Monthly Archives: June 2016

Look at those Doodles with their Funny Little Stories

Here are some more of my drawings with their strange stories!

jay28

A needle in a haystack can be easy to find if it has a thread. A heart needs to be extracted.

jay6

2015. Locked away fears fuel grief, drowning and cleansing all to enable them to rescue one another.

jay17

A representation of my relationship with Mike (Russell). The two shapes on the left are Mike’s legs, the ones on the right are mine. 2013

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A man is drunk and dreaming on a wagon that drifts eternally on the sea – a bat hangs from the moon. 2014

Buy Micheal Duke’s Bird on a Wire print, from the RA Summer Exhibition 2016.

A Letter to Clark Ashton Smith from H. P. Lovecraft

Future Lovecraft

I’m in a Lovecraft mood, currently re-reading the stunning The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, so here’s one of his letters to Clark Ashton Smith.

Letter to Clark Ashton Smith,
27 November 1927
By H. P. Lovecraft
Novr. 27
Dear C A S:—
               I received both your letter & the Overland with a great deal of pleasure. I don’t yet know whether or not the latter is to be returned—if it is, I can assure you that the copy remains safe & secure awaiting instructions. Sterling certainly proves his worth & fascination by the multitude of tributes he continues to evoke—nearly all of them graceful, but your own standing out, to my mind, as especially apt & distinguished. I told you last year that your misgivings regarding its merit were wholly unwarranted. The portrait of Sterling surely has the atmosphere of authenticity—not many poets are graced with such an appropriate & classical physiognomy.
     Your Verlaine translation seems to me marvellously fresh, graceful, & delicate, & I trust you will follow it with others from the same source. I don’t know of any good English version of Verlaine—that, as well as an English Baudelaire, would form a task well worthy of your spare moments. The French verses, in their amended versions, are now doubtless up to the full standard of Galpininan accuracy—I’ll show them to Galpin the next time I get in touch with him, & shall meanwhile be glad to see the others. I’ve come across a real Frenchman through correspondence lately—a bright young native of Southern France named Jean Reçois, who now resides in New York & has aspirations toward fantastic authorship in English. I shall show him your French poetry shortly—& meanwhile you may hear from him, since I’ve given him your address.
     You certainly ought to have a new volume by this time, & I cannot be too emphatic in advising you to get in touch with W. Paul Cook about it. That is just the sort of thing he is interested in at present—publishing small volumes of unusual merit & unique distinction—& I am certain he would be willing to assume the financial risk, as he did in the case of Loveman’s “Hermaphrodite”. He is very reasonable about this detail—if the author is able to bear the risk, well & good; but if not, he will do so himself. It is only in this way that he can ever publish my “Shunned House”, as he keeps threatening to do. Open up correspondence with him on the subject—I am really avid to see something of yours published in a manner befitting its merit, a thing so far true only of your “Star Treader” & “Odes & Sonnets”. Cook can turn out a really fine job when he tries—& I would guarantee to help with the proofreading myself. I suppose you are aware that he is now printing a book for Wandrei—of which I expect to see page-proofs very shortly.
     Dwyer was as enthusiastic as all the rest concerning your pictures, as he has probably informed you directly ere now. Like me, he bitterly regrets his financial inability to invest in some of them—especially the black & white “Dreamland” illustrations, which also exercised a powerful imaginative influence over me. He has now sent them on to Long & the gang in N.Y., & I suppose Loveman will see that they reach the eye of De Casseres. You might drop him a line asking him not to overlook De C. or the Miss Turner you mention—or I’ll do so myself, to save time. Now my curiosity is sharpened by that fresh sheet tacked to your drawing-board. May I behold it ere long, made blasphemous by the visions of daemoniac genius!
     I thought you’d find The Recluse rather enjoyable, & hope that later issues will maintain the same standard. Your prose-poem, as the first contribution to be accepted, forms a favourable augury. By the way—a correspondent tells me that a new professional weird magazine has just been established—Tales of Magic & Mystery, edited by Walter Gibson, 931 Drexel Bldg., Philadelphia Pa.—& I’ve sent in a batch of the stuff rejected by Wright. You might try them with some poems or sketches—or “The Abominations of Yondo”—& see what your luck is; though I don’t know anything about the magazine, or even whether it is a present or future proposition.
     I’m not surprised that you’re discovering your indebtedness to the Auburn landscape, for sooner or later we all learn that our thoughts & impressions are basically reflections of what we have picked up visually & by long association at one time or another. I emphasised that point in the conclusion of one of those probably-never-to-be-typed novelettes which I ground out last winter. It’s all right to travel, but one needs the old familiar scenes to come home to! So far as I’m concerned, Providence with its mellow, ancient life & skyline of old roofs & Georgian steeples will last me amply well for the rest of my days. It’s the mould that shaped me—& the space I most naturally fit into. Our autumn, unlike yours, has been phenomenally & genially warm; giving me an opportunity for several rural excursions. The northern & western parts of the state felt something of the floods that hit N.E. early this month, but Providence was absolutely untouched.
     I have had no chance to produce new material this autumn, but have been classifying notes & synopses in preparation for some monstrous tales later on. In particular I have drawn up some data on the celebrated & unmentionable Necronomicon of the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred! It seems that this shocking blasphemy was produced by a native of Sanaá, in Yemen, who flourished about 700 A.D. & made many mysterious pilgrimages to Babylon’s ruins, Memphis’s catacombs, & the devil-haunted & untrodden wastes of the great southern deserts of Arabia—the Roba el Khaliyeh, where he claimed to have found records of things other than mankind, & to have learnt the worship of Yog-Sothoth & Cthulhu. The book was a product of Abdul’s old age, which was spent in Damascus, & the original title was Al Azif—azif (cf. Henley’s notes to “Vathek”) being the name applied to those strange night noises (of insects) which the Arabs attribute to the howling of daemons. Alhazred died—or disappeared—under terrible circumstances in the year 738. In 950 Al Azif was translated into Greek by the Byzantine Theodorus Philetas under the title Necronomicon, & a century later it was burnt at the order of Michael, Patriarch of Constantinople. It was translated into Latin by Olaus in 1228, but placed on the “Index Expurgatorius” by Pope Gregory IX in 1232. The original Arabic was lost before Olaus’ time, & the last known Greek copy perished in Salem in 1692. The work was printed in the 15th, 16th, & 17th centuries, but few copies are extant. Wherever existing, it is carefully guarded for the sake of the world’s welfare & sanity. Once a man read through the copy in the library of Miskatonic University at Arkham—read it through & fled wild-eyed into the hills . . . . . . but that is another story!
     With best wishes from all the local afreets & djinns—
          Yr obt
               H P LP.S. Heard a lecture by Sir Rennell Rodd last Monday on survivals of classic myth in modern Greek folklore. I was quite astonished—it seems that satyrs, nymphs, the Fates, Charon, &c. are still believed in; & many of the old gods worshipped under thin saintly disguises. Much of the satyr folklore is of extreme weirdness—recalling Machen’s “little people”.

