• LibraryThing
  • Book discussions
  • Your LibraryThing
  • Join to start using.

Odds and ends

The Chapel of the Abyss

Join LibraryThing to post.

Edited: Feb 3, 2009, 8:30am Top

I added this "topic" as a "place" to store various pieces of pertinent information, sales, upcoming publications, interesting purchases, and, well, anything else that comes into any given head among us.

Feb 2, 2009, 8:33pm Top

Edited: Feb 3, 2009, 9:13am Top

Yes, David's post is informative. As opposed to the mercantile blurb that I cited in ill-humor and which, as it was neither useful nor entertaining, I deleted (I think the bookseller I cited had pitched his hopes on some head-banging pubertoid coming up with the $175 he wanted for his copy of Nightmares of an Ether-Drinker).


Lorrain deserves to be known for more reasons than his drug abuse. He had a genius for irritating his more revered literary contemporaries. As a result of his acerbic journalism (I suppose he was the equivalent of the type of journalist published in papers like The Daily Mirror), he was more than once challenged - most notably by his Norman neighbor, Guy de Maupassant, as well as by Marcel Proust and Paul Verlaine.

The National Library of the Netherlands has a good deal of information on Lorrain and beautiful images of various editions of his books, including the Devambez edition of Monsieur de Bougrelon:


Feb 3, 2009, 3:33pm Top

There is a new publishing house, Ex Occidente Press, specializing in decadent works.

From the publisher:

"Ex Occidente Press is an independent publishing house from that doubtful place that was once called 'la Porte de l'Orient' by travellers, seers and esoterists, generals and freemasons, poets and spies, prostitutes and rakes, salon artists and theologians, but which is known nowadays under the name of Bucharest. Ex Occidente Press specialises in rara et nova fiction of the supernatural, the odd and the weird, the strange and the decadent, the fantastic and the obscure, the very holy and the luxuriously heretical. Ex Occidente Press places equal emphasis on introducing both new works from contemporary writers and works from an earlier age of European literature that has been neglected in the English-speaking world."


Looks promising so far.

Feb 3, 2009, 4:11pm Top

still chuckling over "head-banging pubertoids!"

Feb 3, 2009, 4:17pm Top

Great link!

Feb 4, 2009, 9:16am Top

Sorry for the odd question, but might anyone know if Geoffrey Madan was related to, if not the son of, Falconer Madan?

Feb 4, 2009, 12:27pm Top

Possibly - dates do not exclude it - but http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falconer_Madan would probably mention it. Inconclusive!

Feb 4, 2009, 12:43pm Top

Like most La-z-boy scholars, I ran it by Wikipedia first, but as you see, it let me down. I will lay into it with slightly greater effort after I get back to the lab this evening. Thanks!

Feb 4, 2009, 1:18pm Top

I've been wasting my time reading the literary snobs (god save me) - Falconer & Geoffrey being related never crossed my mind, so I assume they weren't (they barely speak the same language.) Now that is lazy. but efficient :)

Feb 4, 2009, 1:33pm Top

And it certainly encourages my habitual demeanor... it was just my way of watching the paint dry. (Even so, I hope I don't speak the same language as my relative... a distinct dialect at least. Penance enough bearing same nose...).

Feb 4, 2009, 8:12pm Top

Yes. Son of Falconer (confirmed in the Notebooks introduction).

Feb 5, 2009, 1:25pm Top

damn - and now I need to re-conceive the world. I'll try to create a better one this time

Feb 5, 2009, 2:47pm Top


Edited: May 5, 2009, 11:05am Top

Does anyone know anything about the author and painter, Pierre Bettencourt, and his work?

May 6, 2009, 11:10am Top

Well, judging from the comments, the Greeks seem to like him.

May 21, 2009, 2:19pm Top

Does anyone know anything about Paul Morand's Magie Noire?

Edited: May 21, 2009, 4:47pm Top

Aaron Douglas did the illustrations (well, of the English Black Magic).

Jun 8, 2009, 7:22am Top

Well it's a bit "dated" and a little too much right-wing Morand for my liking. In a certain way it's more a testimony of these times' attitude and conceptualization of Africa than litterature. Morand is better when he writes about what he knows.

Jun 16, 2009, 9:46am Top

I thought I had created a "new topic" for links... but I'm either too lazy or too blind to track it. So - here is a link to an interesting but apparently defunct website (articles on Beresford Egan, grotesquerie, etc.):


Edited: Jun 23, 2009, 11:27am Top

Neglected writers, decadence, supernatural fiction:


And this, of course (posted elsewhere here, I think...:


Edited: Jun 23, 2009, 10:58am Top

Only a couple of blog posts so far, but Tartarus Press has a very interesting titles list. Have we made reference to them before?

A great find!

Maybe they would consider discounts for members of the Chapel?

Jun 23, 2009, 11:29am Top

And if anything, I would expect a reply of " 'chapped members' is not a recognized charity". Let me know though!

Edited: Jul 19, 2009, 10:09pm Top

This interesting.... (goth hippies?):


Jul 19, 2009, 10:30pm Top

Edited: Aug 7, 2009, 8:56pm Top

If anyone would like a free copy of "An Anthology of Spanish American Modernismo (Texts and Translations)", drop me a note on my profile page. Just so you know, this copy - which had been offered by the seller as having clean pages - contains a fair amount of underlining and notation.

Check its listing in my library, under "Comments", for a complete table of contents.
(act now and get a free slim jim, still in the wrapper).

Oct 3, 2009, 10:26pm Top

26: Interesting about the flap caused by the kids of the Spanish President. Apparently they were labeled as "goth kids" too.

Some sparkling prose from the always genteel and urbane New York Post:


Oct 10, 2009, 5:05pm Top

KSW - I think the Post, although not genteel or urbane, is the most stylistically interesting paper in the U.S. The prose there DOES sparkle (at least more often than in other papers) even if it doesn't in that bit. Goth? I'm thinking Addams family, specifically.

Dec 3, 2009, 2:44pm Top

From a long poem by Ezra Pound:

"Siena Mi Fe', Disfecemi Maremma"

Among the pickled fœtuses and bottled bones,
Engaged in perfecting the catalogue,
I found the last scion of the
Senatorial families of Strasbourg, Monsieur Verog.

For two hours he talked of Gallifet;
Of Dowson; of the Rhymers' Club;
Told me how Johnson (Lionel) died
By falling from a high stool in a pub ...

But showed no trace of alcohol
At the autopsy, privately performed --
Tissue preserved -- the pure mind
Arose toward Newman as the whiskey warmed.

Dowson found harlots cheaper than hotels;
Headlam for uplift; Image impartially imbued
With raptures for Bacchus, Terpsichore and the Church.
So spoke the author of "The Dorian Mood",

M. Verog, out of step with the decade,
Detached from his contemporaries,
Neglected by the young,
Because of these reveries.

Jan 13, 2010, 9:06am Top

que ferais-je sans ce monde (what would I do without this world)

- Samuel Beckett

what would I do without this world faceless incurious
where to be lasts but an instant where every instant
spills in the void the ignorance of having been
without this wave where in the end
body and shadow together are engulfed
what would I do without this silence where the murmurs die
the pantings the frenzies towards succour towards love
without this sky that soars
above its ballast dust

what would I do what I did yesterday and the day before
peering out of my deadlight looking for another
wandering like me eddying far from all the living
in a convulsive space
among the voices voiceless
that throng my hiddenness

(SBB's translation)

Feb 10, 2010, 8:36pm Top

Edited: Mar 11, 2010, 11:25am Top

Lyrics from Coil's Titan Arch:

Crown the dark animal
Black Jackal crawling
Eternal returning
An end to the waiting
There are thrones underground
And monarchs upon them
They walk serene
In spaces between
At the head of the storm
Darkness is rising
In the Garden of Jaws
His wounds are shining
Angels take poisons
In rotting pavilions
Under shivering stars
The sickness is gilding.

Edited: Mar 11, 2010, 12:05pm Top

>34 benwaugh:, Ben nice lyric.

The music of England's Hidden Reverse has only come into my purview recently, but the likes of Coil, Current 93 and NWW seem to have a real connection with some of the decades old literature you all speak of on this group.

Mar 11, 2010, 12:26pm Top

And Current 93 has republished some of said literature. David Tibet's reprinting of Stenbock's Studies of Death is by now about as scarce as the original!

Edited: Mar 25, 2010, 2:42pm Top

Although let us not forget that Tibet also cites Louis Wain as a key influence....

Mar 25, 2010, 3:41pm Top

I'd have to remember to forget what I never knew! Off to look that one up....

Jun 7, 2010, 7:43am Top

Want to help support the effort of restoring Ernest Dowson's gravesite? : http://www.ernestdowson.com/Campaign.html

Jun 7, 2010, 5:35pm Top

...a sort of Keats-like face, the face of a demoralised Keats...

Arthur Symons describing Dowson immediately after the latters death.

Mar 21, 2011, 10:02am Top

In Medium Raw, Anthony Bourdain opens his new collection of essays with a positively decadent meal. He has ortolan and the descriptions verge on the prurient.

