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


 

Percy Walter Wolff’s Die Vorhölle

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Another name to add to the long list of Beardsley followers, Percy Walter Wolff is so obscure as to be almost completely absent from web records. This suggests that Die Vorhölle: Eine Lyrische Nachlese (1911), a Baudelaire collection, may be the only book he illustrated. The drawings make me wonder what Beardsley himself—who put a copy of Les Fleurs du Mal on a shelf in Salomé—might have done with the same subject.

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Weekend links 223

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Step Up (2014) by Angelica Paez.

• Lots of attention this week for Kevin Martin whose latest album as The Bug, Angels And Devils, is out now on Ninja Tune. The previous Bug release, London Zoo (2008), was a fierce collection that stood apart from the Grime pack not only for its guest vocalists but also for being informed by Martin’s broad range of influences: industrial and extreme electronics, heavyweight dub, metal and avant-garde jazz. Martin was interviewed by The Quietus and FACT who also asked other musicians to choose their favourite Martin recordings. Elsewhere, The Wire has Swarm, a track not included on the album.

Related: Martin’s four superb compilation albums for Virgin Records have been deleted for years but are worth seeking out: Ambient 4: Isolationism, Macro Dub Infection Volume One & Volume Two, and Jazz Satellites Volume 1: Electrification (Virgin cancelled volume 2). From the NME, 1995: Kevin Martin’s Ten Commandments For All Time.

• “…it never becomes quite clear why two grown men would want to write to each other in the guise of a horse and a cat.” Henry Giardina reviews The Animals: Love Letters Between Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy, edited by Katherine Bucknell.

Shufflepoems: A Deck of Poetry by Lydia Swartz. “100 cards, four suits, one stanza per card. Shuffle for a new adventure every time.” The project needs a last-minute push to gain Kickstarter funding so if this sounds interesting go, go, go!

The Haxan Cloak’s favourite heavy metal albums. Metallica’s Master Of Puppets still gets my vote. More from The Quietus: David Stubbs on the Werner Herzog soundtracks of Popol Vuh.

• At Strange Flowers: Waking the witch, a remembrance of occult artist Rosaleen Norton and other characters from Sydney’s Kings Cross area, with news of a planned Norton documentary.

• A nine-note motif has for decades signalled “Asian” in popular music. Kat Chow looks at the history of a musical stereotype.

Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness is the subject for entrants in the Folio Society’s latest illustration competition.

• Irradiating the Object: Rhys Williams talks to writer M. John Harrison.

Does the Sea Serpent Really Look Like an Art Nouveau Oar-fish?

Schrödinger’s cat caught on quantum film.

70s sci-fi art: a Tumblr.

Demodex Invasion (1995) by Techno Animal | Piranha feat. Toastie Taylor (2001) by Techno Animal | Poison Dart feat. Warrior Queen (2008) by The Bug

 


Chinnamasta

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The saintly cephalophores may be reconciled to their martyrdoms but none of them decapitated themselves, unlike Chinnamasta, the self-decapitating Tantric goddess. The most common representations show her sitting or standing on a copulating couple while blood from her neck spouts into the mouth of her severed head and the mouths of her attendants, Dakini and Varnini. In other depictions she should probably be classed among the cephalophores when she goes for a walk or a ride on a lion. The fourth picture here is of Chinnamunda, a related, wrathful form of Vajrayogini from Tibetan Buddhism.

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Cephalophores
Decapitations

 


Cephalophores

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Martyrdom of Saint Denis, Saint Eleutherius and Saint Rusticus by Pierre II Mignard.

Consider this an addendum to an earlier post about decapitations in art history. What I didn’t know then was that decapitated saints have their own “cephalophore” category if they’ve been recorded as going for a post-decapitation stroll; a case of “take up thy head and walk”. Saint Denis of Paris receives more attention than most on account of his being a patron saint of France. This also explains why his martyrdom is depicted in gory detail on the wall of the Pantheon in Paris.

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St. Denis bearing his head and halo (1896).

Nine-year-old Saint Justus of Beauvais differs from the strolling cephalophores—who manage to walk some distance before finally expiring—in having picked up his head severed head and carried on speaking. Rubens is one of the few artists to depict this event, although his habitual all-shall-have-muscles technique makes the boy look a lot older. Wikimedia Commons has a few more examples of Saint Denis, with and without head.

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The Miracle of Saint Justus (c. 1635) by Peter Paul Rubens.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Decapitations

 


The Nose, a film by Alexandre Alexeieff & Claire Parker

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The last time I wrote about the animated films of Alexandre Alexeieff & Claire Parker the only copies available were low-grade things on YouTube which have long-since vanished (one of many reasons I don’t embed YT players in these posts). Happily a new copy of The Nose (1963) has appeared that’s not only better quality but isn’t split into two as was the case earlier.

The Nose is based on the Gogol story of the same name, a tale of a St Petersburg official who wakes to find his nose has left his face and is masquerading as a civil servant. I’ve not read Gogol’s story but I do have Nabokov’s book about Gogol which dwells not only on the prominent nose of the author, but also his traumatic death which was hastened in part by a quack physician who treated Gogol by applying leeches to his nose. Neither story or film contain anything as horrific. The film version is a wordless animation made using the pinscreen technique which Alexeieff & Parker developed in order to create greyscale animated films without recourse to smudgy materials like pencil, pastel, charcoal, etc. As I’ve mentioned before, the most notable application of this technique is the prologue the pair created for Orson Welles’ film of The Trial (1962). What’s striking about the Alexeieff & Parker use of the pinscreen is how skilfully they use it to manipulate light and shade. Where other animators like Jacques Drouin used the technique more impressionistically, Alexeieff & Parker’s films at times give the impression of watching an animated engraving. The Nose is one of their finest pieces. (Thanks to Gabe for the tip!)

Previously on { feuilleton }
Alexandre Alexeieff and Claire Parker

 


 


 

Books

    The Haunter of the Dark
    Reverbstorm

 


 

Previously on { feuilleton }

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{ feuilleton } recommends


The Outer Church

 

I Am The Center--Private Issue New Age Music In America 1950-1990

 

Cosmic Machine--A Voyage Across French Cosmic & Electronic Avantgarde (1970-1980)

 

Why Do The Heathen Rage? by The Soft Pink Truth

 

School Daze by Patrick Cowley

 

Somnium by Steve Moore

 

Strange Attractor Journal Four

 

Clive Hicks-Jenkins

 

A Humument by Tom Phillips

 

Schalcken the Painter

 

Berberian Sound Studio

 

Quatermass and the Pit

 

The Stone Tape by Nigel Kneale

 

Beasts by Nigel Kneale

 

A Field In England

 

Blood on Satan's Claw

 

Enter the Void

 

David Lynch Collection

 

Children of the Stones--The Complete Series

 

BBC Ghost Stories for Christmas (Box Set)

 

The Erotic Films of Peter de Rome

 

L'Ange by Patrick Bokanowski

 

Piotr Kamler--A La Recherche du Temps

 


 




 

Elsewhere


 

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“feed your head”

 

Below the fold

 

The Crackdown by Cabaret Voltaire