[ download ePUB ] Cain's BookAuthor Alexander Trocchi – Albawater.co

This is the journal of Joe Necchi, a junkie living on a barge that plies the rivers and bays of New York Joe s world is the half world of drugs and addicts the world of furtive fixes in sordid Harlem apartments, of police pursuits down deserted subway stations Junk for Necchi, however, is a tool, freely chosen and fully justified he is Cain, the malcontent, the profligate, the rebel who lives by no one s rules but his own Like DeQuincey and Baudelaire before him, Trocchi s muse was drugs But unlike his literary predecessors, in his roman a clef, Trocchi never romanticizes the source of his inspiration If the experience of heroin, of the fix, is central to Cain s Book, both its destructive force and the possibilities for creativity it creates are recognized and accepted without apology


10 thoughts on “Cain's Book

  1. MJ Nicholls MJ Nicholls says:

    Trocchi s final and most f ted work apart from the odds and ends poetry shambles, Man at Leisure, also republished by Alma Classics , is a fragmented and not entirely unpretentious novel of sorts that seems to beof a deeply psychological exploration of the author s uncompromising outsider s worldview than any sort of seminal drug novel as labelled by most, including Burroughs The drug use is a mere fact of life and incidental to theinteresting business of what this scow dwelling Trocchi s final and most f ted work apart from the odds and ends poetry shambles, Man at Leisure, also republished by Alma Classics , is a fragmented and not entirely unpretentious novel of sorts that seems to beof a deeply psychological exploration of the author s uncompromising outsider s worldview than any sort of seminal drug novel as labelled by most, including Burroughs The drug use is a mere fact of life and incidental to theinteresting business of what this scow dwelling author substitute Joe Necchi the protagonist of Young Adam was named Joe and worked on a scow too has to say about his Glaswegian upbringing the father son scenes are the kernel of the novel and Freudians needn t look too smug about their implications and his life of perpetual drift although Necchi like Trocchi isn t free from relationship obligations The work is compelling despite occasional lapses into intellectual waffle i.e pseudo philophastering and unlike most drug lit, no doubt stands up to multiple readings and offers a greater depth minus perhaps the trendier scenes with Trocchi and his lowlife mates than works by his scuzzier contemporaries i.e Burroughs An excellent work one we must label if we must label at all a masterpiece, since Alexander rebelled against the obligation to write until his death If only writers of lesser talent would rebel against that obligation we may have less whiffy bookstores


  2. Vit Babenco Vit Babenco says:

    Cain at his orisons, Narcissus at his mirror Time is fragmented, space is broken the addict s world is without causes or effects No doubt I shall go on writing, stumbling across tundras of unmeaning, planting words like bloody flags in my wake Loose ends, things unrelated, shifts, nightmare journeys, cities arrived at and left, meetings, desertions, betrayals, all manner of unions, adulteries, triumphs, defeats these are the facts Chaotic memories, spasmodic events, sporadic visions th Cain at his orisons, Narcissus at his mirror Time is fragmented, space is broken the addict s world is without causes or effects No doubt I shall go on writing, stumbling across tundras of unmeaning, planting words like bloody flags in my wake Loose ends, things unrelated, shifts, nightmare journeys, cities arrived at and left, meetings, desertions, betrayals, all manner of unions, adulteries, triumphs, defeats these are the facts Chaotic memories, spasmodic events, sporadic visions the protagonist knows neither morals nor scruples he obeys no human laws and he serves no rational purpose to his existence there is no rhyme or reason Whatever increase of entropy in the external world, my response was relevant The universe might shrink or expand I would remain aware, a little pocket of coherence in the city of dreadful night Or would I The drug can be treacherous, leading through all the hollow recesses and caves of panic An identity slips away and one can no longer choose to be immersed in it, voluptuously to be duped For some travellers there is no way but down


  3. Donna Donna says:

    This book wasn t at all what I expected Junkie lit, no matter how good, can t help being formulaic Those Mission Impossible episodes where Barnie play acts the sweat soaked terrors of withdrawal represents one end of the continuum French Connection 2, Panic in Needle Park, Trainspotting, the dirty cottons of William Burroughs oeuvre, and so on, nod off along various parts of this continuum and we know every station of this cross It s part of our folklore I don t know exactly what the junki This book wasn t at all what I expected Junkie lit, no matter how good, can t help being formulaic Those Mission Impossible episodes where Barnie play acts the sweat soaked terrors of withdrawal represents one end of the continuum French Connection 2, Panic in Needle Park, Trainspotting, the dirty cottons of William Burroughs oeuvre, and so on, nod off along various parts of this continuum and we know every station of this cross It s part of our folklore I don t know exactly what the junkie is in our folklore literature but I do know he is a very important archetype I say he because though the female of the species exists, she has a different meaning that I haven t quite worked out Girls getting their own are rare in literature, though in real life they are farefficient All this to say that junkie lit has certain elements in it that are as predictable as a Betty and Veronica comic And we want these elements We wait for them as surely as we wait for the crucifixion in a passion play.Trocchi s book subverts all of this He cops, he shoots, he scores But Pilate never comes and neither does the great withdrawal, which for this kind of epic serves as the journey to the underworld Nope He keeps himself in dope and replaces the crucifixion with the work on the scows where he is is towed out to the sea to sit adrift with just enough until the he is returned to the harbour His job is to maintain the scow without toiling to tow it, unload it, or anything of that sort He drifts, and these parts of the book bracketed by the onshore world of copping, shooting, negotiating, copping, shooting, become strangely beautiful Hence the underworld is a beautiful sea borne limbo wilderness wherein Cain makes an imperfect peace with the realities of what have him living by the dropper Though I never got the impression he could leave this world, the whole thing left me with an odd sense of hope


