International Necronautical Society INS Inspectorate News Bulletin

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INS Joint Statement
The Believer
Triple Canopy
NY Review of Books


Official Document
Title: Press Digest 2008
Type: Press briefing
Authorised: Chief of Propaganda, First Committee, INS
Authorisation Code: AA191108

In 2008, INS public activities as well as what have become known as the crypto-necronautical activities of key INS personnel continued to prompt reaction in print and online, helping spread the N-word.

Following the INS New York Declaration of September 2007, the INS was able to mobilise assets in North America. A report by Peter Schwenger on the Joint Statement on Inauthenticity by INS General Secretary Tom McCarthy and INS Chief Philosopher Simon Critchley appeared in the inaugural issue of Triple Canopy, an ambitious web-journal out of Brooklyn. Canadian Maritimes-based literary critic and historian Schwenger alleges that the event, momentously, did not happen, or could only have been an re-enactment, citing the consistency of audio files then already circulating on the internet and the ingenuity of the INS Department of Propaganda in staging the appearance, complete with convincing look-alikes for McCarthy and Critchley. The Declaration will be heard again and an authorised transcript published by Tate Britain early in 2009.

Triple Canopy moreover was host to an INS Public Briefing on Aerial Reconnaissance by INS Chief of Propaganda Anthony Auerbach, held at Freddy’s Backroom in February 2008. Auerbach’s then current exhibit Empire State Pavilion at the Queens Museum of Art also earned the INS a mention in the New York papers.

Now firmly established as Professor at New York’s New School for Social Research, INS Chief Philosopher Simon Critchley was allowed to publish his Book of Dead Philosophers , which has been widely reviewed is being translated into six languages.

In June 2008, INS General Secretary Tom McCarthy’s novel Remainder got the Believer Book Award from the editors and readers of the New York literary magazine The Believer. As a result, an interview dealing mainly with necronautics, between McCarthy and Associate Director of the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Mark Alizart, was published in the magazine.

Around the same time, on the Eastern side of the Atlantic, McCarthy installed an INS Radio black box transmitter in Stockholm’s Moderna Museet as part of the exhibition Eclipse. The museum also published Calling All Agents (INS General Secretary’s Second Report) in Swedish translation and a video of McCarthy explaining the installation. The INS contribution to the show that was subtitled Art in a Dark Age was singled out as ‘brilliant’ in a review of the exhibition in Art Forum.

McCarthy's and Critchley's Joint Statement on Inauthenticity continued to resonate prompting interventions from writers bored or disappointed with contemporary literature. For example, Lee Rourke’s blog-post at The Guardian website, which hailed the INS for its opposition to ‘the stuffy, reductive thinking that has haunted a British establishment that sides with form [i.e. as opposed to matter] at all costs,’ elicited 64 comments in the three days the message board was open (13–16 October 2008).

November’s New York Review of Books featured an in-depth article by Zadie Smith, entitled ‘Two Paths for the Novel’ in which the novelist reviews the future of literature with an assessment of two recent novels (Netherland by Joseph O’Neill and McCarthy’s Remainder). However, about a third of the 9,000-word article is devoted to the INS. Smith welcomes, not without some anxiety, the aim she attributes to Remainder of wishing ‘to destroy the myth of cultural authenticity,’ — she, according her own understanding, supposedly being the inheritor of the literary authenticity whose burden she claims has passed already from dead white males ‘to women, to those of color, to people of different sexualities, to people from far-off, war-torn places’ — the authenticy whose vestige would seem to account for the hollow sound of the ‘lyrical Realist’ novel. ‘In Remainder,’ Smith alleges, ‘the INS general secretary puts his theoretical ideas to lively yet unobtrusive use, for the Re-enactor himself [as Smith calls McCarthy’s stand-in for a protagonist] does not realize he is a Necronaut.’

Although Smith appears troubled by a ghost of the avant-garde — the myth the INS both inhabits and repudiates — which Smith invokes repeatedly, her article is without doubt and important essay.

Further articles on the INS are set to appear before the end of the year.

Issued by INS Department of Propaganda. Official INS propaganda may be freely distributed, distorted, appropriated or adapted as the reader sees fit.