"There's a vestigial flavor of Armagnac, low-hanging fumes of airborne fat particles, an intoxicating, delicious miasma. ... I bring my molars slowly down and through my bird's rib cage with a wet crunch and am rewarded with a scalding hot rush of burning fat and guts down my throat. Rarely have pain and delight combined so well. ... With every bite, as the thin bones and layers of fat, meat, skin, and organs compact in on themselves, there are sublime dribbles of varied and wondrous ancient flavors: figs, Armagnac, dark flesh slightly infused with the salty taste of my own blood as my mouth is pricked by the sharp bones. As I swallow, I draw in the head and beak, which, until now, has been hanging from my lips, and blithely crush the skull."

Bon appetite!

Mar 28, 2011, 12:58pm Top

Symbolism conference for those interested:

Between 25-28 April, 2012 ALMSD (Art, Literature, Music in Symbolism and Decadence) will be hosting a second International
conference, "Symbolism, Its Origins and Its Consequences" with the theme
Light and Shade or Light and Obscurity in Symbolism, its origins and its
consequences, which will take place at the beautiful Allerton Park, near the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana campus, in Monticello, Illinois. The organization would like to invite you to submit a
proposal which will address the theme of the conference in art,
literature and music. The proposal should be about 300 words and should
be sent to symbolismabstracts@uis.edu before May 10, 2011. Please
include a short version of your CV. If you have questions, please
contact Rosina Neginsky at rnegi1@uis.edu. The website for further information, please refer to: http://www.uis.edu/hosted-orgs/ALMSD/conference.html

Apr 6, 2011, 9:04am Top

Somewhere between Jarry and Twain:


Edited: Jun 24, 2011, 1:41pm Top

If anyone would like a copy of John Davidson's novel A Full and True Account of the Wonderful Mission of Earl Lavender, please contact me. Willing to trade or transmit for a modest fee. It is an 1895 first edition, with the Beardsley illustration, but is a rebound copy.

Jun 25, 2011, 1:40pm Top

The description sounds intriguing. I hope someone has taken you up on your generous offer. For the rest of us, the text is available for download on Internet Archive.

Jul 6, 2011, 12:39pm Top

I hadn't really considered decadence in the fashion world until I read this review of a museum showing of Alexander McQueen's work. http://www.thesmartset.com/article/article06291101.aspx

Edited: Jul 7, 2011, 5:09am Top

This is a great insight: I think there is definitely a case to be made that the fabulous aesthetics of the 1890's took roost in the houses of fashion after being driven from the galleries. (Extravagant Dandyism was, of course, always a key element of decadent living.) I love the way the author of this piece slides between being seduced and fulminating righteously against Decadence in a truly nineteenth century way. "Why, it's nothing but a freakshow - you couldn't possibly walk to work in those shoes!"

I did enjoy the creations of Alexander McQueen very much indeed, but I do believe that he learned a great deal from Vivienne Westwood and Jean-Paul Gaultier.

Jul 7, 2011, 9:53am Top

48: Jean-Paul Gaultier did the costumes for The Fifth Element -- a decent actioner by French director Luc Besson. Like with Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula, the costumes outshine the plot.

And for those interested in opulent fabrics, rakish sexuality, and the twisted machinations of Church and State, check out The Tudors, starring Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, aka Maxwell Demon from Velvet Goldmine

Aug 8, 2011, 4:02pm Top

Well, I was in NYC and tried to see the Alexander McQueen show, but the lines were down the steps and in both directions around the block at the MMoA. We told the cabbie to just head down to the East Village. As luck would have it, we later found two packs of post cards from the show featuring some of the more outlandish fashions, stuffed down in the sofa of the hotel room. I think somebody missed their souvenir. It closes this week, so I suppose if you were really determined you could still make it.

Aug 9, 2011, 7:51am Top

Just came across this magazine which I think may be of interest to some of the people liable to read these missives. Despite the slightly crass advertising angle the magazine looks interesting, even if only for the articles on Mateiu Caragiale's neglected masterpiece The Rakes of the Old Courtyard. A taster to stave off hunger during the long wait for the complete translation from Ex Occidente...:


Additionally I feel slightly bad about using this venue to plug my own auctions but if anyone's interested I'm auctioning of a reasonably priced copy of the Tartarus Nightmares of an Ether-drinker:


Edited: Sep 6, 2011, 9:19am Top

In the event there is anyone from the DC area in the group: Roger Lathbury, a professor/publisher with an interest in the Decadence, will be speaking on the evening of 13 September in Fairfax to a small gathering of bibliophiles.

The event is free of charge.

Sep 23, 2011, 10:06pm Top

Edited: Sep 23, 2011, 10:25pm Top

Hey Doc, I think I have Baudelairean fever dreams.

Sep 24, 2011, 1:13am Top

Those always make for a fun time.

Sep 25, 2011, 10:34am Top

I was reading The Pleasure of the Text by Barthes. He mentioned the work Cobra by Severo Sarduy Here's the summary blurb:

"Cobra (1972) recounts the tale of a transvestite named Cobra, star of the Lyrical Theater of the Dolls, whose obsession is to transform his/her body. She is assisted in her metamorphosis by the Madam and Pup, Cobra's dwarfish double. They too change shape, through the violent ceremonies of a motorcycle gang, into a sect of Tibetan lamas seeking to revive Tantric Buddhism."

Sounds interesting and seems to carry a Decadent frisson.

Edited: Sep 25, 2011, 8:59pm Top

Or something ;).

Funny how memory fails... I need to revisit Barthes. As for forgetting and the pleasure of the text, check out Patrick Süskind's essay, "Amnesia in litteris. The books I have read (I think)".

Oct 2, 2011, 1:45am Top

This may be of interest to the brew enthusiasts among us ...


A local San Diego brewery. I have a fifth of their Wee Heavy Scottish Ale in the pantry. Waiting for a rainy day. I won't hold my breath.

Oct 12, 2011, 3:03pm Top

Just found a fascinating tome at the local thrift shop:

Pompei: the erotic secrets

Plenty of naughty visuals from the last days of Pompeii.

Edited: Oct 12, 2011, 6:01pm Top

I was at Pompeii in April. From one of the souvenir stalls outside I bought, from a crone of at least 90+ or at least certainly well-weathered lady, a refrigerator magnet with a picture from one of the brothels of a lady being pleasured. As I was paying her she pressed upon me a card with a picture of the Virgin Mary. I am still greatly bemused.

Edited: Nov 6, 2011, 12:25pm Top

Off-topic current thoughts:
I'm really disappointed in Obama for the crack-down on medical marijuana.
Disappointed enough to question whether I'll vote for him again. In that case,
it'll have to be none of the above, unless there's an "occupy" candidate.

Maybe it's time for an "American Spring"?

Bust the banks, not pot!

Occupy for president!

Nov 6, 2011, 3:34pm Top

I'm really disappointed in Obama for the crack-down on medical marijuana. I guess I would be too, if I wasn't born yesterday. My cynicism and contempt is an abyss. Candidate A will do anything and saying that will insure his re-election. It's all a stupid numbers game anyway. One understands why Nietzsche had such contempt for participatory democracy. The rat-faced populism of the Right is only slightly more vile and repellent than the same populism of the Left. At this point, it's all damage control and survival instinct, since politicians, like other job-holders, simply want to stay employed. "Occupy" has become an omnipresent brand almost as annoying as the pink Breast Cancer Awareness(TM) merchandise. I don't disagree with the overarching political aims -- since money will allow any knuckle-dragging simp to run for office who can parrot vague catchphrases for idiot voters -- but my desire is for the movement to become less Michael Moore and more Alfred Jarry I say it's high time to put on a performance of Pere Ubu on the steps of Wall Street, then burn some money, and nominate a pig as Dow Jones Stock Exchange President. It is important to be earnest, but it does boring after a while.

Edited: Jan 5, 2012, 7:50am Top

An extremely beautiful and strange animation.

Madame Tutli-Putli


Jan 5, 2012, 6:51pm Top

Nina Simone's rendition of "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues"


Edited: Jan 6, 2012, 2:48pm Top

Subservience, a Beckett rip-off, but well done.


Jan 5, 2012, 9:47pm Top

Feb 2, 2012, 11:11am Top

This looks promising: Decadence: An Annotated Anthology (http://www.amazon.com/Decadence-Annotated-Anthology-Jane-Desmarais/dp/0719075513...)

I hope the editors might include writers/cultures (Latin America, Scandinavia, etc.) typically overlooked in anthologies of this sort.

Feb 2, 2012, 2:19pm Top

Feb 2, 2012, 2:35pm Top

Neglected Books is a fantastic site.

Feb 12, 2012, 2:02pm Top

I'm curious about the forth-coming film of John Carter of Mars
based on A Princess of Mars. Might be interesting.

Edited: Feb 17, 2012, 10:57pm Top

Apr 28, 2012, 4:16pm Top

May 15, 2012, 10:55pm Top

I was trying to explain Saint Jude to a colleague at work (who was praying for a very modest car repair bill), and I came across this:


May 16, 2012, 8:34pm Top

What, no St. Expedite? Could it be his fame never spread outside New Orleans? I used to count the novenas promised to him vs. St. Jude in Times Picayune.

Stendhal wrote somewhere about a Sister Scolastica (in Chroniques italiennes? Or the novels?) who was, predictably, getting it on with a canon or so I rhyme to pass the time.

