{ feuilleton }


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

Archive for August, 2006


The art of Arnau Alemany


La raffinerie. Since his first exhibition in Barcelona in 1978, Spanish artist Arnau Alemany has dedicated himself solely to painting. In recent years, he has shown in Barcelona, Madrid, Paris, Lyon, San Francisco, New York, Chicago and Valencia, receiving second prize in the 1991 Montecar Biennial. A collection of his work also hangs in the […]

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Farewell to Deadwood


So farewell then, Al and company. Deadwood finished its third and final season this week. Since it’s still running in the UK I won’t say anything about how things turn out. There was supposed to be a fourth season but it seems we’ve been denied this after HBO cancelled the run. This is a shame […]

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The Major Arcana


Tarot designs proliferate at a seemingly unstoppable pace (you can see a selection of them here) so it’s probably fair to say that the world doesn’t need more of them. However, most modern designs are pastiches or fantasy-oriented works that tend towards an elaboration even more baroque than some of the older designs. My As […]

Posted in {art}, {design}, {occult}, {work} | 7 comments »


The Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda II


Long, Strange Trip for a Hypnotic Film By James Gaddy August 27, 2006 The New York Times IT TOOK 38 years, but Ira Cohen’s cult film, The Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda, which was first screened in 1968 at the high point of the psychedelic hippie head rush, is now commercially available. Given the close calls, […]

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Jack of Jumps


David Seabrook’s fascinating true crime investigation was published in May by Granta sporting a cover design by yours truly. The Guardian finally managed to review the book this weekend. Tart visions Chris Petit shadows David Seabrook as he trails a serial killer through the streets of sixties London in Jack of Jumps Chris Petit Saturday […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {work} | 3 comments »


The Journal of Ottoman Calligraphy


Seeing as we’re living through a period of recurrent paranoia and hysteria, with a whole state of matter being declared dangerous, with people falling under suspicion for not being white, and with events like this a daily occurrence, one can only wonder how we endured thirty years of deadly IRA terrorism in this country without […]

Posted in {art}, {typography} | 5 comments »


Giant mantis invades Prague


Viriconium comes to life… Or should that be VR-conium? 360º panorama of this event. A giant praying mantis invaded Old Town Square in Prague today at 8:15 pm to the delight of hundreds of human onlookers, and a few horses too. The humanoid invaders, on extended springy legs, drove their giant insect through the Old […]

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Anthony Gayton’s Life Studies

Posted in {eye candy}, {gay}, {photography} | 1 comment »


Aldous Huxley on Piranesi’s Prisons


I scanned this essay years ago from a library copy of a 1949 edition of Piranesi’s Carceri d’Invenzione (Trianon Press, London). It’s worth reproducing here since it’s still one of the best analyses I’ve read of these fascinating and enigmatic drawings. Online reproduction quality of Piranesi’s work is dismayingly low for the most part. And […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {black and white} | 10 comments »




Cockfighter is a film by Monte Hellman from American cinema’s great decade (the Seventies) that we’re not allowed to see in this country because it contains cruelty to chickens. This week the Edinburgh International Film Festival halted a planned screening after being informed it contravened a 1937 law: Change to Programmed Performance: Cockfighter Mon 21 […]

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The art of Jean Louis Ricaud


La Christe. La Mere Superieure. Jean Louis Ricaud’s site is all French, unfortunately (yes, I should learn more of the language). Don’t miss the photos and desktop pictures. Elsewhere on { feuilleton } • The fantastic art archive

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La Villa Santo Sospir by Jean Cocteau


A 35-minute color film by Cocteau entitled La Villa Santo Sospir. Shot in 1952, this is an “amateur film” done in 16mm, a sort of home movie in which Cocteau takes the viewer on a tour of a friend’s villa on the French coast (a major location used in Testament of Orpheus). The house itself […]

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Cormac McCarthy’s venomous fiction


Cormac McCarthy’s venomous fiction Richard B. Woodward The New York Times, April 19, 1992 “YOU KNOW ABOUT MOJAVE RATTLESNAKES?” Cormac McCarthy asks. The question has come up over lunch in Mesilla, N.M., because the hermitic author, who may be the best unknown novelist in America, wants to steer conversation away from himself, and he seems […]

Posted in {books}, {cormac} | 2 comments »


Hep cats


A San Francisco mathematician takes a trip on LSD with his cat, who is on the drug too. He does this every other week. From ‘LSD: The Exploding Threat of the Mind Drug that Got Out of Control‘, Life magazine, March 25, 1966. Previously on { feuilleton } • German opium smokers, 1900

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Why doesn’t America believe in evolution?


