Weekend links 366

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Dandelion (2009) by Tomoko Kashiki.

• “Standard Ebooks takes ebooks from sources like Project Gutenberg, formats and typesets them using a carefully designed and professional-grade style guide, lightly modernizes them, fully proofreads and corrects them, and then builds them to take advantage of state-of-the-art ereader and browser technology.”

Obscenity and the Arts, a previously unpublished essay by Anthony Burgess, will appear in book form later this year via Pariah Press.

• Mixes of the week: VF Mix 97: Talk Talk by The Last Dinosaur, and Secret Thirteen Mix 225 by Janek Schaefer.

Rub any two writers together and similarities will show. No two writers, however different, are completely different. Here’s a crucial instance: Lovecraft and Ballard both put architecture at the heart of their fiction, even though neither had the slightest formal training in the subject. And it is via this interest that the two intersect in an unexpected way. They are connected, through time and space, by that most humble of architectural events: the corner, the junction between two walls. What Lovecraft and Ballard did was to make the corner into a place of nightmares — and in doing so, they reveal its secret history.

Will Wiles in a long and rewarding essay, The Corner of Lovecraft and Ballard

• Dungeons Deep, Forests Dark – A beginner’s guide to Dungeon Synth by Daniel Pietersen.

Alex Ross on Joséphin Péladan, the Symbolists and the occult roots of Modernism.

• Cooling the Tube: engineering heat out of the [London] Underground by IanVisits.

Caroline on the mysteries of Pye Corner: Flames, poltergeists and bodysnatchers.

• The Saint of Sin City – Tony Kail Visits Las Vegas’ Santuario de la Santa Muerte.

• Photographs of Art Nouveau architecture by Keiichi Tahara.

• A stream of the new Porter Ricks album, Anguilla Electrica.

Jasper Sharp on 100 years of Japanese animation.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: 197 clocks.

On The Corner [Take 4] (1972) by Miles Davis | Corner Crew Dub (1976) by Augustus Pablo | Empty Avenues And Dark Corners (Pye Corner Audio Mix) (2013) by John Foxx and the Belbury Circle

Weekend links 244

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MMOB :: Far West (2013) by Alison Scarpulla.

• “…although same-sex love is as old as love itself, the public discourse around it, and the political movement to win rights for it, arose in Germany in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This message may surprise those who believe that gay identity came of age in London and New York, sometime between the Oscar Wilde trials and the Stonewall riots.” Alex Ross reviewing Robert Beachy’s Gay Berlin: Birthplace of a Modern Identity. Beachy talks about his book here.

• “I was in a room with tube synthesizers, where you had to tune them up to play them. It was unbelievable.” John Carpenter talking to Joseph Stannard about composing with electronics. Carpenter’s album of new music, Lost Themes, may be previewed here.

• From 2010: John Ridpath on Mervyn Peake’s illustrations for Lewis Carroll’s Alice Through the Looking Glass and Alice in Wonderland. Related: “The most twisted version of Alice in Wonderland you’ll ever see.”

I was brought up in a world where art was something owned and insured—usually inherited: but seldom if ever made by anyone one I knew.

I had an early inkling that there was fun to be had over the hill, like the feeling when faced with a sunset that someone’s throwing a mega awesome party just beyond the nearest cloud, and I set off to join the caravan. Let’s just say I was in search of company, headed towards the glow, and I found it.

Tilda Swinton‘s speech at the Rothko Chapel

• “Her art often touches on alchemy and magic; and in her memoir of insanity she writes of misreading an Imperial Chemicals sign as ‘chemistry and alchemy’.” Charlotte Higgins on Leonora Carrington.

Shadows Over Main Street, an anthology of small-town Lovecraftian terror, is out this week from Hazardous Press. 20 stories and poems plus interior illustrations including a contribution of my own.

• “With Fantastic Planet, I felt torn about using it, because it’s…the title of an animated film.” Guitarist Sarah Lipstate, aka Noveller, talks to Ned Raggett about her new album.

Jim Jupp of Belbury Poly and the Ghost Box record label answers 15 questions.

• A DeLorean driving through a Tron cityscape: Retrowave by Florian Renner.

• Powell & Pressburger’s Tales of Hoffmann (1951) has been restored.

Music from Forbidden Planet (1956) by Louis & Bebe Barron | The Four Horsemen (1972) by Aphrodite’s Child | Assault on Precinct 13 (Main Theme) (1976) by John Carpenter

Wildeana 6

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“The rich making merry in their beautiful houses, while the beggars were sitting at the gates.” Above and below: illustrations by Charles Robinson from The Happy Prince and Other Tales, an edition from 1920.

Continuing an occasional series. I’ve yet to see a copy of the recent annotated and unexpurgated edition of The Picture of Dorian Gray but Alex Ross wrote a marvellous essay for the New Yorker about the novel, its creation, its public reception, and Wilde’s decision to tone down the overt homoeroticism of its earlier drafts. This is one of the best pieces I’ve seen for a while about Wilde, replete with choice detail:

The gay strain in Wilde’s work is part of a larger war on convention. In the 1889 story “The Portrait of Mr. W. H.,” a pseudo-scholarly, metafictional investigation of Shakespeare’s sonnets to a boy, Wilde slyly suggests that the pillar of British literature was something other than an ordinary family man. In the 1891 play “Salomé,” Wilde expands a Biblical anecdote into a sumptuous panorama of decadence. Anarchists of the fin de siècle, especially in Germany, considered Wilde one of their own: Gustav Landauer hailed Wilde as the English Nietzsche. Thomas Mann expanded on the analogy, observing that various lines of Wilde might have come from Nietzsche (“There is no reality in things apart from their experiences”) and that various lines of Nietzsche might have come from Wilde (“We are basically inclined to maintain that the falsest judgments are the most indispensable to us”). Nietzsche and Wilde were, in Mann’s view, “rebels in the name of beauty.”

As for the novel, I’m feeling rather Dorian Grayed-out at the moment, having recently completed ten illustrations based on the story for a forthcoming anthology. More about that later.

Elsewhere, the William Andrews Clarke Memorial Library in Los Angeles has been running an exhibition, Oscar Wilde & the Visual Art(ists) of the Fin-de-Siecle, since July, and will continue to do so until the end of September. No word about what’s on display but this page on their website has details of their collection of Wilde materials which they say is the most comprehensive in the world.

Finally, the majority of visits to these pages in recent days have come from this post about Ivan Albright’s astonishing Dorian Gray painting in the Art Institute of Chicago. The post links to an earlier one of mine about the paintings used in Albert Lewin’s 1945 film of the book.

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Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The Oscar Wilde archive