. Funny how matters evolve, or mold. The successions of time lie at the core of this novel. An academic is sacked as the humaniities are being replaced with technocratic endeavors better suited to a suited world. This is her screed. Please approach with caution.

  • Jonathan
    2018-11-05 21:59

    I think I need to re-read this. Scarily prescient, CBR has serious Cassandra skills, and full of extraordinary language-play. Clearly the work of a genius.

  • Nate D
    2018-10-22 02:54

    A massive cross-discipline crosscutting of ideas, ancient history conflated with astronomy, global politics, classic litarature, a sheer love of language, swine husbandry, disappointing dinner-date conversation, and the early-information-age spew of dissociated information that was at the time of writing (1984) poised to overrun all of our lives. Massively impressive, but also massively untethered and rambling by design. Having been reading CBR is a kind of chronological progression lately (excepting her early pre-experimental works) I can see this as the natural development of Such and Between into a state of pure-plotless conceptual-linguistic play, yet those books still seem to have captivated me rather more. This does, like those, have the thrilling quality of just chucking the reader head first into something that will only in time begin to sort itself out in the readers' mental filing system through repetition and interconnection.

  • Jonathan Norton
    2018-10-29 00:09

    This novel was written in 1983 but is more relevant today than any current fiction I can think of. Written in the allusive, punning style that CBR used in her many "experimental" novels, it represents the consciousness of a female humanities academic facing the possibility of redundancy in a world of rising technobabble and political confusion. Europe ("will we make it?") is stalling on the path to unity, the world economy is weakening, the developing world is in chaos from Syria to Somalia, and terrorism is a rising, anti-western force. Our narrator merges her anxieties with the storehouse of mythology and language available, and recasts herself in various forms of Cassandra to the "Amalgememnon" who shifts between various manifestations of male power and complacency. The text crackles with contempt against misogyny in its various guises, and the awareness that even educated women have been inculcated with assumptions of inferiority and marginality. There are stories here, but they jerk around and metamorphosise without warning. Stories about terrorists who kidnap some important political figure; about the narrator's feuds with angry students and useless lovers; about secretive figures emerging out of the battlezones of Ethiopia and heading westward. The phrase "war on terror" *nearly* appears, but "hauntological" is definitely here, at least 10 years before Derrida used it. It's quit likely this is the source since CBR was friends with Helene Cixous; that's how she came to be a lecturer at Paris in the 80s. There was an excellent "Bookmark" BBC documentary about her in 1986, which gave a lot of time to "Amalgememnon", and I saw it reshown at a conference on her work. Maybe it will get a wider release if there is enough interest in a DVD about her, similar to the one the BFI put out on B.S.Johnson.

  • Mark
    2018-10-26 00:08

    This strange and difficult novel is the bitter rant of one Mira Enketei, a professor of literature and history who is about to be laid off. The culrpit, one way or another, is technology: “The programme cuts will one by one proceed apace, which will entail laying off paying off with luck all the teachers of dead languages like literature philosophy history, for who will want to know about ancient passions divine royal middle class or working in words and phrases and structures that will continue to spark out inside the techne that will soon be silenced by high technology?” Thus begins a rather cranky and hard to follow amalgamation of past and present, the modern and the ancient, sometimes back and forth all in one sentence. Heady stuff, very literary, but very hard to clearly see the narrative, such as it is.However, the author repeatedly demonstrates an almost prophetic vision in her descriptions of the financial shenanigans of the ruling class. Written in 1984, she pointedly observes,“At superhigh interests, which will increase with every debt consolidation, each time to be carefully rescheduled, and remeditated, risking, for mounting profits, the world's whole banking system which in its collapse would  plunge the people of all nations but especially the poor into deepest misery. Will those always be your moral imperatives? Kindly do not interrupt me, my dear sir. We'll pour in money, much of it will get deflected as usual into the pockets of your rulers and their advisers, not to mention everyone taking his cut all the way down the line. We'll continue to build roads, bridges, barrages, factories, mining enterprises, pipelines, schools, hospitals, and your rulers will continue to choose the showy and useless instead of the designs we'll spend much time and money in studying for your needs and climate, and they'll continue to prefabricate underdevelopment from birth onwards by insisting on retaining native traditions that will be good enough for the vast majority of the poor but not of course for them with their European educations and their palatial villas.”And as the chaos slowly spreads,“Meanwhile all the frontier posts will be watched by Extrapol, road blocks will be set up everywhere and all cars searched by international verifiers. Stunned sources close to financial sources will reveal what police sources will refuse to comment, shadow cabinets will shadowbox with ghost writers of sources close to the treasury and spokespersons of secret city sources will persistently deny persistent rumors from the huge headlines and the breastbeatings under which truth will be arraigned as traitor to reality. Then they will launch a great dehauntological campaign. Sociopsychideologists from all over the world will measure the breastbeatings and calculate their agnostications and tell us what to think of it.”Stunningly prescient, for even though Thatcher was in office when this was written, and the savings and loan scandal was percolating up in the US, the author clearly had a line on where it was all going to end up. The author’s vision was not limited to politics, however. The powerful displacement of technology was already on the her radar, years before the internet became a cultural force:“Soon prophecies will come out of input as Garbage In, and we shall all become oracular computers, Draculas sucking endless information from the napetrough of a wavelength, murders holdups wars natural catastrophes coodaytahs space-launches daytaunts cultural items and sportspersons sailing around the world on an analogue. ... The sibyl will be sibling to the electronic game that will teach kids to count on nothing write on silicon and read off. Listen, I promise that the Persian booty will be divided amongst the troops, each man receiving his due. But I Pausanias as commanding general will if victorious have a right to ten of everything, women, horses, camels, gold pieces and other objects.” So why does she finish this comment on the coming electronic life with a reference to Thucydides? Hard to say, and that’s the problem with the book: the author’s frequent references are mostly opaque. Still interesting, though, and a remarkable meditation on a world on the brink of vast change.

