Weekend links 349

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• Before Stanley Kubrick fixed an image of Alex and his droogs in the popular imagination, artists could get away with playing on the threat of biker gangs as Wilson McLean does in this vaguely psychedelic cover from 1969. (McLean’s interpretation may possibly derive from a 1965 edition.) LibraryThing has a collection of Clockwork Orange covers from around the world which run the gamut of cogs, orange hues and variations on David Pelham’s famous Penguin design from 1972. Meanwhile, AL Kennedy celebrates 100 years of Anthony Burgess by examining the writer’s career as a whole, although the web feature still manages to get a photo of Malcolm McDowell in there.

• “Even bad books can change lives,” says Phil Baker reviewing The Outsider by Colin Wilson and Beyond the Robot, a Wilson biography by Gary Lachman. I wouldn’t call The Outsider a bad book but Wilson’s more wayward opinions (and later works) are best treated with scepticism.

• “Murtaugh refers to his subject’s ‘pervasive sense of doom’ and Welch himself speaks of ‘the extraordinary sadness of everything.'” David Pratt reviewing Good Night, Beloved Comrade: The Letters of Denton Welch to Eric Oliver, edited by Daniel J. Murtaugh.

• At The Quietus this week: Tinariwen bassist Eyadou Ag Leche is interviewed by Richie Troughton, Jane Weaver unveils a new song from her forthcoming album, Modern Kosmology, and Danny Riley explores the strange world of Ben Chasny.

• “A micro-history of cultural gatekeeping: once told by the censors what we may read, then by critics what we should, we are now told merely what we can read.” Ben Roth writing against the use of “readability” as a literary value.

• Yayoi Kusama’s amazing infinity rooms are at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC, until May. For the rest of us, Peter Murphy’s panoramic photo is still online.

• More music: my friends Watch Repair have become visible enough to be interviewed by an Argentinian website. The group’s Bandcamp page recently made three new releases available.

• Yet more music: They Walk Among Us, a new song and video by Barry Adamson, and Anymore, a new song and video by Goldfrapp.

• Earth and The Bug announce Concrete Desert, a collaborative album inspired by Los Angeles and the fiction of JG Ballard.

• Bad Books for Bad People: Episode 7: The Incal – Epic French Space-Opera Comics.

• Mixes of the week: FACT Mix 589 by Aisha Devi, and Secret Thirteen Mix 212 by Qual.

Eduardo Paolozzi‘s forays into fashion and furnishings.

Cooking with Vincent [Price]

Moroccan Tape Stash

• Tin Toy Clockwork Train (1986) by The Dukes Of Stratosphear | Clock (1995) by Node | Clockwork Horoscope (2009) by Belbury Poly

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La Hora del Fantasma (no date) by Joaquim Pla Janini.

• Many of the art links featured here are tips from Thom Ayres, so it’s only right to point to his new album project which he’s funding through Kickstarter and embellishing with his own nature photography.

• Anne Billson is another writer beguiled by Philippe Jullian’s masterwork, Dreamers of Decadence. And thanks to Ms Billson for drawing attention to the insane opening of Crime Without Passion (1934).

• Does this fake ad for The Necronomicon use one of my Cthulhu pictures? Possibly. Get the picture for yourself in this year’s Cthulhu calendar. (My thanks to everyone who’s bought a copy so far.)

To break the ice, I talk about books: he is delighted to discover that I have read his beloved Denton Welch, also J. W. Dunne’s An Experiment With Time. I have found them in my old school library, and know both have been a tremendous influence on him in different ways. Knowing of his interest I also mention that I have just read Colin Wilson’s The Quest For Wilhelm Reich, published the year before. He likes Wilson, he says, jokes that “the Colonel” with his cottage in Wales in Wilson’s Return of the Lloigor and his own Colonel Sutton-Smith from The Discipline of DE are one and the same. On something of a roll, I mention Real Magic by Isaac Bonewits, and he acknowledges that it has “some good information” – but is much more enthusiastic about Magic: An Occult Primer by David Conway [years later I would discover that Burroughs & Conway had in fact exchanged letters on various subjects pertaining to magic, occultism, and psychic phenomena – but that is decidedly another story!]

