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

Archive for the {books} category

 

Invisible Cities: Miscellanea

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Cover art: The Castle in the Pyrenees (1961) by René Magritte. A final post for this week devoted to Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, and it occurs to me that “Miscellanea” could easily be the name of one of Marco Polo’s cities. One thing that’s become apparent over the past few days is that this subject […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {cities}, {design}, {fantasy}, {painting} | No comments »

 


Seeing Calvino: Invisible Cities

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Continuous Cities 4: Cecilia by Leighton Connor. Seeing Calvino is the most recent of the illustration projects featured this week, a group effort by three artists—Leighton Connor, Matt Kish and Joe Kuth—dedicated to picturing all 55 of the Invisible Cities. Matt Kish has been mentioned here before since he and I were among the many […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {cities}, {fantasy}, {illustrators} | No comments »

 


Gérard Trignac’s Invisible Cities

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I wrote a short appreciation of French artist Gérard Trignac back in 2006, and he’s been mentioned a few times since, so it would be remiss of me to not include his etchings in this week’s illustration series. Trignac is a favourite of mine among the current crop of French etchers and engravers for his […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {cities}, {fantasy}, {illustrators} | 4 comments »

 


Colleen Corradi Brannigan’s Invisible Cities

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Cities and Memory 5: Maurilia. Colleen Corradi Brannigan’s multimedia project was linked here back in 2011 when news of her endeavours reached a number of high-profile websites. These artworks are another attempt to depict all of Italo Calvino’s cities, this time using a range of media that includes sculpture. I like the variety of this […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {cities}, {fantasy}, {illustrators}, {painting}, {sculpture} | 1 comment »

 


Le Città In/visibili

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Thin Cities 3: Armilla by Luca Enoch. Sergio Bonelli Editore, an Italian comics publisher, staged an exhibition of art based on Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities at the Triennale Milano in 2002. The drawings for Le Città In/visibili head in the opposite direction from Mikhail Viesel’s depictions, and in several pictures push the cities towards generic fantasy […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {cities}, {comics}, {fantasy}, {illustrators}, {science fiction} | 4 comments »

 


Mikhail Viesel’s Invisible Cities

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Thin Cities 2: Zenobia. I’ve a lot of work to get through this week so the theme will be illustrated Calvino, and that means looking at various renderings of the Invisible Cities. Calvino’s novel has many attractions for illustrators, at least superficially: all those descriptions, the endless variety and invention. Whether the book should be […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {cities}, {fantasy}, {illustrators} | 1 comment »

 


Weekend links 265

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The White House, Washington DC, on the evening of June 26, 2015. I can remember that after the cops cleared us out of the bar we clustered in Christopher Street around the entrance to the Stonewall. The customers were not being arrested, but a paddy wagon had already hauled off several of the bartenders. Two […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {music}, {politics}, {science fiction}, {television}, {typography} | No comments »

 


English printers’ ornaments

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As a book designer you can never have too many printers’ ornaments, especially if you’re required to mimic period designs. These are from a historical overview, English Printers’ Ornaments (1924) by Henry Robert Plomer. Ideally I’d prefer several volumes gathering hundreds of these things from different periods but such a hoard seems a distant dream. […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {typography} | No comments »

 


The recurrent pose 56

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A pair of literary poses for this increasingly sluggish series. Both these titles are gay-themed to a greater or lesser degree. James Purdy (1914–2009) received much praise from contemporaries while he was alive but, like Angus Wilson, he’s one of those writers’ writers you don’t hear about today. Outsiders were a favourite Purdy theme, and […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {gay}, {painting}, {photography} | 2 comments »

 


Bookmark: Italo Calvino

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I’ve been re-reading Invisible Cities this week so the discovery of an interview in English with its author was most welcome. Bookmark was a BBC series about writers that ran throughout the 1980s; each programme usually lasted for 50 minutes but this episode from 1985 only devotes 25 minutes to Calvino’s life and work. Considering Calvino’s […]

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

 


