{ feuilleton }


• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.

Archive for the ‘Franz Kafka’ tag


Weekend links 268


A City on Pluto (1940) by Frank R. Paul. Related: Paul’s predictions about life on other planets. • 23 Skidoo’s Peel Session from September 16th, 1981. Only 18 minutes of music but I’m thrilled for its being unique material that’s never been given an official release. There are many more Peel Sessions at the uploader’s […]

Posted in {art nouveau}, {art}, {books}, {design}, {electronica}, {fashion}, {gay}, {illustrators}, {music}, {photography}, {science fiction}, {science} | 1 comment »


The Metamorphosis of Mr Samsa, a film by Caroline Leaf


Caroline Leaf’s adaptation of Franz Kafka’s most famous story was made by animating sand on a pane of illuminated glass. Leaf made several films using this technique which gives painterly, if monochromatic, results, and is probably less time-consuming than other techniques that aim for similar effects. This is one story that’s best treated as an […]

Posted in {animation}, {books}, {film} | Comments Off


Weekend links 195


Untitled painting (c. 1920–1933) by Ethel le Rossignol depicting “the Sphere of the Spirit”. An exhibition of  Ethel le Rossignol’s channelled paintings takes place at the Horse Hospital, London, next month. • “It’s always disconcerting to discover a favourite writer was kind of a jerk. How does this realization effect our understanding of Walter Benjamin’s […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {electronica}, {music}, {occult}, {painting}, {psychedelia}, {science} | Comments Off


Weekend links 131


Japanese poster (1982). At The Quietus Steve Earles looks back at John Carpenter’s visceral and uncompromising The Thing which exploded messily onto cinema screens thirty years ago. It’s always worth being reminded that this film (and Blade Runner in the same year) was considered a flop at the time following bad reviews and a poor […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {drugs}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {illustrators}, {kubrick}, {lovecraft}, {music}, {photography}, {psychedelia}, {science fiction}, {science} | Comments Off


Brothers Quay scarcities


Stravinsky – The Paris Years (1983). More animation, and scarce in the sense that some of these films were omitted from the core Quay Brothers canon released in the UK by the BFI as Quay Brothers: The Short Films 1979-2003. Quay obsessives such as myself would have been happy to pay for an extra disc […]

Posted in {animation}, {books}, {film}, {music}, {television}, {theatre} | 2 comments »




Another book design of mine (interiors only) which I completed last September for Tachyon and about which I had this to say at the time: Kafkaesque [is] edited by John Kessel and James Patrick Kelly. It’s a collection of short stories either inspired by Franz Kafka, or with a Kafka-like atmosphere, and features a high […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {theatre}, {typography}, {work} | 3 comments »


Weird Fiction Review


weird, a. 1. Having the power to control the fate or destiny of human beings, etc.; later, claiming the supernatural power of dealing with fate or destiny. Originally in the Weird Sisters = †(a) the Fates; (b) the witches in Macbeth. 2. a. Partaking of or suggestive of the supernatural; of a mysterious or unearthly […]

Posted in {books}, {fantasy}, {horror} | 3 comments »


Screening Kafka


Kafka (1991). This week I completed the interior design for a new anthology from Tachyon, Kafkaesque, edited by John Kessel and James Patrick Kelly. It’s a collection of short stories either inspired by Franz Kafka, or with a Kafka-like atmosphere, and features a high calibre of contributions from writers including JG Ballard, Jorge Luis Borges, […]

Posted in {books}, {comics}, {design}, {fantasy}, {film}, {horror}, {science fiction}, {television}, {theatre}, {work} | 13 comments »


Designs on Kafka


Book covers of the week are a series of new Kafka designs by Peter Mendelsund for Schocken, a set comprising eight paperbacks which will be out this summer in the US. What’s notable about these designs aside from their minimal style is the way they dispense with the visual clichés which have accumulated around Kafka’s […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {typography} | Comments Off


Illustrating Poe #5: Among the others


The Conqueror Worm (c. 1900) by František Kupka. Poe’s illustrators are legion, you could easily devote an entire blog to nothing but depictions of his stories and poems. By way of rounding off this week of posts I thought I’d point to some of the works which have caught my attention over the years, several […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {collage}, {horror}, {illustrators}, {surrealism}, {symbolists} | 3 comments »


