Starting a thread here to post about the new edition supervised by David Tibet (who seems to be an eccentric character worthy of considerable exposition in his own right--I only knew he was a pop musician who had a sideline in Thelema and mysticism) of Count Stenbock's work, Of Kings and Things, published by the Strange Attractor press.
Link for this publication as repeated from the immensely helpful alert from the lovely and generous James Doig:
I ordered the paperback edition via a prominent online retail site. It did not include the tote bag or postcard, but the book itself is quite attractive--beautiful design and typeface. I adore the endpapers which repeat a very Beardsleyesque design (which I think may have been Stenbock's own work) used on the cover of one of the original 1890s editions of his books.
I wrote to a friend about one of the tales. I don't think she is likely to want to buy the book, but I found this online edition of one of his most noted stories, "The Other Side."
The new book includes a long preliminary essay from Mr Tibet, as well as an afterword by Timothy d'Arch Smith that is equally fascinating.
I plan to write more about the book shortly, hence this new thread. Stenbock had a surprisingly vigorous, fluid, evocative style of writing--not at all the kind of listless, languid posturing one might expect from accounts of his sadly short life.
This is really one of those too-good-to-be-true books published in the last few years. Count Stenbock! There was a Wordsworth Crowley some years ago (which is currently in its second revised and expanded edition), now you have a paperback Stenbock! I mean, they used to be just names I saw mentioned from time to time. I didn't expect I would live to get to read their own words. And this is certainly a labour of love:
David Tibet (who seems to be an eccentric character worthy of considerable exposition in his own right--I only knew he was a pop musician who had a sideline in Thelema and mysticism)
I don't know anything about British music, but is Tibet really a "pop musician"? Is he a celeb in the UK? I always find it interesting that he partnered with Richard Dalby to form the Ghost Story Press, as they seem to be quite different characters. Weird fiction does draw people from all walks of life together, doesn't it? Just think of this forum!
I thought of his band, "Current 93" (the name refers to a central tenet of Thelema), as in the "alternative pop" box which is quite a varied category now. He's one of those artists who seems intriguing but I haven't been drawn to finding out more. Just only so much time, money and energy.
Did you end up finishing the book, Steve? I dipped in and out of it, but found it hard going. Even the oft-anthologised "The Other Side" did nothing for me. Perhaps it's just not the type of fiction that I can enjoy!
No, not that either. I suspect that only a tiny minority of people in the UK will have ever heard of him, or any of the bands (Current 93, Nurse With Wound, Coil, Psychic TV) that he is associated with.
Personally, I'm not a fan of the industrial/experimental rock genre in general, but I haven't really heard that much of his stuff either.
I thought "The Other Side" was a really terrific tale. But soon after reading it I put the book on a shelf and although I look at the spine frequently (it's in a bookcase next to my bedroom door), I haven't actually handled the book since that time. I might wind up sending it to a friend.
I should at least take a look at a couple of other tales in the volume before I get rid of it... I just started Flicker by Theodore Roszak and that's proving quite an interesting read. I know it's an odd comment to make but the opening chapter is providing insight for me into why young hetero males get into film culture. Believe it or not, this is rather exotic terrain for me, although film culture has been very important in my life since I was a child. I just had a very different take on it from that described with such vivid emotion by the book's narrating lead character.
I would never have heard of Flicker had it not been for the Vault... which is why I am grateful every day for this forum!
I have Nurse with Wound's Soliloquy for Lilith triple album and make use of it in a very specific ritual context... it is very powerful sound sequencing (not really "music") for that purpose. The entire series of sequences is on y.t. now.