Family Romance: a novel

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9781937543075: Family Romance: a novel

BLACK AND WHITE ILLUSTRATED EDITION "Family Romance is the latest novel by Tom Bradley, notorious hermit of Japan. It's a monstrosity of the imagination as if a Burroughs virus hijacked the machinery of Finnegans Wake and replicated itself as a litera-teratus. Illustrator Nick Patterson joins Bradley in the procedure with ninety disturbing images of Bosch-like detail you don't want to see on the way home from your local head shop." - John Ivan-Palmer, Exquisite Corpse "Tom Bradley is one of the most exasperating, offensive, pleasurable, and brilliant writers I know. I recommend his work to anyone with spiritual fortitude and a taste for something so strange that it might well be genius."--Denis Dutton, Arts & Letters Daily "I tell you that Dr. Bradley has devoted his existence to writing because he intends for every center of consciousness, everywhere, in all planes and conditions (not just terrestrial female Homo sapiens in breeding prime), to love him forever, starting as soon as possible, though he's prepared to wait thousands of centuries after he's dead." --Cye Johan, Exquisite Corpse Journal "The contemporaries of Michelangelo found it useful to employ the term terribilita to characterize some of the expressions of his genius, and I will quote it here to sum up the shocking impact of this work as a whole. I read it in a state of fascination, admiration, awe, anxiety, and outrage."--R.V. Cassill, editor of The Norton Anthology of Fiction

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From the Author:

CYE JOHAN interviews TOM BRADLEY:

CJ: How did Family Romance get made?

TB: In just the opposite way from most illustrated novels. Nick Patterson's ninety pictures came first, and I wrote the novel around, between, underneath and through them. One day I came upon a great stack of his artwork, and was instantaneously locked in. Each image presented a climactic moment in a strange, unspoken, yet definite story.

Nick's drawings and paintings are like the hallucinations of epileptic mystics as preserved in icons and illuminated hagiographies. They rear up in the aether before your eyes, bristling their spikes of light, needing no context but themselves. Yet they insist that a whole chronicle be imaginatively filled in, to perform the impossible task of explaining how these bizarreries came to be juxtaposed.

CJ: One of Nick Patterson's online fans asked him how he came up with his stuff, and he replied, "I pay attention to random thoughts."

TB: A perfect motto for him. That single sentence gives a vivid glimpse into the head of such a visual artist. We all have dreams and daydreams that are so utterly without rational context that they vanish before we can recall anything but the most general outlines. Even those dissolve within seconds. Nick not only remembers all, but he draws it in meticulous detail. He gives a perfect anatomical rendering of something that never had anatomy in the first place, at least not on this plane of forms.

For example, in Chapter One of Family Romance, a giant moth has fastened onto the narrator's head. In context, it seems natural and inevitable that such a drastic pathogen would cause his face to explode in a catastrophic sneeze: scarlet gore, brain matter and eye jelly everywhere. And, of course, anyone familiar with the pneumatics of a physical body will tell you that such a traumatic shock will cause the muscles, connective tissues and blood vessels of his neck and shoulders to throb, swell, writhe-all drawn here to exacting clinical perfection.

It's a strange picture, for sure-and yet, the strangest part is not the physiology, but the fashion. Look at the garment he's wearing. Where the fuck did that come from? The style, the fabric: our novel starts with that article of clothing. Many of Nick's figures, the weak and strong, the beautiful as well as horrendous, wear this same peculiar kind of wrap-around sarong, pulled high or low on the torso, depending, it seems, on the moral and/or emotional condition of the wearer.

CJ: In keeping with the mystical iconographic mood, a couple of gods appear in the book. They remind me of mutated versions of the desert deities that have been the CEOs of our own world for such a long, miserable time.

TB: Definitely, they are both the jealous monotheistic type. Hence their rivalry. There's an Old Testament Jehovah figure, overbearing and monstrously snaggle-faced, and a species of Christ as well, who obeys the dress code. His sarong is pulled down around his pubis, to humiliate him when he's in execution mode.

