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• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.


Ernst Fuchs, 1977


I try to avoid buying even more big art books when I already have shelves groaning under the weight of the things but this one was unavoidable. I’d been after Draeger’s Ernst Fuchs (1977) for some time but whenever I went searching for a copy all the available ones were prohibitively expensive. The news of Fuchs’ death earlier this month prompted a new search which revealed a copy that was astonishingly cheap: £17.50 (!) for a large, heavy and very lavish art book that’s been out of print for years. Even with the postage this was still a remarkable bargain.


After taking delivery of it today I’m even more surprised since the book is better than expected, with heavy paper throughout and numerous colour plates. The text is in German, of course, but that’s not a problem when there are so many beautiful reproductions of favourite pictures. An exceptional production with a dust jacket of deep metallic gold beneath which you find a Fuchs design blocked onto the boards, front and back.


Something I realised looking through the pages is that this is yet another of the art books that provided pictures for the early issues of Omni magazine. Mati Klarwein’s God Jokes was published in 1976; Giger’s Necronomicon had its first English edition in 1977, the same year as the Fuchs book; Bob Venosa‘s Manas Manna appeared in 1978; Omni showcased work by all these artists and others like them, and was the first place where I and many other readers would have seen their paintings. One of the pictures in this Fuchs collection appeared on the cover of Omni #6 in March, 1979. The 1970s was, among other things, a great period for this type of fantastic art.

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Italian villas and their gardens


As the gilded panel proclaims, this book is a collaboration between Edith Wharton and Maxfield Parrish. Italian Villas and their Gardens was published in 1904, and includes many photos of the houses and their grounds in addition to Parrish’s illustrations. The Parrish pictures look at times like unpopulated scenes from his illustrations for children’s books.



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Folk Horror Revival: Field Studies


The particularly British sub-genre of folk horror receives a substantial examination in Folk Horror Revival: Field Studies, a 500-page collection of essays, interviews and artwork edited by Andy Paciorek.

Featuring essays and interviews by many great cinematic, musical, artistic and literary talents, Folk Horror Revival: Field Studies is the most comprehensive and engaging exploration to date of the sub-genre of Folk Horror and associated fields in cinema, television, music, art, culture and folklore.

Includes contributions by Kim Newman, Robin Hardy, Thomas Ligotti, Philip Pullman, Gary Lachman and many many more.

100% of all profits from sales of the book will be charitably donated to environmental, wildlife and community projects undertaken by The Wildlife Trusts.


Nuada rising, 1973 & 1976.

Among the contents there’s my 4000-word essay Sacred Demons: The Dramatic Art of David Rudkin, parts of which will be familiar to readers of my previous posts about Rudkin’s work. I’m not sure Rudkin would appreciate being subjected to such a narrow focus when his plays and TV films are much more personal and cerebral than most generic entertainments. But there is an intersection in a number of them with folk horror at its widest reach, and Rudkin did happen to adapt The Ash-Tree (1975) by MR James for the BBC’s series of ghost stories at Christmas. My piece covers this along with other TV films such as Penda’s Fen (1974) and Artemis 81 (1981), and many of the stage plays including Afore Night Come (1962), The Sons of Light (1965/76) and The Saxon Shore (1983). The stage plays I only know from their scripts which makes them difficult to appraise; maybe the renewed interest in Rudkin’s work will spur some revivals.


Sight and Sound, August 2010. Illustration by Becca Thorne.

Paciorek’s book isn’t solely concerned with British subjects, other essays include studies of Weird Americana, the music of The Cremator and Morgiana, and Czech folk horror. The Lulu page apparently didn’t allow the listing of a full table of contents so I’m posting the details below.