May 17, 2012, 8:27am Top

The extravagant saints - those with no clear place in the canon or on the calendar: St Drogo: patron of mutes, cattle and ugly people; Blessed Columba of Rietti: Patron against sorcerers. Let me put up an extravagant pic of St. Denis while we're on the topic.

Edited: May 17, 2012, 11:15am Top

St. D is thinking, "Look at those abs. I'm ripped! I ought to be the patron saint of sit-ups."

May 17, 2012, 2:48pm Top

Finished reading the exhaustive new art anthology, Decadence: In Morbid Colours- Art and the Idea of Decadence in the Bohemian Lands 1880-1914

This is perhaps the only catalog I know of that focuses exclusively on "decadent" art as opposed to broader symbolism.

I recommend all of you seek out this huge volume, which features very rare art and excerpts of prose and poetry. There are over 500 reproductions here and most of them are striking, some even unique and worthy of being considered alongside Redon, Munch, and Beardsley: artists like Kobliha, Hlavacek, Konupek, Bilek, Bromse, and Vachal. Also noteworthy is Drtikol's photography, particularly his stunning depictions of Salome.

Chapter headings like these give you an idea of what to expect: The Gloomy; The Debauched; The Morose; The Demon of Love; Satanic Hallucinations; The Purgatory of Death.

All decadent lovers will want this book in their personal library. It's an expensive monograph, but it's worth it for all the art they crammed in here. Even though its emphasis is on the Bohemian region, I rate it the most important work on decadent art since Philippe Julian's Dreamers of Decadence: Symbolist Painters of the 1890s

May 17, 2012, 3:38pm Top

Thanks for the reminder - it had been in my ABE basket for awhile.

Edited: May 24, 2012, 2:26pm Top

Strindberg bio reviewed in the WSJ today: Occultural Ambassador

May 30, 2012, 10:03am Top

Does anyone know anything about the author/origins of the following quote?

"Why do you want to die? Why don’t you want to exist? If you don’t want to participate, my darling, if you don’t want to be part of the happy anxious societies, then turn. Don’t wish to disappear, wish to find something satiating, even if it’s destruction and malcontent. Because I love you so, my darling, and would rather see you evil than dead."

- Jhang Moon-Jin

May 30, 2012, 10:08am Top

Here's another. Is this an author or a literary character?

"It’s okay, you can tell me. All those tiny pinpricks in your head, you think them and you want to share them, but then you think: is that okay? Can I think that? Is that scary? God forbid you’re scary. God forbid you’re subject to the same brand of animal passion we all filter. God forbid you love someone so much that they spark disgusting, vulgarian, base parts of your brain. Sensory input is a storm against the craggy rocks of standard. Where is your safe harbor in that? Die in a public fire, die in a solitary corner; which do you prefer?"

Jhang Moon-Jin - The Myriad

May 30, 2012, 10:35am Top

Nothing in WorldCat or LC authorities for "Jhang Moon-Jin". I don't know enough about the oriental languages to try other transliterations. Couldn't find "The Myriad" either. A google search shows the excerpts you mentioned being mirrored in a large number of blogs. Have you looked at each one for clues?

May 30, 2012, 10:38am Top

Such was the source of the quotes, which I found interesting enough (such is my day) to poke at.

May 30, 2012, 11:17am Top

They are striking little passages and I'd like to know where they come from too. You could try contacting the blog poster(s) about them.

Edited: May 30, 2012, 2:10pm Top

It seems to come from this person: Seth David-Andrew Hubbard. I hope to hear from him.

Edited: Jun 1, 2012, 10:25pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Jul 27, 2012, 9:24pm Top

At the bottom of the Abyss, we'll probably find remaindered copies of Fifty Shades of Grey and a musical mash-up of Ke$ha and Justin Bieber played way too loud, using way too much Autotune and Cher samples.

Jul 29, 2012, 5:46pm Top

Aug 1, 2012, 8:19pm Top

Woe, gloom and despair! Gore Vidal lives no more. Our greatest man is gone.

Aug 6, 2012, 1:53pm Top

I burn Paris by Bruno Jasienski just arrived from Twisted Spoon in Prague. Haven't started on it yet, but it's a beautifully designed hardcover and very reasonably priced.

Edited: Aug 7, 2012, 10:40am Top

Side Real Press just released a cool new book ('DANCES OF VICE, HORROR, & ECSTASY') on Anita Berber and her partner in burlesque Sebastian Droste. Looks pretty interesting as it includes their poetry (of which I was completely unaware of) and a lot of photos that have never been published. Looks pretty collectible.


Also for anyone who is not aware (it doesn't look like many people added this to their list) there is a translation of the decadent Goncourt novel La Faustin available by two mercenary presses (Nabu, Hardpress). The hardpress one I have is pretty readable once you get used to it.

Aug 7, 2012, 11:00am Top

Readable as in weird OCR mayhem or clunky translation?

Aug 7, 2012, 11:05am Top

Not really mayhem, but the letters are stretched out to fit the page in a slightly distorted way. Maybe the Nabu one is better. Translation was a bit cumbersome grammatically but not horrible by any means.

Aug 8, 2012, 9:33am Top

If you are ever in Asheville, North Carolina (which I direct you to be, if ever possible, for your own pleasure) be sure pack a mortgage payment for food and books. The Captain's Bookshelf, run by Chandler Gordon, is a candy store (candy I can't really afford - but...). I picked up a first US edition of MR James' Five Jars, Thomas Burke's Limehouse Nights and a couple of things by Norman Douglas. I left behind firsts, with dustjackets of HR Wakefield, MP Shiel and others. And then my idea of heaven is not too far down the street: The Battery Park Book Exchange Champagne Bar. It sounds very precious, but it really is a lot of fun. There are used and antiquarian books - many of which are real bargains (as opposed to the other shop), and you can wander through the stacks with a pint in your hand.

Aug 8, 2012, 11:11am Top

Speaking of Wakefield, check out Imagine a Man in a Box.

Edited: Aug 8, 2012, 5:11pm Top

As it happens, I picked up Wakefield's Old Man's Beard just the other day - my first eBook for the kindle. Ash-Tree Press reissued his five original collections of ghost stories, with extras, in the nineties, along with a further volume of previously unseen tales. All six volumes are now available in electronic format from their site, at a very reasonable price.

Never been that enthused about the idea of ebooks, but the Ash-Tree OOP back catalogue is well beyond my pocket as printed books, and the electronic format makes their definitive editions of the canon of classic ghost story writers accessible.

Edited: Sep 21, 2012, 12:38am Top

This weekend Larry McMurtry is auctioning off 300,000 collectible and antiquarian books from his famously gigantic used bookstore in Archer, Texas. The books will be auctioned in lot's of 100 books.

96. Congratulations on your new treasures. Asheville is now on my list of places to visit sometime.

Sep 17, 2012, 9:00pm Top

Atlas Press is releasing a volume of work by Hans Henny Jahnn in early November. It contains the novella Night of Lead as well as three stories from Thirteen Uncanny Tales. It seems the ideal place for the english language reader to jump in to the work of Jahnn. All of this has been previously published in english translation, but is not readily available without paying a premium for vg used copies.


Sep 18, 2012, 2:03pm Top

Several good things on that list (these Atlas Press editions quickly disappear and get resold at those premium rates - Night of Lead, for example.).

Edited: Sep 19, 2012, 2:40pm Top

Interesting to see Atlas are to reprint Don't Tell Sybil, and intrigued by the 'new illustrative material'. I thought it was an uneven book, but it contains some startling details not included in Melly's earlier, autobiographical writings, perhaps because the individuals concerned were no longer around. All three volumes of his autobiography are well worth reading, with Rum, Bum and Concertina perhaps the best and most scabrous - confessions of an able (and very willing) seaman Surrealist.

I recently paid one of those premium rates for their original paperback edition of Desnos' Liberty or Love but I can see I'll be buying it all over again in hardcover format for the addition of Mourning for Mourning.

Sep 24, 2012, 11:40am Top

This is really of secondary interest but Nigel Tourneur wrote a couple of decadent short stories that Loeonard Smithers published. Not much is really known about the author. I believe this title Hidden Witchery has been mentioned in one of the wormwoods.

And speaking of secondary interest there's also the american decadent Orson Durand's short story book Necromancy Street and Other Tales. Limited to 50 copies. He seems to have been a book publisher in the 30s.

Oct 3, 2012, 3:15pm Top

hello all,

104: Orson Durand is new to me. Do you have any further info on him?

Edited: Oct 3, 2012, 7:36pm Top

Hi, I first read about the book in Wormwood No.11
Apparently Orson Durand was from Indiana and ran a small imprint called
the Raven's Head Press in the 30's and the Press of Orson Durand in the 40's. Aside from Necromancy
Street (a collection of 4 stories) he also published Berenice by Edgar Allen Poe and
later Ernest Dowson's poetry.

Oct 4, 2012, 5:30pm Top


thanks for this. I actually own that Wormwood am thus ashamed that I seemed to have learnt nothing from reading it.

A copy of 'Necromancy Street...' is now on its way to me. I shall report back to everyone on this site on its contents. Thanks for letting us know of its existance again



Nov 28, 2012, 5:10pm Top

What does the Chapel of the Abyss make of the late Jacques Barzun's work From Dawn to Decadence? I have not read it, albeit in tiny snippets. Is this a modern version of Oswald Spengler's Decline of the West or a highbrow version of Alvin Toffler's Future Shock? Is "the West is doomed" apocalyptic rhetoric or "You kids get off my lawn!" hectoring from an old guy out of touch with modern times?

