Weekend links 693


Imaginary (no date) by Sidney Sime.

• Victor Rees was in touch this week to alert me to a one-off screening of The Gourmet (previously), a cult TV drama from 1986 written by Kazuo Ishiguro and directed by Michael Whyte. The screening, which will take place at Swedenborg House, London, on 16th October, is one of a series of retrospective events based around an exhibition from 1974, Albion Island Vortex, by Brian Catling and Iain Sinclair. The film, which is connected to Sinclair’s oeuvre by its use of one of the Hawksmoor churches, will be followed by a Q&A session with Sinclair and Michael Whyte. The screening is free but places are limited so prior booking is required.

• “Alongside his thieves and vagabonds, Hotten includes religious slang, public schoolboy slang, pirate slang, equine stable slang, phrases coined by Dr. Johnson, the slang of softened oaths, workmen’s slang, stagehand slang, shopkeeper’s slang, and dozens of other argots.” Hunter Dukes on A Dictionary of Modern Slang, Cant, and Vulgar Words (1860) by John Camden Hotten.

The Night Land, William Hope Hodgson’s “Dying Earth” doorstop, is republished in an abridged version as part of MIT Press’s Radium Age series, “proto–science fiction stories from the underappreciated era between 1900 and 1935”. All the reprints come with new introductions, the one for Hodgson being by Erik Davis.

• “My partner wanted me to stop buying lava lamps. It was an expensive hobby, and we were running out of room in our apartment.” Nora Claire Miller on the lure of the lava lamp. I only own a single one but I appreciate the obsessive attraction.

• Rambalac takes his roaming camera for a walk through teamLab Planets, Tokyo, a labyrinthine exhibition featuring plenty of water (and wet feet), and a moss garden filled with large silver eggs.

• At Strange Flowers: An examination of the connections between the self-mythologising Marie Corelli and her fictional counterparts in the Mapp and Lucia novels of EF Benson.

• Coming soon from Strange Attractor: Cabarets of Death, a book about the otherworldly cabarets of Montmartre by Mel Gordon, edited by Joanna Ebenstein.

• Among the new titles at Standard Ebooks, the home of free, high-quality, public-domain texts: The Secret Glory by Arthur Machen.

10 essential Japanese reggae releases selected by Kay Suzuki.

• Mix of the week: A Fact Mix by Venus Ex Machina.

Modern Art in Mid-Century Comics.

• RIP Michael Gambon.

Planet Caravan (1970) by Black Sabbath | Planet Queen (1971) by T. Rex | Oszillator Planet Concert (1971) by Tangerine Dream

Weekend links 665


Entrance of the Fish Frogs (1919) by Fritz Schwimbeck. Via.

• “This bold chunk of fiction comes garlanded with the promise that it is written in Polari, the historical cant of British gay male society. This turns out to be not quite true—Polari was only ever a vocabulary, rather than a full language—but it certainly indicates where we’re heading; back to the late 1960s, when Polari had its heyday, and far out into the choppy waters of linguistic transgression. The largest part of the book is taken up with what purports to be a typescript of the ‘anarcho-surrealist’ memoirs of one Raymond Novak. The tersest summary of Novak’s literary stylings might be to say that Julian and Sandy, those Polari-dishing stars of Round the Horne, meet Bataille and Breton—and lose.” Neil Bartlett reviewing Man-Eating Typewriter by Richard Milward. • Related: You’ve got male: British beefcake photos from the 1940s to the 1970s.

• Among the new titles at Standard Ebooks, the home of free, high-quality, public-domain texts: Can Such Things Be? (1893) by Ambrose Bierce, a collection of weird fiction that includes the story that gave the world the name “Carcosa”. Also The Hashish Eater (1857), Fitz Hugh Ludlow’s account of his drug experiences.

• “…despite the book’s title, there is very little explicitly sexual here.” Hunter Dukes on Cultus Arborum: A Descriptive Account of Phallic Tree Worship (1890), a privately-printed volume believed to be the work of Hargrave Jennings.

• New music: Tenere Den by Tinariwen, Offworld Radiation Therapy by Memnon Sa, and Die Untergründigen by Alva Noto.

• At Spoon & Tamago: Japanese buildings that are shaped like the things they sell.

• At Unquiet Things: The papercut art of Ivonne Garcia.

• Mix of the week: DreamScenes – March 2023.

Hashish (1968) by West Coast Natural Gas | The Hashishins (1970) by Ry Cooder & Buffy Sainte-Marie | Hassan I Sahba (1977) by Hawkwind

Weekend links 659


The First Day of Spring (Risshun), from the series Fashionable Poetic Immortals of the Four Seasons (c.1768) by Suzuki Harunobu. Risshun in Japan begins on the 4th of February.

