A Soviet Alphabet by Vladimir Mayakovsky (1919)


Roman Jakobson tells us that ‘Mayakovskij and I worked on his Soviet Alphabet together.When he had the first line of a couplet, but the second wouldn’t come to him, he would say: “I’ll pay you so much, if you can think up a good one!” There are quite a few of our joint verses there.’

It amused him a lot. There existed a school-boys’ pastime — indecent aphabets, and several of these verses recall them somewhat. Some of these alphabets existed in manuscript form and even were sold underground. The association was obvious and for this reason Mayakovskij was attacked terribly for his Alphabet.

Roman Jakobson, My Futurist Years, New York: Marsilio Publishers, 1997, pp.50-51.

A Soviet Alphabet was written in the second half of September, 1919 and appeared in October that year. Mayakovsky’s recollections:


It was written as a parody on an old pornographic alphabet… It was written for use by the army. There were witticisms there that weren’t fit for salons, but which went quite well in the trenches…After writing the book I took it to the Central Printing House to have it typed. There was a typist there who hadn’t yet been purged, who told me with great malice: ‘Better I should lose my job than type this filth.’ So it started. Further on, no one wanted to print the book. … I had to publish it myself… I made three to five thousand copies by hand and carried the whole weight on my back to distribute it. This was genuine work by hand at the time of the most ominous encirclement of the Soviet Union.

— A speech at the House of the Komsomol on 25 March, 1930, quoted in Roman Jakobson, My Futurist Years, New York: Marsilio Publishers, 1997, pp.289-290.

Apparently there was a theatrical version too:


— From Joel Shcechter, Popular Theatre: a Sourcebook.

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Dawn and Decline (index)


Max Horkheimer, index to Dawn & Decline consisting of two parts written between 1926-1931 and 1950-1969 the first part originally published under the pseudonym Heinrich Regius as Dammerung, Notizen in Deutschland 1926-1931 (1934), the second part appears to be unpublished in Germany(?).

Max Horkheimer,  Dawn and Decline – Notes 1926-1931 and 1950-1969, (Trans. Michael Shaw), New York: Seabury Press, 1978.

Horkheimer wrote of the first section:

They were written down during periods of rest from a demanding piece of work, and the author did not take the time to polish them. This is also the reason they do not constitute an orderly sequence. They contain repetitions and even some contradictions. Yet the themes explored provide a kind of unity. They critically examine and re-examine the meaning of concepts such as metaphysics, character, morality, personality and the value the human being had during that phase of capitalism. Since they predate the final victory of National Socialism, they deal with a world that has become anachronistic since… yet the thoughts of the author who lived his life as an individualist may not be wholly without significance at a later time.

These are often deeply pessimistic entries, but in them a loose form of communist theorising (specifically in terms of melancholy over the failed German revolutions of the 1920s) which advances positions almost completely  unrelated or even opposed to those Horkheimer took publicly, especially after his assumption of Directorship of the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research in 1931. As a kind of  intellectual diary, it is a shadow conversation, we may wonder with whom? In the later section, written between 1959-1960, Horkheimer mentions ‘communization’… ‘the communization of the world’.


Max Horkheimer, ‘Philosophy of History, A Speculation’, Dawn & Decline: Notes 1926-1931 and 1950-1969, Trans. Michael Shaw, New York: The Seabury Press, (1959-1960) 1978, p.189.

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A is for Arcades (index)


via http://hhnnccnnll.tumblr.com/post/159604464163/call-for-statements-of-interest-for-contributions

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A bas le travail!

by André Thirion




André Thirion, ‘A Bas Le Travaille!’, in Variétés: Le surréalisme en 1929 ,
André Breton and Louis Aragon, (Eds.). Brussels: Editions Variétés,, pp 43–6.

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Break/Flow Index

from Infotainment, No.2, 1998



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Beholder Halfway Noise and Capitalism Radio set

A discussion and music revolving around the book Noise and Capitalism with its co-editor Anthony Iles.  Anthony discusses the book’s emergence out of a London noise scene, the potentials that the music opened and also its limitations, and the very notion of noise as a genre itself.


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The Banquet Years (index)


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Trump Mines Seriality



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Completion of the Mis-Maze atop the Sacred Mounds of St Catherine’s Hill / Robin Hood Gardens



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Valerie Solanas’ Defacement of Scum Manifesto


The Olympia Press, 1968 edition of SCUM MANIFESTO held by the New York Public Library defaced by Valerie Solanas in 1977.


Mr. Lannon speculated that Ms. Solanas slipped into the library in 1977, when she apparently returned to New York for the first time in several years. She had served time in prison for the 1968 shooting of Warhol and had been in and out of mental institutions, including one in Florida.

At the library, she would have filled out a slip requesting the book. It would have been pulled from the shelf and handed to her, he said.

Ms. Solanas scratched out her name on the cover and wrote “by Maurice Girodias.” Mr. Girodias, who had published that version of Ms. Solanas’s text, was famous for having published Vladimir Nabokov’s “Lolita,” which had put him at odds with censors in France. He published Ms. Solanas’s 11,000-word text under the imprint of his Olympia Press.

“She’s creating intellectual capital,” Mr. Lannon said, “but it’s being taken away from her — I think that’s how she saw it.”

In her anger, Ms. Solanas wrote “flea” beside Mr. Girodias’s name inside the book. She also wrote, “Read my version and events in my next book.” (She told The Village Voice she had received a $100 million advance for that next book — from “the mob.”)

On the title page, she wrote “This is not the title.” She also wrote that Mr. Girodias’s edition was “full of sabotaging typos.”

On the copyright page, she wrote “LIES! FRAUD!” She also circled “S.C.U.M.” and wrote, “Never! Never!”

Inside the back cover, she wrote, “Lies! Lies!” Then she signed her name.

Ms. Solanas did some copy-editing on the back cover, too. The published version had white lettering on a red background. “Only three years ago, we used to make fun of Valerie Solanas, agitator, writer and would-be revolutionary — with her wild, insane radical feminism,” it said. “Then we were horrified when she shot Andy Warhol in 1968, just to make a point.” She crossed out the last five words and wrote, “Lie.”

– James Barron, ‘Warhol’s Assailant Left Another Mark, on a Library Book’, New York Times blog, February 22, 2012, http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/22/warhols-assailant-left-another-mark-on-a-library-book/?_r=0


Original self-­published mimeograph
of 21 A4 pages 1967 edition

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