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


 

A Book of Satyrs by Austin Osman Spare

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The Oxford English Dictionary notes that the word “satire” is

Formerly often confused or associated with satyr, from the common notion (found already in some ancient grammarians) that Latin ‘satira’ was derived from the Greek ‘satyr’, in allusion to the chorus of satyrs which gave its name to the Greek ‘satyric’ drama.

The word derives from “satura”

in early use a discursive composition in verse treating of a variety of subjects, in classical use a poem in which prevalent follies or vices are assailed with ridicule or with serious denunciation (OED)

but Austin Osman Spare’s A Book of Satyrs deliberately confuses satyr with satire, being a collection of satirical drawings among which may be found a small number of satyrs. Spare’s book was published in 1907 in an edition of 300 copies; it was reprinted by John Lane in 1909, and has been reissued since but any edition of Spare seems fated to vanish almost as soon as it appears, hence this unauthorised scan at the Internet Archive. Technically, these are some of the most detailed drawings that Spare produced so it’s to their benefit that the copies are a decent size; the meaning may not always be clear but you can at least wander among the accumulations of body parts, masks and bric-a-brac. Most are dated 1906, Spare’s 20th year.

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Previously on { feuilleton }
Spare things
Dreaming Out of Space: Kenneth Grant on HP Lovecraft
MMM in IT
Abrahadabra
Murmur Become Ceaseless and Myriad
New Austin Spare grimoires
Austin Spare absinthe
Austin Spare’s Behind the Veil
Austin Osman Spare

 


 

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}.

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3 comments or trackbacks

  1. #1 posted by octo7

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    Thanks for the share, love his work.

  2. #2 posted by The joey Zone

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    The 12″ w/the Spare art I played in heavy rotation on my radio program at the time it came out
    >https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hu8NdrSnwZw

  3. #3 posted by John

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    Ah, yes, I still have the 7-inch somewhere. Not a bad record but I started to lose interest around that point.

 


 

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