The Tao of Terence: Beyond “Existentialism”
I learned of Terence McKenna (1946-2000) on September 14, 2012, when I was 29 years old. It was the day after I had completed the main final draft of Taipei, my first book to include psychedelics and which ends with a scene in which a character wonders if he has died after eating psilocybin mushrooms. I was in my room, zombielike and depressed after a period of time embodying a “whatever it takes” attitude regarding amphetamine use and completing my book. I had somewhat randomly clicked a YouTube video in which Joe Rogan (whom I was vaguely aware of as the host of Fear Factor, the TV show, a long time ago) was aggressively, excitedly talking about DMT, a neurotransmitter-like, illegal, psychedelic compound found in human (and other animal) brains and in at least ~50 species of plants worldwide. I did not have firsthand experience with DMT at the time, and had only read about it online.
At one point Joe Rogan began referencing someone in a “if you think I sound crazy, listen to this other guy” manner. He was talking about Terence McKenna, a person who would smoke DMT and, after ~15 seconds, without fail, find himself in an “unanticipated dimension” infested with “self-transforming machine elves”—also called “fractal elves,” “self-dribbling jeweled basketballs,” or “little self-transforming tykes”—that spoke English and a kind of visible language while jumping into and out of his body, “running around chirping and singing.” These entities, which McKenna described in a word as “zany,” were maybe either “dead people” in “an ecology of souls,” “human beings from the distant future,” or things with their own hopes, fears, problems that inhabit a parallel universe.
Continue

The Tao of Terence: Beyond “Existentialism”

I learned of Terence McKenna (1946-2000) on September 14, 2012, when I was 29 years old. It was the day after I had completed the main final draft of Taipei, my first book to include psychedelics and which ends with a scene in which a character wonders if he has died after eating psilocybin mushrooms. I was in my room, zombielike and depressed after a period of time embodying a “whatever it takes” attitude regarding amphetamine use and completing my book. I had somewhat randomly clicked a YouTube video in which Joe Rogan (whom I was vaguely aware of as the host of Fear Factor, the TV show, a long time ago) was aggressively, excitedly talking about DMT, a neurotransmitter-like, illegal, psychedelic compound found in human (and other animal) brains and in at least ~50 species of plants worldwide. I did not have firsthand experience with DMT at the time, and had only read about it online.

At one point Joe Rogan began referencing someone in a “if you think I sound crazy, listen to this other guy” manner. He was talking about Terence McKenna, a person who would smoke DMT and, after ~15 seconds, without fail, find himself in an “unanticipated dimension” infested with “self-transforming machine elves”—also called “fractal elves,” “self-dribbling jeweled basketballs,” or “little self-transforming tykes”—that spoke English and a kind of visible language while jumping into and out of his body, “running around chirping and singing.” These entities, which McKenna described in a word as “zany,” were maybe either “dead people” in “an ecology of souls,” “human beings from the distant future,” or things with their own hopes, fears, problems that inhabit a parallel universe.

Continue

Taipei Metro – Tao Lin’s iPhone Photos of Taipei
For the past couple of months, in celebration of last week’s release of Tao Lin’s latest novel, Taipei, we have been featuring a weekly selection of photos taken by the author during his recent trip to Taipei, Taiwan. While there, he took thousands of pictures with his iPhone, pictures which he has divided into albums titled things like “Taipei fashion,” “Taipei carbs,” “Taipei babies,” and “Taipei signs,” among others. In the final installment, Tao takes us inside Taipei’s extensive subway system.
Taipei is out now from Vintage and you can buy it here. To read an excerpt from the novel that we published a while back, click here.







Continue

Taipei Metro – Tao Lin’s iPhone Photos of Taipei

For the past couple of months, in celebration of last week’s release of Tao Lin’s latest novel, Taipei, we have been featuring a weekly selection of photos taken by the author during his recent trip to Taipei, Taiwan. While there, he took thousands of pictures with his iPhone, pictures which he has divided into albums titled things like “Taipei fashion,” “Taipei carbs,” “Taipei babies,” and “Taipei signs,” among others. In the final installment, Tao takes us inside Taipei’s extensive subway system.

Taipei is out now from Vintage and you can buy it here. To read an excerpt from the novel that we published a while back, click here.

Continue

Yesterday Tao told us via email that he has “confirmed probably 15 ppl plan on using it [the book launch] as a chance to get really fucked up” and “several ppl have planned to die from drugs that night also.” 
Tao Lin’s Book Launch Is Tonight in Brooklyn

Yesterday Tao told us via email that he has “confirmed probably 15 ppl plan on using it [the book launch] as a chance to get really fucked up” and “several ppl have planned to die from drugs that night also.” 