Edited: Nov 29, 2012, 11:32am Top

I am about 15 pages from the end. A very breezy (as it has to be - 800 pages for 500 years) and highly readable survey of cultural history. Toward the last few pages, 1950s-1990s, it does get to be a bit Spengler AND old guy hectoring (especially the latter) - but from a source I didn't mind hearing it from; it also bears thinking about. The guy not only recalls hearing Big Bertha during WWI (!), he was a gifted scholar. It is not a sustained study of turn of the century before last decadence/yellow stuff, but it was there. He'd include up through the present in the decadent period he is talking about.

Edited: Nov 29, 2012, 5:46pm Top

More to the point: There are no orgies, that I recall, and Hitler is barely mentioned.

Nov 30, 2012, 8:52am Top

Sounds like a dull party, indeed!

Nov 30, 2012, 9:16am Top

109: He'd include up through the present in the decadent period he is talking about.

So what is Barzun's notion of decadence vs. Mr. Waugh's mystico-religious notion of decadence/Decadence? Having read Spengler's sprawling 2-volume Decline of the West and William McNeill's revisionist Rise of the West, I'll have to take a crack at Mr. Barzun. Also props to Barzun for being intellectually rigorous yet readable. Not an easy feat.

Edited: Nov 30, 2012, 9:17am Top

> 111: Well, you can have a good party without actually mentioning Hitler :-)

Nov 30, 2012, 9:21am Top

113: Just remember to invite Andrew WK and bring the taco dip.


Nov 30, 2012, 11:43am Top

Mr. Waugh's mystico-religious notion... I must have been off my meds when I ladled out that impression. I blame society. No transcendence where none intended :).

Edited: Nov 30, 2012, 11:46am Top

113: Ok. But I'll fight for the orgies

Edited: Nov 30, 2012, 1:51pm Top

Speaking of the abyssmal, kswolff recently linked an English language translation of Celine's Bagatelles for a Massacre. Celine must have gone mad is all I can say. I could not believe how hateful irrational and paranoid it was. Seemingly (I say because I don't read Francais) really well-translated though. Randomly flipped through and found a representative piece of writing that was offensive in a provocative rather than hateful and tiresome manner and dropped it in a common knowledge entry.


Nov 30, 2012, 2:00pm Top

IN RE your question, or at-least one aspect of it. Sometimes it's not a bad idea to watch the surrounding world (revolting though it is, in the main), and the comings and goings of supposedly conventional celebrities. Case in point, the late Jacques Barzun who died recently, old and full of years. While I disagree with much of what he wrote, he was a redoubtable scholar, and his skill-set -- as later generations would come to say -- was a standing rebuke to most persons who presume to open their mouths on literature, music, history and the rest. He probably knew more in his fourth language than most of us do in our first. The later posts by slickdpdx are absolutely on target. As are "Chaplain" benwaugh's, though for rather different reasons.

Edited: Nov 30, 2012, 3:51pm Top

I think Barzun's ultimate definition of decadence is the will without the act or something like that. Slacktivism would be further evidence of decadence in Western culture. E.g. I elect to "like" Let's End Hunger on Facebook but I don't actually do anything to feed any starving people.

Nov 30, 2012, 4:21pm Top

119: Slacktivism would be further evidence of decadence in Western culture. Not to be confused with Slack as a Religious Calling, see Church of the SubGenius and the like. His Serene Eminence JR "Bob" Dobbs used the zine aesthetic and kooky screeds to bewail a world that has been ensorceled by the Protestant Work ethic, empty industriousness, and seeing one's status as a Rotarian-of-merit being comparable to the holy acts of the Church Fathers.


Edited: Nov 30, 2012, 5:59pm Top

I would never! I am a big fan of Mr. Bob Black. I don't think Mr. Barzun would be, but I think he would appreciate him all the same.

Uniting those themes: history, slack and slacktivism - http://www.t0.or.at/bobblack/bbtxt01.htm

Nov 30, 2012, 6:39pm Top

Being a slacker seems like the opposite of 19th Ce. Decadence. The hero in decadent literature is inactive outwardly but a cerebral workaholic internally.

Nov 30, 2012, 8:31pm Top

118: Oh pray, enumerate them.

Dec 1, 2012, 9:41am Top

IN RE 123. O, come-on, Chaplain. You've walked into a classic joke with the punch-line "One, Two, Three, Four".

Dec 1, 2012, 9:52am Top

IN RE #119. I have a personal horror of coinages like "slacktivism", though I certainly get what you mean. And without in the least suggesting any fault in you -- for we all, God knows, could do better -- may I dare to hope that the First Person in your example ("I elect to like . . .") is in fact an abstraction, rather than a confession? Of course, it's an entirely different discussion to address -- or preferably annihilate-- the word-poisoning inextricably bound to the words "like" on Facebook. Ditto "follower" on whatever-the-Hell site uses that. So who in their right mind wants to be a follower?? But, as I said, that's another discussion, for those with a higher Boiling Point than mine.

Dec 1, 2012, 12:07pm Top

It was an abstraction. I would never "like" "Let's End Hunger". I prefer Watch to Follow, it smacks of voyeurism.

Dec 17, 2012, 6:54am Top

A post on Dennis Cooper's blog about Julien Gracq and Chateau d'Argol


Dec 17, 2012, 9:18am Top

Excellent. Thank you!

Jan 28, 2013, 12:25pm Top

Upcoming release of some obscure lost decadent novel written by the publisher of Maldoror and Rimbaud. Released in 1891 it remained unknown for 100 years.

2013. Published by Atlas press.

Princess Sappho (Léon Genonceaux) The Tutu, morality of the fin-de-siècle


Jan 28, 2013, 7:12pm Top

The description says "it was never sold in bookstores as the author realised it would see him jailed". I can hardly wait. Thanks for the tip.

Jan 29, 2013, 2:50am Top

From amazon.fr:

Tous les personnages du Tutu sont des excentriques, des extravagants, voire des monstres - au sens propre du mot. Le premier d'entre eux, Mauri de Noirof, épouse une riche héritière obèse et portée sur la boisson, engrosse une femme à deux têtes qui s'exhibait dans les cirques, devient député, ministre de la Justice, et se livre en compagnie de sa mère à des orgies de débris anatomiques. Imprimé en 1891 par Léon Genonceaux (alors éditeur de Rimbaud et de Lautréamont), découvert par Pascal Pia qui en révéla l'existence dans un article de la Quinzaine Littéraire en 1966 : Le Tutu n'a été rendu public qu'en 1991, par les Editions Tristram, provoquant émoi et sidération chez nombre de critiques et lecteurs. Si l'absence d'un auteur clairement identifié et la surprenante modernité de l'écriture - qui annonce Jarry, Queneau, le Surréalisme - ont pu faire soupçonner à certains une supercherie, l'authenticité de ce chef-d'œuvre est aujourd'hui établie de manière irréfutable. En complément de cette édition définitive du Tutu, la seconde partie du volume comprend, outre une postface inédite de Julian Rios et la reprise du texte fondateur de Pascal Pia, une enquête détaillée et illustrée sur le destin rocambolesque de ce roman hors normes, due au spécialiste de Rimbaud et de Lautréamont, Jean-Jacques Lefrère.

This is of course a description of the French edition, the extra material may or may not be available in the English one.

Jan 31, 2013, 5:50pm Top


The back end of the midden.

Feb 1, 2013, 6:59pm Top

The Judith Gautier short stories are out on Black Coat Press. I look forward to reading it.

Feb 2, 2013, 1:52pm Top

Thank you. I'm excited. Here's the link.


Feb 11, 2013, 10:27pm Top

The Pope announces he will retire:


He pulled a Nixon, except that Nixon had ethical standards, unlike Pope Benedict XVI, who treats children like Gilles de Rais or John Wayne Gacy Call me crazy, but I tend to be a little harsh on anyone who coddles, protects, and bankrolls the defense attorneys of pedophiles.

Feb 12, 2013, 8:31am Top

Black Coat has also - I just discovered - put out a collection of Jean Richepin's Cruel Tales.

Mar 13, 2013, 7:09pm Top

We have a new Pope! Huzzah and excelsior!


Mar 13, 2013, 9:58pm Top

Supposed to be 80 degrees in CA tomorrow. If you freezing your tush off back east or in the midwest, you can get a tan in CA.

Mar 13, 2013, 10:59pm Top

Too much sunshine will give you cancer.

The new pope is a jesuit. Scary.

Mar 14, 2013, 12:26am Top

Habent papam, I say.

Mar 14, 2013, 9:02am Top

Oh! Some of my best friends are Jesuits. Honestly.

Edited: Mar 14, 2013, 9:39am Top

> 140: For a moment there I read "habent spam' - the hazards of living in modern times, sigh.

Nihil obstat, I hope.

Edited: Mar 14, 2013, 10:33am Top

> 141

Some of the best Jesuits are friendly.

Des Essientes valued his Jesuit education highly, didn't he?

