Weekend links 130


Sarah and Writhing Octopus (New Wave Series, 1992) by Masami Teraoka.

Strange Flowers continues to push all my buttons. For a while now I’d been intent on writing something about the strange (unbuilt) temples designed by German artist/obsessive naturist Fidus (Hugo Höppener) but I reckon James has done a better job than I would have managed. Also last week he wrote about Schloss Schleißheim, a palatial estate outside Munich with connections to Last Year in Marienbad and another eccentric, pseudonymous German artist: Alastair (Hans Henning Voigt).

• The circus poster that inspired John Lennon’s Sgt. Pepper song Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! has been reproduced as a limited edition letterpress print. Related: Wikipedia’s page about Pablo Fanque (1796–1871), “the first black circus proprietor in Britain”.

• The first two volumes of The Graphic Canon, both edited by Russ Kick, are reviewed at Literary Kicks. I’ve not seen either of these yet but volume 2 contains my interpretation of The Picture of Dorian Gray. Related: the second book previewed at Brain Pickings.

You only have to read [Alan Bennett’s] diaries to see that, underneath the wit and humour and sandwich-filled pottering around old churches, there is a deep resentment at what has happened to England in his lifetime and an instinctive distrust, sometimes amounting to deep loathing, of most politicians. Listening, for instance, to Alan Clark and Kenneth Clarke talking on the radio about the arrest of General Pinochet in 1998, he writes: “Both have that built-in shrug characteristic of 80s Conservatism, electrodes on the testicles a small price to pay when economic recovery’s at stake.”

Michael Billington on Alan Bennett: a quiet radical

Hauntologists mine the past for music’s future: Mark Pilkington draws a Venn diagram encompassing Coil, Broadcast, the Ghost Box label, Arthur Machen, MR James, Nigel Kneale, Iain Sinclair and others.

Hell Is a City: the making of a cult classic – in pictures. The mean streets of Manchester given the thriller treatment by Hammer Films in 1959. The film is released on DVD this month.

The Function Room: The Kollection, Matt Leyshon’s debut volume of horror stories, has just been published. The cover painting is one of my pieces from the 1990s.

New Worlds magazine (now apparently known as “Michael Moorcock’s New Worlds“) has been relaunched online.


A drawing from Anatomy (part 1), a series by Alex Konahin.

• The forthcoming Scott Walker album, Bish Bosch, will be released on December 3rd. 4AD has a trailer.

Cormac McCarthy Cuts to the Bone: Noah Gallagher Shannon on the early drafts of Blood Meridian.

• The Velvet Underground of English Letters: Simon Sellars Discusses JG Ballard.

• Michelle Dean on The Comfort of Bad Books.

The typewriter repairers of Los Angeles

Cats With Famous People

Marienbad (1987) by Sonoko | Komm Nach Marienbad (2011) by Marienbad | Marienbad (2012) by Julia Holter.

(Thanks to Ian and Pedro for this week’s picture links!)

3 thoughts on “Weekend links 130”

  1. I have no real idea who the Alan Bennett that you’re posting about is. I hear his name all the time and I always make the mistake of confusing him with Crowley’s mentor who went on to introduce Buddhism to Britain.

    A new Scott Walker album is exciting news; that, Banga, and Beyond All Defects makes this a good musical year for me. Going by that preview, it will be a wonderfully strange as Drift.

  2. Alan Bennett is a playwright, writer and actor, more or less in that order. Two of his plays, The Madness of King George and The History Boys have been successful as films, surprisingly so for the latter which in its discussions is a lot more cerebral than the usual cinema fare.

    I’ve always liked him for his almost unique ability to write about the cerebral, high art stuff–Proust, Kafka, etc–whilst also delving into the lives of very ordinary, un-cerebral (usually north of England) working-class people. Most playwrights either do one or the other. On top of all that, most of his work has had an understated and often subversive gay subtext, something he was doing long before it was either easy or really acceptable, especially on television. Many of his best TV plays are now on DVD.

  3. Not I’m sure, the wright place to put this, and I’m not sure whether you want people adding notes to your blog, but last weekend, ie 21.10.12, Gay’s the Word had an event involving Ronald Wright, the name RonWright must have been a lead in, and the launch of his book, Sir Gay, I must admit, of him I had never heard, but it does seem to be Gay Art in some sense or other.

    Then, yesterday, brian Sewell ran a page on the Evening Standard, with an editorial, on Anthony Blunt, missing out of course the key point. A few years ago I started a Facebook page on Blunt justification, so I am going to see whether it still exists and re-awaken it.

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