  4. Ade Bailey Ade Bailey says:

    Let s cut through the dread the moral authorities and sensibilities of timid readers which reacted against this book on its publication Yes, horror of horrors, people do have sex, sometimes frequently, and they do take drugs While not wanting to labour the point of the latter or offer any value judgment, I refer you to Trocchi s own polemic That very dread hatred is of dread isthe point than the object of terror When he thinks in terms of kicking he s hooked.There are degrees of addic Let s cut through the dread the moral authorities and sensibilities of timid readers which reacted against this book on its publication Yes, horror of horrors, people do have sex, sometimes frequently, and they do take drugs While not wanting to labour the point of the latter or offer any value judgment, I refer you to Trocchi s own polemic That very dread hatred is of dread isthe point than the object of terror When he thinks in terms of kicking he s hooked.There are degrees of addiction, and the physical part has nothing to do withit The physical bit comes soon and I suppose that then technically you rehooked But with the right drugs you can kick that in a few days The degreesof addiction that matter are psychological, like intellectually how long haveyou been a vegetable Are you riding the horse or whatIt s not the shitthat s got you hooked You shelve the problem when you think in those terms. There are doctors, painters, lawyers on dope, and they can still function. You ve got to get up off your ass and stop believing their propaganda,Tom It s too much when the junkies themselves believe it They tell you it sthe shit and most of the ignorant bastards believe it themselves It s a nicetangible cause for juvenile delinquency And it lets most people out becausethey re alcoholics There s an available pool of wasted looking bastards tostand trial as the corrupters of their children It provides the police withsomething to do, and as junkies and potheads are relatively easy to apprehendbecause they have to take so many chances to get hold of their drugs, a heroicpolice can make spectacular arrests, lawyers can do a brisk business, judgescan make speeches, the big pedlars can make a fortune, the tabloids can sellmillions of copies John Citizen can sit back feeling exonerated and watchevil get its deserts That s the junk scene, man Everyone gets something outof it except the junkie If he s lucky he can creep round the corner and get afix But it wasn t the junk that made him creep You ve got to sing that fromthe rooftops. and We cannot afford to leave the potential power of drugs in the hands of a few governmental experts, whatever they call themselves Critical knowledge we must vigilantly keep in the public domain A cursory glance at history should caution us thus I would recommend on grounds of publicsafety that heroin and all other known drugs be placed with lucid literature pertaining to its use and abuse on the counters of all chemists to think that a man should be allowed a gun and not a drug and sold openly to anyone twenty one This is the only safe method of controlling the use of drugs.At the moment we are encouraging ignorance, legislating to keep crime inexistence, and preparing the way for one of the most heinous usurpations of power of all timesall over the world.Authorities, take this as a starting point for your condemnations and the laws you frame This isn t a book about chemistry and law though Much has been written of its this and that existential themes or insights, commentary on art and writing etc Much of it is good but safely radical, the sort of stuff any arty adolescent suffused with angst, ennui and the sweet anger at provincialism could come up with All great art and today all great artlessness mustappear extreme to the mass of men as we know themtoday It springs from the anguish of great souls Fromthe souls of men not formed but deformed in factorieswhose inspiration is pelf The critics who call upon thelost and beat generations to come home, who use thedead to club the living, write prettily about anguishbecause to them it is an historical phenomenon andnot a pain in the arse But it is pain in the arse and wewonder at the impertinence of governments which bymy own experience and that of my father and hisfather before him have consistently done everything intheir power to make individuals treat the world situationlightly, that they should frown on the violence of myimagination which is a sensitive responsiveinstrument and set their damn police on me who hasnot stirred from this room for 15 years except to copshit.Humanity is homo ludens, man at play, and his soul is stifled by the great mechanical monolith imposed by mass mind There is much about the chemistry of alienation and expected stuff about death, eternity, anxiety, time but not related to the specificity of a heroin fix in general, rather to the chemistry of a body that has become separated from its abstracting mind Not that, says Trocchi, abstraction or intellect have negative valorisation, and indeed, The steel of logic has daily to be strengthened to contain the volcanic element within This is a useful book for the burgeoning industry of addiction bureaucrats to pick over, analysers to analyse, existential psychotherapists to refer to gravely and so on The bottom line is that it is supremely well written, as near as words can get to inhabiting flesh Thus, I suppose, many of its readers will never get to read it


  5. RC Edrington RC Edrington says:

    It was this book alone that convinced me that the life playing out between my ears needed release onto paper.


