Weekend links 249

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The Philosophers (Homage to Courbet) by Christopher Ulrich. Another great tip from Full Fathom Five.

• “Mushrooms are the only psychedelic drugs that I take, and I don’t take them very often. But I would trust them. Once you’ve done them a few times it’s very easy to feel a sense of entity. You can feel that there is a characteristic in this level of consciousness which almost seems…playful? Or aware, or sometimes a bit spooky.” Alan Moore discussing art and psychedelics in Mustard magazine. Related: “Psychedelics not linked to mental health problems or suicidal behavior: A population study.”

• “Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant-garde star,” says Boyd Tonkin. At the BBC Chris Long looks at Leonora Carrington’s journey from Lancashire to Mexico. The Carrington exhibition at Tate Liverpool opened on Friday.

A Savoyard’s First Brush with Censorship, Clara Casian’s proposed documentary film about Savoy Books, is looking for Kickstarter funding.

Warner suggests that there are four characteristics that define a veritable fairy tale: first, it should be short; second, it should be (or seem) familiar; third, it should suggest ‘the necessary presence of the past’ through well-known plots and characters; fourth, since fairy tales are told in what Warner aptly calls ‘a symbolic Esperanto’, it should allow horrid deeds and truculent events to be read as matter-of-fact. If, as Warner says, ‘the scope of a fairy tale is made by language’, it is through language that our unconscious world, with its dreams and half-grasped intuitions, comes into being and its phantoms are transformed into comprehensible figures like cannibal giants, wicked parents or friendly beasts.

Alberto Manguel reviewing Once Upon a Time: A Short History of Fairy Tale by Marina Warner

De Natura Sonorum (1976) by Bernard Parmegiani: a free download at AGP of the original vinyl recording, something I overlooked several years ago.

• At Dangerous Minds: Real Horrorshow!: Malcolm McDowell and Anthony Burgess discuss Kubrick and A Clockwork Orange.

Meeting Bernard Szajner, a short film about the French electronic musician by Tom Colvile, Nathan Gibson & Abdullah Al-wali.

• Dismembrance of the Thing’s Past: Dave Tompkins on John Carpenter’s The Thing.

That Battle Is Over, a new song by Jenny Hval.

Mushroom (1971) by Can | The Mushroom Family (2010) by The Time And Space Machine | Growing Mushrooms Of Potency (2012) by Expo ’70

Weekend links 221

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Untitled (Penny Arcade Portrait of Lauren Bacall) (1946) by Joseph Cornell.

• Having been a Bernard Szajner enthusiast for many years it’s good to see his music receiving some belated reappraisal. David McKenna talked to Szajner about his Visions Of Dune album (which is being reissued by InFiné next month), laser harps, The (Hypothetical) Prophets, and working with Howard Devoto.

• Priscilla Frank posts some big views of Marjorie Cameron’s occult paintings as a preview of the forthcoming exhibition at MOCA Pacific Design Center, Los Angeles.

• Fascinating reading in light of the recent kerfuffle over True Detective, Christopher Loring Knowles on the possible sources of HP Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos.

Those who set up oppositions between the electronic technology and that of the printing press perpetuate Frollo’s fallacy. They want us to believe that the book—an instrument as perfect as the wheel or the knife, capable of holding memory and experience, an instrument that is truly interactive, allowing us to begin and end a text wherever we choose, to annotate in the margins, to give its reading a rhythm at will—should be discarded in favor of a newer tool. Such intransigent choices result in technocratic extremism. In an intelligent world, electronic devices and printed books share the space of our work desks and offer each of us different qualities and reading possibilities. Context, whether intellectual or material, matters, as most readers know.

Alberto Manguel, lucid as always, on the act and import of reading.

• “It’s time to give prog rock’s artist-in-residence Roger Dean his due,” says Amber Frost. No argument there, I did my bit in 2010.

• “Why do the covers of so many self-published books look like shit?” asks B. David Zarley.

• Mixes of the week: FACT mix 455 by Airhead, and Secret Thirteen mix 225 by Clock DVA.

• At Core77: Rain Noe chooses favourite skyscraper photos by Russian urban explorers.

• “O, Excellent Air Bag”: Mike Jay on the nitrous oxide fad of the early 19th century.

Nick Carr goes in search of Manhattan’s last remaining skybridges.

Lauren Bacall at Pinterest.

• Shaï Hulud (1979) by Zed (Bernard Szajner) | Welcome (To Death Row) (1980) by Bernard Szajner | Person To Person (1982) by The (Hypothetical) Prophets

Weekend links 151

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Untitled art by Yang Yongliang. There’s more at But Does It Float.

• “Newly unearthed ITV play could be first ever gay television drama“. Writer Gerald Savory, incidentally, also adapted Dracula for the BBC in 1977, still the version that’s closest to the novel.

Craig Redman and Karl Maier‘s poster designs for the Bavarian State Opera.

Lustmord: ambient’s dark star, and The Strange World of Scanner.

The cats are tapping the old man for psychic sap, milking him, stalking through rubbled dreams of the coming Land of the Dead. On subsequent US visits – to Bastrop in Texas and Phoenix, Arizona – I learned about the fellowship of those internal exiles, the hardcore writers: Michael Moorcock, Jim Sallis. Like Burroughs, they kept cats and guns (Mike’s was a replica). Cats infiltrate mystery fiction: men with coffee habits, ex-drinkers, post-traumatic spooks solving crimes the hard way. Moorcock uses cats like a scarf, like Peter Sellers in The Wrong Box; their claws scratch runes into his easy chair.