  • Charles
    2018-10-24 00:48

    Simply one of the best novels I have ever read. Certainly in the top 3 or 4 post-Finnegans Wake novels of any nation's literature, and that IS the book which seems to usher in this one, yet this one so smart-female-quickminded-farflungimaginative-wondrous that its spare 144 pages makes you just go for the ride and say "oh my oh my oh my oh my."Many good comments here on goodreads, but one I didn't see (and I apologize if I missed it) is that in this book that pins a very intelligent intellectual woman's mind (and all of culture at the same time) against the global-capitalist-technological universe of which we are in the midst, is that that mind, that of Mira Enketei, our speaker, our cosmonaut, is the equal in speed and interconnectedness of all of that technology. Not the equal, perhaps, but actually superior, even though, as a woman in the universe of this book, she simply is not valued for being such, not allowed for being what she is and what she might be.Written in 1983, published 1984, this book predicts our trump-lying, chauvinist-idiot-choosing, lie and lap at the feet of global capitalism present, yet also predicts the downfall of this world, though not necessarily to something better. Read Cassandra, read Mira, read Brooke-Rose and be amazed, but also be scared. Be very scared. The truth is here.

  • Ronald Morton
    2018-10-20 03:17

    Well, let's start here. I hope you like neologisms. I hope you like puns. If you do not - truthfully, if either of the two bother you - then this is not for you. Really, you might as well just skip it.Because, here's the thing - I get it. I understand how groan-worthy the thought of puns can be; I understand the conception of neologisms as a shortcut, a detour, an avoidance of actual weighty intellectual ideas and discourses chopped down to bite sized catchphrases.But not here. Not in the hands of Christine Brooke-Rose - here the puns and neologisms are witty, and funny, and delightful - but, above all, they are intelligent. They are not shorthand maneuvers to evade the deep-diving eloquence necessary to elucidate weighty ideas. They are, instead, the crystallized, compacted forms of the ideas themselves.That's not say they all work - some fall flat - but never fear, there will be many more along immediately to take your mind off the failures. And it's easy to do so when the successes and the laughs exceed the failures and the groans.All this is wrapped around a novel that is staring at the encroaching - dehumanizing, de-intellectualizing, dedeveloping - onslaught of technological depersonalization. The fears of terrorism, of environmental change, of teetering, imminent, economic collapse and ruin.It sounds familiar. I know.One could call it prescient - it is - but one should also recognize that CBR has managed to capture cyclical, generational, unceasing worries in a way that is relevant and familiar 30 years after this book was written. So it is both capsular and oracular, which is, in itself, stunning.Oh, and all that being said, it's still not as good as Textermination.

  • Max Nemtsov
    2018-11-08 21:17

    че-т я сломался на ней. изобилие довольно примитивных словоигр как-то раздражает, а нытье о тяжелой женской доле что в античности, что нынче... ну в общем. клепать слова-бумажники - дело нехитрое, но когда их в каждой строке по пять, я бы решил, что это слишком. ну и я не большой поклонник рассуждений о смерти культуры и древней политики

  • Jerrod
    2018-10-25 01:57

    As ifThis nearly destroyed my mind with its unparalleled erudition and bottomless (nuancepocketed) pathos.This is without question one of the great rants of Literature, tearing against the night of contemporary life--under bureaucracy and technocracy, which push out the cry of souls and history.Moreover, there is a highly developed critique of gender and racial relations, which attacks the underpinnings of classic progress, and makes a powerful argument for the necessity of polyphony and intercontextual dialogue.The neologisms, puns, and reference gambits are incredibly deftly executed, and give the effect of a language whirlpool.As ifWe could live in a world without books like this

  • أحمد الحقيل
    2018-11-17 21:11

    الرواية عبارة عن مونولوج هذياني. التلاعب باللغة والخط الزمني والوصف والنعوت والتراتب، يقدم شكلا مختلفا للاوعي الخطابي في الرواية.كنت مضطرا لقراءتها مرة أخرى لأستوعب كثيرا مما جاء فيها. ففوق كل التعقيدات السابقة، هنالك فراغات مقصودة في النص، ايحاءات في غير مكانها. متاهة.

  • Nom
    2018-11-03 01:04

    Hard to stick with, but funny and quirky for as long as it's open.

  • Chadwick
    2018-11-17 02:57

    This is the rare experimental novel that makes me ask, "Why the fuck did you bother?"

  • Sean
    2018-11-04 01:52

    Review here.

  • Cecily
    2018-10-21 02:48

    Recommended by Lynne, whose rave review is here: