Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Fantasies Of Displacement

Stigmata Junction (Step 55 from Stride) by Thomas Wiloch, editor of the elusive US magazine Grimoire, contains twenty-six short prose texts and fourteen collages.
The prose work avoids stylistic experimentation, allowing each narrative to make its impact through the bizarre nature of the action portrayed. Wiloch deploys a repertoire of disquieting images or motifs: the sixth and seventh vignettes recall Ballard – a limitless conglomeration of consumer durables buried beneath the sands of a beach (‘At the Beach’), the automobile which, like a sinking ship, slides beneath the earth of a quiet field (‘Returning’). The third text in the collection, ‘The Head in the Box’, a Poe-esque guignol, features a nameless protagonist haunted by the screams from a decapitated head kept in a box in the closet.
Billed as ‘of a surrealistic nature’ this is Surrealism with a small ‘s’. In fact Stigmata Junction operates in that grey twilight domain of post-surrealist fantasy, not so much pure psychic automatism as fragmentary confrontations with alien Otherness, described in a symbolic vocabulary of closed rooms, casual catastrophe, uncanny Fortean phenomena (gnomic messages raining down from the sky), rituals of cruelty and fleeting visions of transmundane worlds (‘This Family’s TV Set’, ‘The Starfish Eye’).
Most of the pieces arise from a single theme: displacement. All Wiloch’s protagonists suffer from a sense of displacement that provokes fantasies of loss. Loss of identity, as in ‘His Fragments’ and ‘Dissection’, where the fragmentation of personality is encapsulated in the motifs of smashed glass and mirrors containing the enigma of ‘his secret name’. ‘Everyone was frightened by the death of the world. Nothing seemed to replace it.’ runs a line from ‘The Day the World Died’, echoing another theme of loss: loss of belonging in the world.
In Wiloch’s universe normality is vaporized and meaning has collapsed, existence is indescribable (‘Chained Reaction’), all answers are incomprehensible (‘Unnatural Formation’). Familiar objects like desks and TV sets take on a life of their own, motivated by malicious intent. An occult antidote to this alienation may be implied in ‘The Tribute’ where control over the authorities can be gained by shedding one’s blood.
The fourteen collages which compliment the text are in the style pioneered by Max Ernst in the 1930s using turn-of-the-century popular engravings. These have an almost friendly familiarity at odds with the more sinister texts and do not quite pack the punch they might. All in all however Stigmata Junction is a pleasing excursion into the macabre.

Published in Stride 22 Autumn 1985

Thomas Wiloch 1953-2008 a personal tribute by Thomas Ligotti

Illustration: The Mysteries Of Inner Space, 2000

Monday, 20 June 2011

On Some Faraway Planet

On Some Faraway Planet

Funky Space at the Boogie Lounge

Amplify your visuals, get connected, go anywhere.
Hot metal, new leather, fishnet crop tops
Scalp electrodes connect us to fashion dreams
When, after a grey and misty start,
The future merges with yesterday’s news
And mirror ball madness vamps up your eyes
All table dancing, flirting and catfights
At a burlesque cabaret in a downtown cellar
On some far away planet a long way from home
Where raffish grid girls wear suede retro hot pants
And alien entertainers swoop from the chandeliers
Yeah, it’s love, lipgloss and show business
Out here on the Western Fringes, so it’s
Another teen slasher bloodbath from Mr Pink
As Starfleet Command takes all the tables
Calling for posh totty, sentimental songs
And two pianos on wheels of steel,
Like this sex bomb in specs adds some oomph
To her scary cocktail shaker routine
Behind the bar on the seventh floor where
Snap happy space cadets preen in their frocks
Flicking ciggie stubs across the room
At some hick comedienne from The Big Squirm
Too boring darling I hear you say.
Where’s that pause button?
No wet shirt moments here then, just armchair
Radicals, Mr White, some other geezer
And a crystal breeze chilling the action, while
Sporting a smarter class of clobber,
Mohair suits and electric boots,
We truffle shuffle to a plinky dinky soundtrack.
You lucky, lucky people!

Published in Inclement Vol 11 Issue 1 Spring 2011

Illustration: We Always Come Back, 2003

Friday, 10 June 2011

Several Sonnets

Stephane Mallarme

Several Sonnets 1883-1887


When the shadow menaces with its fatal law
A particular old Dream, desire and evil of my vertebrae,
Afflicted at dying beneath funereal ceilings
It folds within me its indubitable wing.

Luxury, o hall of ebony where, to seduce a king
Ceremonial garlands writhe in death,
You are nothing but mendacious hubris uttered by shadows
In the eyes of a hermit dazzled by his faith.

