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


 

Weekend links 374

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Le Chasseur by Lupe Vasconcelos who was profiled this week at Unquiet Things, and whose work may also be seen at the Ars Necronomica art show in Providence, RI, until the end of the month.

• “After a morning’s writing, Stevenson would entertain himself with music, particularly the flageolet, which he played so badly ‘people fled from the sound’.” Peter Moore reviewing Robert Louis Stevenson in Samoa by Joseph Farrell.

• Jon Hassell’s 1981 album, Dream Theory in Malaya: Fourth World Volume Two, will be reissued next month.

• Mixes of the week: Secret Thirteen Mix 228 by Arma Agharta, FACT Mix 614 by Do Make Say Think.

Yet, entertaining as all this is, in a macabre key, the dead are hard to think about—and, in many ways, to read about. Unlike animals, which Lévi-Strauss declared were not only good to eat but bon à penser, too, I found that I averted my eyes, so to speak, several times as I was reading this book. Not because of the infinite and irreversible sadness of mortality, or because of the grue, the fetor, the decay, the pervasive morbidity—though Laqueur’s gallows humour about scientific successes in the calcination of corpses can be a bit strong—but because the dead present an enigma that can’t be grasped: they are always there in mind, they come back in dreams, live in memory, and if they don’t, if they’re forgotten as so many millions of them must be, that is even more disturbing, somehow reprehensible. The disappeared are the unquietest ghosts. Simone Weil writes that the Iliad is a poem that shows how “force…turns man into a thing in the most literal sense: it makes a corpse out of him.” But Laqueur is surely right to inquire why that thing, the “disenchanted corpse…bereft, vulnerable, abject”, is a very different kind of thing from the cushion I am sitting on or even my iPad (which keeps giving signs of a mind of its own). I have always liked Mme du Deffand’s comment, when asked if she believed in ghosts. A philosopher and a free thinker, she even so replied: “Non, mais j’en ai peur.” (“No, but I am frightened of them.”)

Marina Warner reviewing The Work of the Dead: A Cultural History of Mortal Remains by Thomas Laqueur

New Worlds magazine at the Internet Archive. Not a complete run but it’s a start.

Brigit Katz on breakthroughs in the scientific search to replicate psilocybin.

• The relaunched (and slightly renamed) Manchester Digital Music Archive.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Robert Altman Day (restored/expanded).

• RM Rhodes presents the art of Philippe Druillet.

Fragile Self

Dream Lover (1964) by The Paris Sisters | Dream Street (1966) by Henry Mancini | Dream Letter (1969) by Tim Buckley

 


John Aarts’ Lucifer

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The Lucifer in question being the principal character in a play of the same name by Dutch poet and playwright Joost van den Vondel (1587–1679). I confess that I hadn’t heard of this work before even though it’s well-known in the Netherlands, and may also have influenced Paradise Lost. The version linked here is an American reprint of an earlier edition from 1898 that was the first English translation of the play. The graphics by John Aarts appear to be wood engravings but I’m not certain of that, matters not being helped by the present invisibility of Mr Aarts. In addition to a suite of full-page illustrations there are many embellishments in the nascent Dutch Art Nouveau style. And unlike many books that repeat the same two or three vignettes there’s a lot of variation throughout so it’s worth seeing the book as a whole.

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Weekend links 373

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Untitled (2011) by YDK Morimoe. Via Jim Post at Dennis Cooper’s.

For The Climax Of The Night by Total Leatherette is almost certainly the only album you’ll see this year with autofellatio cover art. Faux Fox gives a taste of the new album, while an earlier piece, Squeeze Hunk, features a Tom of Finland-style video. And speaking of which, Dome Karukoski’s feature film, Tom of Finland, is released in the UK this week. Related: Tom of Finland coffee.

• The death of playwright Joe Orton in 1967 prompted yet more 50th anniversary articles this week. Mentioned here before, and better value than all the textual appraisal, is the BBC’s 70-minute TV documentary from 1982, A Genius Like Us: A Portrait of Joe Orton, which includes interviews with family, friends, colleagues and Orton’s biographer, John Lahr.

