Weekend links 725

Springtime in Paris (1923) by Georg Kretzschmar.

• I’ve been asked to mention that the tribute book put together for Alan Moore’s 70th birthday, Alan Moore: Portraits of an Extraordinary Gentleman, is still available. As before, the book features contributions from many well-known comic artists, a foreword by Iain Sinclair, and this piece of my own.

• “I never posted any lecture of mine on Tumblr, even though Tumblr would seem to have plenty of elbow-room for hour-long, learned, European public lectures (with many lecture slides).” Utopian Realism, a speech by Bruce Sterling.

• Reading the Signs: John Kenny in conversation with Mark Valentine about Mark’s new collection Lost Estates.

There remains something suspect about blotter, a stain that is both a blessing and a curse. As the blotter producer Matthew Rick, who started selling sheets as non-dipped ‘art’ collectables at festivals in 1998, puts it: ‘[B]lotter is the last underground art form that’s going to stay underground, simply because you’re creating something that looks like and functions like a felony.’ In other words, blotter is ontologically illicit; it is, as Rick says, ‘drug paraphernalia by its very existence’.

Erik Davis (again) on LSD and the cultural history of the printed blotter

• At Colossal: Uncanny phenomena derail domestic bliss in Marisa Adesman’s luminous paintings.

• Standing stones, urban hellscapes and male nudes: Andrew Pulver on Derek Jarman’s Super-8 films.

• “ [breaking news] An anomaly on earth has brought the cats to over 150 meters. Please be patient.”

• At We Are The Mutants: Alien Renaissance: An interview with illustrator Bob Fowke.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Spotlight on…René Crevel My Body and I (1926).

• At Public Domain Review: The Little Journal of Rejects (1896).

• Steven Heller’s font of the month is Sandhouse.

• RIP Steve Albini.

Sandoz In The Rain (1970) by Amon Düül II | Bon Voyage Au LSD (2001) by Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. | Careful With That Sheet Of Acid, Eugene (2019) by Jenzeits

Weekend links 720


The Poet and the Siren (1893) by Gustave Moreau.

• “Some books become talismans. Because they are strange, wildly different to the common run of literature; because they are scarce, and only a few precious copies are known to exist; because, perhaps, they liberate by transgressing the moral limits of the day; because their authors are lonely, elusive visionaries; because, sometimes, there is an inexplicable glamour about the book, so that its readers seem to be lured into a preternatural reverie. This book possesses all those attributes.” Mark Valentine in an introduction he wrote for a 1997 reprint of The Book of Jade (1901) by David Park Barnitz. The book’s author was an American writer who died at the age of 23 after publishing this single volume, a collection of poetry inspired by his favourite Decadent writers. Praise from HP Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith and Thomas Ligotti has since helped maintain the book’s reputation. The Book of Jade turned up recently at Standard Ebooks, the home of free, high-quality, public-domain texts. Also the home of an increasingly eclectic list of publications.

• At n+1: The Dam and the Bomb by Walker Mimms, a fascinating essay about the entangling of Cormac McCarthy’s personal history with his novels which makes a few connections I didn’t expect to see. Also a reminder that I’ve yet to read McCarthy’s last two books. Soon…

• The latest installation from teamLab is Resonating Life which Continues to Stand, an avenue of illuminated eggs on the Hong Kong waterfront.

• At The Wire: Symphony of sirens: an interview with Aura Satz, David Toop, Elaine Mitchener, Evelyn Glennie and Raven Chacon.

• At Unquiet Things: The Art of Darkness presents The Sleeper May Awaken: Stephen Mackey’s Unrestful Realms.

• RIP Marian Zazeela. There’s a page here with a selection of her beautiful calligraphic poster designs.

• At Spoon & Tamago: Tomona Matsukawa’s realistic paintings reconstruct fragments of everyday life.

• At Public Domain Review: Thom Sliwowski on The Defenestrations of Prague (1419–1997).

Trinity (2024), a short film by Thomas Blanchard. There’s a lot more at his YouTube channel.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Lotte Reiniger’s Day.

Sirens (1984) by Michael Stearns | Sirens (1988) by Daniel Lanois & Brian Eno | Siren Song (2009) by Bat For Lashes

Weekend links 719


The Decoy (1948) by Edith Rimmington.

