The Century Guilds

KeskusteluThe Chapel of the Abyss

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The Century Guilds

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Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 4, 2018, 2:53 pm

Taking its name after the UK collective (which included reciprocal book dedicators Selwyn Image and Herbert Horne) at the turn of the last century, this California based project focuses on the display and preservation of the art nouveau, decadent, Jugendstil, etc., works of the European fin-de-siecle.

Here, the collected art of Der Orchideengarten:



The other Century Guild: (many other interesting articles onsite)

huhtikuu 6, 2018, 10:14 pm

>1 Randy_Hierodule: I've had my eyes on the Der Orchideengarten volumes for some time now and intend to buy all of them regardless, but I seem to remember reading somewhere (perhaps in my dreams) that not everything is translated into English, and even then that the stories are mostly pulp of low literary merit (i.e., the merit lies in the artwork alone). Is this true?

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 6, 2018, 11:32 pm

That is true. Zagava Press ( translated only the first issue of Orchideengarten. The stories are, in most part, by Karl Hans Strobl, who seems well thought of (at least from a literary/genre perspective). The Century Guild publications appear to collect only the artwork.

I am not certain in this instance, or in this genre, what would constitute high literary merit. It is interesting and desirable as early example of a periodical devoted to the "weird tale" - and the illustrations are wonderful.

I confess that I have yet to read it (though I have read Strobl) - but ogled the illustrations before reverently shelving it.

huhtikuu 7, 2018, 3:34 am

I nearly snapped that book up but as usual googled to look for example of author's prose. Might still order it but only if I overcome my queasiness. Haven't hesitated to buy stuff written by someone who served time for active paedophilia (Shiel) nor by other Nazi sympathisers like Morand, Hamsun, Celine--but Strobl was a particularly ardent Nazi supporter & propagandist. Don't know whether my reaction to learning this means that I'm one of the good guys after all or that my literary curiosity doesn't better an over-delicate moral sense until I've had the 4th morning coffee, which I'm just off to make now.

Thanks for the post, in any case--would have been v.unlikely to have heard about this elsewhere.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 7, 2018, 11:20 am

>4 bluepiano:

If I'm getting the implication here right... anyone who thinks Céline wasn't a "particularly ardent Nazi supporter & propagandist" doesn't know Céline. And who the hell is Strobl today and who reads him today, compared to that rat bastard king of superannuated beatniks and hipster "rebels" on the cheap?

This stuff at least pre-dates the Nazis.

I'm rather wondering about something else--are they publishing facsimiles of the magazine, or JUST the illustrations? There's a lot of emphasis on "documenting the artworks" "The Complete Year One Artworks" etc.

P.S. Missed that >3 Randy_Hierodule: thinks it's just the art too...

huhtikuu 9, 2018, 10:03 am

>5 LolaWalser: Zagava Press's publication is a full reproduction of the first issue of Der Orchideengarten. The Century Guild has published only the collected graphic art and left out all the questioned/questionable prose.

huhtikuu 9, 2018, 3:03 pm

For the price, it's a great graphic source for anyone who can abide loss of context.

huhtikuu 9, 2018, 5:59 pm

Dear all,

the century guild books are just the artworks and I believe that Zagava intend to issue further issues of the magazine with translations of all the tales.

As to their literary merit...some are very pulpy but others are very good indeed.

The whole debate about whether author x, y, or z was a good/bad person and thus we should/shouldnt read their works is to my mind redundant as nasty people can write great works and lovely people terrible works; crikey! The chapel is full of freaks and weirdos and I dont just mean the posters to the forum!

Strobl is a case in point, unapologetic Nazi, some great stories.

I've reviewed Joe Bandels book of Strobl translations at this link:

Hope this helps!


huhtikuu 9, 2018, 6:11 pm

Here is the authorial line up for the Zagava primal issue: Goethe, Rudolf Schneider, Paul Frank, KH Strobl, Max Rohrer, Victor Hugo, A.M. Frey.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 9, 2018, 6:45 pm

>8 Siderealpress:

as nasty people can write great works

This is debatable. Form alone doesn't carry it in many arts, and least of all in literature. