N.B.: This is the TITLE of the book, and not its description!
Both a memoir, and a novel-within-the-novel — penned by the author’s father J. Robert “Bob” Sellers — this Work details the strangely hereditary issue of a father and daughter, each working diligently throughout their lives as writers, whilst remaining mostly unknown and unpublished.
As excerpts from Bob’s novel peter out, the Work segues into autobiography — the history of the author’s early writing aspirations, details of her unpublished novels, with biographical fictions-within-the-memoir predominating.
An original and peculiar study of a father-daughter/son relationship, this Work was inspired upon the death of Bob in 2005, and the author’s coming into possession of his papers, extensive library, and his untitled, unfinished, unpublished novel.
Bob, as with many of his generation, worshipped the ideal of the Great American Novelist, being an acolyte of both Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. He inspired his daughter from an early age to authorship. How that worked out for both of them, and the attendant ‘Curse of the Subject Matter’ is written up in an array of biography, Bob’s auto-biographic fiction, Terence’s auto-biography, and her auto-biographic fiction.
Update December 7, 2015:
More excerpts will be posted through November and December 2015,
as we anticipate continuing work on “Unpublished Novel” throughout 2016.
Presented as both a completed Work (link above), and a blog for the Chapters-in-progress: The Blog.
This is the Author’s epic novel of Manhattan, the events packed tightly into a few months at the end of 1985 into 1986. Part One, consisting of twenty-five chapters, covers three weeks: November 12 through December 3rd, 1985, at just over 72,000 words.
The book elaborates a panorama of that city’s famous “Downtown;” the art-world, literary clubs, its night-club life, and various adjunct “low-life” underworlds, confluent (as they used to be) with a more affluent “high life.” It focuses on myriad addictions of certain visionaries, and their satellites; addictions to drugs, to alcohol, and to romantic decadence — its illusions and ideals.
In some aspects a roman a clef, the main characters are one authoress and dominatrix, Angelique De Mars; the painter and heroin addict, David Manfred; and the brilliant poet and ‘fantasiste distingue,’ Rene Lepine.
From March through September 2014, this Work was posted on the Author’s blog. Now that the twenty-five chapters of PART ONE are complete, they may be read here in segments of five chapters.
Synopses of the first five chapters:
Chapter One: ECCENTRICITIES IN COMMON — Angelique De Mars and David Manfred meet for the first time. David arrives at his photographer friend’s studio as Angelique is having her portrait done, towards publicity for her novel, “Salvatore.” The writer falls in love at first sight with the painter. Events are relayed via her diary entry of November 12, 1985.
Chapter Two: FIRST STOP, AVENUE C — David Manfred’s elegance and sophistication is revealed to be a facade, covering a rampant heroin addiction. A New York City cab-driver (a character met with constantly) narrates his disgust with the privileged types he ferries to Avenue C. First description of the heroin high.
Chapter Three: MASOCHISM FEELS LIKE LOVE — Within 36 hours after their first meeting, Angelique records their telephone conversation, via her Diary. The two artists discuss their ideals, motivations, disappointments… David reflects a nihilistic point of view about the state of Modern Art; Angelique is more Idealistic and positive, even though in truth denigrated. This Chapter provides the philosophical underpinnings of their friendship’s development.
Chapter Four: RENE LEPINE — The poet Rene Lepine, fresh out of drug rehab, visits Manfred’s derelict painting studio to cop some heroin. Their conversation renders up the decadent Ideals and Ironies of the era.
Chapter Five: RED PENCIL FENCING — Angelique is tormented via telephone by her editor who’s furious that she’s continuing to work on her novel, which is anyhow just about to go to press. It doesn’t matter that she’s had new insights. It doesn’t matter that they’ve changed her heroine, Marie Alexandra, from age eleven, to fifteen… We get some inkling of the degrading machinery behind modern art and literature. This is a constant thematic in the novel: how the politics of mass consumption damages an artist’s psychic integrity, and stymies creativity altogether.
As David says, in one of his depressed moods: “THE ANTIDOTE FOR MANHATTAN… IS HEROIN.”
PART TWO, commencing with Chapter 26, “ORESTES” was posted as of November 2014.
“One Decadent Life” will continue as a blog — at the rate of about one chapter every one to two weeks. This is all towards a final version, which is twenty-eight years in the making.
Read the most recent chapter:
This novel is no longer on our website in its entireity, being now available through Kindle/Amazon, for the Kindle reader, iPad or iPhone, for $3.00. Here is the link for your delectation:
You may still read some excerpts from each month, as well as the Foreword, entitled “ABOUT,” and the Photo Gallery. (The Foreword and Gallery aren’t in the Kindle edition.)