• Two skulls, 50,000 postcards and a book that took 50 years to finish: Stuart Jeffries visits artist Tom Phillips.

• New at the Internet Archive: 25,000 78RPM records. You can never go wrong with Duke Ellington.

Lock Your Door and The Reformation of St. Jules: Algernon Blackwood filmed in 1949.

Redemption, an exhibition of art by Fay Pomerance (1912–2001) at Ushaw College, Durham.

• At Dirge Magazine: Daniel Pietersen on the myth of the sunken city.

• Mix of the week: FACT Mix 613 by Aaron Dilloway.

Laetitia Sadier’s favourite albums.

• RIP Hywel Bennett

Sunken City (1961) by Les Baxter | Ys (1971) by Alan Stivell | Atlantis (1971) by Deuter

 


The Heart of the Lost Star

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Presenting my cover for the third book in Megan Derr’s gay fantasy series, Tales of the High Court. Since this cover follows a pattern established with the first book in the series, The High King’s Golden Tongue, I’ve posted volumes one and two below for comparison. In my post about the series last year I said that I appeared to have exhausted the Viollet-le-Duc illustrations which I was plundering for the (collaged) architectural frames. As things turned out I was able to work up a new one but if this series continues then further ingenuity will be required.

The Heart of the Lost Star will be published by Less Than Three Press later this month. Meanwhile, I have a number of other projects—most of them horror-related—waiting to be officially revealed. As always, watch this space.

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Previously on { feuilleton }
Tales of the High Court

 


Weekend links 372

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Battistero della Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, Bergamo (2017) by Mattia Mognetti.

• “Mumbo Jumbo: a dazzling classic finally gets the recognition it deserves.” Jonathan McAloon on Ishmael Reed’s unique novel being reissued as a Penguin Modern Classic.

• Amanda Gefter talks to Donald D. Hoffman, professor of cognitive science at the University of California, about “the evolutionary argument against reality”.

• Geeta Dayal on composer Raymond Scott. A new compilation, Three Willow Park, collects more of Scott’s electronic music from the 1960s.

Nagle critiques the follies of campus identity politics and social media liberalism not from the right, but as a left-leaning feminist. As she elucidates point after reasonable point, it feels as if a grown-up has finally entered the room. Like Mark Fisher, the Marxist critic who was savaged by his putative comrades for decrying “the stench of bad conscience and witch-hunting moralism” of the online left, Nagle has no sympathy for Twitter/Tumblr liberalism’s “cult of fragility and victimhood mixed with a vicious culture of group attacks, group shaming, and attempts to destroy the reputations and lives of others”. It is reassuring to find a self-described feminist disdaining the “hysterical” liberal call-out culture, and acknowledging that it has produced “a breeding ground for an online backlash of irreverent mockery and anti-PC”. Without joining the forces of reaction or losing sight of the vileness of the alt-right, she writes of “the deep intellectual rot of contemporary political progressivism”; “the moral self-flattery of … a tired liberal intellectual conformity”; and “the hysteria and faux-politics of liberal Internet culture”.

Rob Doyle reviewing Kill All Normies by Angela Nagle

• Mixes of the week: XLR8R Podcast 501 by Ryan Elliott, and ReMelodiya vol. 1 by Laurent Fairon.

Sumit Paul-Choudhury on the slime mould instruments that make sweet music.

The Wire Salon: an audience with photographer and writer Val Wilmer.

Simon McCallum‘s list of 10 great lesser-known British LGBT films.

Zaria Gorvett on the ghostly radio station that no one claims to run.

S. Elizabeth reposted her Coilhouse interview with me from 2010.

• “Boys are selling sex in Japan. Who is buying?” Boys For Sale

• At Spoon & Tamago: Ando Tadao’s Hill of Buddha.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Gisèle Vienne Day.

Sun Ra is now on Bandcamp.

Shaolin Buddha Finger (1994) by Depth Charge | Atomic Buddha (1998) by Techno Animal | Psycho Buddha (2001) by Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.

 


 


 

Signed & numbered prints

    Blotter Art prints

 


 

Coulthart Books

    The Haunter of the Dark
    Reverbstorm

 


 

Previously on { feuilleton }

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Penda's Fen by David Rudkin