Tao Lin’s Book Launch Is Tonight in Brooklyn

Taipei Public Art
For the past few weeks, in celebration of the forthcoming release of Tao Lin’s latest novel, Taipei, we have been featuring a weekly selection of photos taken by the author during his recent trip to Taipei, Taiwan. While there, he took thousands of pictures with his iPhone, pictures which he has divided into albums titled things like “Taipei fashion,” “Taipei carbs,” “Taipei babies,” and “Taipei animals,” among others. In this selection, Tao shares some of the great public art around Taipei. He lets the photos speak for themselves.
Taipei will be released on June 4 from Vintage and is available for pre-order now. To read an early excerpt from the novel that we published yesterday, click here.



Continue

Taipei Public Art

For the past few weeks, in celebration of the forthcoming release of Tao Lin’s latest novel, Taipei, we have been featuring a weekly selection of photos taken by the author during his recent trip to Taipei, Taiwan. While there, he took thousands of pictures with his iPhone, pictures which he has divided into albums titled things like “Taipei fashion,” “Taipei carbs,” “Taipei babies,” and “Taipei animals,” among others. In this selection, Tao shares some of the great public art around Taipei. He lets the photos speak for themselves.

Taipei will be released on June 4 from Vintage and is available for pre-order now. To read an early excerpt from the novel that we published yesterday, click here.

Continue

An Excerpt from Tao Lin’s Taipei
Over the past month or so we’ve been publishing a whole slew of iPhone photos Tao Lin took on a recent visit to Taipei, the place from which his new novel takes its title. Pictures are all well and good (and we’ll be publishing another batch of them tomorrow), but to give you a real idea of what Tao’s new book is like, we thought it fitting to publish an excerpt. This is the first glimpse of Taipei Vintage has released, and it concerns the main character, Paul, and his difficult upbringing in Florida.
Taipei will be released on June 4 from Vintage and is available for pre-order now.
Paul’s father was 28 and Paul’s mother was 24 when they alone (out of a combined fifteen to twenty-five siblings) left Taiwan for America. Paul was born in Virginia six years later, in 1983, when his brother was 7. Paul was 3 when the family moved to Apopka, a pastoral suburb near Orlando, Florida.
Paul cried the first day of preschool for around ten minutes after his mother, who was secretly watching and also crying, seemed to have left. It was their first time apart. Paul’s mother watched as the principal cajoled Paul into interacting with his classmates, among whom he was well liked and popular, if a bit shy and “disengaged, sometimes,” said one of the high school students who worked at the preschool, which was called the Discovery Center. Each day, after that, Paul cried less and transitioned more abruptly from crying to interacting with classmates, and by the middle of the second week he didn’t cry anymore. At home, where mostly only Mandarin was spoken, Paul was loud and either slug-like or, his mother would say in English, “hyperactive,” rarely walking to maneuver through the house, only crawling, rolling like a log, sprinting, hopping, or climbing across sofas, counters, tables, chairs, etc. in a game called “don’t touch the ground.” Whenever motionless and not asleep or sleepy, lying on carpet in sunlight, or in bed with eyes open, bristling with undirectionalized momentum, he would want to intensely sprint in all directions simultaneously, with one unit of striving, never stopping. He would blurrily anticipate this unimaginably worldward action, then burst off his bed to standing position, or make a loud noise and violently spasm, or jolt from the carpet into a sprint, flailing his arms, feeling always incompletely satisfied.
Continue

An Excerpt from Tao Lin’s Taipei

Over the past month or so we’ve been publishing a whole slew of iPhone photos Tao Lin took on a recent visit to Taipei, the place from which his new novel takes its title. Pictures are all well and good (and we’ll be publishing another batch of them tomorrow), but to give you a real idea of what Tao’s new book is like, we thought it fitting to publish an excerpt. This is the first glimpse of Taipei Vintage has released, and it concerns the main character, Paul, and his difficult upbringing in Florida.

Taipei will be released on June 4 from Vintage and is available for pre-order now.

Paul’s father was 28 and Paul’s mother was 24 when they alone (out of a combined fifteen to twenty-five siblings) left Taiwan for America. Paul was born in Virginia six years later, in 1983, when his brother was 7. Paul was 3 when the family moved to Apopka, a pastoral suburb near Orlando, Florida.

