Weekend links 475

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Femme avec des fleurs (c. 1912) by Romaine Brooks.

• “Boring people tend not to exile themselves to rocky islands, but even among the intriguing personalities we encounter in Capri, some individuals prove more extravagantly memorable than others.” Steve Susoyev reviews Pagan Light: Dreams of Freedom and Beauty in Capri by Jamie James.

• “The Mad “idiots” subverted the comic form into a mainstream ideological weapon, aimed at icons of the left and the right—attacking both McCarthyism and the Beat Generation, Nixon and Kennedy, Hollywood and Madison Avenue.” Jordan Orlando on a world without Mad Magazine.

• RIP Sam Gafford, Paul Krassner and Rutger Hauer. Related to the latter: Hauer’s first role as Floris, the hero of a Dutch TV series directed by Paul Verhoeven.

I cannot tell you what it does to me to hear pre-Stonewall. And even in our literature, even in the art, pre-Stonewall, post-Stonewall. I wrote three books pre-Stonewall and a dozen more post-Stonewall. There’s no demarcation. Gay history is centuries and centuries from the Romans to the Greeks to Oscar Wilde to all kinds of outrages. And those seem to be put back and pre-Stonewall is passive. Post-Stonewall is brave and dignified. I actually have heard things like that. I’ve talked, I’ve lectured and I’ve been invited all the way from Harvard to USC. And I talk about what it was like, what we had to survive.

Look, pre-Stonewall produced Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Oscar Wilde, and I could go on. Post-Stonewall produced Bret Easton Ellis, who jumps out of the closet only now and then and then rushes back in, and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, where we’re reduced to clowns for straight people. The husband of Mr. Buttigieg, he is so darling talking about the silver he’s going to be choosing for the White House. It embarrasses me, it embarrasses me very much because that’s what people expect a gay man to do, to be very precious, and that’s not what we are. A good solid queen I will protect forever, they are heroes.

A lot of people think that everything stopped, everything, all harassment stopped. Look, it’s still going on. It’s still going on, for god’s sake. The same tactics are often used in a different way.

John Rechy talking to Jason McGahan

• The genius of Barry Adamson: An exclusive interview by Paul Gallagher at Dangerous Minds.

Three hours of the Prophecy Theme from Dune (by Brian Eno with Daniel Lanois & Roger Eno).

Ed Sanders on why pop culture still can’t get enough of Charles Manson.

• Havelock Ellis takes a trip: Mike Jay on peyote among the Aesthetes.

Darren Anderson on why little works of architecture deserve respect.

• Mix of the week: Stephen O’Malley presents / Java / Apr 27 2017.

Phil Hine reviews Folk Horror Revival: Urban Wyrd 1 & 2.

John Waters revisits “The Golden Age of Monkey Art”.

I Must Be Mad (1966) by The Craig | The Day My Pad Went Mad (1982) by John Cooper Clarke | Yesterday, When I Was Mad (1993) by Pet Shop Boys

Weekend links 430

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Il Mago from the IONA Tarot by Giona Fiochi.

• “Russia’s answer to James Bond: did he trigger Putin’s rise to power?” Andrew Male on Max Otto von Stierlitz and Seventeen Moments of Spring. The whole series is on YouTube (with subtitles).

Geeta Dayal reviews High Static, Dead Lines: Sonic Spectres and the Object Hereafter by Kristen Gallerneaux, a new book about the eeriness of sound technology.

• Published next month: Strange Frequencies: The Extraordinary Story of the Technological Quest for the Supernatural by Peter Bebergal.

Let me first introduce an aside: I hate the word “queer” and all its new iterations. “Gay” was awful enough. “‘Gays’ makes us sound like bliss ninnies,” Christopher Isherwood said once. “Queer” will always be for men of my generation a word of violence and hatred, and it separates generations. And while I’m digressing, let me commit blasphemy: the over-emphasis on the Stonewall riots depletes and distorts our history of resistance and the art produced, which is determinedly referred to as “pre-Stonewall.” Resistance occurred years before Stonewall (but there were lots of writers in New York at the time to write about those riots), in San Francisco, Los Angeles, other cities, powerful confrontations with the police, powerful demonstrations. “Pre-Stonewall” writers include William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, strong radical voices confronting the grave dangers of the time, violence, prison.