ETA: And the reason there's never been a Jesuit pope before: Will the white pope answer to the black pope? I figure they'll just be pals. If not, get the popcorn!

Mar 14, 2013, 11:49am Top

It's the dead of winter here, still, and my water heater has abdicated. Unless the pope can help me out, he, she or it can be hanged.

Mar 14, 2013, 1:10pm Top

Religion seems to be a popular disguise for pedophiles.
Kind of ironic.

Let's just forget about spring and go directly to summer. Might have to turn on the air conditioning this afternoon.

Mar 16, 2013, 11:29am Top

144: Is your water heater piping white smoke or black smoke?

Apr 16, 2013, 8:00pm Top

The Vengeance of the Oval Portrait looks like a fascinating oneiric opium hallucination. Another Stableford adaptation worth looking into. It appears that Gabriel de Lautrec was acquainted with nearly all the symbolists including Verlaine, Schwob, Regnier, Lorrain, and Oscar Wilde and later on became an Alfred Jarry-esque proto-surrrealist. His early poetry collection Poemes en Prose was modeled after Baudelaire's. He also translated The Purple Cloud into french.

Apr 18, 2013, 12:41am Top

>133 VolupteFunebre:
>134 DavidX:

Is there a particular reason why the books are "adapted" instead of "translated"? Or is it supposed to mean the same thing?

Apr 18, 2013, 2:05am Top

It's probably up to that specific publication as I haven't seen anywhere else. Amazon even lists their books as published by Hollywood Comics, which I don't see anywhere in the actual Black Coat Press website. Anyway they have some good titles come out once in a blue moon. There's going to be a new Jean Lorrain title coming out next Christmas. Good stocking stuffer.

Edited: Apr 18, 2013, 9:59am Top

Black Coat Press seems to proofread the adaptations prior to publication. The Borgo Press, which published Stableford's translation of Champavert, clearly skipped that preliminary. Black Coat is as egregious in their cover art as Borgo - giving Borel, Gautier, Kahn, etc., something in common with Molly Hatchet albums and Conan the Barbarian's wet dreams.

Apr 18, 2013, 12:31pm Top

>149 VolupteFunebre:
Ah, thanks. The reason why it says Hollywood comics might be that, as far as I was able to gather from Black Coat Press's website, it's a part of Hollywood Comics.

>150 benwaugh:
I really like your talent for describing their book covers. They do indeed go quite... creative with it.

Thanks for the replies, both of you. It seems that the "adaptation" part probably makes no difference and means the same as "translation", so I think I'll be doing some shopping soon.

Apr 18, 2013, 1:41pm Top

>148 cinnamonshops:

Academic semantics?

Presumably an "adaptation" allows the adaptor greater artistic liberty in interpreting and conveying the originally intended artistic message of a work than a word-by-word literal "translation". If so, I think the use of "adaptation" would often be more appropriate than "translation" for works of fiction. On the other hand... I suppose adaptation could mean that the adaptor is simply using the original work as a matrix and then adding things not part of the untranslated original.....(?)

I've also seen the term "englishing" utilized in older works.

Apr 18, 2013, 1:57pm Top

>150 benwaugh:

I agree with you about the Black Coat cover art... must have something to do with Brian Stableford's massively prolific SciFi/Fantasy background and Black Coat's/Hollywood Comics' apparent primary market of youthful SciFi/Fantasy readers who can afford the $20+ per book???

Apr 18, 2013, 2:17pm Top

I wondered about Black Coat Press' use of "adaptation" and it seems to stem from an idea that the role of translator is under-appreciated. True enough, no doubt, but adopting "adaptation"/"adapter" as an alternative just causes confusion.

Apr 18, 2013, 3:30pm Top

I'm still grateful he sneaks in these more literary "fantasies" anyway.

Edited: Apr 18, 2013, 4:02pm Top

I don't know about talent - but along with the horrible profusion of typos (Borgo) that tastelessness is a sincere disservice to the material (and, typo-wise, of course, to the reader). I reluctantly admit I acknowledge the tie in between the satirical pornography of Rops and the mythic nudity of Moreau ("adapted" to the perceived tastes of the Borgo Black Coat fan-base as "monsters and boobies". There is a time and place for such trivia. Tomorrow night, mine) - so maybe it's just a bigotry on my part. As to the use of the term "adapted" in place of "translated" - it leaves much unsaid (as pointed out above).

Edited: Apr 18, 2013, 4:26pm Top

155: I am too. I just wish they'd give a standard attention to quality. The cover art is a quibble. Having to translate as you read the translation due to miserable editing is a legitimate complaint. I know they can't be making much of a profit on the authors they select - and I would like to applaud and support their courage (Black Coat, graphics quibble aside, has done a quality job), but Wildside's impress, Borgo Press, really did a cheap job on the Borel book - which is priced at $15 on Amazon. It makes me hesitant to buy anything else from them.

Apr 20, 2013, 10:13pm Top

Have we covered specifically Asian decadents? (Europeans seduced by the charms of the East I'm sure has been thoroughly trod upon.) I mention this because I picked up Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata. The back cover blurb compared it to Against Nature by Huysmans. It would be a fruitful discussion to compare and contrast the notion of sensualism in both East and West.

Edited: Apr 21, 2013, 11:11am Top

Junichiro Tanizaki's short stories and novellas are rife with morbid decadence and eroticism.
And you can't go wrong with Edogawa Ranpo. Watch the Blind Beast if you get the chance.

Edited: Apr 21, 2013, 11:23am Top

Kawabata's House of the Sleeping Beauties, where shriveled old men pay for the sensual jolt of fondling young women as they slumber (drug-induced, if I recall correctly), has a sort of creepy loveliness to it.

Edited: Apr 21, 2013, 2:01pm Top

Izumi Kyoka's early short stories are excellent examples of this japanese erotic decadent sensibility as well.

May 4, 2013, 8:56pm Top

For those who like their visions of hell to be in 3D (who doesn't?), here's something to look forward to this coming October...


May 5, 2013, 7:09am Top

Hi all,

The Diableries are amazing! This will almost certainly be the best book I will buy this year. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED without even having having seen it!

May 5, 2013, 8:50am Top

May 7, 2013, 10:01pm Top

Henry Chapront's illustrations for La-Bas: http://www.bethlemheritage.org.uk/gallery/pages/LDBTH111.asp .

May 17, 2013, 4:19pm Top

The Chapel might be interested in the work Gottfried Benn, the great german expressionist/nihilist poet. In particular I'd like to draw attention to his 1912 collection Morgue and other Poems which deals with "physical decay of flesh, with blood, cancer, and death". A large collection of his work is coming up soon by FSG.

Jun 18, 2013, 4:50pm Top

A new exhibit at the Poe Museum (in Richmond, VA) covers Poe's influence in Paris:

Jun 24, 2013, 10:58pm Top

Oahspe ... and it is very odd:


Like a steampunk Urantia Book, although that doesn't make it any less odd.

Jun 29, 2013, 2:21pm Top

For more of this homegrown American weirdness, you could check out Penguin's anthology American Scriptures: An Anthology of Sacred Writings.

Jun 29, 2013, 4:50pm Top

> 169

What a useful digest! I'm surprised I didn't know about that one.

Jun 30, 2013, 8:34am Top

169: High Weirdness by Mail, a SubGenius anthology of pre-Internet strangeness (religious, political, etc.) is another nice resource.

Jun 30, 2013, 11:13am Top

> 171

Not really objective or sympathetic, though. It's mostly useful as a guide to contacting freaky individuals and communities in order to privately mock them, which is not what I had hoped for, based on the author's other output.

Jun 30, 2013, 2:05pm Top

171: When one anoints oneself as a prophet/shaman/salesman, some mockery is inevitable. America is, after all, the birthplace of Mormonism, Oahspe, and Urantia

Edited: Jul 15, 2013, 8:20pm Top

Front Free Endpaper, the blog of Callum James, book collector, book dealer, publisher, writer, et al. Publications on offer include Vincent O' Sullivan, Rolfiana, etc.


Jul 15, 2013, 9:42pm Top

Thanks, David. I have bought some Corvo pamphlets from him in the distant past.

Jul 22, 2013, 7:31pm Top

Here is an interesting article (from a collector's perspective) on artist, author, aesthete and dandy, Phillipe Jullian:


Jul 22, 2013, 9:14pm Top

This gentleman does interesting things with his time.


Jul 22, 2013, 9:18pm Top

Thanks, Dreamers of Decadence is an old favorite. The Symbolists and The Triumph of Art Nouveau are on their way.

Jul 24, 2013, 5:37pm Top

an interesting painting from The Symbolists

The Voice of Evil 1895 by Georges de Feure


Edited: Jul 30, 2013, 10:28am Top

Edited: Aug 23, 2013, 9:41am Top

Arthur Symon's book of short stories Spiritual Adventures is mentioned as a good example of decadent style in Decadent Style. A nitpicking sort of book about the distinction of books with decadent themes like naturalist novels, and books of decadent style like A Rebours. Also includes chapters on art and music of the period.

Nov 7, 2013, 9:21pm Top

French language link for Le nouvel Attila review's Prix Nocturne (http://www.editions-attila.net/nocturne/selection.html) "awarding forgotten works of fantastic or unusual inspiration". Although one or two of the winners and too many of the books short-listed for the prize don't appear to be available in english translation/adaptation, the site does appear to identify a goldmine of mostly obsure treasures.