Weekend links 264

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Stonehenge Suite, No.10 (1977) by Malcolm Dakin. • “Part of me always wanted to write a teatime drama. That’s something that I wanted to get out of my system,” says director Peter Strickland. The results may be heard here. In the same interview there’s news that Strickland will be adapting Nigel Kneale’s The Stone Tape […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {music}, {occult}, {painting}, {religion} | 1 comment »

 


Copying Clarke

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“On to the brocken the witches are flocking.” From Faust (1925) by Harry Clarke. Spotted earlier this week, a rather blatant swipe from Harry Clarke’s Faust by an unknown cover artist for the Avon Fantasy Reader. Such borrowings weren’t uncommon in the pulp magazines—the pressure of deadlines no doubt encouraged them—and I’ve logged a couple […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {fantasy}, {illustrators}, {magazines}, {pulp} | 2 comments »

 


The Duc de Joyeux

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I was writing about the Vorticists last week so for the traditional Bloomsday post here’s a portrait of Joyce by Wyndham Lewis. The Vorticists were supporters of Joyce (he’s praised in the first issue of Blast), and Lewis produced several portrait sketches. This one—The Duc de Joyeux Sings—is the only example I’ve seen in something […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books} | 2 comments »

 


Weekend links 263

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Dancing Horse (1972) by Tadashi Nakayama. • The Wounded Galaxies Festival of Experimental Media takes place in Bloomington, Indiana, on October 7–11, 2015. The event is an offshoot of the earlier Burroughs Century, and the phrase “wounded galaxies” is one of Burroughs’ own. It’s also the partial title of Wounded Galaxies Tap At The Window, […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {drugs}, {electronica}, {fantasy}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {music}, {psychedelia}, {television}, {work} | 4 comments »

 


Dracula and I by Christopher Lee

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Impossible, not to say foolish, to attempt a brief summary of Christopher Lee’s incredible life and career. Rather than compete with the obituaries, here’s something you won’t find elsewhere, a short piece by Lee himself about his relationship to the role that made him famous. This is taken from The Dracula Scrapbook, a collection of […]

Posted in {books}, {film}, {horror} | 7 comments »

 


De Sphaera

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De Sphaera aka Sphaerae coelestis et planetarum descriptio is a collection of astrological plates and diagrams showing the symbolic attributes of the planets, and also their relations in the heavens according to the beliefs of 1470. There’s an obvious similarity to the celebrated (and much imitated) plates from the Splendor Solis (1582) plates although De […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {occult} | Comments Off

 


Delineations

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The recent upgrading of the Internet Archive website has made visual browsing somewhat easier than before: areas visited in the past now offer up items that might have been overlooked. This is one such result, one of the many mysterious documents in the Manly Palmer Hall collection of occult manuscripts. Unlike the handwritten texts in […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {occult} | 3 comments »

 


Weekend links 262

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You’ll Never Be Alone, Even In Death (2014) by Stacey Rozich. • “But the CD-R format, which eventually replaced the mix tape, turned out to be a technological letdown. ‘CD-Rs are just such an unstable format,’ Margolis says. ‘When you made 10 cassettes, the 10 cassettes generally played. If you made 10 CD-Rs, 8 of […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {electronica}, {fantasy}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {music}, {occult}, {surrealism}, {technology} | 1 comment »

 


The Contrary Tale of the Butterfly Girl

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Three months after The Singular & Extraordinary Tale of Mirror & Goliath I can reveal my cover design for Ishbelle Bee’s sequel, The Contrary Tale of the Butterfly Girl. Here’s a summary, swiped once again from the Barnes & Noble SF & Fantasy blog: Two orphans, Pedrock and Boo Boo, are sent to live in […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {fantasy}, {typography}, {work} | 4 comments »

 


La Bibliothèque de Babel

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It was perhaps inevitable that this small collection of works of fantastic fiction was named after its director’s most famous creation, the Library of Babel. Jorge Luis Borges chose the titles, and also wrote introductions for each of the books. The series was published in France by Retz–Ricci, with 4000 numbered copies of each title […]

Posted in {books}, {borges}, {design}, {fantasy} | 6 comments »

 


 



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