John Rechy talking to Eric Newman about his latest novel, Pablo!, written in 1948 but only now seeing publication

Tangerine Dream performing Identity Proven Matrix, one of the standout pieces from recent album Quantum Gate, live in the studio.

Beloved is the debut solo album by Randall Dunn, record producer and member of the masterful Master Musicians of Bukkake.

• “How will police solve murders on Mars?” Geoff Manaugh on the new frontier of interplanetary law enforcement.

Milly Burroughs on how Verner Panton changed the way the world sees furniture design.

Tim Martin on the new science of psychedelics.

Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours

Next Stop Mars (1966) by Sun Ra & His Arkestra | Mars, The Bringer Of War (1976) by Isao Tomita | Mars Garden (2013) by Juan Atkins & Moritz Von Oswald

Weekend links 225

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Still from The Shaman-Girl’s Prayer (1997), a video piece by Mariko Mori. This page has pictures of Mori’s futuristic/cosmic performances, films & environments.

Time Out of Mind (1979) was a BBC TV series about science fiction writers, five short films concentrating on Arthur C. Clarke, John Brunner, Michael Moorcock, Anne McCaffrey and an sf convention. I was only interested in the Moorcock film at the time, not least because it featured a short clip of Hawkwind playing Silver Machine, and inserted scenes from the film of The Final Programme (1973) between the interviews. The Moorcock episode is less about his books than about New Worlds magazine and the so-called New Wave of sf in general, so you also see rare footage of M. John Harrison in a Barney Bubbles “Blockhead” T-shirt talking then ascending a limestone cliff, and bits of interviews with Brian Aldiss and Thomas Disch. Ballard isn’t interviewed but is present via a scene from the Harley Cokeliss film Crash! (1971) in which Gabrielle Drake slides in and out of a car while someone reads Elements of an Orgasm from The Atrocity Exhibition.

• “…there happened to be a book on Ritual Magick that talked about John Dee and summonings and Dr. Faust and all that kind of stuff. So then obviously at that age, too, I read HP Lovecraft and then Michael Moorcock and what they call fantasy literature. Through HP Lovecraft I discovered Arthur Machen, and I think that sort of percolated down inside…” Dylan Carlson of Earth talking to Steel for Brains. The Wire has the vinyl-only track from the new Earth album, Primitive And Deadly, and a track from Carlson’s solo album, Gold. Related: Artwork by Samantha Muljat, designer/photographer for the new Earth album.

Phantasmaphile has details of the next two issues of deluxe occult magazine Abraxas. Issue 6 includes a major feature on Leonora Carrington while Luminous Screen is a special issue devoted to occult cinema.

• More Broadcast: Video of a performance at Teatro Comunale di Carpi, March 2010 (part 2 here), and “constellators and artifacts” at A Year In The Country.

• “Petition demands return of ‘Penis Satan’ statue to Vancouver.” There’s an uncensored photo of the contentious statue here.

• Literary Alchemy and Graphic Design: Adrian Shaughnessy on James Joyce’s writings among graphic designers.

• Frank Pizzoli talks to John Rechy about “the gay sensibility”, melding truth and fiction, and his literary legacy.

• Mixes of the week: Secret Thirteen Mix 127 by Roberto Crippa, and FACT Mix 459 by Craig Leon.

Alan Moore has finished the first draft of his million-word novel, Jerusalem.

• Crazy pavings: Alex Bellos on Craig Kaplan’s parquet deformations.

Noise Not Music: “Live recordings, obscure cassettes and more…”

Pylon of the Month

Zoot Kook (1980) by Sandii | Rose Garden (1981) by Akiko Yano | Telstar (1997) by Takako Minekawa

Weekend links 190

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Seam Stress (1987) by Laurie LiptonThe Drawings of Laurie Lipton is out now from Last Gasp.

