This weekend, we will visit our unit at The Customs House in West Bay to sort out our unit and add some brand new stock.
I have already posted about some great additions to our shelves HERE
This weekend, I found two other great books which will make their way to the unit on Saturday.
The first one is a gorgeous book on French starlet Brigitte Bardot (1983). I have sold several books about her over the years, which proves that she still has fans... Colour portraits, film stills, magazine covers and film posters...
The second book is a truly exceptional 1993 edition celebrating the 50th anniversary of Casablanca. Everything you want to know about the film, from background stories to the stars via the sets, the dialogues, etc. is in there! Lovely design as well...
I will also be adding the A3 poster of the movie!
“[The] English countryside [is] not only as a place of beauty, calm and succour, but also [...] a green and deeply unpleasant land.”
If you have stumbled upon this little blog before, you will know that over the past year or so I have developed an obsession with the contents of the article written by Robert Macfarlane (one of my favourite authors), "The eeriness of the English countryside".
I have been using it as inspiration for my current projects The Right Place and Hell Lane.
If you read my first two novels I Am a Muse and The Book of Thoth, you would definitely find elements of the English eerie peppered across the pages, especially in The Book of Thoth, in which I challenged myself to write a Gothic novel with a hearty nod to M.R James.
After a few months during which I have been unable to focus on my writing, I have come back to the study of this fascinating cultural movement described as an "Occulture" in Macfarlane's text.
I have read extracts of Macfarlane's essay at a few readings I have done as it offers a good definition of what I am trying to do with The Right Place.
I would recommend you read the superb essay by Joe Kennedy "Terror in the Terroir: Resisting the rebranding of the countryside". The way a whole (rather unofficial) cultural movement can reclaim the countryside and use it as a tool and muse to create relevant, modern, engaged and engaging art (be it with film, words, music...) which questions our lives - social, physical, mental and political - but still leaves space for imagination is hugely encouraging in a society which seems obsessed with destroying everything it sees as an obstacle to its greedy, vulgar expansion and pursuit of instant gratification. The countryside is being emptied of its inhabitants - humans migrate to cities and animals species disappear, annihilated by lack of habitat and chemicals - and is still considered irrelevant, uncool and backward. 80% of the population lives in urban environments now, with humans piling up higher and higher and always multiplying, their personal space all but vanished.
This gives me terrible nightmares.
It seems that now, more than at any time in living memory, what lies beyond the city is up for grabs, in a cultural and political conflict with increasingly high stakes. To insist on the historical complexity of the rural, by highlighting the often grim activities which occur beneath the sight lines afforded by postcards, is to query its tidying up into a set of easily consumable images and, lest we forget, tastes.
Joe Kennedy, Terror in the Terroir: Resisting the rebranding of the countryside
Also worth a chunk of your time is this recent interview with Macfarlane for the Double Negative online magazine expanding on the theme of the countryside as mirror of our society and our state of mind.
... it seems to me to make perfect sense that the eerie, which is about not-knowings, not-ownings, not-seeings and a kind of troubled dissent should be making a minor comeback right now.
Robert Macfarlane, interview with Adam Scovell for The Double Negative
Below is the film "Holloway", a collaboration between Macfarlane, filmmaker Adam Scovell and artist Stanley Donwood - incidentally shot in a holloway near Chideock, in Dorset. Is it Hell Lane?
I believe Macfarlane should acquaint himself with the work of some neo-folk musicians who, I think, work so well with the dark forces of nature and understand their spellbinding powers.
There will be some new books on the Arcane Publishing shelves at The Customs House, West Bay, Dorset...
We will also be able to announce a few more developments very soon! Read all about it HERE.
It looks like there are a few exciting things coming up over the next few months, and therefore expect a few blogs to pop up on here!
I am off Facebook until after the European referendum, so please follow the Arcane Publishing twitter page instead as this is where you will find all the news! @Arcanepub
A movie about books, writing and editing!
I cannot find any UK release date, though.
Last Saturday, I was back in London for the first time since the London: Winter Tales event. The past four months have been challenging to say the least. It was nice to be back!
