Weekend links 483

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Fantastic Sea Carriage (1556) by Johannes van Doetecum the Elder.

• I’ve grown increasingly tired of Kubrick-related micro-fetishism (despite contributing to it myself with previous posts) but this piece at Film and Furniture about the history of David Hicks’ Hexagon carpet design is a good one.

• “In hindsight, we can see how rarely one technology supersedes another…” Leah Price on the oft-predicted, never arriving death of the book.

• From Rome To Weston-Super-Mare: Eden Tizard on Coil’s Musick To Play In The Dark.

“It is,” the editor of the London Sunday Express had written nine years earlier, sounding like HP Lovecraft describing Necronomicon:

the most infamously obscene book in ancient or modern literature….All the secret sewers of vice are canalized in its flood of unimaginable thoughts, images and pornographic words. And its unclean lunacies are larded with appalling and revolting blasphemies directed against the Christian religion and against the name of Christ—blasphemies hitherto associated with the most degraded orgies of Satanism and the Black Mass.

Regarded as a masterpiece by contemporary writers such as TS Eliot and Ernest Hemingway, celebrated for being as difficult to read as to obtain, Ulysses had been shocking the sensibilities of critics, censors, and readers from the moment it began to see print between 1918 and 1920, when four chapters were abortively serialized in the pages of a New York quarterly called The Little Review. Even sophisticated readers often found themselves recoiling in Lovecraftian dread from contact with its pages. “I can’t get over the feeling,” wrote Katherine Mansfield, “of wet linoleum and unemptied pails and far worse horrors in the house of [Joyce’s] mind.” Encyclopedic in its use of detail and allusion, orchestral in its multiplicity of voices and rhetorical strategies, virtuosic in its technique, Ulysses was a thoroughly modernist production, exhibiting—sometimes within a single chapter or a single paragraph—the vandalistic glee of Futurism, the decentered subjectivity of Cubism, the absurdist blasphemies and pranks of Dadaism, and Surrealism’s penchant for finding the mythic in the ordinary and the primitive in the low dives and nighttowns of the City.

Michael Chabon on the US trial of James Joyce’s Ulysses

• Mix of the week: Through A Landscape Of Mirrors Vol. III—France II by David Colohan.

• Another Not The Best Ambient And Space Music Of The Year Post by Dave Maier.

Sarah Angliss and friends perform Air Loom at Supernormal, 2019.

• Out next month: The World Is A Bell by The Leaf Library.

Amy Simmons on where to start with Pier Paolo Pasolini.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Candy Clark Day.

• Uccellacci E Uccellini (1966) by Ennio Morricone | Liriïk Necronomicus Kahnt (1978) by Magma | Ostia (The Death Of Pasolini) (1986) by Coil

Weekend links 146

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A Chinese postage stamp celebrating the Year of the Snake.

Cyclopean is a collaboration from Burnt Friedman, Jono Podmore and Can founding members Jaki Liebezeit, and Irmin Schmidt. The Quietus has a preview of all the tracks from their forthcoming EP. Great stuff.

Ten Things You (Possibly) Don’t Know About Kraftwerk. Related: a Speak & Spell emulator, and Atomium, a new single by Karl Bartos.

• In 1975 Barney Bubbles designed an inner sleeve for Hawkwind’s Warrior on the Edge of Time album, and this scarce recipe booklet.

• “We should all use language carefully. That is an obligation on the literate. But carefully doesn’t mean fearfully,” says Jenny Diski.

• Faber’s car-crash of a cover design for the 50th anniversary edition of The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath caused an outbreak of parodies.

• At Strange Flowers: Ancient dreams and antique corruptions, Salomé via Gustave Moreau and Huysmans.

• FACT Mix 368 is a very varied collection of recent music and older pieces curated by Holly Herndon.

• At Ubuweb: eleven out-of-print recordings of Harry Bertoia’s sound sculptures.

