Weekend links 383

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Arcadia-24 (1988) by Minoru Nomata.

Dark Entries and Honey Soundsystem Records release a video of edited moments from gay porn film Afternooners to promote the release of the film’s electronic soundtrack by Patrick Cowley. The album, which is the third and final collection of Cowley’s porn soundtracks, is out now.

Emily Temple looks at some of the art inspired by Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities. I explored the same subject a couple of years ago in a week of Calvino art posts. From 2014: Peter Mendelsund on designing covers for Calvino.

Jim Downes on the late Charley Shively, a gay liberation activist who wasn’t interested in equality. Not an uncommon attitude in some gay circles but it’s one you seldom see aired in the mainstream press.

Geeta Dayal on A Little Electronic Milky Way of Sound by Roland Kayn, a 14-hour composition of “cybernetic music” which has been released in a lavish 16-CD box set by Frozen Reeds.

• An introduction to Henri-Georges Clouzot in seven films by Adam Scovell. Clouzot’s masterwork, The Wages of Fear (1953), is released on blu-ray by the BFI next week.

• Ubu Yorker: Menachem Feuer interviews Kenneth Goldsmith, writer and the man behind Ubuweb.

• Why Oscar-winning cinematographer Vittorio Storaro thinks the film vs. digital debate is bullshit.

David Barnett on supernatural fiction’s “best kept secret”, Robert Aickman.

Michèle Mendelssohn on how Oscar Wilde’s life imitates his art.

• Mix of the week: Secret Thirteen Mix 233 by Mick Harris.

Invisible Limits (1976) by Tangerine Dream | Invisible Cities (1990) by Jah Wobble’s Invaders Of The Heart | Invisible Architecture (1995) by John Foxx

Weekend links 171

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Jeune moine à la Grecque (1771) by Benigno Bossi. Via Monsieur Thombeau.

Victoriana: The Art of Revival is an exhibition which will run throughout the autumn at the Guildhall Art Gallery, London. Some of my steampunk work will be included. Related: Rick Poynor on Soft Machine’s Dysfunctional Mechanism.

• “The egg glows and hovers in the middle of a field of mesmerizing color. The spell is broken when the guard finally says, “Everybody up off the floor.'” Morgan Meis on Aten Reign by the amazing James Turrell.

• Mix of the week: a “heatwave mix” of psychedelic songs compiled by Jaime Williams. Anything that includes Vacuum Cleaner by Tintern Abbey gets my vote.

Because sex is so compartmentalized — it’s often considered separate from the rest of life and hidden away — porn performers, who have sex publicly, are in a unique position to consider and talk about integrating private and public aspects of life.

Writer and porn performer Conner Habib on the issue of nomenclature in the porn business.

• Still Hopscotching: Peter Mendelsund posts some unused cover designs for Julio Cortázar.

A Hymn For Megatron, an hour-long drone work, and a free download, by The Black Dog.

• Vagrancy and drift: Sukhdev Sandhu on the rise of the roaming essay film.

• A Flickr set of Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson’s musical instruments.

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“Whether flower-pressing in the garden, hallucinating in the summerhouse, fainting inside stifling sites of historical interest, pirouetting along the promenade, or even sea-cruise thalassophobia complications, barely a moment will pass that isn’t made all the sweeter by obsessively listening to Down to the Silver Sea.”

The TM Research Archive: sate yourself on Swiss graphic design.

• A Lecture on Johnson and Boswell by Jorge Luis Borges.

• Words, sounds and robots from Sarah Angliss.

Never Built Los Angeles

Nautilus (2012) by Anna Meredith | Nature Of Light (2012) by Isnaj Dui | Popcorn (Ealing Feeder Mix) (2012) by SpacedogUK (Sarah Angliss)

Weekend links 158

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Pan II (2012) by Fredrik Söderberg.

• “Aubade was a surprise success, selling some 5000 copies and going into a second printing and an edition published in America.  Martin was immediately a minor celebrity, being interviewed for articles that couldn’t mention what his book was actually about.” Rediscovering the works of Kenneth Martin.

• “I can’t stand covers which imitate other covers, or which slavishly look like whatever their designated genre is supposed to look like.” Ace cover designer Peter Mendelsund is interviewed.

• At The Outer Church Isablood & Henry of Occult Hand are interviewed about their mixtape.

I’d decided to pay my respects in an unorthodox way, by time-travelling into the period of Thatcher’s pomp, when she occulted the light, alchemised the bad will of the populace and did her best to choke the living daylights out of the awkward, sprawling, socially coddled essence of metropolitan London. Hers was a tyranny of the suburbs operating from a position of privilege at the centre: she might have invested in a Dulwich retirement property, but she couldn’t sleep in it.

Iain Sinclair visits Tilbury on the day of the Thatcher funeral. Related: Iain Sinclair and Jonathan Meades in Conversation, Oxford Brookes University, March 2013.

Ormond Gigli’s best photograph: women in the windows in Manhattan. See it full size here.

Balzac and sex: How the French novelist used masturbation to fuel his writing process.

• At Dangerous Minds: Kenneth Williams and John Lahr discuss Joe Orton in 1978.