This leads to the notion of religious warfare. And, according to logic (external as well as internal), the theater of operations must be the sort of Levantine-style desert where religious pathology takes root.

A war needs innocent victims, and Nick doesn't disappoint. The Relic Amalekites are grotesqueries with shoulder teeth, problematic crotches, and ostrich legs. Like all hallucinations, they have spontaneously generated between your skull walls. And there can be no greater proximity than inside the reptilian cortex. So we get refugees from the conflict zone, squatters in our back yard, eavesdroppers at the back window of the residence in which abides and writhes the eponymous family of this romance.

Above all is sinister, ravenous, erotic Mom, the Kali-Avatar, the Tantric Initiatrix. Her means of exerting control over her family is immune system anxiety, the constant evocations of such pathogens as the giant moth on the head that brings the Sneeze Catastrophic. Nude and protean, Mom indulges a compulsion to mount other creatures. She feeds us a jejune diet consisting solely of psychoactive mushrooms, feigning eucharistic shamanism.

I won't spoil the plot. But Mom eventually winds up nothing more than a medical waste disposal problem. The ending is vastly and ecstatically affirmative. Nick Patterson can draw that kind of picture as well. But, like an Eleusinian initiate, you must live through the entire psychodrama and make it through to the light at the other end of our labyrinthine cave before you've earned the right to be edified by his sublime images.

CJ: It must have been easy to choose a publisher. This just the sort of thing Debra Di Blasi's Jaded Ibis Press specializes in.

TB: Yeah, according to their website, "Our intent is to facilitate the convergence of diverse media and art forms." And you can't get more diverse than Nick Patterson and me. Family Romance has converged word and image to the point of seamlessness, like a wrap-around sarong with no buttons or zippers.

From the Inside Flap:

Tom Bradley and Nick Patterson have collaborated in a new way to make this novel: Nick's ninety illustrations came first, and Tom's words grew under their fecundation.

The narrator of FAMILY ROMANCE lives with his rapacious mother and psychotic sister on the right bank of the Judeuphrates River. They abide under a sovereign theocracy consecrated to their national/racial god, the Divine Krystelle Rex, whose prophet and agent on earth is the Grand Religiopath.

On the opposite bank of the Judeuphrates are the sandy nomadic haunts of the relic Amalekites. These are physiologically peculiar wretches upon whom the Grand Religiopath has renewed the sentence of genocide originally declared upon their remote ancestors by Jehovah in the first book of Samuel. The chief agent of this extermination is the new war-industrial product, Flamma-Manna.

Our narrator's father has waded the river to please himself behaving like a traitor-apostate among the relic Amalekites.

Refugees have made their way across the river and are occupying the back yard. They turn out to be odd creatures, with shoulder teeth, ostrlch legs, and problematic crotches.

Meanwhile, Mom won't stop trying to mount her children...

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Book Description Jaded Ibis Press, United States, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. BLACK AND WHITE ILLUSTRATED EDITION Family Romance is the latest novel by Tom Bradley, notorious hermit of Kitakyushu, Japan. It s a monstrosity of the imagination as if a Burroughs virus hijacked the machinery of Finnigan s Wake and replicated itself as a litera-teratus. Illustrator Nick Patterson joins Bradley in the procedure with ninety disturbing images of Bosch-like detail you don t want to see on the way home from your local head shop. - John Ivan-Palmer, Exquisite Corpse Tom Bradley is one of the most exasperating, offensive, pleasurable, and brilliant writers I know. I recommend his work to anyone with spiritual fortitude and a taste for something so strange that it might well be genius. -Denis Dutton, Arts Letters Daily Tom Bradley is one of the most exasperating, offensive, pleasurable, and brilliant writers I know. I recommend his work to anyone with spiritual fortitude and a taste for something so strange that it might well be genius. -Denis Dutton, Arts Letters Daily I tell you that Dr. Bradley has devoted his existence to writing because he intends for every center of consciousness, everywhere, in all planes and conditions (not just terrestrial female Homo sapiens in breeding prime), to love him forever, starting as soon as possible, though he s prepared to wait thousands of centuries after he s dead. -Cye Johan, Exquisite Corpse Journal The contemporaries of Michelangelo found it useful to employ the term terribilita to characterize some of the expressions of his genius, and I will quote it here to sum up the shocking impact of this work as a whole. I read it in a state of fascination, admiration, awe, anxiety, and outrage. -R.V. Cassill, editor of The Norton Anthology of Fiction. Bookseller Inventory # APC9781937543075

