Thursday, December 6, 2007

Book of Insults

...the suffering could be read on each body, as a document written in insults to flesh and bone...

-- Pynchon, Against the Day, Pt. III, p. 654

Wish I'd heard the crying of Lot # 181 at Wilkinson's Auction![1]

A Rare & Macabre Early 17th Century Anthropodermic Bound Book in carrying box. The book entitiled; 'A True and Perfect Relation of The Whole Proceedings against the Late most barbarous Traitors, Garnet a Jesuit and his Confederats'; Printed London 1606 by Robert Barker, printer to the King and believed to be bound in human skin[2], possibly that of the aforementioned Jesuit Priest; Father Henry Garnet.

But books, snooks: The Brits apparently nailed Viking hides to their church doors—a caution to would be marauders. "It would seem," notes FoxEarth, "to be ascribing a meticulous care to the Anglo-Saxons to take the existing hinges off in order to mount the Danes' skin."

If you're interested in bounding books and doors (and yourself, Mr. Gein) with human skin but you cannot spare the flesh, here is the workshop for you:[3]

Sunday Dec 2nd 11am to 5pm - Mini Tissue Engineering workshop and lecture ... University of Western Australia (sorry, sold out): Tissue culture and tissue engineering represent a new area for artistic engagement ... Tissue engineering enable researchers to grow three dimensional living tissues constructs of varying sizes, shapes and tissue types. This half-day hands on intensive workshop will introduce … people to basic principals of animal tissue culture ... The workshop will involve a demonstration for how to extract and cultivate stem cells from bones bought at the butcher. These advanced techniques can be done with homemade equipment and kitchen gear.

[1]"Contact your postmaster!" cried our friends on the Pynchon-L, noting that "Lot 49 is some kinda pot!"

[2] Of course there are many other Necromicon wanna-be’s, including this here reverse-Faustian-twist: "The Boston Athenaeum, a private library, has an 1837 copy of George Walton's memoirs bound in his own skin. Walton was a highwayman -- a robber who specialized in ambushing travelers -- and he left the volume to one of his victims, John Fenno."

[3] We thank BoingBoing for bringing this class & the Wilkinson’s Auction Item to attention.