A branch of Idiocentrism.com


Éditions Le Real






Le real de Minerve beginnt erst
mit der einbrechenden Dämmerung seinen Flug


I am now self-publishing my works through Éditions le Real (established by me) and www.Lulu.com.  I will eventually publish a few things by family and friends, but I am not soliciting manuscripts. I am very happy with Lulu.com but I am not committed to self-publication and would gladly cut a deal with a legit publisher (FAQ about these topics here.)


Substantific Marrow (300 pages or so for $17 or so, including postage, or $3.75 for an e-book) consists of about 70 pieces from Idiocentrism -- more carefully edited, and in many cases rewritten. These pieces are as diverse as the site has been, but  they have been thematically grouped, so the effect is less chaotic.

Relics: Poems 1967-1980 is what it says -- the leavings of my brief poetic career. About $12 for 50 or so short poems. 

Cursing the Darkness, collected polemics, is forthcoming.

Later I will publish books on Inner Eurasian History and Chinese culture.

Buy here

The available books can be bought at http://stores.lulu.com/emersonj

Substantific Marrow

John Emerson


Reviews of Substantific Marrow

His arguments, conjoining tidbits of history you never knew about or never thought of relating to each other and suggesting contacts and influences standard history knows not of, take side roads that tend to be far more enlivening than the well-trodden highway that bored us in high school. If you're going to read about Aristotle, would you rather it be in the context of analytics and the five elements or the sex life of molluscs? I thought so.

His credo is "To me studies of concrete particulars (history, geography, philology) are infinitely more interesting than their theoretical explanations, and the fully-theorized studies (marginalist economics, analytic philosophy, 'literary studies') are abominations," and I happily subscribe to it. If you prefer shiny and unusual facts and suggestions to the dull coin of Standard Theories, this is the book for you.

Language Hat

Emerson puts himself squarely in the camp of the Renaissance humanists, like Rabelais and Bacon, who derided scholasticism (and he uses the same word, equating it with modern analytic philosophy) for its narrowminded pedantry—and in Rabelais's case, for its lack of fun. John wants the humanities to be kept at the generalist level—he wants it still to be fun. And so he contributes, with both his blog and his new book, to our enjoyment of the humanities at the generalist level.

Varieties of Unreligious Experience

I haven't yet had the chance to make it through every last word of John's book, but I've spent enough time with it to be dazzled by its cabinet-of-wonders quality. Though basically a collection of quirky mini-essays on topics from Freud to Parmenides to Bob Dylan, it also has its own Borges-like, Calvino-like character. John is a perfect person to be using Lulu -- he's a freelance intellectual with his own way of making sense of the world, and his own distinctive way of piecing things together. His book is both a stimulating browse and an act of intellectual pointillism that coheres into something larger.

Michael Blowhard

An Elegant Author Deserving of the Patronage of a Refined and Enlightened Public

I am currently holding my lovely, brand-new copy of John Emerson's Substantific Marrow. If you enjoy this blog, then it is very likely that you, too, want to buy a copy of Substantific Marrow, though you may not be aware of this fact.

Cosma Shalizi

John Emerson has self-published a book of essays. They're short and wildly varied -- a really funny reaction to one of the sillier bits of Freud; an argument for atheism based on the proposition that God couldn't hide in a sock drawer; a piece ranging from the Barbary pirates, through the mutiny on which Billy Budd was based, to The Good Ship Ruben James; reviews of books, mostly history; and unclassifiable bits of other stuff.....  If this is the sort of thing you like, it's a great book to have in your bag for a commute, or any time you have fifteen minutes to read a couple of pages on something odd.



and Schooling
/ Could Nietzsche have Married Jane Austen? /
Van Gogh as Chump / Gautier's Hippo / Oafs and Wimps /  Madame Bovary as Train Wreck / Max Jacob says hi, sort of / What Was Wittgenstein? / A Naďve Reading of Descartes / Aristotle and Mollusc Sex / Kenneth Burke Faked it Too / The Heap /
What Was Cratylus Trying to Say? / Parmenides in Szechuan / On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the Philosophers /  Simples / Freud and Reality /
Panurge and The Confidence Man / Third-world Joyce / Staying at Home / Snapping Lovely Necks /
Square Ibsen / Who was Humbert Humbert? /
Aucassin et Nicolette / Two Misreadings
Medieval Minimalism / God /
What is Le Real? / The Re-al and The Real / Le Saumon Real / Y schal do awey al substaunce / The Waters Above the Firmament / All Roads Lead to Rome /  Etymological Vaginas / Hemoglobin and Alchemy / Fish Milk /
You are what you eat / Hobson-Jobson / Has anyone ever read this book? / Bottle and Potato Traced to the Source / The Muskogee / Waukesha / Bismarck Triangle /
Marion Brown's Trilogy / "On Eagle's Wings" / "To the Shores of Tripoli" / A Wild Ride / The Authenticity and Feng Shui of Bob Dylan / Satie and the Sewing Machine /
W. C. Fields and the American Family Comedy / The Turkish Kayak / The Lost King of England / The Crimean Goths / The Last Pagans / The Last Viking / The Torgut Exodus /
The Coming of the Age of Iron / Silk and Memes / History of the Caucasian Albanians
700-Year-Old Syriac Jokes /
The Secret History and Western Literature / The Barbarian Reservoir / Murder Most Foul / Does the Bush Protect the Little Bird? / Drakon and Solon /
The Cynic Emperor / Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss / Agamben and Schmitt / Werewolves and the State / Orwell and Pacifism / Philosophers and Nuclear War /
Transience and Water

70 little essays delivered to your door for $17



Poems 1967-1980

John Emerson

The first you I will dissolve in my mouth
for sweetness;
but the next I will impatiently crunch.

Then I will rub you all over my body
and be refreshed;
and strew you about my little house.

One you I will put in my pocket
so as never to be without you;
I may send others
to my mother and sisters.

The finest you will fly on high
to dominate the earth;
after that I will save my favorite parts
and give the rest to the poor.

50 poems delivered to your door for $13



I am emersonj at gmail dot com.

Original materials copyright John J Emerson

Return to Idiocentrism