Summer Update
I have not posted much here lately because I’ve been writing new material. Chapter 6 of White Leviathan is quite substantial—pretty much a whole scenario in itself! I hope to start posting sections by the end of summer. I’m also going to be restoring elements of the old Modern Word site as well, creating skeletal structures for Kafka and Beckett sites. These may only hold revised versions of their author’s biographies at first, but will eventually be renewed and expanded like the Joyce, Borges, and Pynchon sites before them.

NecronomiCon 2024
I’ll be attending this year’s NecronomiCon in Providence, Rhode Island, from August 15–18. I’ll be moderating a panel on “Herman Melville and the Weird.” I’ll also be a guest on three other panels: one devoted to Franz Kafka, another to Michael Moorcock, and one on roleplaying in the Weird West. If you plan to attend the conference, please say hello! I’ll be the fellow wearing a James Joyce shirt and carrying a harpoon.

Why All the Broken Book Links?
Visitors to Shipwreck Library may have noticed that hundreds of book-cover image links are now “broken.” This is because the evil vampire squid that is Amazon.com made a change to their Affiliate program, and now none of that code works. Needless to say, this has created hours of work for me as I repair these links and manually upload cover images. Please have patience, this will take months! (And yes, it’s made me hate Amazon even more than I already do.)


2024 June 22
The Modern Word: The page on Pierre Boulez’s Third Piano Sonata has been updated and revised to include the recent publication of Antiphonie. If you haven’t heard this musical labyrinth inspired by Mallarmé’s Livre and Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, now is the time—over 10 new recordings have been profiled, many with links for easy streaming!

2024 June 21
The Modern Word: All the composers featured in Joyce and Music have been updated with new recordings and links. This completes my summer update of the Brazen Head—all the broken links and images have been repaired. (Borges is next.)

2024 June 20
The Modern Word: A section on James Joyce’s “The Epiphanies” has been added to the Joyce Works pages.

2024 June 17
The Modern Word: Today was Berio Day! All the links on the Joyce-related Luciano Berio pages have been updated, with a few new recordings, links, and YouTube videos included.

2024 June 16
The Modern Word: Happy Bloomsday! The Brazen Head celebrated by updating and adding new material to the pages on Stephen Albert and Samuel Barber.

2024 June 15
The Modern Word: Hundreds of broken links have been repaired on the Brazen Head, with intact book cover images now in place. This includes the Joyce Audio—Biographies & Criticism section, which has received a few new entries, including the audiobook of Patrick Hasting’s Guide to Ulysses, and a YouTube “liberation” of the 1988 CD, Robert Anton Wilson On Finnegans Wake and Joseph Campbell. Next I’ll begin repairing the broken album covers in the “Music” section.

2024 June 14
The Modern Word: Over 25 books have been added to the General Joyce Criticism section, which has been re-organized to accommodate this recent outpouring of Joyce-related works. (The Skibbereen Eagle has its eye on you, Bloomsbury Academic!) Many of these additions feature links to reviews in the JJQ.

2024 June 13
The Modern Word: A page of Kafka Quotations has been added to what will soon be a restoration of “Das Schloss,” the Modern Word’s Kafka site.


2024 March 16
White Leviathan: Chapter 5 concludes with Encounter 7: Arrival at Katau Peidi.

2024 March 9

White Leviathan: Chapter 5 continues with Encounter 5: Trying-Out the Weird. The Quiddity meets a fellow traveler from Kingsport and receives a startling piece of cargo in Encounter 6: The Gam with the Persephone.


2024 February 25
White Leviathan: Chapter 5 continues. Encounter 3: The Offshore Grounds leads to an epic battle with a deranged sperm whale in Encounter 4: Raging Bull.


2024 January 14
White Leviathan: The brief Chapter 5 begins with Encounter 1: The Fourth of July. This is followed by the first sighting of the titular White Leviathan—Encounter 2: First Hunt for Mocha Dick.


2023 December 27
White Leviathan: The Galápagos chapter concludes with five final encounters, starting with Encounter 21: The Cloven Pine. This leads to the most horrific scene of Act One, Encounter 22: Contact and Communion, in which a player character is forced into contact with a dying alien. Encounter 23: Turning the Tables offers guidelines for imprisoned characters, while Chapter 4 eases into its denouement with Encounter 24: Return to the Quiddity and Encounter 25: Departing the Enchanted Isles. The Pacific Ocean beckons!

2023 December 2
White Leviathan: The Galápagos chapter nears its climax: Encounter 19: Thal’n’lai and Encounter 20: The Starry Island.


2023 November 25
White Leviathan: At long last! A Kingsport Map and the Macy-Tuttle Family Tree!

2023 November 24
White Leviathan: Deeper into the unknown with Encounter 16: Temple Passage, Encounter 17: Y’ha-n’thal: The Temple of the Deep Ones, and Encounter 18: The Gate.


2023 October 29
White Leviathan: Professor Lowell confronts his past in Encounter 15: Lowell’s Cave. I’ve also added the lengthy but informative player handout, “Lowell’s Testimony.”

2023 October 21
White Leviathan: The Lowell Expedition continues: Encounter 13: Attack of the Calibans and Encounter 14: Approaching Lowell’s Cave.

