December 28, 2014
Everything I do have a beginning, a middle, and then an end. Life doesn’t often naturally follow that pattern in life, but alas, the role of a publisher can frame the world in a certain light, and therefore that’s TamTam Books. I don’t want to last forever, but the moments I’m here, I want to be the best that I can be. Everything else is nothing more than a distraction to me. Some think it is a matter of luck, but I feel that luck have nothing to do with it. I think luck is an invention of those in power, who insist that everyone gets a fair chance in grabbing the big award that is only inches from their grasp. “Like a modern ‘wheel of fortune’ the message is ‘all is luck; some are rich, some are poor, that is the way the world is … it could be you! ”
When we’re down, it is good to believe in shit, because that is the one thing we have in common. The president of the United States shit, I shit, you shit, even birds in the sky shit. At least three times in my life I had birds shit on me from a distance. Is it luck that I’m shitted on? “There is nothing more natural than to consider everything as starting from oneself, chosen as the center of the world; one finds oneself thus capable of condemning the world without even wanting to hear its deceitful chatter.” Therefore to make the chatter louder, I began to publish.
The author Robert Greene brought me the idea of publishing Guy Debord’s “Considerations on the Assassination of Gérard Lebovici.” The book is fascinating because it is both a critique of the spectacle as well as Debord’s defense to his intimate friend Lebovici, who was also his publisher and financial backer for his films. As I read this book, it seemed that one of the key titles for Lebovici’s press, was Jacques Mesrine’s “The Death Instinct.” Like the Boris Vian titles, I needed to publish all the main works from these authors. To do just one book would be pointless. I thought of my press as a structure or a building.
The foundation or basement will be Boris Vian’s “I Spit on Your Graves” and “Foam of the Daze.” The first floor had to be Debord’s “Considerations…. And Mesrine’s “The Death Instinct.” One without the other would have been incomplete. In this house of TamTam Books, then there was a need for Vian to have separate rooms for “Autumn in Peking,” “Red Grass,” and then a special wing of the building to go to Vian’s alter-identity Vernon Sullivan’s “To Hell With The Ugly,” and “The Dead All Have The Same Skin.” To give focus on the world of Vian, I had to co-edit a book “Boris Vian’s Manual of Saint Germain des Prés” And if you are going to mention Vian, then you have to add Serge Gainsbourg to the mix, which means publishing his short novel “Evguenie Sokolov,” as well as the magnificent biography on Gainsbourg by Gilles Verlant. The attic is Debord’s book as well as Mesrine’s - and there we have the perfect structure that is TamTam Books. For spice and color, I added the selected lyrics by Sparks, as well as an art book by Lun*na Menoh.
Now that I have my house, I realized that it is built on flammable paper, and can easily be burned down. So what I left here is a series of thoughts, images, narrations, and a pathway for a future traveler, who may want to connect the dots or string that are attached to Debord to Vian to Gainsbourg to Mesrine. I went full-circle, and therefore, is there a need for me to publish again? “In societies where modern conditions of production prevail, all of life presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has moved away into a representation.”
As I merge my publishing into my writing, I’m slowly erasing the line between publishing and writing. The one thing that will be consistent in my make-up, is to read. Often I felt like a magician in front of an audience and I’m just showing parlour tricks-of-the-trade. I give you illusions, because you have a need for them. Supply and demand, and I be damned if I fail in supplying you the illusion you need. “The passions have been sufficiently interpreted; the point now is to discover new ones.” As a fellow traveler, I will sniff out what culture has to offer, and try to re-package it into another item or at the very least, a shiny new toy. In other words, “nobody kills me until I say so. ”