{ feuilleton }


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

Archive for the ‘Golem’ tag


Hugo Steiner-Prag’s The Ancestress


Another handful of macabre illustrations by Hugo Steiner-Prag. As before, these are minor works compared to the Golem illustrations and his illustrated Poe but it’s good to find something new. The Ancestress (1816) was a tragedy by Austrian dramatist Franz Grillparzer in which a woman killed by her husband for infidelity returns to haunt future […]

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Hugo Steiner-Prag’s Ghostly Ballads


Mountain Voices. In which the illustrator of Gustav Meyrink’s The Golem illustrates six ballads or lieder by Heinrich Heine. These etchings don’t bear comparison to Steiner-Prag’s peerless Golem illustrations, or those for his illustrated Poe, but they’re good to see even if the meaning remains obscure. Man Behind a Window. The Dream.

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Hugo Steiner-Prag’s illustrated Poe


Halloween approaches. Edgar Allan Poe illustrators are legion—some of the better ones appeared here a couple of years ago (see the links below)—but I’d not seen these lithographs by Hugo Steiner-Prag (1880–1945) before. Steiner-Prag was an ideal illustrator for Gustav Meyrink’s The Golem so it’s a pleasure to see him addressing Poe’s poems. All the […]

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Liska’s Golem


The Last Golem from The Nights of Prague (1969). Since watching The Cremator I’ve been listening to Zdenek Liska’s music from the early Svankmajer films, and following leads to the composer’s other work. One film with a Liska score that I’d not previously come across is Prazské noci (The Nights of Prague, 1968), one of […]

Posted in {fantasy}, {film}, {music} | 1 comment »


Jiri Barta’s Pied Piper


The last time I mentioned Jiri Barta’s extraordinary animation of the Pied Piper story there were only short clips on YouTube. That was several years ago, in which time the 53-minute film has been posted in its entirety. Barta pulls the tale away from its sanitised derivations back to its darker origins in the folk […]

Posted in {animation}, {film}, {horror} | 4 comments »




A Glove: Anxieties (1881) by Max Klinger. Although the Glove‘s scenario was given its due Germanic explication by contemporary critics, it defies rational analysis. The last picture, which was seen as a kind of happy ending to the glove’s peregrinations, is particularly ambiguous and leaves the whole meaning of the series in doubt. The story is […]

Posted in {animation}, {art}, {black and white}, {film}, {painting}, {photography}, {surrealism}, {symbolists} | 5 comments »


Golem (2012)


“There are always more golems,” I wrote back in August, and here’s another. The artificial entity this time is a military computer that’s the subject of Golem XIV (1973), a science fiction story by Stanislaw Lem that was later expanded into a novel: The book is written from the perspective of a military AI computer […]

Posted in {books}, {film}, {science fiction}, {technology} | 4 comments »


More Golems


Golem by Jiri Barta. There are always more golems. Among recent reading I’ve been catching up with the works of Michael Chabon, and have just finished The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (2000), a novel concerned with several things that obsessed me when I was 13, namely Harry Houdini, conjuring tricks and the Empire […]

Posted in {animation}, {books}, {comics}, {fantasy}, {film} | 2 comments »


Rex Ingram’s The Magician


The Magician (1926), Rex Ingram’s curious occult horror film, receives a rare screening with live music accompaniment at the Brighton Fringe Festival on Tuesday, 22nd May. The film is notable for being based on the 1908 Somerset Maugham novel of the same name whose modern-day magus character, Oliver Haddo, was modelled on Aleister Crowley. The […]

Posted in {books}, {film}, {horror}, {occult} | 10 comments »


Yuri Norstein animations


Hedgehog in the Fog (1975). One more animation post before I move onto other things. Since the 1970s Russian animator Yuri Norstein has been regarded as one of the greatest living practitioners of the medium despite having only made a handful of films. Hedgehog in the Fog is a 10-minute piece with a self-explanatory title: […]

Posted in {animation}, {film} | 1 comment »


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 »


Die Andere Seite by Alfred Kubin


Re-reading Alfred Kubin’s strange fantasy novel Die Andere Seite (The Other Side) this week, I found myself suffering the same frustration as when I bought the book, namely that the illustrations in the Dedalus edition are very poor reproductions. When this new translation appeared in 2000 there wasn’t any convenient way to see better copies […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {cities}, {fantasy}, {illustrators} | 3 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 […]

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Hard Times Give New Life to Prague’s Golem

Hard Times Give New Life to Prague’s Golem

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Das Haus zur letzten Latern


From HP Lovecraft to another writer of weird fiction, Gustav Meyrink. Das Haus zur letzten Latern is a tribute to Meyrink by Silence & Strength and the package I designed late last year for Horus CyclicDaemon has just been released. I’ve mentioned before that Horus make a particular effort with all their CD productions, choosing […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {horror}, {music}, {work} | 4 comments »


The Hour-Glass Sanatorium by Wojciech Has


The original Polish poster by the incredible Franciszek Starowieyski. The shrinking pool of films still unavailable on DVD contracted by at least one title recently with the surprise appearance in the UK of The Hour-Glass Sanatorium (Sanatorium pod klepsydra; 1973) from the distinctively-named Mr Bongo Films. I’ve been waiting to see this for at least […]

Posted in {books}, {fantasy}, {film} | 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 »


George Pal’s Puppetoons


Tulips Shall Grow (1942). Film producer George Pal‘s run of fantasy and science fiction films are justly celebrated and include one particular favourite of mine, The Time Machine (1960). Prior to the 1950s, however, Pal was known for his distinctive animations using wooden puppets, a technique which acquired several names, Pal Doll, Madcap Models and […]

Posted in {animation}, {film} | 2 comments »


A postcard from Doctor Kafka


From the German National Library, a postcard dated 1918 from Franz Kafka to his publisher, Kurt Wolff. These are press images so the links are to big scans. Previously on { feuilleton } • Alexandre Alexeieff and Claire Parker • Hugo Steiner-Prag’s Golem • Steven Soderbergh’s Kafka • Kafka and Kupka

Posted in {books} | 1 comment »







“feed your head”