Sunday, November 8, 2015

The First Baby Steps Toward the New Eyegiene Exhibition

With any luck in the next year I will put the final touches on Eyegiene: Permutations of Subjectivity in the Televisual Age of Sex and Race--as I have done with Mextasy (the bastard child of Tex[t]-Mex), Eyegiene will have a traveling pop-up museum exhibition trailing in its wake.  Today, I found a centerpiece for that installation at the San Diego Vintage Flea Market in North Park.

Here they are off my Instagram account:

#sdvintagefleamarket score! First major artifact for the #eyegiene exhibition!

A photo posted by william anthony nericcio (@william.nericcio) on

and here, a 2nd shot showing other delights I saw but opted not to buy--I am too much of a hoarder (er, curator) as it is!

Great day at #sdvintagefleamarket

A photo posted by william anthony nericcio (@william.nericcio) on

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Checklist for #psychedelicmirrors Required Books | English 220 | Professor William Nericcio

Below appears a guide to the editions that are required for #psychedelicmirrors, fall 2016 @ SDSU with Professor Nericcio.  This appears here as a handy guide! YOU ARE NOT required to purchase these books using these links!!!!!

Note that the LAST TWO BOOKS that appear below are NOT REQUIRED and only appear here for reference.  TO REPEAT: MAUS and LA FRONTERA CRYSTAL, in Spanish, are NOT REQUIRED AT ALL FOR THE CLASS!!!!

NOTE ALSO: DO NOT buy the Magnum POP 60s book here from AMAZON--I negotiated you a much much cheaper special rate at the Aztec Bookstore!!!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Eyegiene: Permutations of Subjectivity in the Televisual Age of Sex and Race OR Further Visual Culture Adventures in a Optical Vein } repost 3/08

This originally appeared on March 2008 | updated November 2010! {source} | Reposted 4, October 2015.

Eyegiene is the working title of my next book now that I have just finished The Hurt Business: Oliver Mayer's Early Works [+] PLUS for Hyperbole Books, an imprint of San Diego State University Press--I hang my hat there as an editor when I am not slaving away on this blog, directing my beloved MALAS program, or shilling my book on the lecture trail.

In Eyegiene, I hope to weave together various and sundry visual cultural studies essays that have appeared here and there over the years (my Pee-wee Herman spectacle of masturbation essay; the artif[r]acture/graphic narrative piece that appeared in Mosaic, etc.)--plus others that have never seen the light of day ("Almost Like Laredo") and yet others to be pre-authored here on this blog.

The neologism "eyegiene," recently ripped off by a Euro toilet sanitation company (!), is a theoretical attempt to fuse together various interests and tendencies I have observed and written about with regard to late 20th- and early 21st-century culture. As I have tried to show in these pages, practicing proper eyegiene ("Lorenzo! Turn off the TV; Sofia! Get off that Gameboy) refers to a circuit of scenes, a matrix of spectacles wherein the logic and policing of seeing is meditated--imagine a cultural studies volume that fuses together an obsession for Michael Powell's Peeping Tom, a predilection for Man Ray's collaborations with Meret Oppenheim, dreams about Frida Kahlo's illustrated diary, and interrogations of Chris Ware's illustrated visions, and you begin to parse the myriad and electric bodies (both bodies of ink and bodies of light) that Eyegiene voyeuristically surveys.

For an example, let us take the case of a Pancho Villa votive candle I purchased at a H.E.B. grocery store in Laredo, Texas:

It is as if two spectral and spacial universes were conjoined in one artifact: first, and foremost, there is the universe of the votive candle in Mexican Catholic and Mexican spiritual culture--there, the shifting shapes of uncanny heated light moving through colored glass conjure the presence of saints, and God, and gods, and Jesuscristo for millions of believers; not for nothing are altars from Oaxaca to Monterrey, from East L.A. to Chicago, adorned with the colored lights of votive candles' orange tongues.

The other universe, also ubiquitous, also very "Mexican," is the cult of the revolutionary--the Patrón culture of the American Southwest and Northern Mexico is rife with tales of militant luminaries: cult figures with outsized personalities who through a combination of wit, savvy, strength, and luck, change the face of Mexico forever--Emiliano Zapata is one of these "saints," Pancho Villa, aka Doroteo Arango, another.