• The Quietus continues to be essential reading: John Doran talks to Richard H Kirk about Cabaret Voltaire | Sarah Angliss, musician and inventor of music machines, talks to Stuart Huggett | “…the most overt literary lodestar for The Art Of Falling Apart is John Rechy, trailblazing chronicler of the gay underbelly of hustlers and queens zig-zagging across America, and author of Numbers, the book from which Soft Cell’s song takes its name.” Matthew Lindsay looks back at Soft Cell’s second (and best) album.

• “The English have something of a tradition where they like to scare you out of your mind at Christmas, a kind of sobering up of the senses by forces that seem to be beyond them.” Colin Fleming on The Signal-Man by Charles Dickens. More ghosts: Lisa Kerrigan explains why she loves Nigel Kneale’s 1989 TV adaptation of The Woman in Black by Susan Hill, and the BFI resurrects The Mistletoe Bough (1904), “the oldest film version of a classic Christmas ghost story”.

• “…the story is filled with a whole mess of embarrassed and embarrassing euphemisms for (ahem) big dick—stiff language, so to speak, like ‘bludgeon,’ like ‘giant concupiscence’ and ‘ostentatious organ.'” Steven Cordova on A Visit to Priapus and Other Stories by Glenway Wescott.

• “Never produced, the screenplay for The Way to Santiago is credited to Orson Welles. A quick look at the text leaves no doubt it was the work of the Citizen Kane filmmaker when he was at the peak of his arrogant brilliance. The script begins: ‘My face fills the frame.'”

• If you’re at all interested in the current state of the British musical underground, the end-of-year lists at Ears For Eyes are worth your attention.

Pee-wee’s (Remastered) Christmas Adventure: An interview with Paul Reubens. Related: Grace Jones sings Little Drummer Boy for Pee-wee.

• “I’m like a drag queen at Halloween.” John Waters on his favourite time of year: Christmas.

• Mix of the week: Secret Thirteen Mix 099, an “(anti)Christmas mix” by Robert Curgenven.

• The British Library makes over a million free-to-use images available at Flickr Commons.

• Lost in Translation: Notes on adapting Ballard by Calum Marsh.

MR James at Pinterest.

Book Map by Dorothy.

Martin (1983) by Soft Cell | Ghost Talk (1985) by Cabaret Voltaire | For Laika (2011) by Spacedog

City of Night by John Rechy

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City of Night (1963), Grove Press.

Surprising to read this week that John Rechy’s pioneering novel of gay nightlife in America is now fifty years old. The attitude and style of Rechy’s work looks so much to the 1970s that it seems out-of-place in a time when writing about male hustlers was almost as risky as being one. Charles Casillo revisits the novel for the Los Angeles Review of Books, and also talks to the author. Casillo turns up again at Lambda Literary to ask a collection of other writers for their recollections about Rechy and his work.

The usual curiosity impelled me to go looking for City of Night cover designs. The results are disappointing, there having been little advance from the Grove Press first edition (above) which I’m guessing was a Roy Kuhlman design. (And while we’re looking at it, Taxi Driver aficionados might note the “Fascination” sign.)

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The Grove Press paperback (left) reused the photo, and set the template for many subsequent editions, all of which could easily be mistaken for crime novels. The early editions play safe but that solitary figure does at least communicate the book’s emphasis on loneliness. Later editions offer lazy variations on the words “city” and “night” with no indication that the book is also about sex.

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The Panther (UK) paperback from 1969 is the edition I’m most familiar with, and it’s a surprise again to find that this cover design is still the best I’ve seen. Panther had a run of great cover designs from the late 60s into the 1970s, many of them uncredited. They also published a fair amount of gay fiction in editions that were smart and unsensational. This cover exemplifies the approach: sexy, direct, blurb-free, and with that enticing list of Joyce-like neologisms (“youngmen” is a Rechy trademark) on the back. Goodreads has a handful of other designs.

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Previously on { feuilleton }
William E. Jones on Fred Halsted
California boys by Mel Roberts