• “Among other things, [Dalí’s] storyboards involved [Ingrid] Bergman turning into a statue that would then break up into ants.” Tim Jonze talks to film scholar John Russell Taylor about the storyboards for Alfred Hitchcock’s films, including the ones for Spellbound which Taylor found in a bric-a-brac sale.

• “Of all the pop acts that proliferated in the early 80s, it was Soft Cell who retained punk’s sharp, provocative edges.” Matthew Lindsay on 40 years of Soft Cell’s This Last Night In Sodom.

• Coming soon from White Rabbit books: Futuromania: Electronic Dreams, Desiring Machines and Tomorrow’s Music Today by Simon Reynolds.

Anathema to many philosophical systems, or perhaps philosophy itself, Lovecraft’s philosophical project fundamentally holds that contemplations of higher reality or the nature of things can never be fully realised. Ultimately, the search for knowledge does not constitute some telos, some purpose, for humankind, but rather leads to the violent dissolution of the self. Higher reality is that which the limited human psyche can never fully comprehend.

Sam Woodward on the cosmic philosophy of HP Lovecraft

• At Public Domain Review: Grotesqueries at Gethsemane: Marcus Gheeraerts’ Passio Verbigenae (c.1580).

• “Here is a remarkable form of popular heraldry.” Mark Valentine on the mystique of old inn signs.

• At Bandcamp: Brad Sanders on where to begin with Lustmord’s cosmic ambient.

• New music: Eleven Fugues For Sodium Pentothal by Adam Wiltzie.

• At Aquarium Drunkard: Jason P. Woodbury talks to Roger Eno.

Gomorrha (1973) by Can | Sodom (1978) by Can | Spellbound (1981) by Siouxsie And The Banshees

Weekend links 715


Portrait d’Arthur Rimbaud (1933) by Valentine Hugo.

• Among the new titles at Standard Ebooks, the home of free, high-quality, public-domain texts: At the Mountains of Madness by HP Lovecraft.

Retro-Forteana is “Andrew May’s Forteana Blog, focusing on the weirder fringes of history (and other old-fashioned stuff)”.

• Mixes of the week Bill Laswell Mix No. 7: The Return of Celluloid by Voice of Cassandre, and Isolatedmix 126 by Saphileaum.

• At Bajo el Signo de Libra: The second part of a look at photographs by Herbert List of Italians and Italian life.

• New music: Worship: Bernard Herrmann Tribute by The Lord, and Cursory Asperses by Celer.

• At Wormwoodiana: Mark Valentine on the joy of obscure journals.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Paul Clipson Day.

Persher’s favourite music.

At The Mountains Of Madness (1968) by HP Lovecraft | Mountains Of The Moon (2002) by Jah Wobble And Temple Of Sound | Mountains Crave (2012) by Anna von Hausswolff

Weekend links 707


Dragon and Tiger—Designs for Lacquer Inro (no date) by Mori Genkosai.

• “But where have all those copies of Corridor of Mirrors gone? Sometimes I entertain the thought that an obsessive collector has amassed them in his library lined with looking-glasses, so that nobody else can possess the book but he, and he can see them all, multiplied to infinity, as he stalks up and down in his scarlet smoking hat and velvet coat, and gloats.” Mark Valentine on the mysterious unavailability of Corridor of Mirrors (1941), a novel by Chris Massie. The film adaptation made a few years later is one I’ve managed to miss, despite its starring Eric Portman and featuring the first screen appearance of Christopher Lee. Future viewing, I think.

• “The intrepid logician Kurt Gödel believed in the afterlife. In four heartfelt letters to his mother he explained why.” Alexander T Englert explains Gödel’s explanations.

• At Open Culture: Hortus Eystettensis (1613), “the beautifully illustrated book of plants that changed botanical art overnight”.

• Mix of the week: Aquarium Drunkard presents The Secret Hemisphere: New Age, Fusion and Fourth World, 1970–2002.

• New music: Phases Of This And Other Moons by Field Lines Cartographer.

• Why Graphic Culture Matters is a new book of essays by Rick Poynor.

• At Spoon & Tamago: Japanese Designer New Year’s Cards of 2024.

• Steven Heller’s font of the month is Chutz.

• At Dennis Cooper’s it’s Barbara Steele Day.

The Hall Of Mirrors In The Palace At Versailles (1970) by John Cale & Terry Riley | The Hall Of Mirrors (1977) by Kraftwerk | The Room Of Mirrors (2000) by Harold Budd