• “…after centuries of imbibing alcoholic beverages as their main source of potable water, European’s new fondness for boiled drinks—coupled with the psychoactive properties of caffeine—swapped societal tipsiness with a mindstate primed for the Enlightenment’s intoxication with reason.” Hunter Dukes on A Treatise Concerning the Properties and Effects of Coffee (1792) by Benjamin Moseley.

• Steven Heller on John Wilcock, Master of the Underground: “[He] was one of the great ‘happening’ characters of midcentury America, beat myth to Hippie legend. He was founder of half a dozen underground papers, and started one of the first citizen-access cable television shows. His achievements are a dense package.”

• At Fonts In Use: Florian Hardwig explores the origin of “the Dune font” as used on the covers of Frank Herbert’s novels during the 1970s and 80s.

• At Smithsonian Magazine: “Hundreds of Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs were never built. Here’s what they might have looked like.”

• Mix of the week: Fact Mix 893 by KMRU & Aho Ssan & Sevi Iko Dømochevsky.

• New music: Hypnagogia by Martina Bertoni, and Cosmos Vol. II by Ran Kirlian & Jaja.

• “Forgotten ‘Stonehenge of the north’ given to nation by construction firm.”

• At Aquarium Drunkard: Soft Machine live at Jazz Bilzen, 1969.

• RIP Tom Verlaine.

Goofin’ At The Coffee House (1959) by Henri Mancini | Bring Me Coffee Or Tea (1971) by Can | Starfish And Coffee (1986) by Prince

Weekend links 647


A local dispute on the planet Mars. Art by Kevin O’Neill from The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

• “…this image has puzzled enthusiasts of the scientific mystic’s works, both for its obscure provenance and cryptic symbolism. With its pastiche of Renaissance visual style and medieval caption — “A missionary of the Middle Ages tells that he had found the point where the sky and the Earth touch” — the illustration was once thought to have originated centuries before Flammarion published his text.” Hunter Dukes on the enduring mystery of the “Flammarion Engraving”.

• “For Spare, radio, and the waves that carried the music he loved to listen to, were more than just a metaphor for the spirit world. They were an active mode of conveyance for occult energies and vibrations – the swirling, ectoplasmic tendrils from which odd figures emerge in some of his most dense and haunting work.” Mark Pilkington explores Austin Osman Spare’s influence on the world of music.

• At Spine: Design studio Milk & Bone’s designer Alicia Raitt re-imagines all 14 of Kurt Vonnegut’s book covers to celebrate his 100th birthday.

• Farewell to Kevin O’Neill and Nik Turner, both of whom headed to the Western Lands this week.

Mean, moody and magnificent: film noir studio portraits – in pictures.

• Mix of the week: XLR8R Podcast 773 by Roméo Poirier.

• New music: Evergreen by Patrick Shiroishi.

Brainstorm (1972) by Hawkwind | Hurricane Fighter Plane (1985) by Inner City Unit | Brainstorm (1993) by Monster Magnet

Weekend links 623


A symmetrical ink blot from Gobolinks, or Shadow Pictures for Young and Old (1896) by Ruth McEnery Stuart & Albert Bigelow Paine, a book where the blots are much more interesting than the interpretative verses that accompany them.

• “…within a year, they were on The Tube, performing their German-language extrapolation of Throbbing Gristle’s Discipline to a visibly nonplussed audience.” Alexis Petridis on the return of Propaganda. The group’s debut album, A Secret Wish (previously), has long been an obscure object of desire round here.

• RIP Alan White, drummer in Yes for much of the 1970s (see Sound Chaser for details), and also—although nobody mentioned this at the time—the originator of the drum sounds sampled on a Fairlight for Beat Box by the Art Of Noise.

• “For the anthropologist Stewart Guthrie, pareidolia is not a fringe phenomenon: it is at the core of religious experience.” Hunter Dukes on the interpretation of ink blots.

• “…self-righteousness is the one thing that I don’t agree with,” says John Waters. “We used humour to fight when I was young.”

• New music: October Cut Up by Black Glass Ensemble, and New Witness by Michael Begg.

• Also RIP Shiv Kumar Sharma, master of the santoor.

• “Scientists recreate Cleopatra’s favourite perfume.

Simon Fisher Turner’s favourite albums.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Len Lye Day.

Cleopatra’s Barge (1962) by Alex North | Cleopatra’s Needle (1963) by Ahab And The Wailers | Cleopatra King Size (2002) by Jah Wobble & Temple Of Sound