"Pirate as libertarian hero, pirate as symbolic focus for anti-Capital’s desire. Rimbaud might’ve dreamed something like this when he was twelve. But here it is at last, a book of true stories."

The Devil’s Anarchy
The Other Loose Roving Way of Life & Very Remarkable Travels of Jan Erasmus Reyning, Buccaneer
by Stephen Snelders

Anarrrghkists! By rebelling against hierarchical society and living under the Jolly Roger, pirates created an upside-down world of anarchist organization and festival, with violence and death ever-present. This creation was not a purely whimsical process. In The Devil’s Anarchy, Stephen Snelders examines rare 17th-century Dutch pirate histories to show the continuity of a shared pirate culture, embodied in its modes of organization, methods of distributing booty and resolving disputes, and tendencies for high living. Focussing on the careers of Claes Compaen, a cunning, charismatic renegado who claimed to have stolen more than 350 vessels, and Jan Erasmus Reyning, who hit the seas at age 12 and became a buccaneer in the pirate jungles of Santo Domingo, Snelders paints a salty picture of the excesses, contradictions, and liberatory joys of pirate life.

“Snelders has made a major contribution to piratology by introducing certain rare Dutch sources full of anecdote and illumination. But he’s contributed even more to the field of radical piratology: pirate as libertarian hero, pirate as symbolic focus for anti-Capital’s desire. Rimbaud might’ve dreamed something like this when he was twelve. But here it is at last, a book of true stories.”

From the Introduction by Peter Lamborn Wilson

About the Author
Stephen Snelders is a Dutch historian with a research focus on social transformation and resistance in the body as well as the mind. He is past editor of Pan Forum, a leading research journal of psychotropic studies.

Categories: BLOG | Tags: , | Leave a comment

About Jay Babcock

I am the co-founder and editor of Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curator of the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was one of five Angelenos listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. Today, I live a peaceful life in Tucson, Arizona with Stephanie Smith. https://linktr.ee/jaywbabcock

0 thoughts on “"Pirate as libertarian hero, pirate as symbolic focus for anti-Capital’s desire. Rimbaud might’ve dreamed something like this when he was twelve. But here it is at last, a book of true stories."

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s