Ballard/Colquhoun/Gray (Books acquired, 28 April 2023)

After an early spring purge n’ clean, I took a few boxes of books to my local used bookstore. I had intended to browse just a bit and not pick up anything (apart from a few Jeff VanderMeer novels my son had asked for), but I wound up getting three books: a pristine first U.S. edition of J.G. Ballard’s The Unlimited Dream Company, Alasdair Gray’s Unlikely Stories, Mostly, and surrealist artist Ithell Colquhoun’s ostensible biography of the occultist Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers (of the Golden Dawn).

I had never heard of Colquhoun’s book, but I’m a fan of her paintings and the cover struck me. The book seems to be a history of the occult organization the Golden Dawn, or, more to the point, the roots of that organization. It’s filled with photographs and diagrams and charts. Like this one:

Alasdair Gray’s collection Unlikely Stories, Mostly is also crammed with illustrations—Gray’s own, like this one:

Like Gray’s 1984 novel 1982, Janine, the collection is filled with typographic experiments, a kind of concrete poetry in prose I guess. The “About the Author” blurb on the flap is great stuff (still can’t top the blurb for 1982, Janine though):

2 thoughts on “Ballard/Colquhoun/Gray (Books acquired, 28 April 2023)”

  1. Gee, I happen to be re-reading Foucaults Pendulum, now . . . so i examined the chart carefully for resonances . . . i don’t know that i have a knowledgeable comment, but, i did want to say — now that thisisnthappiness blog is offline(thru whence came i to you) — i realize anew how fragile is the existence of any particular blog, and so thank you once again for your inveterate persistence in in putting yourself out there every day: thanks a meg!, dem


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