Paul cried the first day of preschool for around ten minutes after his mother, who was secretly watching and also crying, seemed to have left. It was their first time apart. Paul’s mother watched as the principal cajoled Paul into interacting with his classmates, among whom he was well liked and popular, if a bit shy and “disengaged, sometimes,” said one of the high school students who worked at the preschool, which was called the Discovery Center. Each day, after that, Paul cried less and transitioned more abruptly from crying to interacting with classmates, and by the middle of the second week he didn’t cry anymore. At home, where mostly only Mandarin was spoken, Paul was loud and either slug-like or, his mother would say in English, “hyperactive,” rarely walking to maneuver through the house, only crawling, rolling like a log, sprinting, hopping, or climbing across sofas, counters, tables, chairs, etc. in a game called “don’t touch the ground.” Whenever motionless and not asleep or sleepy, lying on carpet in sunlight, or in bed with eyes open, bristling with undirectionalized momentum, he would want to intensely sprint in all directions simultaneously, with one unit of striving, never stopping. He would blurrily anticipate this unimaginably worldward action, then burst off his bed to standing position, or make a loud noise and violently spasm, or jolt from the carpet into a sprint, flailing his arms, feeling always incompletely satisfied.

Continue

Tao Lin’s Photos of Taipei Signs
Over the next few weeks, in celebration of the forthcoming release of Tao Lin’s latest novel, Taipei, we will be featuring a weekly selection of photos taken by the author during his recent trip to Taipei, Taiwan. While there, he took thousands of pictures with his iPhone, pictures which he has divided into albums titled things like “Taipei fashion,” “Taipei carbs,” “Taipei babies,” and “Taipei animals,” among others. In this selection, Tao shows us some of his favorite signs around Taipei.
Taipei will be released on June 4 from Vintage and is available for pre-order now. To read an early excerpt from the novel that we published in 2011 titled “Relationship Story,” click here.
"scoopo it up"
"Frying Milk"
Seems interesting.
"Former Noodles"
"Arcade"
"Beware of column"
Continue

Tao Lin’s Photos of Taipei Signs

Over the next few weeks, in celebration of the forthcoming release of Tao Lin’s latest novel, Taipei, we will be featuring a weekly selection of photos taken by the author during his recent trip to Taipei, Taiwan. While there, he took thousands of pictures with his iPhone, pictures which he has divided into albums titled things like “Taipei fashion,” “Taipei carbs,” “Taipei babies,” and “Taipei animals,” among others. In this selection, Tao shows us some of his favorite signs around Taipei.

Taipei will be released on June 4 from Vintage and is available for pre-order now. To read an early excerpt from the novel that we published in 2011 titled “Relationship Story,” click here.


"scoopo it up"


"Frying Milk"


Seems interesting.


"Former Noodles"


"Arcade"


"Beware of column"

Continue

Facedown Generation
Over the next month, in celebration of the forthcoming release of Tao Lin’s latest novel, Taipei, we will be featuring a weekly selection of photos taken by the author during his recent trip to Taipei, Taiwan. While there, he took thousands of pictures with his iPhone, pictures which he has divided into albums titled things like “Taipei fashion,” “Taipei carbs,” “Taipei babies,” and “Taipei animals,” among others. The images were taken between January and February 2013 during one of his semiannual visits to the Taiwanese capital, where his parents live.
This week’s photos are named after a term* in Taiwan, which Tao’s mom says she first heard on TV, for people who seem unable to stop looking at their phones while in public.
All photos and captions by Tao Lin.
*literal translation from Mandarin is something like “head-lowered [‘group’ or ‘troupe’].”
Taipei will be released on June 4 from Vintage and is available for pre-order now. To read an early excerpt from the novel that we published in 2011 titled “Relationship Story,” click here.

This woman is staring at her Samsung Galaxy thinking, What am I trying to look at? what is my finger wanting to push? The screen is black. 

The teenager with white shoes is trying to convince himself that no one can see what he’s looking at and that, even if they could, he shouldn’t feel embarrassed, or whatever, because he’s only, at the moment, looking at his Gmail account. The man in the red-striped shirt is trying to cancel his Boingo account for what must be, he thinks, the 20th time, or something insane like that, in probably not even a full year.

This man is rereading an article titled “CNET Asia’s Top 10 phones.” His LG Optimus G is ranked number seven. He doesn’t know how he feels about this. Being worse than six phones, on a list of ten phones, seems bad, but being listed at all—how many phones are there? hundreds? thousands?—seems good.
Continue

Facedown Generation

Over the next month, in celebration of the forthcoming release of Tao Lin’s latest novel, Taipei, we will be featuring a weekly selection of photos taken by the author during his recent trip to Taipei, Taiwan. While there, he took thousands of pictures with his iPhone, pictures which he has divided into albums titled things like “Taipei fashion,” “Taipei carbs,” “Taipei babies,” and “Taipei animals,” among others. The images were taken between January and February 2013 during one of his semiannual visits to the Taiwanese capital, where his parents live.