“Marie Stanley” may be realized as the alter-ego of the Author, who moved in June of 1972 to Manhattan Island with the highly idealized ambition of becoming an Author. As a literary project, our protagonist “Marie” determines to write a diary of 1973, that being her first full year in Manhattan
“The Diary of Marie Stanley” was reworked as a manuscript in 1995, and another version was completed in the year 2002. Upon entering the computer age and the era of the blog, the Author had the idea to present online each daily entry, and in its same date sequence. Upon the diary’s 40th anniversary in 2013, this idea was put into action on this website.
The blog was begun on December 31, 2012 with Marie Stanley’s first diary entry of December 31, 1972 and ended on January 1, 2014 with the diary entry of January 1, 1974. Thereafter we had the entire text available here, but now —
TO READ THE BOOK IN ITS ENTIREITY, WE INVITE YOU TO DOWNLOAD IT ONTO YOUR iPAD, iPHONE OR KINDLE DEVICE. As of September 21, 2014 –
Dr. Richard von Freiherr Krafft-Ebing’s Psychopathia Sexualis was a source of constant interest and information for the Author from her earliest days. “Whilst other kiddies read comic books,” et cetera. Honored and inspired by the opportunity to write an Introduction to the 13th Edition, published by Creation Books UK in 1997, the author was nonetheless disappointed to realize much of her original essay was cut. Her most salient points: that Krafft-Ebing’s moral stance, though antique, is still valid; that his literary style is more vital and informative than any modern ‘clinical’ text; and finally, that the Doctor made a most constant use of anecdotal evidence from prostitutes, and thus that such women were unacknowledged colleagues — are all present again in this restored version.
The FORTY-FOUR MORAL POINTS:
Lost Text of Donatien de Sade
While incarcerated for alleged moral insanities at the infamous Bastille in Paris, the Marquis Alphonse Louis Donatien de Sade was prolific in the extreme as a writer.
When the riots broke out in Paris in July 1789, our Marquis encouraged the mobs by breaking off part of the stovepipe in his cell and shouting out incitements. He was thereupon seized by night, and transferred to a more secure prison outside of Paris. The mob anyhow attacked the Bastille, murdered various guards, and trashed and robbed the hated prison. Amongst the items that disappeared forever in the melee were dozens of manuscripts that Donatien later attempted to itemize.
One of these is described by de Sade as “The Forty-Four Moral Points,” which highly appealed to this Author. Knowing De Sade’s obsession both with numerals, and moral points, his collected letters were employed as source material, for in them he was usually frank and open in his assessments of life, such as it was then granted him.
This work is a reconstruction then from various of de Sade’s letters, of what these Forty-Four might have entailed. They seemed more likely to be found there, than in the rareified and highly-posed arena of his literature. We permit him thus to tell his readers what he really believed were the rights and wrongs of this distempered universe.
This autobiographical sketch relates the history of how the Author was stymied in her attempts to publish “The Correct Sadist” in 1979, by certain denizens of the Manhattan art world. It is illustrated by her collaborator at the time, the photographer Jimmy de Sana (1950 – 1990). Another featured character we like to imagine plowing up his gravesite is the erstwhile man of letters, William Burroughs.
As of February 2013 the literary magazine “APOLOGY” published an article on this peculiar non-collaboration, entitled “DISCIPLINE: The Lost Collaboration of Terence Sellers and Jimmy de Sana” by Johanna Fateman. (Out of print.) Drawn from Sellers’ collection of papers at New York University’s Fales Library, Fateman perfectly analyzes the intertwined dynamics of this literary moment.
Set in a hermetically sealed chateau in Paris, Delian could be called a transgender fantasy. From the point of view of a faithful servant of high degree, Renard, we imagine the mythically austere and mysterious Delian – a creature who is both couturier, and his/her own most perfect model. However, when the exquisite solitude of the Hermaphrodite is threatened by the intrusion of an actual base female, the Comte St. Germain entrusts Renard with a terrible task.
A long short story based on the Author’s life with the painter Carl Apfelschnitt in a small town in New Mexico. How they attempt to evolve a Hyperaesthetic Philosophy; how they are branded as Satanists; and the death of the painter.
For the Millennium… this fin-de-siecle fantasy-diatribe against sexual repression was first published in the 1991 anthology “High Risk”, here in a restored version. Again in the Author’s favoured mode, two Hyperaesthetic Decadents conspire to rule the world, and fail.