We managed to fit in an exhibition, a great bookshop, a very long walk through some of the most touristy bits of the capital (we never learn!) and a movie.
Marilyn and I, we go back a long way.
As an awkward, artistic and bookish child then teenager growing up in a grey and conservative town in the middle of France, classic American movies (and the occasional British one) represented a life line. I fell in love with them at about the age of 6 and they became a genuine obsession.
My favourite has always been Marilyn Monroe, though - why was I so fascinated? It probably had something to do with the fact that she represented the beauty and glamour that were lacking in my life. I was impressed by the way she had turned their life around and she had worked hard to catch up on the education she hadn't had when she was younger. I admired her drive.
I had several posters stuck on the wall above my bunk bed from the age of 10 onwards. In 1984, my parents bought me the above book, Serge Antibi's Marilyn Monroe, and it has followed me ever since, crossing the Channel 20 years ago as one of my very sparse possessions . The cover is a little worse for wear after my 20-odd moves, but it's still here on my shelves and it is still in a great condition.
It's thanks to this book that I learned that Marilyn was much more than a blonde actress; the book is typically French, full of philosophical and rather pretentious musings about Marilyn and what her image and physicality represented, but it has reproduced (French translations of) some of her poems and mentions her drawings. I read all this at a young age and it made a strong impact on me.
The Design Centre is located in Chelsea Harbour and surrounded by on-going housing developments. It is a centre for luxury interior design, all minimalist structure with shiny, white spaces.
I do feel very privileged to have seen this exhibition, as this is a unique opportunity to see the costumes, jewellery and personal items on show before they go under the hammer in Los Angeles in November.
It was fantastic to see some of the drawings which had been mentioned in my Serge Antibi book!
Absolutely fascinating and moving were Marilyn's notebooks featuring musings, bits of poems, drama course notes, dreams - complete with rewrites, crossed words, insertions...
I am convinced that Marilyn Monroe would have become a great writer later on in life if she hadn't died so young. She was genuinely talented and incredibly thoughtful and lucid; she was a brilliant philosopher and a skilled commentator on the human species.
The huge prints dotted around the space were stunning...
And of course, you had the clothes... The display worked fantastically well, all put together under one of the big glass domes of the centre.
We then started our walk in Chelsea, an area we keep coming back again and again. My partner has some strong links to the area and it is always a delight to just walk around as many streets remain untouched - you can still see the history of the place embedded in its buildings.
Coming across Glebe Place was a high point of our walk. Apparently originally a "tatty and bohemian" area, it is of course now incredibly expensive and exclusive. Just imagine what it was like with all those artists around!
I was a bit disappointed to read that the fabulous 50 Glebe Place was built as recently as 1984 as a "folly" for an advertiser (not as romantic, is it?). In 1920, the sculptor Francis Derwent Wood had commissioned Mackintosh to build a house-studio for him, but the project was halted just before construction started. A studio was indeed built on the site but not using Mackintosh's design (read about it HERE). The folly now stands in its place.
55 Glebe Place was for sale back in 2009, and it has seen its fair share of action in its time...
We stopped for a browse (read: a drool) at the Worlds End Bookshop, a fantastic antiquarian and second-hand bookseller. This is what I want to be when I grow up. I'm starting small with my unit in West bay, but I too will have a gorgeous, intriguing bookshop one day!
We made our way to the Curzon Soho via Buckingham Palace, The Mall and Trafalgar Square (a great idea... it was packed full of dopey tourists) to see the lovely Love and Friendship.
Nothing better than a witty costume drama to end the day!
All pictures by Matt ArtPix
Today, after four months of near-inactivity on the publishing and writing side of things (which doesn't mean I haven't been doing anything else, but it's been and still is quite boring and not creative, so I won't get into it on here), I am slowly getting back into the swing of things...
I have slightly updated the little Arcane Publishing online shop and we are now considering our options to start selling our lovely second-hand/antique/vintage/rare books online too.
We will try and launch the new section this winter.
In the meantime, I am resuming work on my Dorset-based third novel, The Right Place. The publishing schedule has gone out of the window, but I will publish it, even if it is two years later than planned.
It's good to be back...
More soon, promised!
I think therefore I write.
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