This week’s photos are named after a term* in Taiwan, which Tao’s mom says she first heard on TV, for people who seem unable to stop looking at their phones while in public.

All photos and captions by Tao Lin.

*literal translation from Mandarin is something like “head-lowered [‘group’ or ‘troupe’].”

Taipei will be released on June 4 from Vintage and is available for pre-order now. To read an early excerpt from the novel that we published in 2011 titled “Relationship Story,” click here.

This woman is staring at her Samsung Galaxy thinking, What am I trying to look at? what is my finger wanting to push? The screen is black. 

The teenager with white shoes is trying to convince himself that no one can see what he’s looking at and that, even if they could, he shouldn’t feel embarrassed, or whatever, because he’s only, at the moment, looking at his Gmail account. The man in the red-striped shirt is trying to cancel his Boingo account for what must be, he thinks, the 20th time, or something insane like that, in probably not even a full year.

This man is rereading an article titled “CNET Asia’s Top 10 phones.” His LG Optimus G is ranked number seven. He doesn’t know how he feels about this. Being worse than six phones, on a list of ten phones, seems bad, but being listed at all—how many phones are there? hundreds? thousands?—seems good.

Continue

Taipei Carbs – by Tao Lin
above: Tao’s dad eating an “oil stick” (literal translation from Mandarin) 
Over the next month, in celebration of the forthcoming release of Tao Lin’s latest novel, Taipei, we will be featuring a weekly selection of photos taken by the author during his recent trip to Taipei, Taiwan. While there, he took thousands of pictures with his iPhone, pictures which he has divided into albums titled things like “Taipei fashion,” “Taipei food,” “Taipei babies,” and “Taipei animals,” among others. The images were taken between January and February 2013 during one of his semiannual visits to the Taiwanese capital, where his parents live. This selection is titled “Taipei Carbs.” All photos and captions by Tao Lin.Taipei will be released on June 4 from Vintage and is available for pre-order now. To read an early excerpt from the novel that we published in 2011 titled “Relationship Story,” click here.
I seem to rush, whenever I see this photo, to think Huffington Post quickly, like I’m answering a question before someone else does
Al Gore should abruptly stumble cross-stage during a TED talk, falling to his knees, when his vision is replaced with this photo, which he’s never seen, for 2.5 seconds
Continue

Taipei Carbs – by Tao Lin

above: Tao’s dad eating an “oil stick” (literal translation from Mandarin) 

Over the next month, in celebration of the forthcoming release of Tao Lin’s latest novel, Taipei, we will be featuring a weekly selection of photos taken by the author during his recent trip to Taipei, Taiwan. While there, he took thousands of pictures with his iPhone, pictures which he has divided into albums titled things like “Taipei fashion,” “Taipei food,” “Taipei babies,” and “Taipei animals,” among others. The images were taken between January and February 2013 during one of his semiannual visits to the Taiwanese capital, where his parents live. This selection is titled “Taipei Carbs.” All photos and captions by Tao Lin.

Taipei will be released on June 4 from Vintage and is available for pre-order now. To read an early excerpt from the novel that we published in 2011 titled “Relationship Story,” click here.


I seem to rush, whenever I see this photo, to think Huffington Post quickly, like I’m answering a question before someone else does


Al Gore should abruptly stumble cross-stage during a TED talk, falling to his knees, when his vision is replaced with this photo, which he’s never seen, for 2.5 seconds

Continue

Over the next two months, in celebration of the forthcoming release of Tao Lin’s latest novel, Taipei, we will be featuring a weekly selection of photos taken by the author during his recent trip to Taipei, Taiwan. While there, he took thousands of pictures with his iPhone, pictures which he has divided into albums titled things like “Taipei funny,” “Taipei food,” Taipei babies,” and “Taipei animals,” among others. The images were taken between January and February 2013 during one of his semi-yearly visits to the Taiwanese capital, where his parents live. This first selection is titled “Taipei babies.” All photos and captions by Tao Lin.
Taipei, will be released on June 4 from Vintage and is available for pre-order now. To read an early excerpt from the novel that we published in 2011 titled “Relationship Story,” click here.
confusion baby
bat baby
More babies

Over the next two months, in celebration of the forthcoming release of Tao Lin’s latest novel, Taipei, we will be featuring a weekly selection of photos taken by the author during his recent trip to Taipei, Taiwan. While there, he took thousands of pictures with his iPhone, pictures which he has divided into albums titled things like “Taipei funny,” “Taipei food,” Taipei babies,” and “Taipei animals,” among others. The images were taken between January and February 2013 during one of his semi-yearly visits to the Taiwanese capital, where his parents live. This first selection is titled “Taipei babies.” All photos and captions by Tao Lin.


