Wieland and Memoirs of Carwin the Biloquist, by Charles Brockden Brown (Penguin, $7.95). This is the finest novel and its fragmentary "prequel" by Charles Brockden Brown (1771-1810), a literary precursor of Hawthorne, Poe and Melville at their most fanciful and allegorical. Together the two manuscripts form a tale of overwrought religious enthusiasm exploited by a sinister figure, an adept at biloquism (ventriloquism) who urges a distraught young man to stab his wife and children to death. Written in two months, Wieland raises issues of the relation between law and individual conscience and the conflicting claims of church and state that continue to bedevil Americans today. The Irreversible Decline of Eddie Socket, by John Weir (Harper, $8.95). This first novel probes the complications that ensue when the eponymous Eddie enters the lives of an older gay couple, threatening their relationship, and then comes down with AIDS (hence the book's title). John Weir manages to give Eddie's plight its tragic due and to spin amusing fantasies and crack gallows jokes about it. Aurelia, by Gerard de Nerval; translated by Kendall Lappin (Asylum Arts, $6.95). Nerval is one of the most attractive 19th-century French writers, translator of Goethe, poet, travel writer, storyteller (the wistful "Sylvie"), eccentric (he used to promenade with a lobster on a leash) and madman. He ended by hanging himself from a lamp post. But before then, he composed this phantasmagoric meditation about his real and fantasy life, one that memorably begins: "The dream is a second life." NONFICTION Powerful Days: The Civil Rights Photography of Charles Moore, text by Michael S. Durham (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $24.95). A Southerner born and bred, Charles Moore began to cover the civil rights movement as a newspaper photographer in 1957 in Montgomery, Ala. The pictures he took at the University of Mississippi in 1962, when whites rioted to protest James Meredith's attempt to integrate the university, were featured in Life magazine and started him on a career as an international photographer. The photographs here include the images of black protesters being attacked by police dogs and blasted by fire hoses in Birmingham, Ala., that fixed the nation's attention on the South. Also included are photographs of voter registration drives in Mississippi and the 1963 March on Washington. Velimir Khlebnikov: The King of Time -- Selected Writings of the Russian Futurian, edited by Charlotte Douglas; translated by Paul Scmidt (Harvard, $12.50; cloth, $22.50). The first 25 years of this century witnessed upheavals not only in Russian society but also in Russian art and literature. When he died at 36 in 1922, Velimir Khlebnikov had already established himself as a revolutionary poet, prose writer, polemicist and artistic agitator. This selection from his writings includes a short account of Khlebnikov's career, examples of his artwork and writing, and a chronology linking him to contemporary artistic and political events. As a poet, Khlebnikov overturned traditional Russian verse by introducing folk elements, lots of wordplay and irregular verse forms. Some of his later prose is even more experimental, a kind of avant-garde science fiction, while his masterpiece is Zangezi, a so-called "supersaga" built on various "planes" about the nature of language. Personal Pleasures, by Rose Macaulay (Ecco, $9.95). Rose Macaulay has enjoyed something of a revival over the past few years, with various publishers reprinting such novels as Staying with Relations, Crewe Train and The Towers of Trebizond. Macaulay specialized in satirical fiction, but like Evelyn Waugh -- whom she otherwise does not resemble in any way -- was also deeply religious. Both sides of her inner life emerge in these essays, written in folksy, slightly stilted prose peppered with sharp observations. Among the topics Macaulay considers are bed, chasing fireflies, church-going, cows, fire engines, reading, walking and solitude. In this last she notes, that "good company is delightful bondage, to be alone is to be free." The Black Church in the African American Experience, by C. Eric Lincoln and Lawrence H. Mamiya (Duke University Press, $18.95; hardcover $47.50). Based on interviews with nearly 2,000 black clergy, as well as a historical survey of seven black denominations, this is "an analysis of the black church as it relates to the history of African Americans and to contemporary black culture." While some earlier scholars have held that black Americans are simply Americans, with no culture of their own, C. Eric Lincoln and his co-author, Lawrence H. Mamiya, argue the black church has taken what white religious institutions offered and shaped it to serve the needs of the black community. The book examines the major black denominations, the role of women in the church; the church, politics and the struggle for civil rights; and the challenges the black church will face in the 21st century. Life in a Medieval Village, by Frances and Joseph Gies (HarperPerennial, $9.95). "The medieval village," write Frances and Joseph Gies in this study of English peasant life in the middle ages, ". . . was the primary community to which its people belonged for all life's purposes." Here, the Gieses tell us how people lived, loved, married and died in the village of Elton, what kinds of crops they planted and how, and how justice was enforced. The book is based on archaeological excavations of now-defunct villages, as well as on contemporary historical records.