My copies of To Charles Fort, With Love reached me last Monday (Oct. 3rd). I am in almost every way extremely pleased with the book. It's a beautiful volume, and I'm very grateful to Subterranean Press, Ryan Obermeyer, Spooky, and Rick Kirk for putting my words inside such a very fine package. Because I really do care about books as more than mere information delivery devices. I cannot read an ugly book, no matter how well written or how important its contents. And it is a pleasure to finally hold this finished project in my hands. Rick Kirk's put a sample of his illustrations for the book on his website.
We had a late dinner last night from the Whole Foods salad bar. Well, actually, Spooky had veggie sushi. I had the salad bar. Back home, we watched a delightful documentary on Shakespeare and Company, George Whitman's bookstore/commune in Paris named for Sylvia Beach's famous bookstore. It was on either Sundance or IFC, I can't recall which. Regardless, I have added one more thing to the "must do before returning to the homeworld" list. Then, despite a raging migraine that had raged all day, I played a couple of hours of Final Fantasy X (We have just learned that Maester Seymour is not such a nice guy, after all.). Then I went to bed and read To Charles Fort, With Love until the power went off, inexplicably as the weather was good. So Spooky and I talked by candlelight as I prepared for a night's insomnia. It started out well enough. I got to sleep about one a.m., I think, but then woke at five thirty. By six, I was wide awake. At six fifteen, I took half an Ambien. At seven, I took a whole Ambien. And sometime thereafter I actually feel asleep and stayed asleep until about eleven thirty. But those last four hours were bright with unnerving dreams, including something about a poorly preserved sauropod tibia. Actually, there have been a lot of the paleo' dreams lately. Last Thursday, for example, there was one that had me in a museum that has never existed in this world, and it went on and on and on, though now I only remember an elaborate diorama of a Cretaceous seaway and something about a mosasaur named Strothorosaurus, which also has no waking-world counterpart. Near as I can tell, the name makes no sense.
A number of people have thanked me for recommending Daniel Pinchbeck's Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism (Broadway; 2002). It is a good book, and extremely readable, but I must confess I set the volume aside when Pinchbeck began to spout second-hand nonsense from Jeremy Narby's absurd The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge. Up to that point, Pinchbeck's grip on science, as it may apply to shamanism, had seemed pretty firm, but then he nosedives into neo-Lamarckian foolishness and lost me. I do intend to finish the book, but it's taken some time to get the nasty taste of Narby out of my head (so to speak).
Okay. Gotta get some caffeine and get dressed and get to the library. More later...