PDF Review Copy of the Translation of Father Torturo

September 29, 2007

If anyone would like to have a free PDF of this book for review, let me know. The review can be of any nature: on a blog, in a journal, Amazon, whatever.

More info here

If interested, just leave your e-mail for me or email me at huysmans67 [at] hot mail dot com.

Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in Peril

September 27, 2007

Director: Buichi Saito

Year: 1972

In a temple. Statues come to life, lung at him from all sides. Lone Wolf hacks off their limbs. The assassins still persist. One bites at his kimono.

Great cinematography. Thin story line. Great action scenes, with two much (as usual) gun powder at the end. One sort of amusing aspect: The make-up man clearly seems to have been asleep on the job, as all the men look like they have had hair transplants.

This isn’t the best of the Lone Wolf and Cub series. But it is certainly watchable.

Much better than something like Kill Bill. A few notches below the best samurai films. 

Quote of the Day

September 26, 2007

No one will have anything to do with a person who seems to need it, though everyone is anxious to deal wth a person who appears to want to have nothing to do with them.

—Baron Corvo

Venice Letters

Le Calepin Jaune / The Last Mermaid

September 24, 2007

 A French translation of my story The Last Mermaid, just came out here, in Le Calepin Jaune, under the title La Dernière Sirène.

Actually, the English version of this story has not yet been published. It has been slated for ages to be in a collection of short fiction from Prime, but this has not yet materialised into a book.

So, if you read French . . .

Torturo Blog Review

September 23, 2007

Here is another review of The Translation of Father Torturo.

It seems that a lot of people consider this a gothic novel. I had never much thought about that when writing it, but it’s cool . . .

I have also certainly never considered it slipstream. But I am not sure I know what slipstream really is. Maybe it is the same as interstitial. But I don’t know what that is either, so . . .

It is slotted under dark fantasy. But try telling a woman that you meet at a dinner party that you are a writer of dark fantasy. 


Eleven Samurai

September 22, 2007

Director: Eiichi Kudo

Year: 1966

A high point in second-tier samurai films. Assassins looking to kill the Shogun’s brother. Though the musical score drags it down somewhat, this one has a lot going for it: great cinematography and astoundingly choreographed action scenes (especially the last battle in the rain). Kô Nishimura (who played small parts in many Kurosawa films) stands out as a sort of anarchist ronin of exceptional skill. A few surreal touches, a decent amount of fog, black and white, fountains of blood. What is there not to like?


I Sette fratelli Cervi

September 20, 2007

Director: Gianni Puccini

Year: 1967

This is an interesting film that I imagine very few have seen. It tells the true story of seven communist brothers, farmers, in Italy who stage guerrilla warfare against the fascists and the Germans. Though clearly shot on a limited budget, the director does a lot with limited means. There are a number of very long flash-back sequences done in black and white with heavy echo-particularly when it shows the earth being dug. Starring the truly great Gian Maria Volontè, with a number of faces notable to fans of Italian cinema, such as Don Backy (Cani arrabbiati) and Riccardo Cucciolla (Sacco e Vanzetti). Well worth a look if you can find it.

Two Korean Films

September 18, 2007

 Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance

This was a film I very much wanted to like, having enjoyed both Oldboy and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, the other two films in Park Chan-Wook’s ‘trilogy’. And there is a lot to like about it: extremely stylish cinematography, good acting and an interesting script. But even with all that, the film somehow fell short. Fellini talked about ending films with a little spark of light—something Chan-Wook did in the other two films mentioned. Here however there is not even a glimmer.

200 Pounds Beauty

A Korean box office hit complete with ungrammatical English title, so I figured I would give it a go. This is probably the most ‘Hollywood’ foreign film I have ever seen—as formulaic as anything being done in America. It is about cosmetic surgery. I chucked a few times. Not bad. Recommended if you are a fan of films like Miss Detective. Otherwise give it a miss.  

The Sutra of Immeasurable Life and Wisdom

September 17, 2007

The following is a text that I translated from Tibetan with a friend of mine, Roy Lee. As far as I know this text has never appeared anywhere in English before . . . but I could be wrong: 



Homage to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas!

Thus have I heard:

     At one time the Buddha was staying by Sravasti, in Prince Jeta’s Grove, the garden of Anathapindika, together with a large company of monks, even one thousand two hundred and fifty, and numerous great Bodhisattvas.

     Then Buddha said to the youthful Manjusri, “Manjusri, in the heavens there is a world called Immeasurable Excellence, wherein abides a Tathagata, an Arhat, a fully enlightened Buddha called Exceedingly Definite Immeasurable Life and Wisdom, King of Brilliance. He engages in sustaining life, extending it to its limit, as well as in demonstrating Dharma to sentient beings.

     “Listen youthful Manjusri! The people of Jambuling have a short life span, merely one hundred years, and in general they die prematurely.

     “Whatever sentient being, Manjusri, proclaims the good qualities of, and praises the Tathagata Exceedingly Definite Immeasurable Life and Wisdom, or copies down the words of this discourse on Dharma, has others copy them, or just hears the name of it, or reads it and copies it into a book, memorizes it at home etc., or offers it flowers, incense, garlands, ointments and aromatic powders, they will Manjusri, instead of having their life exhausted, live for one hundred years. Whatever sentient being, Manjusri, hears, one-hundred and eight times, the name Exceedingly Definite Immeasurable Life and Wisdom, King of Brilliance, will also have their life extended. Whatever sentient being, when their life is almost exhausted, recites this name will also have their life extended. Therefore Manjusri, a son of a good family, or daughter of a good family, who, wishing to have a long life, hears the name of the Tathagata Immeasurable Life and Wisdom one hundred and eight times, or writes it down, asks another to write it down, or reads it, their excellence and well being will also be so. 

     Om Namo Bhagavate, Aparimita Ayurjnana Subinishchitate Jorajaya, Tathagataya. Om Punye Punye Mahapunye, Aparimita Punye Aparimita Punye Jnana Sambharopachite. Om Sarva Samskara Parishuddha Dharmate Gaganasa Mudgate Sabhava Bishudbhe Mahanaya Parivare Svaha.

     “Manjusri, whoever copies down the name of this Tathagata one-hundred and eight times, or has others copy it, or, memorizing it, copies it into a book, or reads it-whoever does this will, instead of having their life exhausted, live for one hundred years. And, at the time of their death, they will transmigrate to places such as the pureland of the Tathagata Immeasurable Life, The World of Immeasurable excellence. Read the rest of this entry »

Some search engine terms…

September 16, 2007

…that people have used to find my blog:

skin picking pictures

pictures of human discomposure

pictures of torn skin tattoos

tattooed skin framing

Does the actual Book of the Dead exist?

extravagant recipes

cockatrice chicken pig

cockatrice food

blue shackamaxon bean