Weekend links 463

eye.jpg

Eye 98: Beatrice Display Black, Sharp Type, 2018, and a detail from an original drawing for Lexicon by Bram de Does, 1989.

Issue 98 of Eye, the international design journal, is out this month. The new issue is a typography special but also features my review of Mark Dery’s Born to be Posthumous: The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey. This is the second time I’ve written about Dery’s book, with the new piece focusing more on Gorey’s work as a designer/book creator, and his place in the history of illustration.

Portal is a new release by Slovakian metal band Doomas, the artwork of which adapts one of my illustrations for Lovecraft’s Monsters. The band also have a suitably Lovecraftian video.

• Reading recommendations by M. John Harrison: the old (the excellent Rogue Moon by Algis Budrys) and the new (Underland et al).

I first started drawing in my Wake to count the number of rivers mentioned in an episode, one page alone counting 85. Gradually, I would be so moved by a line or a character I would colour them in, the most obvious being the 28 Rainbow girls to the more obscure nebulae, railroad tracks, hidden mythical islands and turn of the century lightships. Themes began to emerge which demanded documentation and always the sad, ecstatic relief of finishing a chapter merited some sort of coloured tribute. By the time I finished four years later, I simply drew a leaf to reflect Joyce’s metaphor on the last page: my leaves have drifted from me. All. But one clings still.

Susie Lopez on Finnegans Wake at 80

• Old ghosts at The Paris Review: a preview of The Spectacle of Illusion by Matthew L. Tompkins.

• At Dangerous Minds: Malcolm McDowell and the making of Lindsay Anderson’s O Lucky Man!

Herbie Hancock: “I felt like I stood on the shoulders of giants and now it’s my turn”.

• Mix of the week: XLR8R Podcast 590 by Christian Löffler.

• The discography of Diamanda Galás is now at Bandcamp.

• RIP Quentin Fiore, graphic designer and book creator.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Haunted dolls.

Antique Doll (1967) by The Electric Prunes | The Doll’s House (1980) by Landscape | Voodoo Dolly (1981) by Siouxsie And The Banshees

The Duc de Joyeux

joyce.jpg

I was writing about the Vorticists last week so for the traditional Bloomsday post here’s a portrait of Joyce by Wyndham Lewis. The Vorticists were supporters of Joyce (he’s praised in the first issue of Blast), and Lewis produced several portrait sketches. This one—The Duc de Joyeux Sings—is the only example I’ve seen in something approaching the Vorticist style. It’s also a little cartoony but then there’s something of the caricature in many of Lewis’s more serious portraits. As usual, the month of June brings the Joyce-related news stories:

Signed first edition of Ulysses set to make over €100,000

How Would Ulysses Be Received Today?

Finnegans Wake is a bestseller in China

Ulysses and Us by Declan Kiberd

Previously on { feuilleton }
Dubliners
Covering Joyce
James Joyce in Reverbstorm
Joyce in Time
Happy Bloomsday
Passages from James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake
Books for Bloomsday

Weekend links 186

mutu.jpg

One Hundred Lavish Months of Bushwhack (2004) by Wangechi Mutu.

I wouldn’t be so bold as to call Benjamin Noys’ contribution to the recent The Weird conference at the University of London a highlight, but it was a surprise to find Lord Horror in general and the Reverbstorm book in particular being discussed alongside so many noteworthy offerings. Noys’ piece, Full Spectrum Offence: Savoy’s Neo-Weird, is now available to read online, a very perceptive examination of the tensions between the Old Weird and the New.

• Le Transperceneige is a multi-volume bande dessinée of post-apocalypse science fiction by Jacques Lob & Jean-Marc Rochette. Snowpiercer is a film adaptation by Korean director Bong Joon-ho featuring John Hurt, Jamie Bell, Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton. Anne Billson calls the director’s cut an “eccentric masterpiece” so it’s dismaying to learn that the film is in danger of being hacked about by the usual rabble of unsympathetic Hollywood distributors.

• This month marks the 100th anniversary of the publication of Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu. Public Domain Review posted some of the paintings mentioned in Swann’s Way (or The Way by Swann’s as the latest translation so inelegantly has it).

How the Paris World’s Fair brought Art Nouveau to the Masses in 1900: a huge picture post about my favourite exposition.

• Mix of the week: “Sport of Kings” Mix by Ricardo Donoso. Related: Paul Purgas on five favourite records.

Ernst Reichl: the man who designed Ulysses. Related: Hear all of Finnegans Wake read aloud over 35 hours.

• “Why does Alain de Botton want us to kill our young?” A splendid rant by Sam Kriss.

• Love’s Secret Ascension: Peter Bebergal on Coil, Coltrane & the 70th birthday of LSD.

• Malicious Damage: Ilsa Colsell on the secret art of Joe Orton & Kenneth Halliwell.

• Just Say No to the Bad Sex Award, or the BS Award as Tom Pollock calls it.