Yes, I know that in the distances of this night, The Earth
Emits a giant flare extraordinary mystery
Beneath the hideous centuries that darken it the less.

Space like unto itself whether it expands or contracts
Unfurls in this boredom vile fires for witnesses
That a festive star has illuminated its genius


The virgin, the everlasting and beautiful today
Will it shatter for us with a drunken wing beat
The hard, forgotten lake haunted beneath frost
By the transparent glacier of flights not taken!

A swan of previous times recalls it is he who
Magnificent but hopeless surrenders himself
For not having sung the place of living
When sterile winter’s ennui gleamed.

All his neck will shake off that white agony
By space inflicted on the bird which negates,
But not the horror of plumage ensnared on the ground.

Phantom assigned here by his pure light,
He is paralysed in a cold dream of disdain
Assumed in useless exile The Swan.


Victoriously fled the beautiful suicide
Firebrand of glory, spume of blood, gold, storm!
Oh laugh if down there a purple spreads
To cover royally my absent tomb.

What! Of this flare not even a gleam
Remains, it is midnight, in the shadow celebrating us
Except that a head’s presumptive treasure
Tumbles its nonchalant caress without a torch

Yours as always the delight! Yours
Yes alone retaining from dissolved skies
A residue of puerile triumph rimmed

With light as you lay it on the cushions
Like the war-helmet of a girl-empress
From which to depict you cascade roses.


Raised high her pure nails dedicate their onyx
Anguish, this midnight upholds her lampadophore
And many vesperal dreams burned by the Pheonix
Are Never gathered in any cinerary amphora

On the tables, in the empty salon: nul ptyx
Abolished trinket of sonorous emptyness
(For The Master has gone gathering tears in The Styx
With this solitary object that bestows honour on The Void)

But near a vacant north window, a gold
Expires complementing perhaps the décor
Of unicorns kicking fire towards a nixie,

She, defunct, naked in the mirror, while
In the abyss bordered by the frame, are fixed
So soon, the scintillations of The Seven Stars.

translated by AC 1996-1999

Sonnet IV, the first truly hermetic poem by Stephane Mallarme,  is also known as the 'Sonnet en X' (first version 1866)

Find out more here

Illustration: Dream Space, 2001

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Messiaen And Surrealism

Olivier Messiaen in the Surrealist Context - Trans-Ideological Affinities

Surrealism is a term that has been used in connection with Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992) more than any other composer. While the term is often used in a lax way, simply allowing hack critics to denote a certain perceived ‘weirdness’ of tone, the relationship between the composer and the surrealist aesthetic is worthy, perhaps, of a brief exploration.
It must be said at the outset that, as a musician and composer, Messiaen did not participate in the Surrealist movement. During the inter-war era the leader of the Surrealists, Andre Breton (1896-1966), was – unlike the Zurich Dadaists – actually opposed to music in principle, excoriating composer-cliques such as Les Six as promoted in Paris high society by ‘fake poet’ Jean Cocteau. Furthermore, as ultra-humanist subversives and revolutionaries, the Surrealists’ militant, materialist, anti-clerical, anti-Catholic, anti-religious position would have rendered Messiaen persona non grata in their eyes. In the post war era the relationship between Surrealism and music changed, but primarily as a result of the rise of Bebop and the recognition of a fellow feeling with Afro-American black culture as enshrined in The Blues – the relationship between Surrealism and Western ‘classical’ art-music remains difficult and, in the main, uncharted territory.
The evolution of Messiaen’s development can be described as passing through three distinct periods and two distinct phases. Chronologically the Periods are (1) 1917-1936 (2) 1937-1949 and (3) 1949 to date. The first period is, naturally, a formative, early, ‘pioneering’ period. The second period a middle consolidation period, and the later third period, an era of ‘transmutation’, giving rise to works which extend the potentialities of the earlier periods to such a degree as to define a completely new phase of achievement without sacrificing continuity. In some respects, it seems that these three eras can be broadly divided into two distinct Phases of inner evolution. The first two, the ‘pioneering’ era and the ‘consolidation’ era, comprise works that may be defined as microcosmic and subjectivist, the last period comprises works of a more impersonal, macrocosmic mode.
To explain this analysis it is helpful to identify some salient works which also, by comparison with other works in other media, by different artists, may illustrate some overlaps between Messiaen’s music and Surrealism and the Surrealist ethos.

