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


 

The Absolute Elsewhere

motm.jpg

I’ve had the late RT Gault’s extraordinary web achive linked on my main site for years but thought it was worth giving it another plug here. The title of his site, The Absolute Elsewhere, comes from the equally extraordinary Pauwels and Bergier book, The Morning of the Magicians, a unique concoction of fact, fiction and speculation that runs through alchemy, potential developments in human evolution, Forteana, Arthur Machen and Nazi mysticism, among a host of topics. This was the book that launched a thousand lesser crank volumes in the 1970s and also had a surreptitious influence on works as diverse as Shea and Wilson’s Illuminatus! trilogy and David Bowie’s Hunky Dory album.

Gault described his site thus:

This is a bibliography of visionary, occult, new age, fringe science, strange and even crackpot works published between 1945 and 1988. Added to the mix are some other works which may relate to them, or at least give a sense of the spirit of the times. The main emphasis is upon works produced between 1960 and 1980, as the subtitle suggests.

and it’s his wonderful collection of paperback covers that’s the chief delight here. One can wish for the scans to be slightly higher quality and for the collection to be more extensive but what’s there is well worth a look, if only to see how lurid paperback styles evolve over the course of a couple of decades.

The web is an increasingly valuable repository for people with collections like this. Some of Mr Gault’s other pages seem to have gone offline but his Arthur Machen pages are still there with a nice gallery of rare editions. Other favourite archive sites would include the Violet Books galleries, the Vintage Paperbacks site, and the hilariously silly Gay on the Range, which I’ve mentioned before.

Update: Following Gault’s death the site has been deleted so I’ve updated the links to the Wayback Machine’s archive. There’s also a mirror of the site here.

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4 comments or trackbacks

  1. #1 posted by Eroom Nala

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    I remember reading a book with a title something like “Does God Drive a Flying Saucer” sometime in my teens. I wonder if that’s in there somewhere?

  2. #2 posted by John

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    There’s no cover but it’s on this page:

    http://www.cafes.net/ditch/F75.htm

    Dione, R. L., GOD DRIVES A FLYING SAUCER, 1975, Bantam, PB.

    I’ve found with most things like this he really does have everything covered.

  3. #4 posted by bb wolfe

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    Morning of the Magicians is an underrated classic, I think. It’s the kind of book of which people will say, “Oh yeah, I read that trash in the 1970s” and quite forget about it as they proceeded to immerse themselves further in the many enthusiasms that MOTM created for them. But how many of these young readers return to the book years later? MOTM is a book that can truly be appreciated after the reader has had a few decades of experience under his belt. Then the depth and richness of Pauwels and Bergier’s book reveals itself. This book is well overdue a renaissance.

 




 

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