Could it be something to do with invisible men in the sky? And apes in the White House? New Scientist reports. 19 August 2006 New Scientist Jeff Hecht HUMAN BEINGS, AS WE KNOW THEM, developed from earlier species of animals: true or false? This simple question is splitting America apart, with a growing proportion thinking […]

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Cloud Gate by Anish Kapoor


Cloud Gate, Millennium Park, Chicago. Next month Kapoor’s Sky Mirror will be unveiled outside the Rockefeller Center, New York.

Posted in {art} | 1 comment »


The art of Jean Coulon


Elsewhere on { feuilleton } • The etching and engraving archive

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Lindsay Lozon

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Maximum heaviosity


Left: Comets on Fire at the Arthurfest, Los Angeles, 2005. Bassoons, flamenco, monks’ cowls… welcome to the new rock underground Julian Cope explains why heavy metal, so often maligned, is at the heart of today’s rock avant-garde Julian Cope Friday August 18, 2006 The Guardian IN APRIL THIS YEAR, after my half-hour stint as a […]

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War of the Worlds book covers


Continuing the cover art theme, here’s a whole gallery of covers devoted to one book only, HG Wells’ The War of the Worlds, from 1898 to the present. Once again it’s fascinating to see how styles evolve and how different artists and designers approach the task of providing art for the same book. The most […]

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Web updates

I thought it was about time I made a new section for the site detailing some of my published (and unpublished) writings to date. The new section, { lexiphania }, lists non-fiction for the most part (Printer’s Evil is the exception), some of which has been added to the Writings section of { feuilleton }.

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A literary recluse: The mystery of Pynchon


The cult writer is about to publish his first novel for nine years. But the best-selling author of V and Gravity’s Rainbow remains an enigma to his millions of fans. By Louise Jury August 17, 2006 The Independent He is so elusive a writer that he makes Harper Lee appear a socialite. He gives no […]

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How to make crop circles


The Field Guide: the Art, History & Philosophy of Crop Circle Making by Rob Irving & John Lundberg. Edited by Mark Pilkington Three decades ago, two men in their fifties began flattening circles into the fields of Hampshire and Wiltshire. Little did they know that their Friday night antics would seed an international phenomenon that […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {occult} | 4 comments »


Hail, horrors! hail, infernal world!


This marvellously lurid 250pp tome turned up in the post today, something I was looking forward to seeing as I wrote 30 of the reviews within, as well as some longer essays on Dracula, Lovecraft and a brief history of occult cinema. Nice layout, lots of colour and some great photos, many of which I […]

Posted in {books}, {horror}, {work} | 4 comments »


Down with human life


Sam Leith is engrossed by a formidable essay on the father of ‘weird fiction’. HP Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life by Michel Houellebecq tr by Dorna Kazheni intro by Stephen King 256pp, Weidenfeld & Nicolson £10 (pbk) Saturday, August 12, 2006 The Daily Telegraph “I AM SO BEASTLY TIRED of mankind and the world […]

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JG Ballard book covers


In a similar vein to the Burroughs cover gallery, Rick McGrath’s site does the same for one of Burroughs’ followers, JG Ballard. The covers below are two typical examples using Surrealist art as their illustration, The Eye of Silence by Max Ernst and City of Drawers by Dalí. I’ve always loved the pairing of Ernst’s […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {illustrators}, {painting}, {science fiction}, {surrealism} | 3 comments »


