Calendrier Magique

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The Calendrier Magique was created in 1895 by Austin De Croze, with pages decorated and illustrated by Manuel Orazi. In addition to being a calendar for the year 1896, the booklet (which was printed in an edition of 777 copies) is also a fascinating bogus grimoire which did the internet rounds a few years ago when scans appeared on a sub-site hosted by Cornell University Library. While it was good to see the pages at all, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who would have preferred a closer look at the details, something which is now possible thanks to a recent upload at Gallica.

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The Gallica copy is also downloadable as a PDF so there’s no need to replicate all the contents here. Something worth noting which did occur to me when I first saw Orazi’s drawings was the striking similarity of the letterform sigils and the doodle-like figure below to the later, more seriously-intended occult art of Austin Spare. Neither Orazi nor the Calendrier Magique receives a mention in Phil Baker’s biography of Spare but a copy of the calendar could have made its way to a London book shop where Spare might have seen it.

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Previously on { feuilleton }
Typefaces of the occult revival
Manuel Orazi’s Salomé
La belle sans nom

La Morphine by Victorien du Saussay

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Manuel Orazi’s illustrations (above and below) have been travelling the recursive paths of the Tumblr labyrinth recently. I was hoping to find covers for other editions but the third image here (from 1930) is the only one that’s turned up. La Morphine, Vices et passions des morphinomanes by Victorien du Saussay was published in 1906, and is described by Barbara Hodgson as “a stark novel of addiction, failed cures, incest, indecent exposure and adultery” (In the Arms of Morpheus: The Tragic History of Laudanum, Morphine, and Patent Medicines (2001)). Orazi apparently produced 22 interior illustrations but (again) they don’t appear to be available for the moment.

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Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The book covers archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Haschisch Hallucinations by HE Gowers
Manuel Orazi’s Salomé
Demon rum leads to heroin
La belle sans nom
German opium smokers, 1900

The weekend artists

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Flower Me Gently (2010) by Linn Olofsdotter.

Yes, this is one of those lazy end-of-year retrospectives, a look back at all the artists whose work was highlighted in the weekend posts for 2011. Thanks to BibliOdyssey, Form is Void and 50 Watts for so often pointing the way.

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Blasphemous Rumours (2009/2010) by Ryan Martin. The artist now has a dedicated site for his paintings.

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DG-2499 (1975) by the fantastic (in every sense of the word) Zdzislaw Beksinski (1929–2005). See the Dmochowski Gallery for a comprehensive collection of the artist’s work.

Continue reading “The weekend artists”

Virgil Finlay’s Salomé

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While chasing down Virgil Finlay’s illustration for Lovecraft’s The Colour Out of Space earlier this week I came across another Finlay drawing I’d not noticed before in a book I’ve owned for years. Makes me wonder what else is lurking on the shelves. Finlay’s depiction of Salomé was an illustration for Waxworks, a story by Robert Bloch published in Weird Tales for January 1939. I’ve never read much of Bloch’s fiction, this story included, so can’t say anything about it, but Finlay’s drawing impresses for the solid black night sky, and the peculiar flaming headdress, the kind of unique detail he often added to his pictures.

Bloch and Finlay had a memorable encounter a couple of years years before when Finlay illustrated The Faceless God, another Weird Tales piece which so impressed HP Lovecraft that it inspired a poem, To Mr. Finlay, Upon His Drawing for Mr. Bloch’s Tale, ‘The Faceless God’. Lovecraft’s handwritten draft can be seen (but not necessarily read) here.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The Salomé archive

Weekend links 71

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Manuel Orazi (1860–1934) was one of the best of the many Mucha imitators. An untitled & undated posting at Indigo Asmodel.

The mob now appeared to consider themselves as superior to all authority; they declared their resolution to burn all the remaining public prisons, and demolish the Bank, the Temple, Gray’s Inn, Lincoln’s Inn, the Mansion House, the Royal palaces, and the arsenal at Woolwich. The attempt upon the Bank of England was actually made twice in the course of one day; but both attacks were but feebly conducted and the rioters easily repulsed, several of them falling by the fire of the military, and many others being severely wounded.

To form an adequate idea of the distress of the inhabitants in every part of the City would be impossible. Six-and-thirty fires were to be seen blazing in the metropolis during the night.

An Account of the Riots in London in 1780, from The Newgate Calendar.

In a week of apparently limitless bloviation, a few comments stood out. Hari Kunzru: “Once, a powerful woman told us there was no such thing as society and set about engineering our country to fit her theory. Well, she got her way. This is where we live now, and if we don’t like it, we ought to make a change.” Howard Jacobson: “One medium-sized banker’s bonus would probably pay for all the trash that’s been looted this past week.” Meanwhile Boff Whalley complained about the predictable misuse of the word “anarchy” by lazy journalists.

• For further historical perspective, a list of rioters and arsonists from The Newgate Calendar (1824), and an account of the looting in London during the Blitz.

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From a selection of works by Max Walter Svanberg (1912–1994) at But Does It Float. There’s more at Cardboard Cutout Sundown.

• NASA posted a gorgeous photo from the surface of the planet Mars. Related: Astronomers have discovered the darkest known exoplanet. Obliquely related: Julio Cortázar’s From the Observatory, a prose poem inspired by the astronomical observatories at Jaipur and New Delhi, India, receives its first English translation.

The Advisory Circle is still in a Kosmische groove. Not Kosmische at all, Haxan Cloak’s mix for FACT has Wolf Eyes, Sunn O))) and Krzysztof Penderecki competing to shatter your nerves.

• The wonderful women (and friends) at Coilhouse magazine are having a Black, White and Red fundraising party in Brooklyn, NYC, on August 21st. Details here.

• Sodom’s ambassador to Paris: the flamboyant Jean Lorrain is profiled at Strange Flowers.

Empire de la Mort: Photographs of charnel houses and ossuaries by Paul Koudounaris.

The Craft of Verse by Jorge Luis Borges: The Norton Lectures, 1967–68.

• Jesse Bering examines The Contorted History of Autofellatio.

Robert Crumb explains why he won’t be visiting Australia.

The Crackdown (1983) by Cabaret Voltaire.