Weekend links 98

postcard.jpg

The Arcimboldo Effect again. An undated postcard from the image section of A Virtual Wunderkammer: Early Twentieth Century Erotica in Spain.

“I took George Clinton and Bootsy Collins to the Battle Station for the first time, and they left feeling like they’d just had a close encounter,” said the bassist and music producer Bill Laswell, who met Rammellzee in the early 1980s and remained one of the few people who saw him regularly.

Rammellzee’s Work and Reputation Re-emerge

• Also in the NYT: China Miéville on Apocalyptic London: “Everyone knows there’s a catastrophe unfolding, that few can afford to live in their own city. It was not always so.” Reverse the perspective and find Iain Sinclair writing in 2002 about Abel Ferrara’s The King of New York: “A memento mori of the century’s ultimate city in meltdown.”

• The Inverted Gaze: Queering the French Literary Classics in America by François Cusset. Related: Glitterwolf Magazine is asking for submissions from LGBT writers/artists/photographers.

• The vinyl releases of Cristal music by Structures Sonores Lasry-Baschet continue to be scarce and unreissued. Mark Morb has a high-quality rip of the group’s No. 4 EP here.

Henri’s Walk to Paris, the children’s book designed by Saul Bass in 1962, is being republished. Steven Heller takes a look.

As the critic Jon Savage points out, even rock’n’roll’s very roots, the blues, contained a weird gay subculture. The genre was home to songs such as George Hannah’s Freakish Man Blues, Luis Russell’s The New Call of the Freaks, and Kokomo Arnold’s Sissy Man Blues. “I woke up this morning with my pork grindin’ business in my hand,” offers Arnold, adding, “Lord, if you can’t send me no woman, please send me some sissy man.”

Straight and narrow: how pop lost its gay edge by Alex Petridis

David Pelham: The Art of Inner Space. James Pardey interviews the designer for Ballardian.

BBCX365: Johnny Selman designs an entire year of news stories.

• Sarah Funke Butler on Nabokov’s notes for Eugene Onegin.

• Leslie S. Klinger on The cult of Sherlock Holmes.

How piracy built the US publishing industry.

SynthCats

The Light Pours Out Of Me (1978) by Magazine | Touch And Go (1978) by Magazine | Motorcade (1978) by Magazine | Feed The Enemy (1979) by Magazine | Cut-Out Shapes (1979) by Magazine.

The Art of Fontana Modern Masters

fontana1.jpg

Design by John Constable, painting by Oliver Bevan (1971).

James Pardey was in touch again this week with news of his a book cover site which follows his earlier (and justly praised) Art of Penguin Science Fiction. The new site The Art of Fontana Modern Masters presents the abstract cover designs for Fontana’s collection of pocket-sized introductions to notable writers, philosophers and scientists. My own copy of the Joyce volume from the initial run of the series is shown above. A note on the back cover states that Oliver Bevan’s painting is part of a single work arranged across ten books which “can be rearranged to form a variety of patterns”. In a pitch to some presumed “collect-the-set” mentality among intellectuals, this idea was continued on later books in the series and James’s site gives an idea of how the covers might be arranged. Until I saw all these covers together I hadn’t realised how impressive the series looks. As with the Penguin site there’s copious information about the production and evolution of the designs.

fontana2.jpg

If that’s not enough, James has a short essay about the series at Eye magazine and HarperCollins (who bought out Fontana) are producing a fine art print of the entire run of covers as shown above. For more details about that, go here.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The book covers archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Penguin science fiction

March of the Penguins

aco_penguin.jpg

top left: David Pelham’s classic design (1972); top right: photography
by Lionel F Williams (Eye) and SOA / Photonica (Cogs) (1996).
bottom left and right: photography by Véronique Rolland (2000 & 2008).

In April this year I wrote about James Pardey’s excellent site devoted to book covers from the Penguin science fiction range. I’m often pointing to various book cover galleries on Flickr and elsewhere but James’s site goes far beyond these, with credits and annotations for every cover on display. He emailed this week to let me know that his site has been considerably expanded, from 160 covers to 250 (!), bringing the timeline closer to the present. In addition the site has improved page layouts which enable you to study the evolution of each title. All design sites should be this good.

And coincidentally, Anne S mentioned in the comments yesterday that she’s been adding some Penguin Classics covers to her Eye Candy for Bibliophiles site. Lots of other worthwhile viewing there, including some of the old Puffin covers for Alan Garner.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The book covers archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Penguin science fiction
A Clockwork Orange: The Complete Original Score
Penguin Labyrinths and the Thief’s Journal
Penguin Surrealism
Juice from A Clockwork Orange
Penguin book covers
Clockwork Orange bubblegum cards
Alex in the Chelsea Drug Store

Penguin science fiction

drought.jpg

The Drought, 1968; design by Richard Hollis, photography by Dr. J Comroe.

James Pardey contacted me earlier this week announcing his site devoted to Penguin Books’ science fiction covers. I posted some of my own dishevelled copies a while back and this news gives me an excuse to throw up another Ballard cover. Pardey’s site is just the kind of thing I enjoy seeing, with a comprehensive collection and detailed notes for each design. The front page is especially good since you can see immediately how the look of the titles evolved, from spare layouts and pictorial covers through to bold graphic design which culminates in David Pelham’s great run as designer during the 1970s. Creative Review posted a talk Pelham gave a couple of years ago which explores his work at Penguin and touches on the covers he did for Ballard. A shame they didn’t do a complete set of Ballard’s titles at the time, I’d have loved to see how he treated the other books.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The book covers archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Penguin Labyrinths and the Thief’s Journal
Penguin Surrealism
Penguin book covers