HiLobrow 2Q2014

By: Joshua Glenn
June 30, 2014

Here are a few of HILOBROW’s highlights from April, May, and June 2014!

BEST OF HILOBROW: 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 1Q2020 | 2Q2020 | 3Q2020 SNEAK PEEK.




In June, we began publishing a series of 10 posts — by Devin McKinney — on representations of the telephone as instrument of fear, conduit for ghosts, and general bearer of malefic or otherworldly potential.

Parts 1-4 of the Phone Horror series are adapted from posts published at the blog The Face at the Window in 2005–06; parts 5-10 are original to HiLobrow. The series will conclude in July.

MORE HORROR ON HILOBROW: Early ’60s Horror, a series by David Smay | Phone Horror, a series by Devin McKinney | Philip Stone’s Hat-Trick | Shocking Blocking: Candyman | Shocking Blocking: A Bucket of Blood | Kenneth Anger | Sax Rohmer | August Derleth | Edgar Ulmer | Vincent Price | Max von Sydow | Lon Chaney Sr. | James Whale | Wes Craven | Roman Polanski | Ed Wood | John Carpenter | George A. Romero | David Cronenberg | Roger Corman | Georges Franju | Shirley Jackson | Jacques Tourneur | Ray Bradbury | Edgar Allan Poe | Algernon Blackwood | H.P. Lovecraft | Clark Ashton Smith | Gaston Leroux |



garnier skin renew

In April, I kicked off the Code-X series, each installment in which will identify and limn a single code — e.g., Spirograph Futurism, Clarified Reality, Game Face.

Read the series introduction for a fuller explanation of applied semiotics.

MORE SEMIOSIS at HILOBROW: Towards a Cultural Codex | CODE-X series | DOUBLE EXPOSURE Series | CECI EST UNE PIPE series | Star Wars Semiotics | Icon Game | Meet the Semionauts | Show Me the Molecule | Science Fantasy | Inscribed Upon the Body | The Abductive Method | Enter the Samurai | Semionauts at Work | Roland Barthes | Gilles Deleuze | Félix Guattari | Jacques Lacan | Mikhail Bakhtin | Umberto Eco



In May 2014 we celebrated the fifth anniversary of our HiLobrow Hero series! Our first-ever posts in this series appeared in May 2009: David Smay on Donovan, Peggy Nelson on Fred Astaire, and Tor Aarestad on Marcel Mauss. By the end of 2014 we will have published some 1,300 HiLo Hero items!

2Q2014 saw the publication of 90 new installments in the HiLo Heroes series, courtesy of the following contributors.

Illustration by Joe Alterio
Illustration by Joe Alterio

Tor Aarestad on Alexander Herzen, Claire Danes, Garry Kasparov; Joe Alterio on Duke Ellington, Kim Deitch, Ray Harryhausen; Franklin Bruno on Bas Jan Ader, Bernadette Mayer, Howard Hawks; Deb Chachra on Eugenie Clark; Adrienne Crew on Terry Southern; Erik Davis on Félix Guattari, Michel de Certeau.


Matthew De Abaitua on Prince; Suzanne Fischer on Lorine Niedecker, Georgette Heyer; Mike Fleisch on Andrei Tarkovsky; Jerrold Freitag on George Steiner, Gil Evans, Thomas Mann, Kris Kristofferson; Joshua Glenn on Irving Howe, Erskine Childers; Katie Hennessey on David Byrne.

Shigeru Sugiura

Alix Lambert on William Kentridge; Adam McGovern on George Takei, Laurie Anderson, Judy Garland; Jacob Mikanowski on Josef von Sternberg, Jean Rouch, Skelton Knaggs; Anthony Miller on Michael Herr, Roberto Calasso, Anthony Braxton, Fernando Pessoa; William Nericcio on Juan Rulfo; Gary Panter on Shigeru Sugiura; Lynn Peril on Lydia Lunch, Paulette Goddard.


Dan Reines on Don Rickles; David Smay on Georges Franju, Cliff “Ukulele Ike” Edwards; Marilyn Berlin Snell on Dorothea Lange, Wilfred Thesiger; Karinne Keithley Syers on Merce Cunningham, Ralph Waldo Emerson; Astra Taylor on Agnès Varda; Robert Wringham on Robert Tressell, Harold Lloyd.

george steele

Five particularly prolific 2Q2014 HiLo Hero writers deserve special mention. In April, May, and June of this year, Brian Berger contributed items on: Ward Bond, Ronny Elliott, Charlotte Rae, Teddy Vann, Thomas Pynchon, Mari Sandoz, Archie Shepp, Al Jolson, Walt Whitman, Tony Curtis, Coot Grant, and Billy Wilder. Meanwhile, Devin McKinney contributed items on: Jimmy Cliff, Benjamin De Cessares, Tiny Tim, Glen Campbell, Vladimir Nabokov, Maria Leach, Thomas Gainsborough, J.E. Spingarn, Johnny Ace, and Howlin’ Wolf. Mark Kingwell contributed items on: Thomas Hobbes, Louise Lasser, Randall Jarrell, Mikhail Bakunin, Mel Blanc, and Jean-Paul Sartre. Tom Nealon contributed items on: Samuel R. Delany, George “The Animal” Steele, Bruce Rogers, Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, and Lafcadio Hearn. And Tucker Cummings contributed items on: Buddy Ebsen, Matt Stone, Jonathan Pryce, Josephine Baker, and Audie Murphy. Amazing!