Early Period: 1917-1936
From the beginning Messiaen’s music derived from two modes of thought: a personal, subjectivist mode exemplified by the Preludes (1929) for solo piano, “etiolate mood-pictures still sunk in the prison of the self” to quote Malcolm Troop, and an hieratic, theological mode epitomised by the organ work Le Banquet Celeste (1926) or, even more starkly, by L’Apparition de l’Eglise Eternelle (1932). The Preludes recall and extend several works by Messiaen’s predecessor Claude Debussy (piano preludes like Voiles and La Cathedrale Engloutie (1910) or orchestral works such as Danse Sacree et Danse Profane from 1903). The label Impressionist has served to obscure the fact that Debussy was closely associated with the proto-Surrealist ethos of the fin de siecle French Symbolists, showing deep affinities with poets such as Baudelaire and Mallarme, themselves recognised as precursors of the Surrealist spirit. The piano Preludes of both composers seem like musical renditions of Redon’s lithographs. Messiaen’s 'Les Sons Impalpable du Reve' inhabits the same oneiric sphere as Redon’s pictures like the painting 'Yeux Clos' (1890) or the two lithograph series entitled Dans le Reve (1879) and Songes (1891)
The iconoclastic, Absurdism of late ultra-Symbolist Pataphysics (Alfred Jarry) and the abrasive nihilism of Dada have worked to obscure the roots of French Surrealism in the world of nineteenth century Symbolism. The Surrealists themselves always tended to emphasise their preference for the Symbolist tradition of poetic anarchism and revolt (Lautreamont, Rimbaud), rather than that of subjective, interior exploration. Despite clear parallels, the work of Odilon Redon (1840-1916) was not seen as proto-Surrealist. Nevertheless from the present historic vantage point it is obvious that there is a line of continuity from the pre-Freudian world of Symbolist painting to the post-Freudian spirit of Surrealist endeavour. This is despite the fact that the neo-conservative religiosity espoused by many Symbolists would be seen as hopelessly retrograde from the Surrealist perspective. In fact both Claude Debussy (1862-1918) and, later, Olivier Messiaen inhabited the same pre-Surrealist cultural landscape of the Symbolist fin de siecle.
Another artist of the fin de siecle whose works seem to emanate from a similar domain to that traversed by Messiaen in his first pioneering period is the Belgian Fernand Khnopff (1858-1921). Pictures such as 'I Lock My Door Upon Myself' (1891) which project an atmosphere of spiritual isolation and psychic dissociation, or the remarkable 'Geste d’Offrande' (an image of an immobile figure frozen in ritual pose) encapsulate the muted mysticism of Messiaen’s theological mode. Messiaen’s title Les Offrandes Oubliees (1930) may not be a deliberate allusion to Khnopff - but it looks as if it should be.
Other works of Messiaen in similar vein include Diptyque (1929), Nativite du Seigneur (1935), L’Ascension (1933) and the impressive, archetypal L’Apparation de L’Eglise Eternelle. The monumentality of the latter work looks forward to the glacial peaks of Et Exspecto Resurrectionem Mortuorum (1964) and, no doubt unintentionally, demonstrates non-rational elective affinities with Gaudi’s unfinished Templo de la Sagrada Familia begun in 1883. The parabolic spires and delirious, sensual detail of Gaudi’s idiosyncratic Art Nouveau Barcelona cathedral could be an architectural premonition of Messiaen’s musical style; like Messiaen, Antoni Gaudi y Cornet (1852-1926) demonstrated, in his creative work, a phenomenological affinity with Surrealism without being, in the formal sense, Surrealist. Like his Catalan compatriot Dali, Gaudi represented an aesthetic phenomenon resistant to the apparent constraints of subsequent Surrealist ideology. Also, like Messiaen, Gaudi produced works of extreme, heretical individuality at variance, in a way, with the professed orthodoxy of belief both artists attributed to themselves. It was as though Religion provided an incitement for the imagination – an operative fiction.
Le Banquet Celeste was Messiaen’s first public work, an organ piece of unresolved dissonance and subversive stasis first performed in 1928 (the year of Breton’s Nadja, Bunuel and Dali’s film Un Chien Andalou and Aragon’s Traite du Style) four years after the publication of the Premier Manifeste (1924). Had any of the Surrealist avant garde, immersed in experiments with collage, automatism, word-scrambling and the Ducassian Encounter, attended the Paris performance of this piece they might have detected, despite the wilfully archaic façade, some signs of a sensibility attuned to the auditory equivalent of Convulsive Beauty, explosive-fixed and erotic-veiled. However the differences would also have been obvious. Messiaen was clearly establishing a traditional theological basis for his work; the Surrealists were fixated upon the chance incursions of the quotidian marvellous. These were ideologically irreconcilable positions, even though Messiaen was drawn to a ‘surrealist’ use of language. In his case this stemmed from rejection of the arid neo-classical formulations practised by middle-of-the road artists of the day, rather than the Dada experiments of Tzara, Huelsenbeck and Schwitters or, in France, of Breton and Soupault (Les Champs Magnetiques, 1920).
Messiaen’s formative, pioneering period corresponds to the proto-Surrealist movements of the previous fin de siecle generation. The reason for this is the bipolar modality of Messiaen’s creative thought, the complementary desires to penetrate the inner recesses of experience and the ‘mystical’ or theological imperative. Both tropisms tended to unleash unpredictable and powerful forces, finding expression in Messiaen’s unique, violent and monumental musical sound-forms. This musical language cannot be constrained by the Catholic theological framework espoused by the composer and can, therefore, be categorised as a manifestation of sur-reality in music, despite problematic personal, historical and cultural complications.

