Not just a book——an experiment!

An unusual new work is due out from Zer0 Books in January of 2015.

It’s called Seen & Not Seen: Confessions of a Movie Autist.

What is it?

From the afterword by Jonathan Lethem:

“Encountering myself wandering in your labyrinth before it was even constructed has been disconcerting, unnerving—-a plunge into the state of mise en abym, even—-and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. . .

Like a magnet, or black hole, your book has demonstrated the capacity to draw other texts helplessly into its space. As Borges said of Kafka, the best books create their own lineages and predecessors, out of formerly unrelated texts.”

Seen & Not Seen is an exploration of a hidden lineage.

It maps how popular culture shapes our identities. Both searingly personal and socially relevant, it’s not so much a book

as a quantum-psychological experiment, with the author as its subject, guinea pig, and scientist all in one.

You are cordially invited to enter the movie labyrinth and participate in this unique experiment.

But keep in mind that your observation will affect the outcome!

Subjects included in the experiment:

    • What’s a movie autist anyway?

    • What’s the difference between entertainment and ideology?

    • What’s the connection between white male angst and The Searchers?

    • Was Taxi Driver’s Travis Bickle autistic?

    • Why is Clint Eastwood the worst possible role model for a sensitive adolescent?

    • What’s the obsession with movie violence all about?

    • How and when did American movies become weaponized?

    • At what point does escapism become dissociation?

    • What’s the difference between Jonathan Lethem and David Icke?

    • When and how did the Pauline Kael/Clint Eastwood wars begin?

    • What makes Blue Velvet the movie blueprint for psychological trauma?

    • Why did critics hate The Counselor so much?

    • Who was Sebastian Horsley and why did he get crucified?

    • What does all this have to do with Jimmy Savile?

    • Why “confessions”?

Artist’s Statement:

Books and things (the good ones) are like half-drawn maps of independent explorations into undiscovered lands. But to map the unknown means that first you have to get lost.

I seem to have been born that way: lost, with a question mark over my head. Creativity has been a way to fathom my own place in existence—the idea of writing for an audience is one I have always had difficulty with. Yet creative expression is like a two-way bridge between the inside and the outside, and between the one and the many.

Writing (fiction or nonfiction, there’s no difference) is an experiment in identity construction and deconstruction. It’s a way to take myself apart and see what I am made of, to have a meaningful dialogue with my unconscious, and, over time, to isolate and magnify the voice of my essential Self, to give it body—a body of evidence that is also (almost incidentally) a body of work.

The dialogue so far has been characterized by my fascination for mainstream “pop” culture (especially movies), on the one hand, and for high strangeness (political conspiracies, sexual abuse, paranormal phenomena, autism, and the like), on the other.

The map I am ending up with is of this no man’s land, this mysterious area of overlap between the mainstream and the margins, the inside and the outside, the seen and the unseen.