Weekend links 368

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Piazzetta San Marco by Moonlight (no date) by Friedrich Paul Nerly.

• RIP Heathcote Williams (Guardian obit, NYT obit): poet, playwright, actor, artist, anarchist, stage magician, and no doubt many other things besides. Being a product of the counter-culture, and one of Britain’s foremost anti-establishment writers (his polemics against the Royal Family were unceasing), Williams was a regular in the early publications produced by my colleagues at Savoy Books; in fact there’s a piece by him in The Savoy Book itself. Consequently, Williams always felt like a distant relative even though we never met. Of his many film appearances, which ranged from low-budget independent productions to Hollywood junk, he was ideally cast as Prospero in Derek Jarman’s film of The Tempest, and he audaciously steals a scene from Tilda Swinton in Sally Potter’s wonderful Orlando. Elsewhere: Jeremy Harding on Williams’ run-ins with the gatekeepers, and Why D’Ya Do It?, a song by Marianne Faithfull with lyrics by Williams.

• Mixes of the week: Secret Thirteen Mix 226 by Chihei Hatakeyama, and SydArthur Festival 2: Summer of Love Edition by Head Heritage.

Geeta Dayal on composer and musique concrète pioneer Pierre Henry whose death was also announced this week.

Jonathan Meades reviews Vinyl.Album.Cover.Art: The Complete Hipgnosis Catalogue by Aubrey Powell.

• “Brutal! Vulgar! Dirty!” Polly Stenham on Mae West and the gay comedy that shocked 1920s America.

Hannah Devlin on religious leaders getting high on psilocybin for science.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Spotlight on…In Transit (1969) by Brigid Brophy.

• At Bibliothèque Gay: Matelots (1935) by Gregorio Prieto.

SD Sykes on reconsidering Venice, crumbling city.

Letters and Liquor

This Ain’t The Summer Of Love (1976) by Blue Öyster Cult | Orlando (1996) by Trans Am | Transit (2004) by Fennesz

Beardsley and His Work

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Back in 2008 I wrote at some length about Aubrey, an excellent BBC TV dramatisation of the last years of Aubrey Beardsley’s life written by John Selwyn Gilbert, and screened once in 1982. Mr Gilbert himself added a comment to that post in which he mentioned that he’d written and directed a documentary which was screened in tandem with the play, Beardsley and His Work. I have the documentary on tape but it’s a copy of a copy and is also missing ten minutes or so of its opening so it’s good to find that the entire thing is now on YouTube. (Thanks to Dominique for drawing my attention to this.)

Beardsley and His Work is essential viewing for Beardsleyphiles since it’s the only place you’ll see Beardsley scholar Brian Reade—author of the huge monograph, Beardsley (1967)—and Brigid Brophy—author of two excellent studies, Black and White (1968) and Beardsley and His World (1976)—talking at length about the artist. In addition there’s another artist, Ralph Steadman, examining some of Beardsley’s original artwork and discussing the techniques of ink drawing. The fifty-minute film is divided into four chunks, unfortunately, but is otherwise complete:

Part one | part two | part three | part four

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Previously on { feuilleton }
Further echoes of Aubrey
A Wilde Night
Echoes of Aubrey
After Beardsley by Chris James
Illustrating Poe #1: Aubrey Beardsley
The art of Karel de Nerée tot Babberich, 1880–1909
Beardsley’s Rape of the Lock
The Savoy magazine
Beardsley at the V&A
Merely fanciful or grotesque
Aubrey Beardsley’s musical afterlife
Aubrey by John Selwyn Gilbert
“Weirdsley Daubery”: Beardsley and Punch
Alla Nazimova’s Salomé

T&H: At the Sign of the Dolphin

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James Joyce and his World (1978).

dolphins.jpgDespite my earlier statement about not being much of a collector, today’s book purchase (above) was enough to confirm some well-established patterns (obsessions, even) that should make me reconsider any hasty pronouncements. Not so much for the subject in this case—I already have enough books by and about James Joyce—the significant thing here is the three magic words on the cover: Thames and Hudson. The sight of Joyce’s name on the spine above the old T&H dolphin logo (signifying the two rivers that comprise the company’s name; or maybe a discourse between London and New York via the Atlantic) was enough to demand further investigation. I realised I’d been hoping to eventually find this book after seeing it listed in the back of its companion title, Beardsley and his World by Brigid Brophy. Both books form part of a series that T&H produced in the Seventies, a collection of heavily illustrated mini-biographies of writers, with the odd artist among them. Very worthwhile they are too, with lots of photographs, paintings or drawings of the people and places relevant to their subjects’ lives.

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