The Englishman who Posted Himself and Other Curious Objects


Cover design by Deb Wood. Arriving most appropriately by post last week from Princeton Architectural Press was this fascinating book by John Tingey, an account of Mr W. Reginald Bray (1879–1939) of South London, and his games with the British postal service: In 1898, Bray purchased a copy of the Post Office Guide, and began […]

Posted in {books} | 6 comments »


Weekend links 31


One of a series of illustrations by Vera Bock for A Ring and a Riddle (1944) by M.Ilin and E. Segal. Via A Journey Round My Skull. • The Creator of Devotion: Photos from a Vogue Hommes Japan feature by Matthew Stone. And also here. • Dressing For Pleasure: Jonny Trunk gets out the rubber […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {burroughs}, {electronica}, {fashion}, {illustrators}, {music}, {painting}, {photography}, {science fiction}, {science} | 1 comment »


Jugend, 1896


So, then, I’ve now looked through several thousand pages of Jugend magazine and a few things have become apparent. If you’re interested in fin de siècle art and design then all the most interesting material is in the first four years of the magazine’s run, from 1896 on. After 1900 there are still examples of […]

Posted in {art nouveau}, {art}, {black and white}, {design}, {illustrators}, {magazines}, {symbolists} | 9 comments »


Weekend links 3


It’s a curious feeling when a drawing which is nearly 26 years old makes it out into the world. The image above is the cover of a new 7″ single release, Dominion of Avyaktam by metal band Orator, the picture being something I drew in 1984 entitled Mahakala after the Tibetan deity which it depicts. […]

Posted in {animation}, {black and white}, {books}, {electronica}, {fantasy}, {film}, {music}, {religion}, {science fiction}, {television}, {work} | 2 comments »


La Tour by Schuiten & Peeters


La Tour (1987) by François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters is the third story in the Cités Obscures series, although it’s the fourth volume if you want to be strictly canon about things, L’archivist, a guide to places in the Obscure World, having preceded it. Carcere Oscura by Piranesi (1750). This is another book where Schuiten […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {cities}, {comics}, {fantasy}, {illustrators} | 7 comments »


Marbled papers


left: Serpentine pattern; right: Bouquet pattern, both 19th c. Regular readers here will have seen a number of posts recently concerning psychedelic culture, a perennial fascination/obsession of mine. One of the notable qualities of movements such as psychedelia or Surrealism is the way they highlight what seem to be previous manifestations of themselves which, until […]

Posted in {books}, {borges}, {design}, {psychedelia} | 8 comments »


The White Peacock


The White Peacock (1910). A typical piece of mysterious erotica by Austrian illustrator and pornographer Franz von Bayros (1866–1924). Like all good Decadents, Bayros used peacocks and peacock feathers as decorative motifs in his pictures but this is the first I’ve seen where the peacock itself is the result of amorous attention. If that sounds […]

Posted in {art}, {illustrators} | 6 comments »


The art of Mahlon Blaine, 1894–1969


Nova Venus (1938). I doubt that illustrator Mahlon Blaine featured in any of the scurrilous porn books in Franz Kafka’s collection—he would have been too young, for a start—but his erotic work isn’t so far removed from some of the artists of The Amethyst and Opals. As usual with obscure talents of this period it’s […]

Posted in {art}, {beardsley}, {black and white}, {books}, {fantasy}, {illustrators} | 7 comments »


Kafka’s porn unveiled


Pages from Der Amethyst (1906) showing Reh-Inkarnation by Thomas Theodor Heine. Okay, don’t get too excited, I simply wanted to make a couple of points of order while this story is still causing a stir. I noted earlier the recent (London) Times piece about James Hawes’ new book, Excavating Kafka, described as a work which: […]

Posted in {art}, {beardsley}, {black and white}, {books}, {illustrators} | 5 comments »


Franz Kafka’s porn brought out of the closet

Franz Kafka’s porn brought out of the closet

Posted in {books}, {noted} | 1 comment »







“feed your head”