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Book Description Jaded Ibis Press, United States, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.BLACK AND WHITE ILLUSTRATED EDITION Family Romance is the latest novel by Tom Bradley, notorious hermit of Kitakyushu, Japan. It s a monstrosity of the imagination as if a Burroughs virus hijacked the machinery of Finnigan s Wake and replicated itself as a litera-teratus. Illustrator Nick Patterson joins Bradley in the procedure with ninety disturbing images of Bosch-like detail you don t want to see on the way home from your local head shop. - John Ivan-Palmer, Exquisite Corpse Tom Bradley is one of the most exasperating, offensive, pleasurable, and brilliant writers I know. I recommend his work to anyone with spiritual fortitude and a taste for something so strange that it might well be genius. -Denis Dutton, Arts Letters Daily Tom Bradley is one of the most exasperating, offensive, pleasurable, and brilliant writers I know. I recommend his work to anyone with spiritual fortitude and a taste for something so strange that it might well be genius. -Denis Dutton, Arts Letters Daily I tell you that Dr. Bradley has devoted his existence to writing because he intends for every center of consciousness, everywhere, in all planes and conditions (not just terrestrial female Homo sapiens in breeding prime), to love him forever, starting as soon as possible, though he s prepared to wait thousands of centuries after he s dead. -Cye Johan, Exquisite Corpse Journal The contemporaries of Michelangelo found it useful to employ the term terribilita to characterize some of the expressions of his genius, and I will quote it here to sum up the shocking impact of this work as a whole. I read it in a state of fascination, admiration, awe, anxiety, and outrage. -R.V. Cassill, editor of The Norton Anthology of Fiction. Bookseller Inventory # APC9781937543075

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Book Description Jaded Ibis Press. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 246 pages. Dimensions: 10.0in. x 6.9in. x 0.9in.BLACK AND WHITE ILLUSTRATED EDITION Family Romance is the latest novel by Tom Bradley, notorious hermit of Japan. Its a monstrosity of the imagination as if a Burroughs virus hijacked the machinery of Finnegans Wake and replicated itself as a litera-teratus. Illustrator Nick Patterson joins Bradley in the procedure with ninety disturbing images of Bosch-like detail you dont want to see on the way home from your local head shop. - John Ivan-Palmer, Exquisite Corpse Tom Bradley is one of the most exasperating, offensive, pleasurable, and brilliant writers I know. I recommend his work to anyone with spiritual fortitude and a taste for something so strange that it might well be genius. --Denis Dutton, Arts and Letters DailyI tell you that Dr. Bradley has devoted his existence to writing because he intends for every center of consciousness, everywhere, in all planes and conditions (not just terrestrial female Homo sapiens in breeding prime), to love him forever, starting as soon as possible, though hes prepared to wait thousands of centuries after hes dead. --Cye Johan, Exquisite Corpse JournalThe contemporaries of Michelangelo found it useful to employ the term terribilitato characterize some of the expressions of his genius, and I will quote it here to sum up the shocking impact of this work as a whole. I read it in a state of fascination, admiration, awe, anxiety, and outrage. --R. V. Cassill, editor of The Norton Anthology of Fiction This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9781937543075

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