The syncretic fusion of Catholic spirituality with Mexican revolutionary iconography--not to mention the other "pagan" spiritual traditions of Mexico's rich cultural spaces--ends up on the shelf of a Laredo H.E.B. Proof positive that the gods have a rich sense of humor.

more soon...

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Blaxploitation Chapter in Eyegiene

A key bridge-chapter of Eyegiene delves into the blaxploitation rage in American cinema in the 70s epitomized by Super Fly in 1972 and  Mandingo in 1975--in any event, this is as good a time as any to archive here on the Eyegiene blog this priceless piece of graphic amazingness.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Hallucinating Mirrors Required Books, Fall 2015

Please do note that though my book Tex[t]-Mex is listed below--it is NOT a required book for the class; it is only recommended!  Cheers,

Bill Nericcio

Tuesday, April 21, 2015



#refer to page numbers in the NORTON CRITICAL EDITION


fancy (n.) Look up fancy at
mid-15c., fantsy "inclination, liking," contraction of fantasy. It took the older and longer word's sense of "inclination, whim, desire." Meaning "the productive imagination" is from 1580s. That of "a fanciful image or conception" is from 1660s. Meaning "fans of an amusement or sport, collectively" is attested by 1735, especially (though not originally) of the prize ring. The adjective is recorded from 1751 in the sense "fine, elegant, ornamental" (opposed to plain); later as "involving fancy, of a fanciful nature" (1800). Fancy man attested by 1811.
fancy (v.) Look up fancy at
"take a liking to," 1540s, a contraction of fantasien "to fantasize (about)," from fantasy (n.). Meaning "imagine" is from 1550s. Related: Fancied; fancies; fancying. Colloquial use in fancy that, etc. is recorded by 1813.
fantasy (n.) Look up fantasy at
early 14c., "illusory appearance," from Old French fantaisie, phantasie "vision, imagination" (14c.), from Latin phantasia, from Greek phantasia "power of imagination; appearance, image, perception," from phantazesthai "picture to oneself," from phantos "visible," from phainesthai "appear," in late Greek "to imagine, have visions," related to phaos, phos "light," phainein "to show, to bring to light" (see phantasm). Sense of "whimsical notion, illusion" is pre-1400, followed by that of "fantastic imagination," which is first attested 1530s. Sense of "day-dream based on desires" is from 1926. In early use in English also fantasie, phantasy, etc. As the name of a fiction genre, from 1949.

3. Hawthorne's goal in the novel.

5. Note the Narrator's tone--personable, talking to us!

5. House has a face.Faces and Pictures are motifs of the novel! 

7. Colonel Pyncheon vs Matthew Maule--the curse!!!!

9. Literature and Empire--note Hawthorne's goal in writing the novel; to create a mythology for the United States... nation = narration...  also note, Maule's son! builds the cursed house!

12-13: Keep your eye on the picture!!!!  the framed portrait...

 16-17: Not just the portrait, but now the mirror, and, in a few pages, the waters of Maule's well.... all are looking glasses embodying corruption!!!  a house of mirrors and portraits and more

mesmerism (n.) Look up mesmerism at
"hypnotism," 1802, from French mesmérisme, named for Franz Anton Mesmer (1734-1815), Austrian physician who developed a theory of animal magnetism and a mysterious body fluid which allows one person to hypnotize another. Related: Mesmerist.


  A therapeutic doctrine or system, first popularized by Mesmer, according to which a trained practitioner can induce a hypnotic state in a patient by the exercise of a force (called by Mesmer animal magnetism); the process or practice of inducing such a state; the state so induced, or the force supposed to operate in inducing it.Mesmer's claims were not substantiated by a scientific commission established by Louis XVI in 1784 including Benjamin Franklin and Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier. His techniques, however, had great popular appeal and were variously developed by other practitioners in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, ultimately forming the basis of the modern practice of hypnosis.

