The Book That Changed My Life

"Chaos," by the Great and Mysterious Hakim Bey, loomed out of the shadows in 1985. Published by the Grim Reaper Press in Providence, it's only 28 pages long. But line for line, phrase for phrase, no book has had as big an influence on me as a writer. Sometimes classified as a collection of rants, "Chaos" is much more than that: with a hundred times the gorgeous weirdness of countless other so-called Great Books. Most of these short poetic pieces made their initial appearances in cheap xeroxed  zines, floating like specters in the U.S. postal system. Just a few titles gives some hint at what the writer was up: "Wild Children," "Poetic Terrorism," "Paganism," "Art Sabotage," "Chaos Myth," "Sorcery." The language is beautiful; the subject matter is strange and at times distressing. I read this book again and again. The amazing images and ideas seeped into my brain. They've been leaking out in my work ever since.


Honestree said...

I just found it online. Will read. Seems really interesting!