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Weekend links 285


Some of the art from my collage adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray appears on the cover of The Graphic Canon: Volume 2, published this month in a German edition by Verlag Galiani. Out next month (although possibly available now) is the same book in a Brazilian edition from Boitempo Editorial. One of the disappointments this year was having to abandon plans to contribute to Russ Kick’s forthcoming graphic canon of crime fiction. I was overstretched during the summer, and what with projects slipping their deadlines and the trip to Providence there wasn’t any time left for other things.

• For those who missed the first edition, a second and final expanded edition of the Penda’s Fen study/celebration The Edge Is Where The Centre Is.

• Whipping up a storm: how Robert Mapplethorpe shocked America; Kevin Moore on the photographer’s Perfect Moment exhibition.

In the best scenario, metaphysical art distributes the work of understanding among cultural traditions and symbolic systems, and it is along these lines that Carrington’s work has been described as a productive combination of Mexican, Egyptian, Hebrew, Celtic, Greek, and Mesopotamian elements. Her paintings, plays, and stories mix the symbols of alchemy, astrology, Tarot, herbalism, magic, witchcraft, and a personal iconography.

Leif Schenstead-Harris on the life, art and fiction of Leonora Carrington

• Mixes of the week: Hieroglyphic Being collects favourite cosmic jazz of the 1970s; NTS Radio presents an hour of Annette Peacock.

• At Kill Your Darlings: Alexandra Heller-Nicholas enthuses about Dario Argento’s delirious masterwork, Suspiria.

Pye Corner Audio releases a new album (only limited vinyl at the moment—boooo!) and remixes Stealing Sheep.

• The Trip Planners: Emily Witt meets the founders behind Erowid, the online drug encyclopedia.

Woven Processional (1985), music on the Long String Instrument by Ellen Fullman.

• “The Paris attacks prove Charlie Hebdo’s critics wrong,” says Dorian Lynskey.

• Photographs by Danila Tkachenko of abandoned Soviet technology.

Come Wander With Me / Deliverance by Anna von Hausswolff.

• The collages of Guy Maddin.


Let’s Take A Trip (1965) by Godfrey | Trip On An Orange Bicycle (1968) by The Orange Bicycle | Last Trip (1968) by We Who Are


Hold On


More rubble from Rubble. This isn’t as revelatory as In The Past but I like the evolution. Two of these versions of Hold On are featured on the Rubble series while the original by Rupert’s People may be heard on other psych compilations.

Rupert’s People was the name that freakbeat group The Fleur De Lys adopted for a handful of psychedelic releases in 1967; the name Rupert probably refers to the Daily Express‘s Rupert Bear, a comic-strip character who famously lost his innocence three later in the Schoolkids’ Issue of Oz magazine. Fleur De Lys appear on Rubble 13 playing Gong With The Luminous Nose, their musical setting (with inevitable retitling) of Edward Lear’s poem The Dong with a Luminous Nose. Hold On was the B-side of Reflections Of Charles Brown, and is very much a hangover from the beat period: a good song but it doesn’t stand out the way the next version does.


Sharon Tandy left South Africa for London where she recorded a number of songs with The Fleur De Lys as her backing group. Her ace version of Hold On was also the B-side of Stay With Me in the UK but the French and US releases flipped the songs. This version and another Tandy/Fleur De Lys collaboration, the tremendous Daughter Of The Sun, leap out of Rubble 8. There’s a great clip of Tandy performing Hold On for Beat Club. The searing guitar solo is by Bryn Haworth.


The third version appears on Rubble 3, and may also be heard on another excellent psych collection, Insane Times: 25 British Psychedelic Artefacts From The EMI Vaults. Rock music was getting heavier by 1969 so this version subjects the song to high-pitched vocals, wah-wah pedal, incipient riffing and what might be a synth drone. Despite a band name indicative of magickal accomplishment Ipsissimus didn’t record anything else.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Digging the Rubble
Out Of Limits
In The Past




Lovecraftiana Calendar 2016

    Lovecratiana Calendar 2016



Coulthart Books

    The Haunter of the Dark



Previously on { feuilleton }

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