• Lauren O’Neal’s ongoing PJ Harvey Tuesdays: One, Two, Three and Four.

Neville Brody on the changing face of graphic design.

A Brief History of the London Necropolis Railway.

Des Hommes et des Chatons: a Tumblr.

• At Pinterest: Androgyny

• Virgin Prunes: Pagan Lovesong (vibeakimbo) (1982) | Caucasian Walk (1982) | Walls Of Jericho (live at The Haçienda, Manchester, 1983; I’m in that audience somewhere)

Covering Joyce

joyce1.jpg

First editions of Ulysses (1922) and Finnegans Wake (1939).

I like Peter Mendelsund’s book cover designs so it’s good to find the designer given the opportunity to provide new covers for James Joyce. Mendelsund’s blog post announcing the news mentions nothing about his intentions, instead we have a reminiscence about Ireland à la Molly Bloom, and pictures of the three covers below.

joyce2.jpg

I’ve never felt a pictorial treatment works with Joyce; his books, especially the Big Two, concentrate so much on words and the labyrinths made by language that anything other than a purely typographic treatment seems superfluous. Art directors going the pictorial route generally end up using familiar photos of the author or views of Dublin circa 1900. The first editions of Ulysses and Finnegans Wake set the pattern for many later editions, and I’ll guess it’s that pattern which Peter Mendelsund has followed here. The typeface used is Poetica, a Robert Slimbach design from 1992, completed by what may be Joyce’s own hand (I’m guessing again) in the manner of the author’s corrected typescripts. The amendments for Dubliners and Portrait of the Artist don’t require explanation but what about the title of Ulysses? I’d read this (so to speak) as representing the novel’s two main characters—Stephen Dedalus: the cold and precise man of letters, and Leopold Bloom: the all-too-human Everyman—who in their circumambulation and eventual meeting comprise the twin poles of the story. There’s also a subtle and clever allusion to Molly Bloom but I’ll let you find that…

The three new books will be published by Vintage but I’ve not managed to find a publication date.

joyce3.jpg

In other Joyce news, the first Chinese translation of Finnegans Wake has proved to be a surprising bestseller. And I ought to mention that Lord Horror: Reverbstorm, my own Joycean excursion (among other things) with David Britton, is now available at Amazon. You can, of course, still buy the book direct from the publishers.

joyce4.jpg

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The book covers archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
James Joyce in Reverbstorm
Joyce in Time
Happy Bloomsday
Passages from James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake
Books for Bloomsday

Reverbstorm on sale

reverbstorm1.jpg

At long last, the news that many people have been waiting for: the Reverbstorm book is now on sale at Savoy. From the hyperbolic press release:

“Surfin’ bird Bbbbbbbbbbrbrbrbrbrb…awawawawawawawaaaaaah! A-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-ooma-mow-mow Papa-oom-mow-mow!” The Trashmen, Surfin’ Bird

Welcome to the nightmare metropolis of Torenbürgen, where New York’s Art Deco architecture has fused with the termination machinery of Auschwitz. In this urban inferno Jessie Matthews is singing Sondheim, James Joyce is at work on a new novel and Lord Horror, ex-Nazi propaganda broadcaster and Torenbürgen’s model citizen, is stalking the streets in search of fresh victims for his razors. Murderous apes infest the alleyways, Ononoes feast on the living and the dead, while above the rooftops the Soul of the Virgin Mary drifts like a swollen Lovecraftian dirigible, picking at bodies destined for the charnel furnaces.

Lord Horror: Reverbstorm is a unique graphic collaboration between writer David Britton, the author of four Lord Horror novels, and artist John Coulthart, whose book of Lovecraft-derived comic strips and illustrations, The Haunter of the Dark, featured a collaboration with Alan Moore. Reverbstorm was originally published in serial form and is now being presented in a single volume for the very first time. Britton’s debut novel, Lord Horror (1990), was the last work of fiction to be banned in the UK; an earlier Lord Horror comic series, Hard Core Horror, was also banned by a British court in 1995. Coulthart’s death-camp artwork from the final issue in that series appears in Reverbstorm as a prelude to the main narrative.

There’s never been a comic like this surreal collision between Modernist art and pulp aesthetics, a world where Finnegans Wake is drenched in Alligator Wine and Picasso’s Guernica is invaded by Tarzan’s simian hordes. Ambitious, transgressive and meticulously rendered, Reverbstorm is one answer to the eternal question posed by those cultural philosophers, The Cramps: “How far can too far go?”

“Bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonnerronn-
tuonnthunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthurnuk!”
James Joyce, Finnegans Wake

reverbstorm2.jpg

rev2.jpg

Previously on { feuilleton }
Reverbstorm in print
Reverbstorm update
James Joyce in Reverbstorm
A Reverbstorm jukebox
Reverbstorm: Bauhaus Horror
Reverbstorm: an introduction and preview