• Yet more Bowie: Sukhdev Sandhu reviews Ziggyology by Simon Goddard.

The Spectacular, Wild World of Tenjo Sajiki and its Posters.

• In 1967 Susan Sontag made lists of her likes and dislikes.

Stephen Sparks on fin de siècle author Marcel Schwob.

Day Jobs of the Poets by Grant Snider.

James Turrell’s Ganzfeld Experiment.

The Pan Piper (1960) by Miles Davis & Gil Evans | Panorphelia (1974) by Edgar Froese | Pandora (1984) by Cocteau Twins

Covering Joyce

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First editions of Ulysses (1922) and Finnegans Wake (1939).

I like Peter Mendelsund’s book cover designs so it’s good to find the designer given the opportunity to provide new covers for James Joyce. Mendelsund’s blog post announcing the news mentions nothing about his intentions, instead we have a reminiscence about Ireland à la Molly Bloom, and pictures of the three covers below.

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I’ve never felt a pictorial treatment works with Joyce; his books, especially the Big Two, concentrate so much on words and the labyrinths made by language that anything other than a purely typographic treatment seems superfluous. Art directors going the pictorial route generally end up using familiar photos of the author or views of Dublin circa 1900. The first editions of Ulysses and Finnegans Wake set the pattern for many later editions, and I’ll guess it’s that pattern which Peter Mendelsund has followed here. The typeface used is Poetica, a Robert Slimbach design from 1992, completed by what may be Joyce’s own hand (I’m guessing again) in the manner of the author’s corrected typescripts. The amendments for Dubliners and Portrait of the Artist don’t require explanation but what about the title of Ulysses? I’d read this (so to speak) as representing the novel’s two main characters—Stephen Dedalus: the cold and precise man of letters, and Leopold Bloom: the all-too-human Everyman—who in their circumambulation and eventual meeting comprise the twin poles of the story. There’s also a subtle and clever allusion to Molly Bloom but I’ll let you find that…

The three new books will be published by Vintage but I’ve not managed to find a publication date.

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In other Joyce news, the first Chinese translation of Finnegans Wake has proved to be a surprising bestseller. And I ought to mention that Lord Horror: Reverbstorm, my own Joycean excursion (among other things) with David Britton, is now available at Amazon. You can, of course, still buy the book direct from the publishers.

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Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The book covers archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
James Joyce in Reverbstorm
Joyce in Time
Happy Bloomsday
Passages from James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake
Books for Bloomsday

Weekend links 83

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In Memory by Caitlin Hackett who describes her astonishing drawings as “contemporary mythology”.

• David Lynch’s solo album, Crazy Clown Time has just been released so The Guardian last Friday let the artist/director/musician edit their G2 supplement. Xan Brooks tried to get Lynch to open up about his inspirations while elsewhere Lynch had a chat with ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons. Of more interest to me was news that some of the deleted sequences from Blue Velvet have been discovered. I’ve known about these for years from a feature in Video Watchdog magazine but never thought we might get to see them. Related: a mixtape by David Lynch & musical collaborator/engineer ‘Big’ Dean Hurley.

• “Book jackets these days, for reasons I won’t unpack, seem to revel, overtly, in wit, conceptual deviousness, unusual clever or droll juxtapositions – we, as a professional community, seem to have elevated the visual bon mot above all other virtues.” Peter Mendelsund in a great post about certain problems in book design, starting with the very problematic question of what to do with Nabokov’s Lolita. Related: Covering Lolita, a gallery of covers through the ages which run the gamut of bad decisions.

• “For his sins Pinocchio is not only hanged but robbed, kidnapped, stabbed, whipped, starved, jailed, punched in the head, and has his legs burned off.” Nathaniel Rich goes back to Carlo Collodi’s original Pinocchio. Disney it ain’t.

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Some of Berthold Wolpe’s Faber cover designs are now available as prints from wire-frame whose Pelham/Ballard prints were mentioned here recently. Related (and worth another visit): Faber 20th century classics at Flickr.

Technical Vocabularies – Games for May, a small collection of poems by Alan Moore & Steve Moore, is now online with authorial permission. Alan’s Beardsley pastiche on the cover is a bonus.

• Cabaret Voltaire’s Richard H. Kirk says the group’s Virgin albums will be reissued next year by Mute. A new edition of The Crackdown? Yes, please.

• “Homo Riot can only think of six or seven street artists in the world who regularly feature gay themes in their work, and he knows all of them.”

Rub Out The Words: Letters from William Burroughs and Philip K. Dick on the language virus theory of William Burroughs.

L’exilé de Capri: the connections between Jacques d’Adelswärd-Fersen and Roger Peyrefitte explored at Strange Flowers.

• Flying cars and monorails: Soviet Russia in the 1960s also had a Gerry Anderson view of the future.

Are You An Anarchist? The Answer May Surprise You.

Baby’s On Fire (1973) by Brian Eno | Baby’s On Fire (live, 1974) by Eno & The Winkies | Baby’s On Fire (live, 1976) by 801 | Baby’s On Fire (1998) by The Venus In Furs.