A short piece reflecting upon life after death, and the last days of the Lover in embrace with Death. Originally published in “The Fenris Wolf,” a literary organ of Thee Temple of Psychick Youth, edited by Carl Abrahamsson in Stockholm, 1990.
It was again available in 2012 in a Fenris Wolf anthology, already out of print.
A CASE OF MORAL INSANITY
The harrowing tale of Mistress Kay and her psychoanalyst, written in the form of two explicit diaries: that of the neurotic Dominatrix, and the confession of her psychopathic Doctor, the psychoanalyst Theodore Martell.
THE CORRECT SADIST: The Memoirs of Angel Stern
A classic in the genre of sado-masochistic erotica, written in an arcane yet clear 19th-century style, The Correct Sadist has been variously categorized as a novel, as pornography, and as a dogma. A reflective, incisive look into the downfalls of possessing the sado-masochistic faculty, as well as instructional chapters into the varied “Arts of S&M”, chapters such as “Basic Etiquette for the Slave” and “The True Superior and the False” address the intricate logic and obsessiveness of that mental anomaly.
Self-published by the Author in 1982, and continuously in print since then in the German language, it is slated for reprint with its sister work, Dungeon Evidence, via KINDLE in the year 2016.
DUNGEON EVIDENCE: Case Studies of Angel Stern
Written in 1997, fifteen years after the original appearance of The Correct Sadist, this work on the Subject of Choice is a deeper analysis of this darkest closet of the human psyche. Case histories of masochistic and/or submissive men are presented in detail, stylized by the Author’s idiosyncratic signature; yet too with an especial clinical slant.
Philosophical reflections and psychological analyses leave the reader with a sense of the seriousness and dangers inherent in the practice of sado-masochism. In the personae of the Doctor, the Author portrays facets of a subculture not for the weak of nerve.
A vanity volume through Vitriol Press. Three stories of unrequited love whose result is death. Sadomasochistic in flavour, they were written by the author at the age of 21 before she had become conversant with the subject, except via temperament. Stringently lyrical and charged with a near-hysterical passion, this work has been favorably compared with the works of the French Symbolists.
The English edition of THE OBSESSION was privately printed in 1986 through the small press VITRIOL, active in New York City from 1982-1990.
An unfinished novel portraying the etiology of the serial killer. A family history, it stretches from the grandparents, through the mother, to detail a morbid psychology that realizes its final flowering in the hyper-intelligent, Satanic adolescent Robert Albert. Whatever the young man touches does die; whoever tries to “help” him comes to a bad end. Volume I ends with the young murderer burying the parish priest in the local woods… Volume II begins with his arrival in New York City, where he is taken up immediately in a criminal underworld that recognizes his talents very well.
Excerpt from the novel, published on the BOMB Magazine website: it was originally entitled RAINER.
Stories published in 1981, 1982 and 1986 in BOMB, now online to read.
There are numerous typos, but nothing too egregious…
THE $200., or SHIT ON HEROIN from BOMB #17, 1986, a sort of rave against the endemic heroin culture of the 1980s. That milieu is also being illustrated in our blog for the novel ONE DECADENT LIFE.
THE HOUR OF THE FEY from BOMB #4, 1982: another illustration of suicidal intent, published simultaneously in The Fenris Wolf, Stockholm.
Excerpt from the novel RAINER the current title being THE DEGENERATE. From BOMB #2, 1982.
FAG RAG could be considered juvenalia, being a sort of projection of homosexual misogyny.
This piece appeared in Issue #1 of BOMB, and got the magazine’s lesbian distributors in such an uproar I believe we lost them. The illustration is a farce, featuring the Author, her boyfriend Duncan Hannah, and her pal Duncan Smith, seen trying to strangle her.
MOST ILL OF ALL
A collection of four stories, some drawn from life in the underground of the sadomasochist’s milieu. All have that loathesome twist that guarantees to enforce the Author’s conviction that sadomasochism is not a game.
— a Dominatrix turned drug-addict destroys a favorite client.
THE VOICE OF CANDY
— a man’s tragi-comic obsession with phone-sex.
BELOVED MISTRESS, THE CORPSE YOU ORDERED
— a tragedy in minor key, involving cocaine, self-hypnosis, and a shotgun.
HIS TRUST VIOLATED
— reveals the shocking lack of consequences after a bondage scene goes bad.
We used to sell this as a paper xerox, but such times are over.
The collection is a candidate for another Kindle book — if they’ll accept such
a dire morality.
Copyright and All Rights Reserved
by Terence Sellers