Middle Period: 1937-1949
The evolutionary difference between the works of Messiaen’s second period and his first is a difference in ‘depth’, not in a qualitative sense, but in a progressive sense: Messiaen’s musical explorations took him ‘deeper’, as it were, into the hinterland of his chosen terrain. In some the respects the works of his second period are more extreme, or appear so. The delicate, subjective mode of the piano preludes is overtaken by a series of works that are the most overtly surrealistic of the composer’s output.
Firstly there are the Poemes Pour Mi (1936) and secondly, Chants de Terre et de Ciel (1938), two song-cycles influenced by the translucent verse of Pierre Reverdy (hailed by Andre Breton as a precursor), set to piano music which complements rather than accompanies the words. This music echoes and cascades amid the metallic membranes on an inner cosmos where landscapes metamorphose into female bodies, like Pavel Tchelitchews’ painting 'Fata Morgana' (1940). Harawi, Chant d’Amour et de Mort (the title of a third song-cycle) marks a further, distinctive evolution of sensibility. It is the first part of a trilogy, the other two parts being the Turangalila-Symphonie (1948) and Cinq Rechants (1948). In Harawi (1945) the fluidity of the imagery and the unearthly pianism of the music combine to produce one of the most sensational and ‘surreal’ works of our age. The protagonist Piroutcha, a Peruvian incarnation of Wagner’s Isolde, participates with her lover in an extraordinary ritual dance amid atoms, rainbows, giant staircases, sacred birds and exploding galaxies of onomatopoeic utterances. The whole scenario is set in a vertiginous abyss where the moment of love-death is prolonged into an infinite star-less night:

Dans le noir, colombe vert,
Dans le noir, perle limpide
Dans le noir, mon fruit de ciel…

In Rencontres Avec Olivier Messiaen (1961) by Antoine Golea the composer says that a picture by the English Surrealist Roland Penrose called 'The Invisible Isle' (1936), also known as 'Seeing is Believing', inspired the section of Harawi entitled Amour Oiseau d’Etoile. The picture depicts the blond head of a beautiful young woman suspended upside down over an island city; her neck penetrates the low-lying cloud entering into planetary space above. From the bottom of the picture, extending upwards, are two hands in a gesture of yearning. Messiaen has said that this picture encapsulates the whole of Harawi.
The incantatory language of Harawi and Cinq Rechants is perhaps the most remarkable element in Messiaen’s ‘surrealism’. On the one hand it links him with a pre-surrealist tradition of linguistic experimentation, stretching back to Edgar Allan Poe. On the other hand it shows how close he was, coincidentally or otherwise, to contemporaneous Surrealist poetics – particularly the work of Antonin Artaud (1896-1948), who was to die the year of Cinq Rechants. Although utterly apart philosophically, there is a trans-ideological affinity between Artaud and Messiaen, particularly the Messiaen of Harawi with its pre-Columbian mise en scene and cosmic-mythical scenario. There is an extremism in the work of both Artaud and Messiaen which discloses a universe of ritualistic ‘cruelty’ and depends, in part, on the creation of personalised hermetic languages based on dextrous collages of Eastern and Western elements. Artaud, in his dramaturgic researches, helped push Surrealist thought away from Western models, towards non-European themes and obsessions. This was, in some ways, an extension of the exoticism that attracted Debussy to the Balinese gamelan. Artaud saw in the stylised formalism of Balinese dance a way of rejuvenating the staid formalisms of Western theatre.
Messiaen’s linguistic usage evolved into a hybrid of French, Hindi and personal images encapsulated in names like Viviane, Ysault, Meduse and Orphee, all protagonists of Symbolist inner dramas, immortalised in paintings by, for example, Jean Delville and Gustave Moreau. Messiaen wrote glossolalia utterances such as