VOSTELL HAPPENING

The film below blew me away! It’s inspiring, motivating, weirdly uplifting and, in the final scene, blissfully moving. I highly recommend giving it twenty minutes of your time. If you do, let me know what you think!

Wolf Vostell’s interest in décollage, or the tearing apart of an existing image rather than the piecing together of multiple images, can be traced back to his early belief that society is surrounded and shaped by destruction. As a lithographer’s apprentice in the 1950s, Vostell began channeling this belief into the manipulation of the posters that surrounded him at his apprenticeship. From there, unlike many of his contemporaries, who tore apart pieces of colored paper in order to create new images, Vostell took the idea of décollage to the streets, deforming and manipulating posters in public places in order to reflect the violence of post-war Germany and its newfound US-inspired consumerism. The Creators Project

Experimental Documentary Shortfilm.
Spoken Language: Spanish & German with English Subtitles.

Vostell Happening offers an approach to the creative universe of Wolf Vostell: a founding member of the Fluxus Movement in Europe, pioneer of the happening, installation and video art, Vostell is recognized as one of the most important artists of the second half of the 20th century.
His work and philosophy claiming creativity as part of everyday life under the maxim “art = life, life = art”.

In 1974, Vostell met Malpartida de Cáceres, (Extremadura), where he declared “A masterpiece of nature” the natural park of Los Barruecos. There he conceived the idea of creating an Art Museum unique in the world, a place where art, life and nature converge.

World Wide Video (Art and Design Profiles)

BOOK QUIZ – Who should YOU read next?

Famous Fantastic Mysteries: 30 Great Tales of Fantasy and Horror from the Classic Pulp Magazines Famous Fantastic Mysteries  &  Fantastic No

If you enjoy the content here at Examining the Odd, we probably have fairly similar tastes in books. This is great; it means you’re open to all sorts of genres and to discovering new authors. It’s also a curse; how on earth do you choose what to read next?

