Maurice Yves Sandoz (1892–1958) was a Swiss composer and writer who published a handful of works of fantastic fiction, none of which are especially well-known today. One of these, a novel entitled Le Labyrinthe (1945), will be familiar to most people via the film version directed by William Cameron Menzies in 1953, Menzies’ final effort in a chequered directing career. The Maze is a low-budget horror film that was shot in 3-D, and which works well for the most part, at least until its rather absurd ending. I hadn’t heard about the novel until a recent conversation with the knowledgeable Mr TjZ during which he mentioned that Salvador Dalí had illustrated Sandoz’s novel when it was republished by Doubleday, Doran in 1945. Dalí illustrated a number of novels throughout his career but The Maze is one of the few original works (as opposed to a reprint of a classic), the fruit of Sandoz’s social connections with the art world. 1945 was the year that Dalí’s brand of Surrealism was fully embraced by America—he was working on Hitchcock’s Spellbound at this time—so it’s surprising that Sandoz’s novel isn’t better known. Dalí also provided illustrations for two collections of Sandoz’s short stories: Fantastic Memories (1944) and On the Verge (1950).
I haven’t seen a copy of the novel so the illustrations here are no doubt wrongly sequenced. Secondhand copies of the Dalí Sandoz titles aren’t as expensive as you’d imagine so I’m tempted to track down copies. I’m also curious to know how the novel compares to the film. Thanks to TjZ for the tip!
(And having written the above, I notice from my tags for the post that I’d linked to copies of the short story illustrations in a weekend posting several years ago. Among other things, this blog is a useful memory jolt. But The Maze was definitely news.)
Continue reading “Salvador Dalí’s Maze”
Halloween in Austin, Texas this year will look and sound like this.
• “Blade Runner will prove invincible“: Philip K Dick’s letter of praise to the film’s producers. Related: one of the Blade Runner designers, Syd Mead, has recently styled New York’s Bar Basque and Foodparc.
• “I decided to go into fields where mathematicians would never go because the problems were badly stated…I have played a strange role that none of my students dare to take.” RIP Benoît Mandelbrot.
• Science and poetry: “a richly vexed topic badly in need of rethinking”. Related: Why the Singularity isn’t going to happen.
• In case you missed this week’s earlier announcement, a reminder that I was interviewed at Coilhouse. My vanity: it knows no bounds.
• Franklin Booth’s illustrations for The Flying Islands of the Night (1913) by James Whitcomb Riley.
• On the Verge (1950) by Maurice Sandoz, illustrated by Salvador Dalí. Also this and this.
Bowie Sphinx, 1969. Photo by Brian Ward.
• The Laughing Gnostic: David Bowie and the Occult.
• “Moonlighting as a Conjurer of Chemicals“: Isaac Newton’s alchemical interests.
• “A sense of otherness that goes right back“: Alan Garner at Alderley Edge.
• Jimmy’s End—Alan Moore’s new feature film and spin-off TV series.
• A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain by Owen Hatherley.
• The It Gets Better Project now has a dedicated website.
• Quicksand (1971) by David Bowie.
Blue Sky Noise (2010) by Esao Andrews.
• Franz Xaver Messerschmidt is the first exhibition in the United States devoted exclusively to the 18th-century sculptor. Related: an earlier post about the artist’s work.
• How are the team behind War Horse planning to follow up their smash hit? With a gay love story performed by puppets. Related: Achilles (1995) by Barry JC Purves.
• More great posts at A Journey Round My Skull: Czechoslovakian Expose VI and Black Cradle of Bright Life, fifteen works by the Macedonian artist Vangel Naumovski (1924–2006).
• Top 10 Anti-Gay Activists Caught Being Gay. Related: “Fuck your feelings,” in which columnist Dan Savage gets righteously impatient when a correspondent complains. As Savage says, people who use their faith as a stick to beat gay people contribute to an atmosphere of intolerance in which kids are bullied for being gay (or appearing to be), or transgender, or merely different, and kill themselves as a result. Over the past couple of weeks there’s been an upsurge of US media attention to the most recent suicides; Savage inaugurated the It Gets Better project in order to help. Also related: God Loves Poetry.
Meigh (2010) by Esao Andrews.
• Antony Hegarty enthuses about Shoot Yer Load, one of the scurrilous 12″ singles released by my Savoy colleagues in the 1980s. Antony and the Johnsons have a new album out, Swanlights, on Secretly Canadian.
• When the future of music was a rainbow hued parabola: book designer John Gall collects old synthesizer manuals.
• Fantastic Memories (1944) by Maurice Sandoz, illustrated by Salvador Dalí.
• Urban optometry: life as a London crane operator at BLDGBLOG.
• Today is 10/10/10 which means it’s Powers of Ten Day.
• These New Puritans: a band like no other.
• Art Nouveau: a virtual exhibition.
• Diaghilev: Lord of the dance.
• Flaming Telepaths (1974) by Blue Öyster Cult; Flaming Telepaths (2005) by Espers.