Taipei, will be released on June 4 from Vintage and is available for pre-order now. To read an early excerpt from the novel that we published in 2011 titled “Relationship Story,” click here.


confusion baby


bat baby

More babies

Tao Lin’s Apartment: A Review, by Megan Boyle
Last October Tao Lin, my ex-husband, put up a post on Facebook asking if anyone wanted to sublet his studio apartment in Murray Hill while he visited family in Taiwan. I responded and PayPal-ed him the significantly discounted friend-rate. I would be staying around four weeks. I had visited Tao’s apartment maybe four times prior and had seen photos on Instagram—darkly lit areas, occult-looking décor, some Buddhist imagery, Adderall taped to the ceiling as a form of rehab, and curiously frequent “smoothie disasters.” I was excited to live alone in Manhattan. I was also excited to hopefully gain insight into the private life of a person I’ve admired both up close and at a distance for years—the kind of insight that can only come from sleeping in their bed and looking at their things every day for around four weeks when they’re not there. That sounds kind of creepy. Here is my review of Tao Lin’s apartment.
The Hanging Thing
When I moved in the giant structure formerly hanging above Tao’s bed was gone. I’d previously seen it in person twice, at sort-of parties, at which I felt surprised by how little attention it was getting. People seemed to treat it like any other passive obstruction. I don’t have memories of asking what it was or why it was there. I’m guessing its materials (Christmas lights, tinsel, black and white cobwebby stuff) were bought or stolen by Tao and his friend* Katie DeMoss from NutHouse, which is across the street and calls itself “New York’s Only 24-Hour Hardware Store.” Sometimes in conversational lulls at a party this December my eyes would wander around the room and land on the hanging thing. The ease at which I could allow such an overwhelmingly insane-looking thing to blend into my idea of “normal party surroundings” combined with knowing it was among the only other not-talking things in the room seemed funny. I’m not sure I’m glad it was gone when I arrived.
Lighting Statistics
- Only one out of four light switches work.
- Two out of three bulbs in his main lamp are white. One is red.
- There is one light in the bathroom. It is red but glows pink and affects the color of your pee.
Continue

Tao Lin’s Apartment: A Review, by Megan Boyle

Last October Tao Lin, my ex-husband, put up a post on Facebook asking if anyone wanted to sublet his studio apartment in Murray Hill while he visited family in Taiwan. I responded and PayPal-ed him the significantly discounted friend-rate. I would be staying around four weeks. I had visited Tao’s apartment maybe four times prior and had seen photos on Instagram—darkly lit areas, occult-looking décor, some Buddhist imagery, Adderall taped to the ceiling as a form of rehab, and curiously frequent “smoothie disasters.” I was excited to live alone in Manhattan. I was also excited to hopefully gain insight into the private life of a person I’ve admired both up close and at a distance for years—the kind of insight that can only come from sleeping in their bed and looking at their things every day for around four weeks when they’re not there. That sounds kind of creepy. Here is my review of Tao Lin’s apartment.

The Hanging Thing

When I moved in the giant structure formerly hanging above Tao’s bed was gone. I’d previously seen it in person twice, at sort-of parties, at which I felt surprised by how little attention it was getting. People seemed to treat it like any other passive obstruction. I don’t have memories of asking what it was or why it was there. I’m guessing its materials (Christmas lights, tinsel, black and white cobwebby stuff) were bought or stolen by Tao and his friend* Katie DeMoss from NutHouse, which is across the street and calls itself “New York’s Only 24-Hour Hardware Store.” Sometimes in conversational lulls at a party this December my eyes would wander around the room and land on the hanging thing. The ease at which I could allow such an overwhelmingly insane-looking thing to blend into my idea of “normal party surroundings” combined with knowing it was among the only other not-talking things in the room seemed funny. I’m not sure I’m glad it was gone when I arrived.

Lighting Statistics

- Only one out of four light switches work.

- Two out of three bulbs in his main lamp are white. One is red.

- There is one light in the bathroom. It is red but glows pink and affects the color of your pee.

Continue

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