À Rebours illustrated

huysmans1.jpg

Not a comprehensive post by any means but a few items worthy of note for readers of Joris-Karl Huysmans’ Decadent classic. The Vera Bock cover is from a 1937 American edition which turned up here last year. Thanks to Jescie for drawing my attention to the presence of my Haunter of the Dark collection on the same site. Vera Bock is an unusual choice of illustrator for this particular novel, there’s more of her work and details of her career at A Journey Round My Skull.

huysmans2.jpg

Auguste Leroux’s edition (above & below) is from 1920 and can be downloaded at the Internet Archive although the copy there seems to have had many of its full-page plates stolen. The artist produced an illustrated Memoirs of Casanova a few years later and he seems here to have concentrated on the more salacious aspects of Huysmans’ story, as with this brothel scene which is missing from the scanned edition. His depiction of Des Esseintes looks too middle-aged for me but the rendering of the unfortunate jewelled tortoise could hardly be bettered.

huysmans3.jpg

huysmans4.jpg

Browsing the archives at Gallica turned up this extraordinary Art Nouveau edition from 1903 illustrated and embellished on every page by Auguste Lèpere. This would be an excessively lavish treatment for most books but for a story of aesthetic obsession it seems quite appropriate. Gallica also allows the downloading of many of their documents although that function kept failing my attempts. But this volume really does need to be seen in its entirety.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The illustrators archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Arthur Zaidenberg’s À Rebours

Weekend links: New Year edition

olofsdotter1.jpg

Flower Me Gently (2010) by Linn Olofsdotter.

• “Many of Moorcock’s editorials are published here, and they still make exhilarating reading. Then, as now, Moorcock set his face against a besetting English sin: a snobbish parochial weariness, an ironic superiority to the frightful oiks who have started filling up the streets. You can almost hear, behind the languorous flutter of the pages, Sir Whatsits sniggering to Lady Doo-Dah. It still goes on, and it’s usually the same flummery in different clothes. Moorcock not only would not go to the party: he threw the literary equivalent of explosive devices into the Hampstead living rooms.” Michael Moorcock’s Into the Media Web reviewed. And also here.

• “Beefheart channeled a secret history of America, the underbelly of a continent and a culture that has now all but vanished along with one of its greatest poets.” Jon Savage on the life and work of the late Captain.

Miniatures Blog, in which musician Morgan Fisher works his way through each of the fifty one-minute tracks on his extraordinary Miniatures compilation album, with details and anecdotes about the artists and the recording of each piece.

Look at Life: IN gear (1967). A Rank Organisation newsreel about Swinging London. Sardonic commentary and some great colour photography showing how the often shabby reality differs from the caricature. Many of the shots are familiar from documentaries about the era but this is the first time I’ve seen them all in one place.

olofsdotter2.jpg

Predator (Self-portrait) by Linn Olofsdotter.

Lewis Carroll’s new story: The Guardian‘s review of Through the Looking-Glass from December, 1871. Related: My Through the Psychedelic Looking-Glass 2011 calendar is now reduced in price.

The United Kingdom and Ireland as seen from the International Space Station, December, 2010. Related: Spacelog, the stories of early space exploration from the original NASA transcripts.

The “Big Basket” Fraud, 1958: “…there seems to be a limited segment with a one-track mind interested in seeing an exaggerated masculine appendage.”

• “Ancient arena of discord”: a billboard for King’s Cross by Jonathan Barnbrook. Related: Vale Royal by Aidan Andrew Dun.

• The inevitable Ghost Box link, Jim Jupp is interviewed at Cardboard Cutout Sundown.

• Amazon is still playing the random moral guardian at the Kindle store.

Antwerpian Expressionists at A Journey Round My Skull.

Salami CD and vacuum packaging by Mother Eleganza.

Paris 1900: L’Architecture Art Nouveau à Paris.

Bill Sienkiewicz speaks about Big Numbers #3.

Philippe Druillet illustrates Dracula, 1968.

Aesthetic Peacocks at the V&A.

Well Did You Evah! (1990), Deborah Harry & Iggy Pop directed by Alex Cox.

Weekend links 38

lovecraftbaw.jpg

Arriving in the post this week was Lovecraft Black & White, an Italian book whose contents are spelled out in the title, black-and-white illustrations based on the work of the Providence master. Among the featured works is my 1999 rendering of Azathoth. There’s more about the book here and here.

Also on the work front, one of the books I designed interiors for a couple of months back was The Search for Philip K. Dick, a sombre biography and memoir by Anne R. Dick, the author’s third wife. Ms Dick discussed the book with the NYT a few days ago. The design was mostly straightforward layout but I did make a quick ASCII portrait of PKD from one of Anne Dick’s photos.

Farewell, the documentary film about Lady Grace Drummond-Hay’s flight around the world in the Graf Zeppelin, can be viewed here.

• “I personally think that the pages look better on the iPad than they do in real life.” Artist Tom Phillips again on the Humument iPad app.

The Birds Are Flying Elsewhere: singer/songwriter Linda Perhacs. Related: Parallelograms – A Short Film About Linda Perhacs.

St Eia, guitar improvisations by Zali Krishna, “Keywords: jazzgazing; entropy circus; st ives; cornwall; psychogeography”.