Also! In 2Q2014, we published “Towards a HiLo Hero Color Wheel,” and “The Smiths” — two mock-serious data-gathering efforts which might or might not lend themselves to a theory about HiLo Heroes.

The HiLo Heroes series is edited by Joshua Glenn.



To commemorate the sinking of the Titanic, 102 years as of April 15, Peggy Nelson contributed a cocktail recipe: The White Star.



Sugar cube
Edible gold leaf flakes
2-3 dashes bitters
1/2 oz. cognac
Several ozs. fine champagne

Instructions (first class ticket):

Dust glass with edible gold flakes. Place sugar cube in glass. Drop bitters on cube, and add the cognac. Finally, fill the glass with your finest vintage champagne. Toast to YOLO while the band plays on.

Best served over a single jagged block of ice.

Instructions (third class ticket):

Champagne taste on a steerage budget? Substitute malt liquor in a red solo cup. Bottoms up!



Peggy Nelson also contributed a post on the “Bitrates” exhibition in Shiraz, Iran.

Knitted Horse in Motion by Sam Meech: L↺↻p it!




During 2Q2014, HiLoBooks published serial installments of the following forgotten science fiction and adventure novels.


The 1926 satirical sf novel King Goshawk and the Birds, by Irish playwright and novelist Eimar O’Duffy, which is set in a future world devastated by progress. When King Goshawk, the supreme ruler among a caste of “king capitalists,” buys up all the wildflowers and songbirds, an aghast Dublin philosopher travels via the astral plane to Tír na nÓg. First the mythical Irish hero Cúchulainn, then his son Cuanduine, travel to Earth in order to combat the king capitalists. Thirty-five years before the hero of Robert Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land, these well-meaning aliens discover that cultural forms and norms are the most effective barrier to social or economic revolution.



Frances Hodgson Burnett is best known for her sentimental children’s novels Little Lord Fauntleroy (1885-6), A Little Princess (1905), and The Secret Garden (1911). But HiLoBooks prefers a later Burnett novel: The Lost Prince, a 1915 Ruritanian-style thriller in which two adolescent boys, one of whom is a disabled street urchin called “The Rat,” play a proto-Alternate Reality Game about a revolution in far-off Samavia… which turns into the real thing.



Huntingtower was a departure for John Buchan. Published between the third and fourth of his tremendous Richard Hannay novels, the book’s protagonist is not a soldier-turned-spy, but instead a retired Scottish grocer who joins a quixotic effort to rescue a Russian noblewoman from Bolsheviks. Adventure literature exegetes agree that with this novel, Buchan was attempting to take the curse of irony off the word “adventure” — that is, to bring adventure into everyday life.



Morley Roberts’s 1900 novel The Fugitives is an adventure set against the backdrop of the Second Boer War (1899–1902). The author was once known for his novel The Private Life of Henry Maitland (1912), but he quickly passed into obscurity. How obscure? In a 1966 story about plagiarism (“The Longest Science-Fiction Story Ever Told”), Arthur C. Clarke attributed an 1898 sci-fi story of Roberts’s (“The Anticipator”) about the same topic to H.G. Wells; in a 1967 guest editorial in If (“Herbert George Morley Roberts Wells, Esq.”), a contrite Clarke noted that not a single Morley fan had emerged to point out this error.


ALSO REDISCOVERED BY HILOBOOKS: Jack London’s The Scarlet Plague | Rudyard Kipling’s With the Night Mail (and “As Easy as A.B.C.”) | Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Poison Belt | H. Rider Haggard’s When the World Shook | Edward Shanks’ The People of the Ruins | William Hope Hodgson’s The Night Land | J.D. Beresford’s Goslings | E.V. Odle’s The Clockwork Man | Cicely Hamilton’s Theodore Savage | Muriel Jaeger’s The Man With Six Senses | Jack London’s “The Red One” | Philip Francis Nowlan’s Armageddon 2419 A.D. | Homer Eon Flint’s The Devolutionist | W.E.B. DuBois’s “The Comet” | Edgar Rice Burroughs’s The Moon Men | Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland | Sax Rohmer’s “The Zayat Kiss” | Eimar O’Duffy’s King Goshawk and the Birds | Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Lost Prince | Morley Roberts’s The Fugitives | Helen MacInnes’s The Unconquerable | Geoffrey Household’s Watcher in the Shadows | William Haggard’s The High Wire | Hammond Innes’s Air Bridge | James Branch Cabell’s Jurgen | John Buchan’s “No Man’s Land” | John Russell’s “The Fourth Man” | E.M. Forster’s “The Machine Stops” | John Buchan’s Huntingtower | Arthur Conan Doyle’s When the World Screamed | Victor Bridges’ A Rogue By Compulsion | Jack London’s The Iron Heel | H. De Vere Stacpoole’s The Man Who Lost Himself | P.G. Wodehouse’s Leave It to Psmith.

For more information about HiLoBooks, please visit our homepage.



During 2Q2014, we’ve added posts to various ongoing series here at HILOBROW. These series include:

Boer burghers




the x people



BEST OF HILOBROW: 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 1Q2020 | 2Q2020 | 3Q2020 SNEAK PEEK.


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