Laurie Anderson and Brian Eno in conversation at Interview magazine.

Michael Chabon on Wes Anderson’s Worlds.

Snake Rag (1923) by King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band | Rattlesnake Shake (1969) by Fleetwood Mac | Snakes Crawl (1980) by Bush Tetras | Ananta Snake Dance (1980) by Suns of Arqa | Snakeblood (2000) by Leftfield

More Golems

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Golem by Jiri Barta.

There are always more golems. Among recent reading I’ve been catching up with the works of Michael Chabon, and have just finished The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (2000), a novel concerned with several things that obsessed me when I was 13, namely Harry Houdini, conjuring tricks and the Empire State Building. Chabon even acknowledges JC Cannell’s The Secrets of Houdini, a book I re-read many times trying in vain to learn some of Houdini’s card tricks. What didn’t obsess me at that age happens to be the main subject of the novel: superhero comics. Chabon does a good job of communicating the enthusiasm that powered the early days of the American comics industry, however, and I can appreciate the enthusiasm that history generates for him even if I don’t quite share it. Lurking at the back of his story is the mute and symbolic figure of Rabbi Loew’s Golem of Prague, mention of which prompted me to see whether Czech animator Jiri Barta had managed to complete his film of the Golem story, a project which has been stalled since the 1990s. He hasn’t, unfortunately, but there is a trailer which I hadn’t seen before, a sight that makes the prospect even more tantalising. Someone give this man some money to finish his film.

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Emet (2009).

Elsewhere, there’s Emet by Bonsaininja Studio, Milan, a short steampunk take on the Golem creation story. Great use of CGI and digital animation but I’d still prefer to see Barta’s version. Meanwhile, the whole of Paul Wegener’s The Golem: How He Came into the World (1920) is now on YouTube. If you’ve never seen Wegener stomping around medieval Prague with his shopping basket then here’s your chance.

See also:
Golem: The Recipe For Life by Michael Chabon

Previously on { feuilleton }
Hodgson versus Houdini
Das Haus zur letzten Latern
Hugo Steiner-Prag’s Golem
Barta’s Golem

Weekend links 116

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Ankle Deep, a pyrograph by Robert Sherer whose work is showcased at The Advocate.

• “Bertrand Russell wrote in 1932, during another period of economic distress, ‘that immense harm is caused by the belief that work is virtuous, and that what needs to be preached in modern industrial societies is quite different from what always has been preached.’ ” From The Devilishness Of Idleness by Alex Gallo-Brown. Related: Owen Hatherley says “It’s the 21st century – why are we working so much?”

Restoring James Joyce’s book of the night: Joyce biographer Gordon Bowker reviews the new edition of Finnegans Wake. Over at the NYRB Michael Chabon has a great piece about his own relationship with Joyce’s novel that manages to make some very un-NYRB references to Cthulhu, the Necronomicon and Michael Moorcock’s Elric. Related: Leopold’s Day, a limited edition (and expensive) map of Dublin using typography to depict the people and places of Bloomsday.

Verbally, it feels as though Burroughs, Joyce and Beckett are text messaging haikus back and forth: ‘beautiful/last/random fragments of poetry/finding syllables,/the waters fall/the waves fall/musical./pencil murmuring’.

James Kidd on A Humument by Tom Phillips.

The Expanding Universe (1980), an album of early computer music by American composer Laurie Spiegel, will be reissued with additional recordings in September.

• A previously unreleased remix by Surgeon of Teenage Lighting by Coil has been made public.

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Small Museum of Nature and Industry (2010) by Susan Collard.

Queer Kids In America, a photo project by M. Sharkey.

Walter Benjamin’s Grave: A Profane Illumination.

The Visual Art and Design of Famous Writers.

Nylon Sculptures by Rosa Verloop.

Froschroom (1994) by Mouse on Mars | Bib (1995) by Mouse on Mars | Cache Coeur Naïf (1997) by Mouse on Mars.