Ahi! O Mapa nama mapa nama lila, tchil…


Mayoma kalimolimo mayoma kalimolimo
t k tk t k t k…

These chants bear a strong generic resemblance to the archetypal poetic idiolect of Artaud’s semi-legendary ‘lost’ book Letura d’Eprahi Talli Tetr Fendi Photia O Fotre Indi (1934):


Ke loc tispera



born in part, as was Harawi, out of a fascination for the myths and codices of Pre-Columbian America.
The trilogy is the high point of Messiaen’s para-surrealist output. It also highlights those aspects that set him apart from the Paris Surrealist Group of the inter-war period. His dissociation from politico-revolutionary concerns, the orthodox religious basis for his mysticism, his naïve association of earthly and heavenly love that is apparently at the opposite pole to Breton’s ‘mad love’ or amour fou. Messiaen’s explanations of his sublimated eroticism are most unconvincing when decked out in regressive, saccharine Catholic rhetoric.
Second period works comprise some of Messiaen’s best known pieces such as Quatuor Pour la Fin du Temps (1941), Les Corps Glorieux (1939), Visions de l’Amen (1943) and Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant Jesus (1944). In all cases the convulsive beauty of the works themselves it at odds with the manifest orthodox religious ideological ground-base underpinning the composer’s speculative thinking. It might appear that, like Gerard de Nerval and J-K. Huysmans before him, Messiaen pushed beyond the limits of conventional theology into the borderlands of the heretical and occult; the only parallel for his synaesthesia colour-theory, for instance, is to be found in the works of Russian composer Alexander Scriabin (1871-1915), an overt Theosophist. The numerological method he incorporated into his compositional technique can only be regarded as an example of occultism in music, assertions to the contrary notwithstanding. Again, there are precedents in the pre-surrealist world of the Symbolists: Baudelaire and Rimbaud’s Alchimie du Verbe. With these works Messiaen attempted to resolve the underlying dualism implicit in his creative thought. He was at the limits of charted experience, and the music, particularly the piano music, reflected this, gaining in intensity and violence on every level from the cataclysmic to the insidious.

Later Period: 1949 to date
The works that followed these during the third Period from 1949 onwards are generally monumental, concerned with the outer gulfs and vastness of space or the vertiginous escarpments of glaciers. There are few works dealing with the inner life of the subjective individual. Like Mallarme with his revolutionary poem Un Coup de Des, Messiaen ventured into The Abyss. In this phase there is, however, one key figure with who Messiaen can be compared: arch-Dadaist and Surrealist Max Ernst (1891-1976). It is intriguing that between these two crucial figures there are a number of points of rapport.
During the late 1930s Max Ernst developed a distinctive form of visionary painting using the ‘decalcomania’ technique. Ernst continued this style into the 1940s with paintings like 'Europe After The Rain '(1942) and 'The Eye of Silence' (1944). Decalcomania is strongly identified with Ernst, although its discovery is usually attributed to Oscar Dominguez. Similar colouristic effects can be found, in prototype form, in some canvases by Odilon Redon and Gustave Moreau and the technique was also used extensively by Leonor Fini (1918-1996). Many of her paintings from the 1960s seem to emanate from the same creative universe as the music Messiaen was composing during the immediate post-war period. For example works such as 'The Dormant Water' (1962), 'A Breathing Shadow' (1962), 'Sleep In a Garden '(1962), 'The Trough of Night' (1963) and 'The Long Sleep of Flowers' (1964) are almost exactly comparable to the soundscapes of Harawi and Turangalila. Decalcomania involves the use of colour figurations embedded in wet paint applied according to the laws of Objective Chance. The result is an eroded surface where decoration assumes an autonomous role, just as Messiaen exploited the effects of apoggiaturas and added notes. Ernst’s painting 'The Stolen Mirror' (1941) featured a ziggurat-dotted landscape strongly reminiscent of the mythical Peruvian setting of Harawi.
It is true that the works of Max Ernst are imbued with a corrosive black humour, blasphemy and cosmic irony quite alien to Messiaen’s conscious intentions. A typical example would be 'The AntiPope' (1942) which expresses an almost Satanic sensibility completely at odds with Messiaen’s joyful ecstasies. Yet nevertheless the static highly textured effect of the music finds a correlation here, as does the collage-like juxtaposition of ‘soundblocks’ in works like Et Exspecto Resurrectionem Mortuorum, which are intrinsically apocalyptic rather than Surrealist. Furthermore, in a series of Ernst pictures entitled, among others, 'The Nymph Echo' (1937), 'Nature at Dawn' (1938) and 'Joie de Vivre' (1936) the viewer is confronted with strangely Messiaen-esque visions: giant bird-headed creatures lurking amid luscious, fantastic blossoms and grotesque vegetation comprised of huge, leathery leaves. The vast dimensions of these alien worlds somehow prefigure the cosmic landscapes of the Catalogue d’Oiseaux (1958); crystalline evocations of magical, hyper-real bird-life; bizarre avian deities, monuments to the birds. Messiaen’s later works such as Et Exspecto, Livre d’Orgue (1951) and La Transfiguration (1969) conjure up towering auditory edifices and vast canyons of sound. Mexican step-pyramids, echoing glaciers, vaults of stained glass, forests like giant cathedrals, bird-familiars – these are all the auditory counterparts of Ernst’s ‘great forests’ and ‘entire cities’. They are the auditory equivalents of the awesome geological landscapes and boundless spatial gulfs depicted in paintings like 'Mundus est Fabula', (1959) 'A Swarm of Bees in the Palace of Justice' (1960), 'Inspired Hill' (1950), 'The Twentieth Century' (1955) and 'The Sky Marries The Earth' (1964).
A shared fascination for avian life links Max Ernst and Olivier Messiaen. Ernst created innumerable bird-monuments. His birds are stylised, linear shapes, as depicted in 'Chaste Joseph' (1928) or 'The Interior of Sight' (1929). They are counterparts, in a visual medium, to the stylisation of birdsong achieved by Olivier Messiaen in numerous musical works. For both artists these supernal birds are more than a fixation, and their simultaneous appearance in the works to two great masters of the twentieth century cannot be merely coincidental – there is a link between Messiaen and the Surrealists, but that link is non-rational. Its existence reveals a creative imperative that transcends ideological, even theological differences.