Moon Wiring Club and DD Denham: music for children, by children. Related: Moon Wiring Club’s Jayston Mix.

kirkland.jpg

The 1970s was another country, they did things differently there. One of a number of illustrations for science textbooks by Phil Kirkland at A Journey Round My Skull.

• “Fellatio has become a recurrent theme in your work hasn’t it, I say.” Alan Bennett sheds some inhibitions.

Talking To The Sci-Fi Lord: Regenerations & Ruminations With Michael Moorcock.

Time and the Gods (1906) by Lord Dunsany, illustrated by Sidney Sime.

City of Silence, a calendar for 2011 by Thom Ayres.

Scientists glimpse universe before the Big Bang.

• Photography by Josef Sudek (1896–1976).

Aurora photo gallery, November 2010.

The Last Tuesday Society.

Parallelograms (1970) by Linda Perhacs | Six AM (1979) by Thomas Leer & Robert Rental | Rockin’ Back Inside My Heart (1989) by Julee Cruise.

Design as virus 13: Tsunehisa Kimura

kimura.jpg

Waterfall by Tsunehisa Kimura.

Continuing an occasional series. Japanese artist Tsunehisa Kimura (1928–2008) was initially inspired by the polemical graphics of John Heartfield to create his own photomontages, a painstaking collage technique now rendered obsolete by Photoshop. Kimura’s work exchanges Heartfield’s satire for an overt and frequently apocalyptic Surrealism, as in his most visible piece, Waterfall. The copy above is one of a number of pictures reproduced by Geoff Manaugh at BLDGBLOG from a 1979 Kimura collection, Visual Scandals by Photomontage.

schutze1.jpg

Design by Anne-Louise Falson & Paul Schütze.

I was first startled by Waterfall in 1996 when Paul Schütze released his Site Anubis album, the product of a “virtual group” comprised of musicians recording in different studios around the world:

The musicians comprising Phantom City—the name, incidentally, originating from the book title Topology of a Phantom City by French novelist Alain Robbe-Grillet—never met for the recording of Site Anubis, as each one recorded in a different studio in a different country: guitarist Raoul Björkenheim in Helsinki, bass- and contra-bass clarinetist Alex Buess in a Basel studio, soprano saxophonist Lol Coxhill in London, bassist Bill Laswell at Green Point Studio in Brooklyn, New York, trombonist Julian Priester in Seattle, drummer Dirk Wachtelaer in Brussels, and Schütze himself in London and Basel. Incredibly, Laswell had only Schütze’s electronic backing track to respond to. Wachtelaer had Laswell and Schütze to play against, Björkenheim had drums and bass,—in short, certain players had more information than others.

schutze2.jpg

Kimura’s picture is an ideal accompaniment to this excellent album, especially when you note a Ballard reference in the titles (not the first in Schütze’s oevre), and read the scene-setting piece of fiction on the CD insert, an explanation of the album title:

That morning a report came in from an unmarked helicopter somewhere over the city. The waters were subsiding and the smoke from a thousand fires had begun to drift inland revealing an impossible new structure. Towering some eight hundred feet over the gleaming devastation of the streets, its base occupying an entire city block, was a colossal black basalt figure. The body was male and human, – the head, which stared expectantly toward the boiling western horizon, was the head of a jackal. From the air it was clear that the pattern of destruction on the ground was radial and that the massive figure was sited precisely at its centre.

Continue reading “Design as virus 13: Tsunehisa Kimura”

Weekend links: the Halloween edition

goddem.jpg

Goddem with Attendants (1924) by Harry Clarke.

• Some of Harry Clarke’s extraordinary illustrations from Goethe’s Faust can be seen at A Journey Round My Skull. And a reminder for anyone who missed them, Clarke’s Poe illustrations at Golden Age Comic Book Stories.

HP Lovecraft – Audio Books, Radio Plays, & Audio Documentaries. Out-of-print recordings and (no doubt) pirate copies of more recent things. I found this page by accident so it was a surprise to see my 1999 Lovecraft portrait used there. I used to own the David McCallum Dunwich Horror, an album with a singularly appalling sleeve illustration.

• Better album sleeves can be found here: Prospective 21e Siècle, a collection of foil designs from 1967. Some of the very challenging music within can be downloaded at the Avant Garde Project archive. Related: Have an electroacoustic Halloween with Ilhan Mimaroglu’s Le Tombeau d’Edgar Poe (1964) and Wings of the Delirious Demon (1969).

startrails.jpg

Star Trails and the Captain’s Ghost, a photo by Chris Kotsiopoulos at Astronomy Picture of the Day.

• “The horror industry is totally male dominated from its directors to its slashers, and even its bloggers…and I think that needs to change.” Day of the Woman, a blog for the feminine side of fear.

6 of the Scariest Queer Horror Books Ever. I think I’d agree with the commenter in picking The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson.

• Designer Jonathan Barnbrook (pictured in a graveyard by the looks of things) is interviewed at MyFonts.

A Weird and Scratching Beauty: The Art of John Coulthart and Call of Cthulhu.

Is the Royal Masonic School for Boys the scariest building in Britain?

50-million-year-old insect trove found in Indian amber.

The Café Kaput Samhain 2010 mixtape.

The Groovy Age of Horror.

Monster Mash (1962) by Bobby “Boris” Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers.