Never Negotiate: Elytron Frass – Manuel Marrero (featuring Elytron Frass)

Note: in the spirit of immediacy and spontaneity which birthed this series, now revived, no formal interviews were conducted. Quotes eschewed. All material is presented as a dialogue between Elytron Frass and Manuel Marrero, perhaps indicative of a shared past life regression. An informal dialogue that has gradually transpired over the course of a year without attribution after all authorship and ownership of these ideas, the people’s ideas, is a rank urge that should be rubbed out, hubristic and vainglorious, I’m pushing myself to do one of these a week so there’s no time to observe rules, even my own. 

What follows then is an arguably cheeky, weaving dual stream of consciousness rant. A collage of talk. Many of the words were spoken (heard in my head), or written into a text window, but I won’t tell you which or who spoke them, or even what about. And after all, when we’re writing in text windows, isn’t it somewhere adjacent the id speaking?

So much has changed. We don’t read or write the same way anymore. We can’t go back. Information is so compressed. A single word contains multitudes of hyperlinked evocations. For a practitioner or enthusiast of the literary arts, the untraditional book is vital. The pseudonymous author, collage artist, and insectile thought leader Elytron Frass knows this better than anyone. Liber Exuvia is an aesthetic autopsy of history immemorial. It is a beguiling text that rejects by its nature traditional metrics of linear reading, its engine being attachment, to implicate you, foist itself on you, burn itself into you, make you recite canticles aloud, hold the book to a mirror, immerse yourself in the intricate visuals, travel down foreign roads in strangely familiar anatomies. There’s nothing here in the book’s world that can save you from yourself. You are the alien. “Book’s world” Book is world. Total. It presents itself to you at face value and the reader can only misinterpret from there. Its morphing refrain Long ago, I was someone else propels a kaleidoscopic mind meld the first casualty of war. throw out the rules. abandon the self decapitating orgiastic mantis Sometimes there’s nothing to do but to chase the cenobites in your head, watch the black lamp flicker while your ideas return to you. You really have to die a little. What it takes from you there’s no getting back. I understand this, you understand this. I killed my innocence with the first one and buried it with this book. If only you could grow to hate your potential audience more than your output…then perhaps you could inject them with it dirty-like as a means of revenge. Informed on a spiritual level. Writing that contorts itself. It eats me up, the ontological crisis, the forsakenness. That’s part of the metafiction. Even a synopsis should adhere to the content’s reality. The content of a book itself has a reality ulterior to that which we perceive, even autobiographical texts/art is realer than the perceived reality if you were asking the book’s opinion. Pushing the terminality of the book. How it’s read. Is it even written? There isn’t anything I could say that would benefit that perfect fluidity. Pleasure writing with you. Interpretation belongs to the reader, and the reader can only give their interpretation. Agreed, but if a book’s reality can surpass that of its author’s….the author can only give their interpretation. It feels like a foreign body that you become servile to. There’s a bit of that Lovecraftian idea of horror, God is the inconceivable. It drives one mad. yes AND God was created by the man it drove mad. And there you have it. It doesn’t matter what I think or how it got there. A certain vagueness is important. A vagueness that allows one to insert their own elements, politics, etc. giving way for multiple interpretations, a universality. Savants to see things that aren’t there, we need them. Longevity. It takes a while for things to become peak relevant. Like Beckett. You’re stripping away certain things to reveal an experience and then folding it over itself to reduce time to an echo chamber. Cut the umbilical. I appreciate how out of touch with itself it feels, much like the characters. The breakthroughs happen but one can’t survive in that sublime place, so things naturally regress to their shapes. “it’s gotta hurt. All great art does, you’ll be the first casualty of it after all.” this is core idea in the DNA of the comic. The nature of these beasts. Lose friends. There is a necessary sadomasochism between creation and creator. At least autonomically I think so. If we exist within a creator and it harms itself we erroneously perceive such “acts of God” as sadistic. The text collapses. So there’s an element of self sabotage and how the character perceives it and how the author perceives it but harm and self harm aren’t unidirectional ofc. Heart drops to the gut when you have those breakthroughs. For me, when speaking to anyone tho, relaying actual experiences feels more inauthentic than telling stories. I wonder which part of the world my ancestor was raped in. Near the promised land, or the cradles of life? On a cobblestone street or in a ditch? It’s interesting how things spread east to west. Yeah there’s this author Alain Danelou (sp?) I read who claims that India’s Shiva was introduced to the Greeks and became Dionysus. It’s theory but I don’t read for what it’s claiming so much as how it connects the dots to what it’s saying. Cross pollination of culture is fascinating. And the above example was likely one of the most peaceful examples of such. Most of the methods are brutal and permanently scarring. There’s no sensual love from a bone penis. Although a girl’s never given me that much trouble unless I sensually pleasured her. All bad taste humor has to go in fiction now. That does suck, but the more restrained you are in public the more ppl can warm up to your rape jokes in your art. They know they want them. Women were here to get fucked and we’re here to fuck them. 2666 earns its rape jokes. A modern form of haruspicy. A metanoia that occurs in these pages.

It isn’t in my nature, I have an unusual relationship with my art, prolly pathological, but I basically hate anything I write until I can forget I wrote it. 

For glory and notoriety, I want to spread an infection. 

But really so much has changed. That can’t be understated. Elytron has Methuselah blood, old enough to make me feel like a child. I haven’t met that many writers with whom I share an affinity, that’s why I want to write about all of them. The contours have given way, allegiances have strained, something decisive and historic is happening to our brains, and we tarry with the inconsequential, we willfully misunderstand. I’m not here for you. I already did that. I wrote about you, for you. 

What kind of interpretive/introspective breadth are we talking here? Liber Exuvia refreshes over and over again, interminable and incomplete by design. It self-deletes and reinstalls itself over and over again while the extraterrestrial ultraviolent clashes with the viscerally sexual and deep wounds are carved in the earth in the name of life. There are majestic sentences here, fluid pantheons, genders, species, and biology and procreation as a kind of brilliantly sick joke. Pronounced and at stake here is artists are trying to break through to something, and Elytron exemplifies that pursuit. He strictly makes books that merit the object. With a comic book forthcoming and plenty to keep him busy, you owe it to yourself to interact with Liber Exuvia, a paganistic ode to hedonism, transhumanism, the biocentricity or rather inextricability of pain and pleasure constructs. This quite simply isn’t a book, it is world. It’s a miracle of design and an imperceptibly ensnaring out-of-body experience. Everything I’m saying is trite, hackneyed, platitutidinous, the antithesis of Liber Exuvia, an utterly singular creation (there I go again)…Elytron Frass is erudite. His instincts are jedi-sharp and monastically profound, equally prone to abandon and tightly coiled discipline. He never leaves your side while spiriting you away to ancient realms in methods that are futuristic, or at least timeless enough to be endlessly renewable. There are plenty, and many still forthcoming, reviews of this from a critical mode. I really see myself more as a psychedelic fringe writer like HST, Richard Meltzer, Lester Bangs, or even Sean Kilpatrick. So I can only view this from a romantic lens, as the first book that called out to me just as I’m starting to feel my brain again, after a long dark night of the soul…just to let myself feel beholden to another text, it feels significant that it be this one, instructive in its audacity and invention, training my mind to focus again.

I don’t recall any of this. I remember it all.


I have some questions for you myself…just let me come around to asking them.

The Book

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