Postscript: The First Audible Diamond
After the Second World War, in 1946, Andre Breton revised his approach to the problem of music and Surrealism. Acknowledging deep connections between poetry and song he called for a ‘reunification’ of hearing to accompany the revolutionary programme of the Surrealist reunification of sight. In an article for the magazine Modern Music entitled 'Silence is Golden', reprinted in What is Surrealism? (1978), he wrote:

…for the first audible diamond to be obtained, it is evident that the fusion of the two elements - music and poetry - could only be accomplished at a very high emotional temperature. And it seems to me that it is in the expression of the passion of love that both music and poetry are most likely to reach this supreme point of incandescence.

If the most crucial feature of the Surreal marvellous is Convulsive Beauty then, even before Breton wrote these words, that unique form of beauty had already found its first, essential musical expression - in Messiaen’s Harawi of 1945 and many previous pieces composed during the heyday of the Paris Surrealist Group.

Bibliographic Addenda

The first version of this essay accompanied a Messiaen Discography compiled for a Professional Examination in October 1972. The essay was first published in the magazine BRIO (Volume 11, No 2, Autumn, 1974) with Part II of the Discography, the most comprehensive survey of Messiaen’s work then available in English. The Discography also included numerous literary references to help illuminate the provenance of Messiaen’s compositions. The following references are related exclusively to this essay and include a number of items omitted from the first version:

Artaud, Antonin. Artaud Anthology. City Lights Books. San Francisco. 1965.
Artaud, Antonin. Letter to Peter Watson. Link Magazine [Artaud Special Issue]. Spring 1969.
Breton, Andre. Manifestos of Surrealism. University of Michigan. Ann Arbor 1972.
Breton, Andre. What is Surrealism? Selected Writings. Pluto Press. London. 1978.
Ernst, Max. Beyond Painting. Wittenborn, Schultz, Inc. New York. 1948.
Golea, Antoine. Rencontres Avec Olivier Messiaen. Julliard. Paris. 1961.
Jelinski, Constantin. Leonor Fini. La Guilde du Livre et Clairefontaine. Lausanne. 1972.
Masini, Lara Vinca. Gaudi. Hamlyn. London. 1970.
Redon, Odilon. The Graphic Works of Odilon Redon. Dover Publications. New York. 1969.
Troup, Malcolm. Messiaen and the Modern Mind [Thesis]. University of York. 1967.
Troup, Malcolm. Regard sur Olivier Messiaen. Composer 37. Autumn/Winter, 1970-71