 21. Maule's family as DREAM controllers!

23-24. Meeting Hepzibah!!!  Yes, you need to know how to spell her name!! Note the Narrator again--narrator as protagonist/ghost/presence.... Note also, the Daguerrotypist, Holgrave, Daguerrotypes/Like the camera in Boucicault's OCTOROON!!!!

25. Hepzibah's fetish object--the picture of Clifford Pyncheon!!!!!

29. in the 1800s, US like UK--class boundaries are barbedwired!!!! Thou shall not cross--Hepzibah's fall to shopkeeper epic!

35. Look up the old words--they matter


anathema, n.

View as: 
Pronunciation:  /əˈnæθɪmə/
Forms:  Pl. anathemas; also, in sense 3, anaˈthemata.
Etymology:  < Latin anathema an excommunicated person, also the curse of excommunication, < Greek ἀνάθεμα , originally ‘a thing devoted,’ but in later usage ‘a thing devoted to evil, an accursed thing’ (see Rom. ix. 3). Originally a variant of ἀνάθημα an offering, a thing set up (to the gods), n. of product < ἀνατιθέναι to set up, < ἀνά up + τιθέναι (stem θε- ) to place. Compare anathem n., and anatheme n.(Show Less)
 I. From ecclesiastical Greek and Latin.

 1. Anything accursed, or consigned to damnation. Also quasi-adj. Accursed, consigned to perdition.

1526   Bible (Tyndale) 1 Cor. xvi. 22   Yf eny man love not the lorde Jesus Christ, the same be anathema maranatha. [ Wyclif, Be he cursid, mara natha. 1611 Let him bee Anathema Maranatha. 1881 ( Revised) Let him be Anathema. Maranatha.]
1625   Bacon Ess. (new ed.) 71   He would wish to be an Anathema from Christ, for the Saluation of his Brethren.
1634   J. Canne Necessitie of Separation iii. 146   Delivered over unto Satan, proclaimed Publicans, Heathens, Anathema.
1765   A. Tucker Light of Nature II. 299   Saint Paul wished to become anathema himself, so he could thereby save his brethren.
 2. The formal act, or formula, of consigning to damnation.

 a. The curse of God.

a1631   J. Donne Βιαθανατος (1647) iii. iv. §10   Which Anathema..was utter damnation, as all Expositors say.
1756   E. Burke Vindic. Nat. Society 81   The Divine thunders out his Anathemas.
1877   J. B. Mozley Univ. Serm. ii. 37   To strike with His anathema those who made a gain of their virtues.

 b. The great curse of the church, cutting off a person from the communion of the church visible, and formally handing him over to Satan; or denouncing any doctrine or practice as damnable.

1590   H. Swinburne Briefe Treat. Test. 60   Vnlesse he be excommunicate with that great curse, which is called Anathema.
1642   T. Fuller Holy State v. xi. 404   The Donatists, whilest blessing themselves, cared not for the Churches Anathema's.
1726   J. Ayliffe Parergon Juris Canonici Anglicani 256   An Anathema..differs from an Excommunication only in respect of a greater kind of Solemnity.
1769   W. Robertson Hist. Charles V III. viii. 71   Against all who disclaimed the truth of these tenets, anathemas were denounced.
1844   W. E. Gladstone Gleanings V. xlv. 114   The Pope..has condemned the slave trade—but no more heed is paid to his anathema than to the passing wind.

 c. Any denunciation or imprecation of divine wrath against alleged impiety, heresy, etc.

1782   J. Priestley Inst. Relig. II. 80   The Mohammedans denounce anathemas against unbelievers.
1850   W. E. Gladstone Gleanings V. xiv. 182   To deliver over to anathema the memories of our forefathers in the Church.

 d. A curse or imprecation generally.(The weakening of the sense has accompanied the free use of anathemas as weapons of ecclesiastical rancour.)

 43. Note when we meet Judge Jaffrey Pyncheon, the narrator thinks of an encounter between him and a portrait maker--Hawthorne means for you to be thinking  of the portrait of the ancestor, Colonel Pycheon, and of the Colonel who died beneath his facsimile!

the play of facsimiles is at the heart of the THE HOUSE OF THE SEVEN GABLES....