Nov 23, 2013, 4:15pm Top

Just picked up a vintage copy of Erik Dorn by Ben Hecht. Having enjoyed Fantazius Mallare, I'm curious what this little book holds.

Nov 24, 2013, 3:25pm Top

183. I'm very glad to see that The Marquis of Bolibar by Leo Perutz made the list. I've been reading all his translated works and they are all amazing. Perutz should be much better known than he is.

184. I'll look for Eric Dorn. I'm very interested in Hecht as I am an old movie fan. He wrote many screenplays and was Burt Lancaster's partner in one of the first artist owned production companies, Hecht-Lancaster Productions.

Feb 20, 2014, 1:07pm Top

A whiff of the poet's afflatus: http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/HermesGod.html#Fables ("GOD OF ANIMAL FABLES").

Feb 20, 2014, 7:01pm Top

Must have been those sour grapes.

Feb 20, 2014, 9:44pm Top

>177 poetontheone: That really should have included a warning for NSFW content. Also, unless I'm missing something, this is just a porn tumblr and with images whose look make me think of spy cams... which seems dodgy and creepy (not in a good way).

Feb 21, 2014, 12:45pm Top

These are all his photographs, and all consensually arranged. Sorry, my art/porn boundary is a bit shaky. I blame my postmodern sensibilities.

Feb 21, 2014, 12:45pm Top

For anyone interested, this is MY tumblr: liquoredgoat.tumblr.com

Feb 21, 2014, 3:52pm Top

>189 poetontheone:: If they were consensually arranged then I see no issue, but I still think a NSFW warning would have been in order since not all of us want to randomly open a page with sexual content at all times.

My tumblr, for the interested, is listed on my profile page. Can't remember the URL, I've changed it enough times and I'm undercaffeinated.

Edited: Mar 3, 2014, 11:15am Top

Six Early Stories by Thomas Mann is a praiseworthy early work (mostly vignettes) of the great German modernist and would be of interest here as his obsession with decadence seems to be at its height early on in his career up until the Magic Mountain (and then again in his last novel Doctor Faustus.

May 12, 2014, 11:58am Top

The Thelemic Temple's Revised Rules (a parody):


Jun 19, 2014, 9:41pm Top

CIA facial recognition software identifies pic of ‘unknown woman’ as Francis Bacon in drag:


Jun 25, 2014, 9:38pm Top

I posted this elsewhere, but it clearly belongs in the chapel:


Jul 2, 2014, 10:55am Top

I don't remember having seen this site mentioned


but it looks a good place to spend the next rainy evening when nothing's happening in Brazil.

Jul 6, 2014, 9:07pm Top

Where do the publications Heavy Metal and 2000 AD fit in the spectrum of decadence?

Aug 2, 2014, 1:01pm Top

Echo's Bones, the tenth and final story from More Pricks than Kicks but was excised at the last minute. Highly recommended for Beckett addicts. Belaqua returns from the dead!

Aug 11, 2014, 1:32pm Top

Very recently a translation has been published of the Al-Quran, Ash Sheitan; a religious text of the Yazidi "devil worshipers", portrayed so vividly in William Seabrook's book Adventures in Arabia. The book is published under the title "The Devil's Quran" (Martinet Press, isbn: 9780692260845).

This of particular interest considering current events in Iraq.

Aug 12, 2014, 11:52pm Top

Anyone see Guardians of the Galaxy? I found The Collector (played with maximum strangeness by Benecio Del Toro akin to Jean des Esseintes ... IN SPACE! Just check out the poster:


He also has his base of operations inside a planet-sized skull of an extinct alien being and its called Knowhere.

Sep 4, 2014, 2:32pm Top

Devil Baby Attack:


Because children are our future ... our dark future.

Sep 8, 2014, 6:25pm Top

The chap who, for no reason whatsoever I assumed was Hungarian, briefly glimpsed at 1:33: Is he imploring or decrying?

Oct 8, 2014, 10:05am Top

Paschal Beverly Randolph, black esotericist and advocate of mystic sex:


Edited: Oct 8, 2014, 10:47am Top

Randoph's Ravalette is a paragon of the novelized quasi-autobiography common among occultists (see Frabato the Magician, Diary of a Drug Fiend, and others), and it's an unjustly-neglected window on the 19th-century emergence of occultism from the spiritualist milieu.

ETA: The 20th-century occultist who most prominently announced her sympathy for Randolph was probably Maria de Naglowska, whose works on sex magic are now happily available in English due to the efforts of Donald Traxler.

Edited: Oct 20, 2014, 1:06pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Edited: Oct 28, 2014, 2:37pm Top

The Yellow Nineties Online. Includes biographies, essays and digitized journals.


Oct 29, 2014, 4:55pm Top

Edited: Nov 15, 2014, 3:12pm Top

new groups

world music


Hashish Club, a private group, invitation on request


Edited: Dec 4, 2014, 4:16pm Top

Dec 6, 2014, 10:29am Top

Edited: Apr 17, 4:17pm Top

Recent release from Alejandro Jodorowsky, Where the Bird Sings Best: http://www.restlessbooks.com/bookstore/where-the-bird-sings-best

I haven't read it yet, but if it's anything like his movies (e.g., El Topo, The Holy Mountain, Santa Sangre) it should be the wildest of rides...oh yeah, and Kanye West recommends it.

Apr 28, 9:34pm Top

Not to be confused with: http://ireadoddbooks.com/

Apr 29, 2:38am Top

Thanks for that Karl, another book that is going to take me a lifetime to get to grips with.

Jung, PKD, Musil, Pessoa, and now this guy.

Apr 29, 10:33pm Top

On decadent illustrators: http://www.banger.com/art/index.html

Edited: May 11, 12:32pm Top

> 148 cinnamonshops:

Answering your 13 month old question, here's how Black Coat Press explains adaptation v. translation: http://www.blackcoatpress.com/adaptedby.htm

Edited: May 12, 8:21pm Top

It is good to see reviews of these books, but I wonder how the author came up with this:

"Further, unlike Dedalus’ higher quality, bright white paper stock and easy to read font, Twisted Spoon uses what would appear to be the lowest quality of recycled pulp, a dull and mealy yellow in tone, which is quite difficult to read in all but the very best lighted of circumstances, and printed in a crappy Times New Roman font (which is supposedly “easy to read”, but is actually rather strain-inducing, particularly on a low grade paper stock of this sort."

I am grateful to Dedalus for many reasons, but the quality of the paper and bindings (and occasionally, the translations: Camillo Boito's Senso, for instance) are not among them. The Twisted Spoon Press, however, does produce books of quality. I have never had one of their books jaundice or fall out of its binding. The paper and binding of their titles are of good quality and many of them are quite beautiful (e.g.: the Ladislav Klima and Paul Leppin hardcover editions).

Edited: May 12, 10:34pm Top

I noticed that comment too and don't remember any problems with TSP books. Maybe, he was confusing
TSP with Dedalus Press? I've had a couple of DP books fall apart. In spite of their shoddy bindings,
I'll still buy Dedalus for reading copies of hard-to-find titles.

May 15, 1:32pm Top

On a similar note, I found a vintage Dedalus paperback at my local Barnes & Noble. It's Monsieur de Phocas by Jean Lorraine (released in 1994). Why that was in the new books section is beyond my comprehension. Due to its age, the pages are yellowed. But it's strangely fitting for the decadent subject matter.

"The beauty of the twentieth century is the charm of the hospital, the grace of the cemetery, of consumption and emaciation. I admit that I have submitted to it all; worse, I have loved with all my heart."

May 15, 4:26pm Top

It's not that old. My copy is from 1997 (well, almost 20 years for a Dedalus paperback....), and it's yellowed as well.

Edited: May 31, 9:34pm Top

Has anyone read "Sins of the Fathers: Decadence in France 1870 - 1914" by Jennifer Birkett?

Jun 1, 10:31am Top

I just ordered a copy - thank you for the notice. I can only assume that the study has been suffused and strained through some tired/tiring institutional dogma (Freud, gender theory, etc.) - but I do hope, given the date range, that some unknown curiosities might be brought to light: persons, untranslated texts, etc. Or that author might be an impassioned and erudite proselyte, like Norman O. Brown.

Jun 1, 1:06pm Top

229: Birkett has a new academic monograph coming out this July on Samuel Beckett She is Emeritus Professor of French Studies at the University of Birmingham, so its suffusion with academic-ese is probably inevitable. But an occasional sojourn to the Ivory Tower isn't always a bad thing, although wrestling with the specialist, academic jargon can be challenging.

Edited: Jun 1, 1:40pm Top

No - scholarship is wonderful and revered; alacrity with jargon probably is as well, on tenure committees (I have done the same, so I understand the obligation- but just can't read it any longer).

Jun 1, 2:53pm Top

I would recommend reading Sins of our Fathers. I didn't find it too p0m0, if you know what I mean. Here's a list of my favourite literary criticism works:

Waiting for Pegasus (for it's shear depth and breadth of otherwise unknown works)
Decadence and the Making of Modernism (for most successfully showing the link from decadence/parnassianism/symbolism to modernism)
Decadent Style (for elucidating the dichotomy and blending of the themes of decadence and the decadent style)

Jun 1, 4:35pm Top

232: Picking up on the same thread, I'd highly recommend Art Nouveau and the Erotic, by Ghislaine Wood. I concise study (with ample illustrations) of the Art Nouveau visual style and the erotic, ranging from the kitschy to the outre to the blasphemous.