Illustration: Angel For The End Of Time, 1972

Friday, 3 June 2011

Bibliography 1968-2009

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Henderson, Neil K Letters to the Editor [Woman by a Lake (after Andre Breton)] The Supplement 39 2008
Hooper, Emma An Interview With RML… [Trajectories/Worlds Known and Not] 10th Muse 7 1996
Jebb, Keith A C Evans Space Opera/A C Evans Dream Vortex PQR (Poetry Quarterly Review) 1998
Jope, Norman A C Evans Graphic Work Is Featured… Memes 1 1989
Jope, Norman Five Steps Memes 1 1989
Jope, Norman Stride 32 Memes 1 1989
Jope, Norman In The Forest of Signs [Occult Connections] Memes 4 1990
Jope, Norman Creative Intelligence is as Evident… Memes 8 1993
Jope, Norman Between Alien Worlds Memes 9 1994
Jope, Norman Conversation Piece Number Two [Genteel Outsiders] Memes 9 1994
Jope, Norman Timbers Across The Sun Memes 9 1994
Jope, Norman Kingdom of the (Hairless) Heart Tears in the Fence 24 1999
Jope, Norman Ascended Ravens Tears in the Fence 27 2000
Jordan, Andrew Meaning as Artifice [The Inscrutable World] 10th Muse 7 1996
Kirke, Alexis A Pamphlet To Be Reckoned With [Zones of Impulse] Terrible Work 5 1995
Kirke, Alexis The Inscrutable World by A C Evans & Rupert Loydell Terrible Work 6 1996
Kopaska-Merkel, David C Space Opera Dreams and Nightmares 1997
Lee, Emma Dream Vortex 10th Muse 10 2000
Lee, Emma Memories of the Future Tales of the Burning Man 10th Muse 10 2000
Lenkiewicz, Alice Fractured Muse by A C Evans Neon Highway 7 2004
Light, John Review of The Bards 1, 2 and 3 Atlantean Publishing Online 2005
Lightman, Ira Responses to A C Evans' Essay Voices in Denial Poetry and Post-Culture The Argotist Online 2006
Lockey, Paul J A C Evans takes a short surreal train ride… Unhinged 3 [biog] 1999
Loydell, Rupert Interview by Rupert Loydell (The Stride Interview) Stride 20 1985
Loydell, Rupert The Third Alternative [Like the Dark Side of The Moon] Stride 36 1994
Loydell, Rupert Stranger Here Myself (Introduction to Colour of Dust) Stride 1999
Marsh, Jane Jane Marsh Interviews The Poet A C Evans Neon Highway 12 Online 2006
Marsh, Jane Jane Marsh Interviews The Poet A C Evans (The Illustrated Jane) Neon Highway 13 2008
McMahon, Gary Whispers of Wickedness Silence Deathmasques VI by A C Evans Ookami Online 2004
Miettinen, J. S Three Artists (Catalogue Notes Cross Section An Exhibition of Painting) Chelmsford Technical High School 1968
Orange, Thomas M On Authorial Voice [Voices in Denial] Heuriskein Online 2007
Oxley, William Thirty Three Steps Towards Stride (The Ladder To The Next Floor) University of Salzburg 1993
Pearce, Brian Louis Exosphere A C Evans Stride 16 1984
Perloff, Marjorie Responses to A C Evans' Essay Voices in Denial Poetry and Post-Culture The Argotist Online 2006
Poison Quill This Sepulchre Avant-Goth Poems by A C Evans The Seventh Seal 4 2001
Reed, Chris Colour of Dust The BBR Directory 1999
Searles, A Langley Three Titles of A C Evans have recently… Fantasy Commentator 52 [listing] 2000
Side, Jeffrey A C Evans The Bards 1 New Hope International Online 2004
Side, Jeffrey Interview by Jeffrey Side The Argotist Online 2006
Side, Jeffrey Note From The Editor [Voices in Denial] The Argotist Online 2006
Smith, Barbara A C Evans Fractured Muse New Hope International Online 2005
Sneyd, Steve Between Alien Worlds Data Dump 9 [listing] 1994
Sneyd, Steve Mystical/Speculative… Data Dump 9 1994
Sneyd, Steve Flights From The Iron Moon Genre Poetry in UK Fanzines & Little Magazines 1980-1989 The Hilltop Press 1995
Sneyd, Steve Interview by Steve Sneyd (Space Opera An Interview with A C Evans) Fantasy Commentator 47/48 1995
Sneyd, Steve Dream Vortex Data Dump 22 1997
Sneyd, Steve Foreword to Space Opera Stride Publications 1997
