Thanks to Callum for pointing the way to a beautiful set of playing cards designed by Picart le Doux.
• Of cigars and pedants by Houman Barekat, in which Vladimir Nabokov has a problem with Henry James. Tangentially related: Post-Punk’s Nabokov: Howard Devoto and Magazine, live from Berlin, 1980. (Given A Song From Under The Floorboards, and lines like “I could have been Raskolnikov / But mother nature ripped me off”, I’d say it’s more accurate to describe Devoto as Post-Punk’s Dostoyevsky.)
• “I was introduced to Kneale’s work like most kids: by a fifty-foot hologram of a psychic locust and a British colonel deliquesced by five million years of bad Martian energy.” In Keep Me in the Loop, You Dead Mechanism Dave Tompkins looks back at Nigel Kneale’s TV play The Stone Tape. I reported my own impressions at the end of October.
• At The Quietus this week, Carol Huston on Lord Horror: A History Of Savoy Publishing. Michael Butterworth is interviewed, and the piece includes some quotes from earlier interviews by yours truly.
As the Massachusetts minister Increase Mather explained in 1687, Christmas was observed on Dec. 25 not because “Christ was born in that Month, but because the Heathens Saturnalia was at that time kept in Rome, and they were willing to have those Pagan Holidays metamorphosed into Christian” ones. So naturally, official suppression of Christmas was foundational to the godly colonies in New England.
Rachel N. Schnepper on the Puritan War on Christmas.
• Maxine Peake and the Eccentronic Research Council have a seasonal song for you. Take the title, Black ChristMass, as a warning. The group recently played live on The Culture Show.
• Clive Hicks-Jenkins’ Artlog is currently hosting Alphabet Soup, an online exhibition by different artists each depicting the letters of the alphabet. Start here and click forward.
• Ornate Typography from the 19th Century featuring samples from the King George Tumblr. Related: Sheaff ephemera.
Saturn at Saturnalia. A Cassini image of the planet’s nightside.
• Kenneth Anger interviewed by P. Adams Sitney. A 53-minute tape recording from 1972.
• At The Outer Church: James Ginzburg of Emptyset posts a winter music mix.
• When Candy Darling met Salvador Dalí.
• The psychedelic secrets of Santa Claus.
• At Pinterest: Camp as…
• Saturn (1956) by Sun Ra | Permafrost (live, 1980) by Magazine | Uptown Apocalypse (1981) by B.E.F.