So-Many-Books-So-Little-Time-aqua-green

This quiz will give you a helping hand. It’s an old-fashioned magazine style quiz which will lead you to one of five authors to try next (so no peeking at the results before you answer the questions!). If you’re lucky, you might get a tie and then you have two authors to pursue…

Ready? Let’s go!

Which era do most of your favourite authors hail from?

A: They’re all dead. 1800s

B: They’re alive! Alive!

C: The era of revolution! 1960s

D: Turn of the century. Yes, I’m still using that to refer to 1890s-1910s…

E: because we also have writers of the milennium! 1990s-200s

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What type of politics do you lean towards?

A: Reactionary. Usually pretty conservative.

B: Liberal

C: Environmental/Green

D: Nationalist

E: Democratic

 

Which of these genres do you love the most?

A: Science Fiction

B: Metaphysical (abstraction, spiritual ideas)

C: Mystery

D: Fantasy

E: Horror

 

What’s your preferred writing/language style?

A: Artistic, complex

B: To the point

C: Prose, flowing

D: Musing, reflective, thoughtful

E: Graphic, visual, descriptive

 

Which of these jobs would the child-you have chosen?

A: Astronaut or scientist

B: Office or factory worker

C: Witch, Wizard, Shaman or other magical figure

D: King/Queen/Prince/Princess

E: Monster/Zombie

 

Money and reality are no object. Where do you choose to go on holiday?

A: Mars

B: A traditional seaside resort with donkeys and ice cream aplenty

C: A cave. Alone

D: A lush forest or enchanted woodland

E: Somewhere cold and snowy

 

And finally. What’s your length of choice?

A: Novella

B: Flash fiction. Then I can choose to read one or a hundred!

C: Short story

D: Novel

E: Series

 

And now for the results…

 

Mostly A

across-the-zodiac

Percy Greg.

Percy Greg (1836-1889) was an English writer.

His Across the Zodiac (1880) is an early science fiction novel, said to be the progenitor of the sword-and-planet genre. For that novel, Greg created what may have been the first artistic language that was described with linguistic and grammatical terminology. It also contained what is possibly the first instance in the English language of the word “Astronaut”.

In 2010 a crater on Mars was named Greg in recognition of his contribution to the lore of Mars.

Congratulations if you ended up with Percy. Why? He’s free! Read Across the Zodiac here.

Mostly B

Mike Russell.

“For me, creating is discovering and storytelling is bringing into the world dreams that are universal. They come from a deep place; they want to be known and they want to help us. Storytelling is a way of turning the world inside out, which I believe it desperately needs.” Mike Russell

Mike has a book of flash fiction and a book of short stories. You can read one of each (respectively) for free here and here!

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Mostly C

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Margaret St. Clair.

Margaret St. Clair was an American science fiction writer, who also wrote under the pseudonyms Idris Seabright and Wilton Hazzard.
1911-1995
Mostly D
Lord Dunsany.
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Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany was an Irish writer and dramatist, notable for his work, mostly in fantasy, published under the name Lord Dunsany.
1878-1957
Lucky you! Loads of Lord Dunsany’s work is free to read here.
Mostly E
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George R. R. Martin.
George Raymond Richard Martin, often referred to as GRRM, is an American novelist and short story writer in the fantasy, horror, and science fiction genres, a screenwriter, and television producer.
Born: 1948 (age 67)
Obviously, we all know who he is! But have you read his other novels and short stories?
That’s it!
I hope you enjoyed the quiz, but more importantly: I hope you enjoy reading the author I lumbered you with! Share who you got in the comments. Have you read them before? Do you like them?

Joseph Beuys Talks about his Art: “Everybody is an Artist”

Joseph Beuys: Life and Works

A short clip featuring German artist Joseph Beuys in which he talks about his art and his then exhibition in London. Beyus was associated with the Fluxus Movement in the 1960s and was a painter, sculpture, musician, performance artist and philosopher. He is regarded as one of the most influential artist of the 20th Century.

For me, there are two strokes of genius in this film; the explaining of Beuys’ art to the dead hare, and the comment he makes regarding if you cut your finger with a knife: don’t bandage your finger. Bandage the knife.

Red on Centre 1984 by Joseph Beuys 1921-1986

Red on Centre 1984 Joseph Beuys 1921-1986 ARTIST ROOMS Acquired jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland through The d’Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/AR00691

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