Upcoming Event

Ian F. Svenonius at Harvard Book Store

presenting

Against the Written Word:
Toward a Universal Illiteracy

Date

Feb
8
Wednesday
February 8, 2023
7:00 PM ET

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes IAN F. SVENONIUS—rock and roll musician and author—for a discussion of his new book Against the Written Word: Toward a Universal Illiteracy.

A Return to In-Person Events

Harvard Book Store is excited to be back to in-person programming. To ensure the safety and comfort of everyone in attendance, the following Covid-19 safety protocols will be in place at all of our Harvard Book Store events until further notice:

  • Face coverings are required of all staff and attendees when inside the store. Masks must snugly cover nose and mouth.

About Against the Written Word

Against the Written Word is the most important, most revolutionary book produced since the advent of the printing press; the book that will liberate readers from reading, writers from writing, and booksellers from peddling their despicable wares. This book ushers in a new era of freedom from reading and all its attendant bedfellows such as Enlightenment thinking and the mass alienation wrought by the phonetic alphabet. Against the Written Word will be a tremendous best seller and simultaneously the last book that anyone will read.

With nineteen essays ripping, shredding, tearing apart all the bugaboos that haunt humanity nowadays, Against the Written Word is a must-read for any aspiring radical or would-be gnostic who has a penchant for words, thought, clothes, intoxicants, music, art, expression, etc. The work is presented in a range of writing: essays, screenplays, lectures, sci-fi stories, and manifestos, with topics that include “the rise of incorporated man,” “tourism as the neoliberal mode of military occupation,” a workshop on songwriting for the purpose of suggestion and mind control, and many more.

This handsome, illustrated book will correct the paucity of thought that characterizes the modern bookstore, and will practically sell itself. It will call out from the shelf to ingratiate itself to the unsuspecting everyday book browser, who will be hooked and then hungrily consume it. Infected with a wild-eyed evangelism, they will then proliferate it amongst their friends and acquaintances. These new readers will disseminate it, and so on; soon this slim, innocuous volume will define an epoch and steer thought from here on out.

The bookseller will be surprised and pleased to find that it will be the only book they need to stock. Against the Written Word will be dominant in a manner the market has not seen since the Bible tore up best-seller lists in the Middle Ages or Mao’s Little Red Book wowed the critics in Red China.

Praise for Against the Written Word

"What makes Ian Svenonius funny is a little different. He's funny in his use of language in music, in the ridiculous extended conceits of so many of his songs; he's funny in his prose style, a supercharged Marxist-Leninist jargon placed at the service of deliberate absurdity; he's funny in his presentation as a self-made character, a preaching, yelping, evangelical amalgam of James Brown and the protagonists of Godard's La Chinoise . . . Ian Svenonius' career in comedy has involved various vehicles, but the silly-serious approach is consistent throughout." —Tribune (UK)

"Wielding the satiric tone of a Gen-X Jonathan Swift or leftist Andy Kaufman . . . Svenonius is an engaging companion . . . and he lands some scathing blows, as when he links internet porn to contemporary Christianity by noting that both are 'anti-intellectual, patriarchal, have an elitist or outsider self-image, and are aesthetically garish.'" —Publishers Weekly

Ian F. Svenonius
Ian F. Svenonius

Ian F. Svenonius

Ian F. Svenonius is the author of the underground best sellers Supernatural Strategies for Making a Rock ’n’ Roll Group, The Psychic Soviet, and Censorship Now!! He was also the host of VBS.tv’s Soft Focus, where he interviewed Mark E. Smith, Genesis P. Orridge, Chan Marshall, Ian MacKaye, and others. As a musician he has created more than twenty albums and countless singles in various rock and roll combos (Escape-ism, Chain & the Gang, The Make-Up, The Nation of Ulysses, etc.). He lives in Los Angeles, CA.

Photo credit: Alexandra Cabral

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

Unable to attend a Harvard Book Store author event? You can still pre-order a signed book by one of our visiting authors.

While we can't guarantee fulfillment of a signed book pre-order, our authors are almost always able to sign extra books to fulfill such orders.

Ordering a signed book on harvard.com:

  • Add the book to your shopping cart and then click Checkout.
  • Specify in Order Comments that you want a signed copy of the book.
  • Please note: online orders for signed copies must be placed at least one business day before the event. If you are ordering the day of, please call us instead.

Ordering a signed book by phone:

  • Call us at (617) 661-1515 and one of our booksellers will take your order. Specify you'd like a signed copy.
  • If you are requesting a personalized inscription and/or requesting your book be shipped, we'll need to take down credit card information. If you are planning to pick up the signed book in the store, you can pay on pick-up.

FAQ:

Can I request a personalized inscription?
Unless otherwise noted, we are happy to take requests for the author to sign your book to a specific person, but we can't guarantee it. If you do get a personalized inscription, the book will be non-returnable. We will require credit card information when you place the order.

Do signed books cost more?
There is no extra fee for a signed book!

Do I have to pick it up in the store, or can you deliver my signed book?
As with all web or phone orders, we can hold your book for in-store pickup, or ship it anywhere in the country.

I am planning to attend an author event. Do I need to pre-order a book?
No need. We'll be selling books at the event, and nearly all of our events include a signing at the end of the talk.

More questions? Give us a call!

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info@harvard.com

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