  6. Lee Foust Lee Foust says:

    A remarkable novel by just about any standard Forget those who say it s about addiction It is not It is rather an honest attempt to place a troubled and rebellious human consciousness into a literary space between the many false value systems offered it by all of the anti existentialist power structures the ethos of the capitalist religion of work, the moralist conformity of marriage, and all of the modern bourgeois and patriotic constructions of place, of nationality, of sexual s, of cl A remarkable novel by just about any standard Forget those who say it s about addiction It is not It is rather an honest attempt to place a troubled and rebellious human consciousness into a literary space between the many false value systems offered it by all of the anti existentialist power structures the ethos of the capitalist religion of work, the moralist conformity of marriage, and all of the modern bourgeois and patriotic constructions of place, of nationality, of sexual s, of class and societal roles husband, worker, citizen as well as the various social, state, and religious institutions that legitimize all of our multiform willful slavery to structure and to those who the structures most benefit, in all of its multifarious forms of conformity and acquiescence Our protagonist, Joe Necchi, opts for words, heroin and, primarily, play as models for escape from and the rejection of the world s many labels and expectations each strategy presents itself, to greater and lesser degrees, as a tragic insufficiency perhaps, but they are all too logical and at least temporarily consoling actions in the face of the mind numbing conformity that is still with us in the modern materialistic pseudo Christian nation state I can think of noimportant or pointed social novel to read from the last century


  7. Tosh Tosh says:

    I have no memory of reading this book in the past, but it seems that I had read it some years ago Nevertheless, I purchased this copy at the Red Wheelbarrow in Paris last week It s excellent, because the character of Alexander Trocchi is on every page, and he himself is a fascinating figure One could call this a junkie s memoir or journal, but it is muchthan that It s a portrait of a man who is floating between what culture wants him to be, and the refusal of that society There is no I have no memory of reading this book in the past, but it seems that I had read it some years ago Nevertheless, I purchased this copy at the Red Wheelbarrow in Paris last week It s excellent, because the character of Alexander Trocchi is on every page, and he himself is a fascinating figure One could call this a junkie s memoir or journal, but it is muchthan that It s a portrait of a man who is floating between what culture wants him to be, and the refusal of that society There is no plot in this novel, butof a series of commentary on life as it is lived Trocchi is a remarkable writer with great descriptive gifts Amoral in a sense, but on the other hand he sees the world as a place of not allowing pleasures, so, therefore, he drifts between jobs on a boat to investigate an alternative life, that is chosen in a sense, but not clear if it s the right choice or not Which I don t think is the point of the book As a reader, we re sharing his moments, and that is part of the adventure


  8. Caroline Bertaud Caroline Bertaud says:

    This is a book like no other, with a writing so sharp, a precise focus of details you weren t even aware about, it s like Trocchi used a scalpel instead of a pen, the acuity really astounding Having recently seen the movie Limitless, it made me wonder if Trocchi had taken one of those little pills that expand your brain capacities in the movie This book certainly triggers something in your own brain, whatever that is As far as the prose is concerned, all the other books I ve read lately sudde This is a book like no other, with a writing so sharp, a precise focus of details you weren t even aware about, it s like Trocchi used a scalpel instead of a pen, the acuity really astounding Having recently seen the movie Limitless, it made me wonder if Trocchi had taken one of those little pills that expand your brain capacities in the movie This book certainly triggers something in your own brain, whatever that is As far as the prose is concerned, all the other books I ve read lately suddenly feel like they were only just babbling, filling up space, tasteless, pointless, and as I read two books at once I could see all the things that weren t working in the other one like I d gained a new superpower which may or may not ruin my taste for other books This book reads like the insane train of thoughts of a madman, the errand mind of a junkie, but it s so muchthan a visceral ride about addiction, it s so, so smart and literate, it s simply brilliant you read this and you think This is momentous shit I couldn t read it in one sitting, though, it takes breaks to take it all in


  9. Tosh Tosh says:

    Alexander Trocchi is without a doubt is one of the most interesting characters in 20th Century literature Almost invisible, yet he was at every scene in the post war years in Europe and America Tight with the Paris Review crowd, The Situationists, the porn group at Olympia, and drug addict galore Cain s Book is such a narrative about a junkie and there have been books on junkie s before, but this one is sort of the iconic original.


  10. Jonathan Jonathan says:

    The best heroin addiction book that exists, because it is muchthan a heroin addiction book If Junky weren t already a thinkin man s book, I d call this the thinkin man s Junky.So i don t really know what to say besides, go read it.