Iain Sinclair remembers visiting William Burroughs. I remember meeting those Moorcock moggies; not as interesting to reminisce about, however.

The Ghosts of Antarctica: Abandoned Stations and Huts.

• A Masterpiece of the Ridiculous by Jocelyn Brooke.

• “Chance is a good librarian,” says Alberto Manguel.

• Mix of the week: dub from Bristol duo Zhou.

The Aleph: Infinite Wonder / Infinite Pity.

Sarah Lee‘s underwater photography.

Arthur #34 is out!

Underwater (1979) by Harry Thumann | Underwater Church (1992) by Conrad Schnitzler | Underwater Flowers (2003) by John Foxx & Harold Budd

Weekend links 112

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“Venus moves across the Sun in this image captured by Japan’s satellite Hinode, on June 6, 2012.” Via.

The imagery in Ah Pook covered a wide range of ideas. A train full of Mayan Gods for instance travelled through various time zones to end up alongside a carnival in a red brick town outside St Louis. Then they got out…out of the books Mr. Hart was reading on the train. Fact also alternated with fiction. We could be chugging along with Lizard boys in a Mayan City one moment then switch to a history of Immigration Laws in the US or the development of tape recorders and Speech Scramblers. Then switch to a bright red Shrew boy with a hard-on on a bicycle in Palm Beach at the end of the world. Time was what the book was about: defining it, controlling it and moving back and forth within it.

Malcolm McNeill

Malcolm McNeill talks to The White Review about working with William Burroughs on Ah Pook Is Here. Related: Jan Herman as Publisher of Nova Broadcast Press. Reality Studio has all the Nova Broadcast publications as downloadable PDFs.

• More Graphic Canon news: design historian Steven Heller reports on the project while at Nashville Scene editor Russ Kick talks to Joe Nolan about the books.

• There’s still a couple of days left to hear Martyn Wade’s Blue Veils and Golden Sands, a BBC radio drama about electronic composer Delia Derbyshire.

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“Venus in silhouette, seen between the Earth and Sun, from NASA’s orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory, on June 5, 2012.” Via.

• From 2010: Video of an hour-long lecture by Alberto Manguel at Yale University on “Borges and the Impossibility of Writing”.

• Bauhaus reflections: Frank Whitford on the design school and the exhibition currently running at the Barbican, London.

• “It’s easier to be gay in the US army than it is to be gay in hip-hop.” Zebra Katz, Mykki Blanco and the rise of queer rap.

• Back at the event site: Another extract from M. John Harrison’s forthcoming novel Empty Space.

• Rare 1959 audio: Flannery O’Connor reads A Good Man is Hard to Find.

Venus Transit 2012 – Ultra-high Definition View (NASA/ESA).

• The kitties just don’t care: Indifferent cats in amateur porn.

What happened to Dorothy Parker’s ashes?

Space Teriyaki 5 at 50 Watts.

Venus/Upper Egypt (1991) by Sonny Sharrock | Venus (1996) by Funki Porcini | Venus (2003) by Air

Weekend links 62

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A plate from Tales of the Amur by Dmitry Nagishkin, a 1975 edition illustrated by Gennady Pavlishin.

• The week in Surrealism: Opera of the surreal gives Dalí an encore: Yo, Dalí, a previously unperformed work by Xavier Benguerel, receives its premier in Madrid. Meanwhile Tate Liverpool’s summer exhibition, René Magritte: The Pleasure Principle, is profiled here. “René Magritte has inspired more book covers than any other visual artist,” says James Hall.

If Rimbaud anticipated the Surrealists by decades, Ashbery is said to have gone beyond them and defied even their rules and logic. Yet though nearly 150 years have intervened since Rimbaud’s first declaration of independence, many readers in our own age, too, still prefer a coherence of imagery, a sameness of tone, a readable sequential message, even, ultimately, what amounts to a prose narrative broken into lines.

Lydia Davis on Rimbaud’s Wise Music.

Umberto Eco’s glimpse into the art of the novel | Return to Wonderland: an essay on Lewis Carroll’s world by Alberto Manguel | Heavy sentences by Joseph Epstein: On How to Write a Sentence and How to Read One, by Stanley Fish.

And then there’s the mystery of what happened to him for those four months in London when we have no trace of him. Rimbaud mentions Scarborough in “Promontory” and talks about “Hotels, the circular façades of the Royal and the Grand in Scarborough or Brooklyn.” Since there’s that missing period in England, people say he must have gone to Scarborough, and have even checked hotel registers for that period, but as far as I know nobody has ever found anything. Someone even checked railway and train schedules in order to pin him to this real place. I seem to remember a French writer admitting that Rimbaud was never in Brooklyn, but kind of wishfully thinking that he might have been. Which is very funny. “Rimbaud in Brooklyn”: there’s a project for someone.

A Refutation of Common Sense, John Ashberry on translating Rimbaud.

Robert Jeffrey posts a video of his nine-year-old self giving Madge a run for her money in 1991. As Boy Culture puts it: “Anyone who feebly clings to the belief that gay can be prayed away should take a look at this and give up already…” Amen.

• The mathematics of Yog-Sothoth: Richard Elwes on Exotic spheres, or why 4-dimensional space is a crazy place.

For I Will Consider My Cat Jeoffry by Christopher Smart (1722–1771).

Lesbian pulp fiction, 1935–1978 and Faber 20th century classics.

As The Crow Flies, a new album from The Advisory Circle.

New World Transparent Specimens by Iori Tomita.

79 versions of Gershon Kingley’s Popcorn.

Minor Man (1981) by The League of Gentlemen.