Sneyd, Steve Interview by Steve Sneyd (Visions by Association) Stride Publications 1997
Sneyd, Steve A Ship to Nowhere Data Dump 31 [listing] 1998
Sneyd, Steve Space Opera Data Dump 25 1998
Sneyd, Steve A C Evans The Stone Door Data Dump 43 1999
Sneyd, Steve Also A C Evans Space Opera poem sequence [Centre of Gravity] Data Dump 43 1999
Sneyd, Steve Colour of Dust Data Dump 43 1999
Sneyd, Steve Memories of the Future Data Dump 43 1999
Sneyd, Steve Swan of Yuggoth Data Dump 44 1999
Sneyd, Steve Two Genre Anthologies…[Fantasia/Death's Door] Data Dump 37 1999
Sneyd, Steve A C Evans This Sepulchre Data Dump 49 [listing] 2000
Sneyd, Steve Only Our Opinion [Colour of Dust] Twink 18 2000
Sneyd, Steve The Burning Man Spacerock Fest Data Dump 45 2000
Sneyd, Steve Fractured Muse Data Dump 68 2003
Sneyd, Steve We Are Glad You Have Come (Sleeping Galaxy) Stark 27 2003
Sneyd, Steve A C Evans SF Poetry Sequence Space Opera [Interview by Jane Marsh] Data Dump 104 2006
Sneyd, Steve Coinicidentally in the On-Line Interview [Interview by Jane Marsh] Data Dump 104 2006
Sneyd, Steve Letters to the Editor [Weirdstuff] The Supplement 42 2008
Sneyd, Steve Matters Arising [Lust for a Vampire] Data Dump 119 2008
Sneyd, Steve Significant Number Issue # 75 of Handshake [Boo Galaxy] Data Dump 129 2008
Sneyd, Steve Term Speculative Poetry has more definitions, perhaps… Data Dump 128 2008
Sneyd, Steve Vespula Vanishes & Other Poems Data Dump 118 2008
Spence, Steve Colour of Dust by A C Evans Scene Magazine 1999
Spence, Steve Wordplay With Worldplay Poetry Quarterly Review 13 1999
Spence, Steve Neon Highway Issue 2 October 2002 Terrible Work Online 2003
Spindoc Fractured Muse by A C Evans Dragon's Breath 72 2004
Spracklen, Jamie A C Evans is an artist and poet Monas Hieroglyphica 10 [biog] 2000
Tennant, Peter Literary Horror Reviewed Unhinged Online 1 [not available] 2001
Tyrer, D-J Old Rossum's Book of Practical Robots Handshake 75 [listing] 2008
Tyrer, D-J Vespula Vanishes & Other Poems The Supplement 38 2008
Unsigned Artist-Poet A C Evans Ixion 6 [biog] 1999
Unsigned Review Adrian's Jazz Catalogue (EWN 12 Oct 1972) [Books on Jazz] Essex Weekly News 1972
Unsigned Review Witty Notes on all the Jazz Books (BWT 13 Oct 1972) [Books on Jazz] Braintree & Witham Times 1972
Unsigned Review Exosphere Unknown Source 1984
Unsigned Review Exosphere A C Evans The Lamp Of Thoth 14 1984
Unsigned Review Decaying Orbits Scavenger's Newsletter 1987
Unsigned Review Decaying Orbits The Lamp Of Thoth 20 1987
Unsigned Review Incisive Exposures [Neon Aeon I-V] Frontal Lobe 2 1995
Unsigned Review A C Evans is both the poet and the artist… Zene 14 1998
Unsigned Review Angels of Rancid Glamour PQR (Poetry Quarterly Review) 11 1998
Vaughan, Vittoria Interactive Patterns Kaleidoscopically… [Zones of Impulse] 10th Muse 6 1995
Weston, D J Letters to the Editor [Displacement Effects] The Supplement 40 2008
Wiloch, Thomas Chimaera Obscura Taproot Reviews 3 1993
Wiloch, Thomas Martin A Hibbert and A C Evans Between Alien Worlds Taproot Reviews 4 1994
Wiloch, Thomas. Decaying Orbits Stride 29 1987
Zine Kat Space Opera by A C Evans Dragon's Breath 46/47 1998
Zine Kat Asphalt Jungle Dragon's Breath 59 [listing] 1999
Zine Kat Colour of Dust by A C Evans Dragon's Breath 59 1999
Zine Kat Handshake Dragon's Breath 59 [listing] 1999
Zine Kat Memories of the Future Dragon's Breath 60 1999
Zine Kat Omega Lightning by A C Evans Dragon's Breath 64 1999
Zine Kat The BBR Directory Dragon's Breath 59 [listing] 1999

Illustration: Untitled, 1973

Then Interior

Then Interior

Deranged but lost thinking
Open, this

Earth so near oceans
Fleshy petals soft stalk
Your pain then interior
Diverging patterns away
Quick still head down
Clear near water close

Open, this
Awake away, time estranged.

Illustration: Mystic Flower, 1987