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Infra-Noir #49:

A Spectral People

Alcebíades Diniz

*incl. taxes, excl. shipping


Status pre-order
Release Date 2024
Size 11 × 30 cm
Pages 12
Workmanship Hand-sewn booklet, printed on a few handmade cotton rag pages with deckled edges.


Biological life knows many forms of extinction. In the case of books, it’s possible to think of three possibilities. The first and most dramatic of all is extinction by ‘fire’. I have not personally witnessed books being annihilated by bonfires, but the vast amount of books that have suffered this kind of destruction have provided more than enough material to inflame my imagination. I can see clearly the gigantic flames, rising from piles of victims, the little monsters of paper that, when put together, generate considerable energy to fuel the flames. If the Holocaust occurs at night, so much the better: the stars and even the full moon disappears before the fireballs arising from piles of burning books, flaming turrets, such as the fires of the festivities of St. John in some countries, that invite the spectator to the party. In fact, the atmosphere of these strange celebrations would be festive, happy, even liberating, if not for the hardened gaze of the officiants—fixed, bulging, glowing in the firelight and intense heat that burns the skin of those who stand closest. How long can such an intense show last? Hours, perhaps a day or even several days. Of course, there is a need for fuel to feed the fires, a need which grows proportionally with the excesses of the ideology behind the purification ritual, the fiery destruction. Going to the movies, walking in the park, a visit to the countryside, admiring a scenic vista before the vast amplitude of the sea, all of these activities (each a festive occasion, holding but the slightest possibility of ritual) appear undeniably unattractive when compared to the cathartic ritual of burning ‘dangerous’ or ‘banned’ books, or books which have been ‘written by the enemy’.