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in which the author discusses five books he’d read, if time permitted.
1. Living Originalism, by Jack M. Balkin.
People say a lot of crazy things about Thee Grand Ol’ Constitution. Some think it’s perfect in its original form and shouldn’t be all bent out of shape to allow for things like federal highways and public schools. Others think it can be twisted and turned around so that Uncle Sam can pay for the National Endowment for the Arts to fund “Piss Christ” (please excuse Wikipedia link—-I’m on a deadline here.) But one thing’s for certain: If you’re gonna step to me and try to explain that the “necessary and proper” clause doesn’t allow for SETI, I’m gonna break out my copy of Whitley Strieber’s “Communion” and we’re gonna settle this Texas-style.
2. Codex Seraphinianus, by Luigi Serafini.
I’m not one typically seduced by William Blake acolytes who fetishize beautifully-designed books regardless of their content, but this beautiful book, written in no known language, is pretty cool and, according to Boing Boing, available in PDF form. So suck my kiss.
3. Body Sweats: The Uncensored Writings of Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, by Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, edited by Irene Gammel and Suzanne Zelazo.
Speaking of William Blake, this freaky, nonsensical collection of poetry from a baroness who lived in the early 20th century doesn’t mean much, but would probably impress a band visiting from Europe or Chicago if displayed on a coffee table next to an impeccably-curated collection of Shellac reissues. Sometimes, aesthetics for aesthetics sake is enough.
4. The Marbled Swarm, by Dennis Cooper.
This postmodern novel seems to be about language, signs and signifiers and how we all dwell in an bleak desert of the real. Like “The Matrix Reloaded,” but shorter, easier to understand and perfect for the bathroom.
5. It Chooses You, by Miranda July.
Just because I’ll buy and read this Miranda July book doesn’t mean I want to listen to Belle and Sebastian.