Jun 1, 6:48pm Top

Not sure if this site has been posted previously... Complete texts of The Yellow Book and some other magazines: http://www.1890s.ca

Jun 2, 8:53am Top


Jun 5, 11:04am Top

Slavoj Zizek's Board Game Reviews, courtesy of Somethingawful.com:


Edited: Jun 7, 10:30pm Top

Underworld Amusements has a new release of Edgar Saltus's best (and most decadent) fiction combined into one volume: http://www.underworldamusements.com/product/the-truth-about-tristrem-varick-mr-i.... Sometime back they'd released Saltus's brilliant decadent/pessimist philosophical works The Philosophy of Disenchantment and The Anatomy of Negation, also in one volume.

Jun 7, 11:04pm Top

The philosophical works are definitely worth getting in one volume.

Edited: Jun 23, 1:39pm Top

237: Excellent! The D'Annunzio t is going into the wardrobe ASAP. And the publisher, a topically erudite fellow, is an ordained minister.

Jun 19, 10:35am Top

Not really sure where to put this: An excellent review of both Dancer From the Dance by Andrew Holleran and Faggots by Larry Kramer:


From the review: "At the end," of Dancer from the Dance "when in one cataclysmic weekend, Sutherland ODs, Malone disappears, and the Everard Baths burns down, it is unclear whether an era has passed or whether the beat goes remorselessly on. And we care enough to wonder which is better."

While not Decadent Literature per se, the novel fits a lot of the criteria. World War I ended European Decadence, the same way the AIDS epidemic ended the hedonism and clandestine nature of gay life in the United States.

Jul 20, 3:44pm Top

Picked up a copy of The Doyle Diary by Michael Baker, about "the strange and curious case of Charles Altamont Doyle":


"Here’s a truly amazing artifact for the ages, a sumptuous reproduction of a sketchbook kept by Charles Altamont Doyle, father of Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle, during his 1889 internment in a Scottish lunatic asylum. The purpose of the drawings was allegedly to prove that their creator was unjustly incarcerated; the opening line reads, “Keep steadily in view that this book is ascribed wholly to the produce of a MADMAN. Whereabouts would you say was the deficiency of intellect? Or depraved taste? If in the whole book you can find a single evidence of either, mark it and record it against me.”

"What the book does reveal is a rich and strange netherworld of fairies and demons. Charles Doyle was an extraordinarily accomplished artist, and his work here, in its amazing boldness and color, can stand up to that of nearly any Victorian draftsman. It’s been favorably compared (by individuals far more authoritative than me) to the work of big names like Fuseli and Blake."

Jul 20, 5:49pm Top

Between his mad dad, medical studies, proto-feminism, inventing the most famous fictional hero ever, anti-colonialism, spiritualism and fairy suffrage, A. C. Doyle had one hell of a colourful life experience.

I just bought a book about another Victorian artist who spent most of his life in a madhouse (Broadmoor--he had killed his father in a delusional fit and was committed as criminally insane), Richard Dadd.

Many of his paintings feature dense structure of exquisite detail:

Edited: Aug 3, 9:42am Top

Crom Your Enthusiasm, a new essay series from Hilbrow.com, looking at fantasy from the 1930s:


"As I’ve noted elsewhere, if the Nineteen-Teens gave us adventures that were romantic and uncanny, and the Twenties adventures that were wised-up and hardboiled, then the Thirties offered up a dialectical synthesis of these modes. The twenty-five adventures about which HiLobrow’s twenty-five contributors will write, over the course of this month, are at one and the same time romantic and wised-up, uncanny and hardboiled. Thirties fantasy lit is an extraordinary juggling act, one that has inspired the best fantasy writers of subsequent decades."

Edited: Aug 11, 1:35pm Top

Two Poems
by José Asuncíon Silva

One night

One night
One night heavy with the scent of perfumes, with murmurings
and music of wings,
One night
As phantasmal fireflies flickered in humid, nuptial shadows,
We walked together, slowly, our bodies close, and you,
Silent, pale,
As if a presentiment of infinite pain and sorrow
Had shaken you to the most secret depths of your being,
Came strolling along the garden path through
Fragrant gardens,
And in the indigo
Of the vast, farthest heavens, the full moon shed its unearthly light,
And your shadow,
Languid, mellow,
And my shadow,
Lengthened by the moonbeams falling upon
The path’s somber sands
Were blending,
Forming one
Forming one
Forming one long, lonely shadow!
Forming one long, lonely shadow!
Forming one long, lonely shadow!

Alone, my soul
Overflowing with the unfathomable grief and agony of your death,
Separated from your being by shadows, by time and distance,
By the infinite darkness
No mortal voice can penetrate,
Alone, silent,
I walked that lonely path,
And somewhere far away dogs were barking at the moon,
At the pale moon,
And frogs were
Shrilly croaking,
I felt cold; it was the chill of the chamber where you lay,
The cold of your cheeks and temples, of your beloved hands
Among the snowy folds
Of mortuary sheets,
It was the icy chill of the tomb, it was the chill of death,
It was the chill of nada . . .
And my shadow,
Lengthening by the falling moonbeams,
Walked alone,
Walked alone,
Walked alone through the deserted garden!
And your slim, supple shadow,
Languid, mellow,
As on that warm and humid night of springtime death,
As on that night filled with sweet perfumes, with murmurings
and music of wings,
Appeared and walked with mine,
Appeared and walked with mine,
Appeared and walked with mine … O shadows entwined!
O shadows that seek each other, blending together on nights
Of tears and black despair!

—Written circa 1895, published posthumously in El libro de versos, 1923.

Tropical Landscape

The river spills its soporific magic
Into the journey’s calm monotony,
And in the distance vistas are erased
As shadows lengthen toward infinity.

A lone thatched hut slips past, glimpsed
Through a matted jungle tapestry
That casts designs of tangled leaves and vines
Worked in tones of dusk’s variety.

Venus comes to life in purest space,
Below, a native hollowed-out canoe
Grooves the drowsy current, swift and sure,

As in the west, the fiery setting sun
Forges a second green and rose-tinged sky
In the lazy river’s liquid mirror.

—Published in El libro de versos, 1923

Translated by Margaret Sayers Peden.

Margaret Sayers Peden is a translator living in Columbia, Missouri. Among her translations are the works of Pablo Neruda, Octavio Paz, and Jose Emilio Pacheco. Her most recent publications include Iasbel Allende’s Paul, Aphrodite and Daughter of Fortune.

—The history of poetry abounds with tragic legends, but the story of the Colombian poet José Asunción Silva, who shot himself in the heart in 1896, is difficult to surpass. Born into a wealthy family, Silva died broke, having been sued by dozens of his creditors. The year before his death, the boat in which he was returning to Colombia from Europe sank and with it vanished two collections of stories, two volumes of poems and a short novel. Suva’s reputation is based on a novel, De sobremesa, which he reconstructed. Of the surviving poems, the haunting and melodic Nocturno (published here as One Night) became the most beloved Colombian poem of all time, and one of the most influential poems in Latin American literature. Today, José Asunción Silva is recognized as Colombia’s national poet, and the house where he died in Bogota, Casa Silva, is a museum and meeting place of Colombian poets. The face of the poet who killed himself to get away from his creditors adorns Colombia’s five-peso coin.


Aug 11, 1:35pm Top

To Cross This Distance
by Jaime Saenz


At the touch of the fleeting secret, of stopped time, of
self-consuming fire, and of ice, present and eternal,

every eye, every image, will blaze up and burn.

Every hollow within the earth, every darkness that falls,
will forever remain.

(If you’re a sorcerer, laugh. But if not, hearing the devil’s
on your tail, don’t laugh.)

With the passing of the years and the turning of these
worlds and the lights I’ve
gathered from contemplating the stars, I’ve become aware.

In the torrential waters every soul dissolves into universalsoul.


The immense malaise cast by shadows, the melancholic
visions surging from the night,

everything terrifying, everything cruel, that without
reason, that without name,

one has to take it, who knows why.

If you have nothing to eat but garbage, don’t say a word.

If the garbage makes you sick, don’t say a word.

If they cut off your feet, if they boil your hands, if your
tongue rots, if your spine splits in two, if your soul fines
down to nothing, don’t say a word.

If they poison you, don’t say a word, even if your bowels
slide from your mouth and your hair stands straight up; even
if your eyes well with blood, don’t say a word.

If you feel good, don’t feel good. If you fall behind, don’t
fall behind. If you die, don’t die. If you’re sad, don’t be sad.
Don’t say a word.

Living is hard; it’s hard work to not say a word.

Putting up with people without saying a word is tough.

It’s very hard—inasmuch as they expect to be understood
without saying a word—

to understand people without saying a word.

It’s terribly difficult yet very easy to be a decent person;

the truly difficult thing is to not say a word.


I feel the coming of a dark day, a closed space, an incom-
prehensible event, a night endless as immortality.