William Burroughs book covers


This site has a great selection of Burroughs’ cover art. By no means complete but pages like this are always fascinating for showing the variety of visual interpretations that can be brought to a single title. Also nice to see how books looked in their earlier editions before they achieved status as “classic” works. And […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {burroughs}, {design}, {gay}, {illustrators} | 9 comments »


Mark Twain and Nikola Tesla

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20 Sites n Years by Tom Phillips


Tom Phillips has long been one of my favourite contemporary artists and he’d certainly be my candidate for one of the world’s greatest living artists even though the world at large stubbornly refuses to agree with this opinion. Phillips’ problem (if we have to look for problems) would seem to be an excess of talent […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {cities}, {music}, {photography} | 2 comments »


Turkish wrestlers


Wonderful Flickr photo set by istanbul mike depicting off-duty Kirkpinar wrestlers.

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Clockwork Orange bubblegum cards


Oh, if only… From Bubblegumfink who specialises in creations like these. Via Boing Boing. Previously on { feuilleton } • Alex in the Chelsea Drug Store

Posted in {film}, {kubrick}, {science fiction} | 2 comments »


The art of Gérard Trignac


Gérard Trignac produces etchings of a kind I’d most likely be doing myself if I wasn’t otherwise occupied, detailed architectural fantasies that owe a lot to my sainted Piranesi and (I’m guessing, since they’re both French) Charles Méryon. As usual with contemporary artists of this nature one can find the pictures but information about the […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {black and white}, {borges}, {fantasy} | 1 comment »


New things for August


A couple of updates to the site this month. Firstly there’s another interview with Eroom Nala focussing on life, art and (inevitably) my forthcoming Haunter of the Dark book. And I’ve finally got round to expanding the line of CafePress products (T-shirts and a larger poster print) for my Kabbalah poster which seems to be […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {lovecraft}, {work} | 5 comments »


Helvetica: the film


Yes, a documentary about a typeface by Gary Hustwit. And why not, say I? More films about typography, please. I paid homage to the ubiquitous Swiss font with my design for Savoy’s A Serious Life which used Helvetica Neue in various weights throughout. Helvetica is a feature-length independent film about typography, graphic design and global […]

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A few thousand science fiction covers


Seems that this has been around for a while but I’ve only just run across it. Jim Bumgardner has created a browsable “table-top” of thousands of sf magazine covers using minimal Flash and Perl scripting; unlike many Flash-oriented web toys you don’t have to waste valuable minutes watching a progress bar before it starts working. […]

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The music of Igor Wakhévitch


Igor Wakhévitch and feathered friend. Continuing the Francophile theme, I felt that now was a good time to plumb the mysteries of the enigmatic Igor Wakhévitch. Who? Well… In 20th century music there’s strange and there’s weird and then there’s off-the-wall unclassifiable which is the place where we have to file Igor’s compositions. After half […]

Posted in {dance}, {music}, {surrealism}, {theatre} | 5 comments »


Atomix by Nike Savvas


Adventures with form in space, the 2006 Balnaves Foundation Sculpture Project, considers the richly inventive ways in which contemporary artists use form and colour in their sculptures. It draws together the work of eight Australian artists whose sculptures are essentially abstract, highly imaginative and explore many ideas. In Nike Savvas’ huge room installation a shimmering […]

Posted in {art} | 3 comments »


Arthur Lee, 1945–2006

Posted in {music} | 1 comment »


The genius of Captain Beefheart


Mission: unlistenable His music is described as a metal sock, an action painting and a mad, giant watch—yet it has inspired bands from Talking Heads to the White Stripes. John Harris gets to grips with Captain Beefheart John Harris Friday August 4, 2006 The Guardian IN THE 1980s, American researchers found that the average album […]

Posted in {music} | 3 comments »


New Olafur Eliasson


left: The Weather Project, Tate Modern, 2003. Olafur Eliasson Ikon, Birmingham Alfred Hickling Thursday August 3, 2006 The Guardian The Danish artist Olafur Eliasson is best known in this country for the Weather Project, which had visitors to Tate Modern’s turbine hall convinced they were staring into the sun. His installation at Ikon, though smaller, […]

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“feed your head”