44. Narrator says that portrait painters capture the soul of the sitter!!!  Read THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY over the summer if you dig books that explore this idea!

49. Keep your EYES on Hawthorne's similes! the analogies he draws with the words AS and LIKE...  'like the teasing phantasms'

51. Names are important--Phoebe, one of the first titan daughters, associated with the moon, but also, with light... dark light, bringing light to dark, watch what Phoebe brings to THE HOUSE OF THE SEVEN GABLES...

Phoebe (mythology)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Phoebe (disambiguation).
In ancient Greek religion, "radiant, bright, prophetic" Phoebe (/ˈfb/; Greek: Φοίβη Phoibe), was one of the original Titans, who were one set of sons and daughters of Uranus and Gaia.[1] She was traditionally associated with the moon (see Selene), as in Michael Drayton's Endimion and Phœbe, (1595), the first extended treatment of the Endymion myth in English. Her consort was her brother Coeus, with whom she had two daughters, Leto, who bore Apollo and Artemis, and Asteria, a star-goddess who bore an only daughter Hecate.[2] Given the meaning of her name and her association with the Delphic oracle, Phoebe was perhaps seen as the Titan goddess of prophecy and oracular intellect.

62. the "Hipster" Mr. Holgrave, hanging out with all kinds of progressive movements!!!!  also a mesmerist!!!! the idea that people that paint or take pictures are bound up with the occult--think here of the frieze that norbert loves, think here of gregor samsa's precious magazine picture of the lady with the muff, think here of theodore with his hot OS...  Holgrave is of the ilk that conjure these manifestations, these facsimiles of the human, that mesmerize!!!!

67.  Holgrave shows daguerreotype of Judge Jaffrey Pyncheon to Phoebe--she thinks it is the Colonel, Colonel Pyncheon... augury

68. Clifford's womanly face! + 78 79 82

69. the poison of Maule's well... do not drink/do not look!!!!

86/87: shape shifting judge pyncheon!!!!

88/89: Colonel/Judge both have misogyny issues... misogyny and male violence...

87 GABLES as treaty on Aesthetics/Beauty and the Ugly/Grotesque... poor Hepzibah!

110: Maule's Well as mirror!



Thursday, March 19, 2015

17 Things to Know about Chuck Palahniuk (PaulaNick) and Fight Club

17. Class is one of the key issues at play in Palahniuk's fictions
See page 215/16 of the Norton paperback Afterword, p. 166

16. If you read Freud's work carefully, you won't be surprised to learn that he lurks here and there in the foundation of Fight Club
See p214 of the Afterword and 140 and 134

15. Fight Club began as an experiment, a literary experiment born of cinema (in particular, the work of director/writer Orson Welles)

14. One of the secrets of Fight Club is that it is a novelistic recreation/rendering/version of Percy Bysshe Shelley's Ozymandias 
p. 201, Fight Club, 159

13. Fight Club is a love letter to Thanatos, the Greek daemon/personification of Death

See the death scene of Robert Paulson, Big Bob p. 177

12. Palahniuk is fascinated by the waking dream state--hallucination, fugue, and disassociative personality disorders/ schizophrenia

11. The Raymond Hessel chapter is an inspiring allegory for sophomore undergraduates everywhere!
p152 "Human sacrifices"  euphemism!

10. It pays dividends to consider the politics of Fight Club--ultimately is PROJECT MAYHEM fascist, libertariany, anarchist, or it it better thought of as a violent form of collective existentialism
pp. 149-150

9. YOU ARE NOT YOUR NAME--Fight Club is a meditation on identity and alienation.
p. 143

8. Fight Club believes that Corporate America is weaving a mind-killing womb for narcotized, product saturated, non-citizen, non-sentient consumers
p. 137, 38  and 121 and 110-11

7.Anarchy emerges as a sub-theme of Fight Club.
p. 124

6. Palahniuk develops Masks as a key motif of Fight Club.
p. 118

5. Palahniuk is a master of black humor, of arch satire and comedy
p. 106 (on pathological sexuality)

4. Fight Club is an edgy meditation on auto-eroticism and narcissism