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Steve Taylor
Posted on Wednesday, February 05, 2003 - 10:20 am:   

Michael:

I'm a big fan of the Divinity Student. I wonder if you'd comment on the influence of the Decadents on your work. There's also an interesting discussion of surrealism on the Ministry discussion board. Perhaps you could dive in there as well?
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Michael Cisco
Posted on Thursday, February 06, 2003 - 12:54 am:   

The influence of the decadents on my work -

Huysmans stands out as the single most influential writer of the school as far as my writing is concerned. Early in his career, he endeavored to create still lifes in prose - describing a plate of fish, for example, in great detail and at some length. This painterly sensibility appears all throughout his work in many remarkably detailed and extremely finely delineated visual images. From him, I suppose, I get my tendency to lay out, even at painful length and niceness of attention to detail, particular images.

As to other decadent writers, I don't know that I can point to one or another as having influenced me in such particular ways as was the case with Huysmans, but the general flavoring of decadent writing, its sensibility, is pretty strong in my work. There's the same intolerance for literary conventions, at least in narrative if not quite in style; the same kind of poetic prose, the same insistence on eccentricities of style, moral irregularity, etc. But in most cases, this is less a matter of influence as of spontaneous similarity. William S. Burroughs was a vastly greater influence on me than any decadent ever was, and I think literary decadence was needlessly self-limiting and willfully backwards in many respects.

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Stepan Chapman
Posted on Saturday, February 08, 2003 - 07:57 pm:   

The Divinity Student put ME in mind of Arthur Machen. The young man self-tortured theme.

Hello, Michael.
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Lucius Shepard
Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2003 - 07:51 pm:   

Hi, Michael,

Thanks for the message...

I guess we all end up on the same message board eventually, the one carved in granite.

You must have had a strange college advisor.

Take Care,

Lucius
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Scott Thomas
Posted on Monday, May 12, 2003 - 07:36 pm:   

Hi Michael,

Just wanted to thank you for the music tip -- I'll have to look for that recording, it sounds great!

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