Weekend links 287

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Cover by Valentine Hugo for Contes Bizarres (1933) by Achim d’Arnim. See Hugo’s interior illustrations here.

• “In spite of the blood-drinking pursuits of Rollin’s protagonists, there’s very little in the way of body horror to be found. His undead are sensual, romantic creatures that are frequently delicate of mind and body. These movies attempt to evoke nuanced emotional responses with their mixture of romance, loss, eroticism, and tragedy.” Tenebrous Kate on Sex, Death, and the Psychedelic Madness of Jean Rollin.

• “Late at night, [Melville] ‘turned flukes’ down Oxford Street as if he were being followed by a great whale, and thought he saw ‘blubber rooms’ in the butcheries of the Fleet Market.” Philip Hoare on Herman Melville’s time in London.

Haunted by Books, a new collection of writings by Mark Valentine, “explores the more curious byways of literature.” Full details at the home of the esoteric, Tartarus Press.

I am completely an elitist, in the cultural but emphatically not the social sense. I prefer the good to the bad, the articulate to the mumbling, the aesthetically developed to the merely primitive, and full to partial consciousness. I love the spectacle of skill, whether it’s an expert gardener at work, or a good carpenter chopping dovetails, or someone tying a Bimini hitch that won’t slip.

Art critic Robert Hughes quoted in a review by Siri Hustvedt of The Spectacle of Skill: Selected Writings of Robert Hughes

• “Art, art – I couldn’t give a crap about art.” Oscar Wilde’s nephew, Arthur Cravan, puts in another appearance at Strange Flowers.

• “The Tarot is utterly fascinating,” says Evan J. Peterson discussing his Tarot-inspired writing with Tarot Poetry.

Manuel Göttsching: “A lot of crazy music happened at the end of the ’60s, very strange, and very curious…”

• Mixes of the week: Secret Thirteen Mix 169 by Chra, and 28th November 2015 by The Séance.

Czech Artists’ Radical Book Designs of the Early 20th Century

• Ten things you might not know about Yayoi Kusama.

• More megaliths: Francis Pryor on ritual landscapes.

Peaches gets wild in the desert: Rub (uncensored).

Irmin Schmidt‘s favourite records (this week)

Mount Etna erupts

Rituals (1981) by Bush Tetras | Ballet For A Blue Whale (1983) by Adrian Belew | Etna (2006) by Boris & Sunn O)))

Weekend links 238

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We Are The Water – Snow Drawings Project, Colorado (2014) by Sonja Hinrichsen with 50 volunteers.

• I don’t do end-of-year lists but Dennis Cooper does. My thanks to Dennis once more for including this blog among his selections. Also there is Jonathan Glazer’s film of Under the Skin, an adaptation of Michel Faber’s novel that impressed me as the most insidiously disturbing thing I’ve seen since Mulholland Drive. The Guardian‘s film critics agreed, making it their film of the year. I’d add to Peter Bradshaw’s appraisal by noting the superb score by Mica Levi, the refusal to spoon-feed the audience with explanations, and a refreshing absence of Hollywood gloss. Glazer’s film, like Kill List before it, shows that mundane British streets and interiors can still be a setting for serious horror.

• Related to the above: “I like Caravan, Coil—it’s very sad that they’re both dead now. In fact, Peter Christopherson, who was leader of Coil, contributed a song to a CD which I made for my wife for what we believed would be her last birthday.” Michel Faber talks to Hope Whitmore about Under the Skin and his new novel, The Book of Strange New Things. M. John Harrison recommends the latter on his own end-of-year list. In January Black Mass Rising will release a recording of The Art of Mirrors, Peter Christopherson’s homage to Derek Jarman from 2004.

David Bowie and band live on Musikladen in 1978: 40 minutes with Adrian Belew on squealing lead guitar, some Kurt Weill and an outstanding performance of “Heroes”.

• “Realism is a literary convention – no more, no less – and is therefore as laden with artifice as any other literary convention.” Tom McCarthy on realism and the real.

• Mixes of the week: The Best of the Best of the Best by TheCuriosityPipe, and Secret Thirteen Mix 138, a medley of post punk from Psyche.

• “We spent two weeks making the penises.” Livin’ Thing: An Oral History of Boogie Nights by Alex French and Howie Kahn.

• At Dangerous Minds: Seeing The Man Who Fell to Earth was one of the greatest experiences of Philip K. Dick’s life.

• Giving Voice to Our Pagan Past and Present: Pam Grossman on Witches, Women and Pop Occulture.

• Neglected last week (and linked everywhere but still a good one): The typography of Alien.

William Mortensen, the photographer who Ansel Adams called the Anti-Christ.

• Hear a track from analogue synthesizer virtuoso Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith.

Rick Poynor on illustrations by Bohumil Stepan for Crazy Fairy Tales.

12 excellent features from directors who never made another feature.

Werner Herzog Inspirationals

The Devil in the Hedgerow

New Warm Skin (1980) by Simple Minds | Rapture Of The Skin (1996) by Paul Schütze | Take Me Into Your Skin (2007) by Trentemøller

Weekend links 81

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Black Cat on a Chair (1850–1860) by Andrew L Von Wittkamp.

• “A little bit of acid, lots of weed, and too much Castaneda and I was ready to move from the magical realm of Middle Earth into a world that was much stranger than any involving hairy dwarves and white wizards…” Too Much to Dream by Peter Bebergal, “a psychedelic American boyhood”.

This year’s Booker prize isn’t about the power of the new – there’s no experiment with form or strangeness of imagination. The winner may get on the bedside tables of middle England, but that’s not as important as changing the way that even one person dreams.

Jeanette Winterson throws the cat among the pigeons.

• 50 Watts continues to show us things you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere: illustrations by TagliaMani from a new edition of Les Chants de Maldoror, and War Is a Verb, collages by Allan Kausch.

• Don’t go in the swimming pool! Coilhouse directs us to Fantasy: music by French outfit DyE with a weird and nasty animation by Jérémie Périn.

• Ace album cover designer and photographic Surrealist Storm Thorgerson is having another exhibition at IG Gallery, London.

The Art of Leo and Diane Dillon, an art and illustration archive.

John Turturro reads a short story by Italo Calvino.

Spaceport America by Foster + Partners.

Your Body of Work by Olafur Eliasson.

Wonder-Cat cures all ailments.

Blogging Moby-Dick.

Krazy Kat (1927) by Frankie Trumbauer & His Orchestra with Bix and Lang | Pussy Cat Dues (1959) by Charles Mingus | Katzenmusik 5 (1979) by Michael Rother | Big Electric Cat (1982) by Adrian Belew | Purrfect (1996) by Funki Porcini.