What I feel has nothing to do with me, nor with you; it’s
nothing personal, nothing particular, this thing I feel;

but it has to do with I don’t know what

—perhaps the world, or the kingdoms of the world, or the
mysterious enchantments of the world;

across the waters a deep fissure comes into view.

One can perceive, through the odor of things and through
the forms they assume, the exhaustion of things.

In what grows, in what has ceased to grow, in what echoes,
in what stays, in what doesn’t stay, in the soundless air, in the
metamorphosis of the insect, in the murmuring of trees,

one can sense the joy of a coming end.

The devouring darkness, dying to devour—the allotment
extinguished, nothing shall be.

Save perhaps a breeze, high above some place, maybe
deep inside some place,

floating on the farthest waters.

The gasping without end or beginning, ashroud for stillness,

enshrouding the circular motions of the eternal return

—I don’t know how to explain, I don’t know how to name
this feeling I feel

Translated by Forrest Gander and Kent Johnson.

Forrest Gander is the author of several books, most recently Science and Steepleflower (New Directions, 1998) and is the editor of Mouth to Mouth: Poems by 12 Contemporary Mexican Women. The poems featured here will be included in Immanent Visitor: Selected Poems of Jaime Saenz, edited and translated by Kent Johnson and Forrest Gander, forthcoming from the University of California Press.

Kent Johnson is editor of Beneath a Single Moon: Buddhism in Contemporary American Poetry (Shambhala), and Third Wave: The New Russian Poetry (Michigan). He is a translator of A Nation of Poets: Writings from the Poetry Workshops of Nicaragua (West End Press).

—Jaime Saenz (1921-1986) is considered Bolivia’s leading 20th-century writer. Prolific as a poet, novelist and nonfiction writer, his baroque, propulsive syntax and dedication to themes of death, alcoholism, and otherness make his poetry among the most idiosyncratic in the Spanish-speaking world. As a poet who championed the disenfranchised and the author of one of Latin America’s first openly homosexual novels, Saenz stands as a singular example of artistic and personal courage. The selections presented here are from To Cross This Distance (1973), an extended, serially constructed meditation on presence and absence, love and death, and the imagined possibilities of building a bridge between I and Another. These poems will be included in Immanent Visitor: Selected Poems of Jaime Saenz, edited and translated by Kent Johnson and Forrest Gander, forthcoming from the University of California Press.


Sep 2, 10:42am Top

Not sure where to put this, but it is about the Nez Perce War, contemporaneous with the European Decadence movement, in The Dying Grass by William T. Vollmann:


"The Dying Grass" is part of Vollmann's Seven Dreams project. I have not read any of The Seven Dreams books, but I have read The Royal Family, an epic account of San Francisco prostitutes that comes across like a cross between Lautreamont, Das Kapital, and Norman Mailer at his most bombastic.

Edited: Sep 3, 2:56pm Top

This is curious....

The Death-Wake; or Lunacy. A Necromaunt in Three Chimeras: by Thomas Tod Stoddart


Sep 12, 12:45am Top

Beerland - Part 1


Sep 25, 3:54pm Top


A collection of 30 of David Tibet's 'most loved stories', including:

"Robert Aickman, Algernon Blackwood, DK Broster, AM Burrage, RW Chambers, Aleister Crowley, Sheridan Le Fanu, Elizabeth Gaskell, WW Jacobs, MR James, Vernon Lee, LA Lewis, Thomas Ligotti, Arthur Machen, Guy de Maupassant, Charles Perrault, Thomas De Quincey, Saki, Count Stenbock, Montague Summers, HR Wakefield and Edith Wharton. The volume also has an introduction by David, which includes brief extracts and translations by him from Akkadian, Coptic and Biblical texts, alongside poems and fairy tales that he also loves."

Edited: Sep 25, 4:19pm Top

253 > I wonder what's going on with that Stenbock omnium he's threatened to publish for several years.

Sep 26, 2:03am Top

255 it is apparently nearly ready for publication. Tibet always has so many projects under way, it is surprising that any see fruition.

Oct 4, 10:12am Top

"Dirty realism":


As Bill Buford, who coined the term, defines it as:

"Dirty Realism is the fiction of a new generation of American authors. They write about the belly-side of contemporary life – a deserted husband, an unwed mother, a car thief, a pickpocket, a drug addict – but they write about it with a disturbing detachment, at times verging on comedy. Understated, ironic, sometimes savage, but insistently compassionate, these stories constitute a new voice in fiction."

It seems to have some affinities to the darker aspects of the Decadent movement.

Edited: Oct 4, 2:09pm Top

I don't know how new that voice is, but his Among the Thugs - documenting his experiences hanging out with racist skinheads and football oiks in England - certainly adheres to that formula ("disturbing detachment, at times verging on comedy. Understated, ironic, sometimes savage, but insistently compassionate"). It reminded me quite a bit of Hunter Thompson's Hell's Angels epic, save that Buford was spared a good stomping.

Oct 4, 9:31pm Top

258> I think (or thought) the term "Dirty Realism" derived primarily from the poetry/prose of Charles Bukowski and other such beacons of modern decadence/reality (e.g., Hubert Selby, Jr., Dan Fante, Tony O'Neill, Pedro Juan Gutierrez, Mark SaFranko, Houellebecq) evolving somewhat out of Beat and Noir literature, and perhaps Henry Miller. Indeed, the belly-side subject matter (Death/Drugs/Violence/Sex/Discontent) is more than similar, but this "new generation" has little in common style-wise with the decadent movement of old...

Oct 11, 11:10pm Top

260: I would add Brian Alan Ellis to that list, since his work dwells on the socioeconomic underbelly and has a darkly comic worldview. A perfect accompaniment to those who enjoy the nostalgie de la boue of such entertainments like Trailer Park Boys and Shameless (UK or US versions).

Edited: Oct 13, 1:12pm Top

If Decadent literature can often be defined by an over-refined florid style, then Dirty Realism might be identified by a lack of refinement and terseness. If Decadence is absinthe, opium, courtesans, and degenerate aristocrats living in mansions, then Dirty Realism is cheap beer, meth, hookers, and tired blue-collar workers living close to the streets. Regardless of styles, both movements function like literary Punk rock to épater le bourgeois and both delve into the (Nietzschean) abyss, striving to pull some sort of meaning from the depths of banal quotidian existence.

Oct 14, 12:50pm Top

How would the work of Samuel Beckett fit along that spectrum? More Pricks than Kicks is florid in its wannabe Joycean flavor, but his work becomes more stripped down and it dwells more on tramps and other derelicts. How it is, Endgame, and Molloy leap immediately to mind.

Not to mention other gutter-poetic works like those of John Rechy and Jean Genet

Oct 16, 2:43pm Top

Oct 30, 2:45pm Top

Callum James is having a Halloween Sale.


Nov 18, 12:17pm Top

David Michael Tibet has just published his first academic paper.


Nov 18, 5:47pm Top

266: one more for my gnosticism shelf. I wish he would get out the complete Stenbock.

Nov 18, 9:22pm Top

267. Me too. I check his Facebook page periodically. So far he hasn't said anything about the Stenbock project. If he does I will certainly let you know.

Nov 19, 11:21am Top

It may be worth following Tibet on twitter as he tends to tweet links to any new entries on his Facebook page.

Nov 22, 1:46pm Top

I follow Tibet on Facebook already. I'm not on twitter. His posts are always very interesting.

Nov 22, 11:17pm Top

I wanted to buy Tibet's lyric book, Sing Omega, but the price was steep. I haven't really dug any of the Current 93 releases since Aleph at Hallucinatory Mountain. I'd love to see C93 live though. Sadly, they never play here. By contrast, Death in June is coming through California for the second time is just less than a year. Can't wait to see them again. Maybe Tibet doesn't like coming to the States?

Nov 23, 12:06pm Top

Perhaps it's just a matter of economics? Would it be worth him touring the states? So many bands big overseas (All the offshoots of Radio Birdman, Hugo Race, The Tindersticks, etc.) have a much smaller audience over here than they should have.

Nov 23, 4:15pm Top

I think it is intended that Sing Omega will eventually be released in cheaper paperback format.

At least that's what I'm hanging my hat and on.

However, given the time it is taking to release England's Hidden Reverse in cheaper format, we may see pigs flying over a blue moon before either book eventuates.

Nov 23, 4:17pm Top

David X, you aren't on Twitter? You obviously aren't living the Spectacle to the full yet.

Nov 23, 7:30pm Top

Like benwaugh says, given their limited exposure over here it's hard to imagine C93 playing anywhere in the US except perhaps NYC - maybe San Francisco. I suppose they could headline a larger "goth" or neofolk oriented festival in the northeast (are there any?), but economics probably say otherwise. I understand that many of the myriad C93 collaborators are distributed throughout Europe with a few even residing in the US. It must make any touring a logistically challenging special event.

271: I guess Death in June has a substantial cult following in California dating back to their pre-neofolk/post-punk days? You'd expect them to tour more, seeing how they're just Douglas P and one or two oft changing others...

Edited: Nov 23, 7:44pm Top

Whatever happened to Kendra Smith? Permanent hermitage? I mean, Steve Wynn manages to get around... which is ok, I guess.

Join to post

Group: The Chapel of the Abyss

381 members

5,640 messages

You must be a member of this group to post.


This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.




Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 100,889,116 books! | Top bar: Always visible