Matthew Levi Stevens recalls The Final Academy and an encounter with William Burroughs thirty years ago.

Locomotif: A short survey of trains, music & experiments: Gautam Pemmaraju on Kraftwerk, Pierre Schaeffer, Luigi Russolo and others.

A flip-through of The Graphic Canon, volume 2. Wait to the end and you’ll see a couple of my Dorian Gray pages. Imprint has a review of the book.

• Julian Bell reviews two new books about Romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich.

Alan Moore talks to The Occupied Times about art, education and anarchism.

• Colin Dickey reviews Vilém Flusser’s Vampyroteuthis Infernalis: A Treatise.

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Las Parcas II (1930) by Joaquim Pla Janini.

• Michael Newton reviews A Natural History of Ghosts by Roger Clarke.

• Golden Age Comic Book Stories revisits the work of Sidney Sime.

Front Free Endpaper asks “What’s in an inscription…?”

Mormon Missionary Positions

Amateur Aesthete

Ghosts (1981) by Japan | Ghosts (2008) by Ladytron | Ghosts (2012) by Monolake.

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The Garden of Urban Delights (2010) by Marcin Owczarek.

His protagonists are misfits: alienated, implicitly gay, longing for love, frequently hard to be around, always fixated on small pleasures that compensate for an essential feeling of not belonging. […] His patroness Edith Sitwell termed him “that rare being, a born writer.” William Burroughs dedicated The Place of Dead Roads to him, declaring Welch “certainly the writer who most directly influenced my work.” John Waters has called In Youth is Pleasure “so precious, so beyond gay, so deliciously subversive, [it] is enough to make illiteracy a worse social crime than hunger.”

Sadie Stein on Denton Welch, a writer I’m embarrassed about still not having read. Edith Sitwell and William Burroughs had a famously disputatious correspondence in the pages of the TLS over The Naked Lunch. An appreciation of Welch’s work was one of the few things they had in common.

• Don’t mention guitars: Robert Hampson on acousmatic music, the curse of Loop and the rebirth of Main.

• No Straight Lines: A Collection Of Queer Comics part one, part two, part three. A history by Justin Hall.

Pieces Of Gold by The Aikiu: shots from gay porn videos repurposed via some smart editing.

• RIP Ilhan Mimaroglu, electroacoustic composer. Ubuweb has a selection of his recordings.

“A good ground rule for writing in any genre is: start with a form, then undermine its confidence in itself,” he says. “Ask what it’s afraid of, what it’s trying to hide – then write that.” For Harrison, the most satisfying writers are “at odds with their cultural context. They’re trying to fit in and failing, or they’re trying to remove themselves and failing. The attempt to resolve the conflict is an angle – a frame or a context – in itself.”

The Guardian’s A Life in Writing profiles M. John Harrison. His new novel, Empty Space, was published on Thursday. There’s also this recent video interview with Arc magazine.

• Stephen Usery interviews editor Russ Kick about The Graphic Canon: Volume One.

At home with Prince Zaleski, the “most decadent and imperial detective in fiction”.

• A Visit with Magritte: photographs by Duane Michals.

Loitering airships could dispense drones on demand.

• Creating a Forever Object: Ian Schon’s Pen Project.

• A Tumblr for the late, lamented Arthur Magazine.

• “Few cities can boast a railway line for the dead.”

The Lost Tapes by Can: An Oral History.

Space Reflex (1963) by Dick Hyman & Mary Mayo | Space Is Deep (1972) by Hawkwind | Space Is The Place (1973) by Sun Ra | Space Moment (1995) by Stereolab | Space Pong (2006) by T++