2023 October 13
The Modern Word: I am delighted to add “Elusive Butterfly: Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice” to Spermatikos Logos! This piece by filmmaker Jeffrey A. Brown examines Anderson’s ambitious 2014 adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s novel. As freewheeling as the film itself, Brown’s essay explores the idea of “unfilmable” novels, examines Anderson’s multifaceted career, and places Inherent Vice in the context of “stoned noir.” It also includes a playlist!


2023 August 26
White Leviathan: The Lowell Expedition to Volcán Wolf gets underway: Encounter 9: The Lowell Expedition, Encounter 10: The Lowell Expedition Day 1, Encounter 11: The Lowell Expedition Day 2, and Encounter 12: The Lowell Expedition Day 3.

2023 August 19
White Leviathan: Four more encounters take the Quiddity through a volcanic eruption to the eve of the Lowell Expedition: Encounter 5: Sailing to Albemarle & Narborough, Encounter 6: The Eruption, Encounter 7: Banks Cove, and Encounter 8: Tarnmoor’s Lagoon.

2023 August 18
White Leviathan: A few more outstanding holes have been filled, including adding the R’lyeh Text and the Cthaat Aquadingen to “Books & Grimoires,” and finally posting the Quiddity Damage Tables and the Quiddity Random Tables.

2023 August 15
White Leviathan: Chapter 4 begins with the first four encounters on the Galápagos Islands—Approaching the Galápagos, Hood Island, Charles Island, and a visit to the Ecuadorian penal colony, Asilo de la Paz. The calm before the coming storm, these encounters are filled with turpining, a visit to the whaler’s post office, and a meeting with the Islands’ most colorful figure, the “Creole Dog King.”

2023 August 13
White Leviathan
: Everything you wanted to know about mid-nineteenth century firearms and Call of Cthulhu has been added to “Auxiliary Materials and Systems.” This includes Firearm Rules Modifications, Notes on Period Firearms, and a thoroughly-researched White Leviathan Armory, complete with details, stats, and color photographs. Now when an NPC is described as owning an M1777 Charleville musket or a blunderbuss pistol, you can just look it up in the Armory. Next step: posting all the Encounters for Chapter 4. Things are going to get pretty weird soon! (P.S. Even if you aren’t going to play White Leviathan, the “Armory” may be useful for any Call of Cthulhu game set in the 18th or 19th century.)

2023 August 12
White Leviathan: A page on “New Systems and Mechanics” covers a wide range of gaming systems for resolving various conflicts that may arise in a long Call of Cthulhu campaign. These include guidelines on Seasickness, Swimming Underwater, Interrogation, Shipboard Firefighting, Attacking with a Net, and Using a Torch as a Club. Although most have been designed for nautical scenarios, they may be used in any Call of Cthulhu game from any time period. All are compliant with the 7th Edition rules.

2023 August 11
White Leviathan: A few minor additions have been added to flesh out Chapter 4: the poison Sycorax, the Whittier Revolving Rifle, and the “Volcán Wolf Testimony.”

2023 August 10
White Leviathan: With the addition of the Republic of Caliban (Group) and Salvator R. Tarnmoor, all the NPC profiles for Chapter 4 are complete.

2023 August 3
White Leviathan: Two new NPCs have been profiled. Rafael Castro, the former assistant of Dr. Lowell; and Father Ingo Quiring, the Jesuit geologist who leads the Republic of Caliban. Both play major roles during the Galápagos Islands chapter.


2023 July 30
White Leviathan: A grotesque monster from Patagonian mythology, El invunche has been added to the Call of Cthulhu bestiary.

2023 July 29
White Leviathan: I have finally completed Chapter 4, which takes the Quiddity to the Galápagos Islands—and finally brings the characters face-to-face with the Mythos. This is a major chapter, and will be added piecemeal over August—dozens of new encounters, NPCs, weapons, poisons, eldritch texts, and handouts. We start with the “Chapter 4—Galápagos Keeper’s Background” and the “Chapter 4—Galápagos Encounters” table of contents.


2023 April 20
White Leviathan: You want a real bummer for 4-20? How about this spell, freshly added to Witchcraft—“Ritual for the Creation of a Mancuñ?” Adapted from the Chilote mythology of Chile, it describes how a brujo can fashion a “flying vest” from human skin.


2023 February 4
The Modern Word: With the addition of Sinfonia, the Brazen Head’s Luciano Berio section is now complete! Something of a musical Ulysses, Berio’s Sinfonia is a postmodern masterpiece, framed by Claude Lévi-Strauss, Gustav Mahler, and Samuel Beckett.


2023 January 18
The Modern Word: Berio’s surreal opera Outis has been added to the Brazen Head’s Luciano Berio page. Based on the Odysseus myth, Outis unfolds over five “cycles,” each a phantasmagoria of characters and events revolving around marriage, infidelity, war, nostalgia, travel, and consumerism. The libretto borrows from Paul Celan, W.H. Auden, Herman Melville, Sylvia Plath, and James Joyce. Indeed, some of the characters and situations in the opera echo Joyce’s Ulysses.

2023 January 7
The Modern Word: Woo-hoo! The Joyce Audio pages have been completed by three new additions: Drama & Poetry, Biography & Criticism, and Joycean Miscellany. Taking—I dunno—two months longer than I expected, I’m now having a tumbler of whiskey and going to play Destiny 2. See you next week for more Berio!

2023 January 1
The Modern Word: What better way to celebrate the New Year than listening to Finnegans Wake? There are three unabridged versions available, and several fascinating shorter versions and “selected passages.” Load ‘em onto your phone and impress your friends!


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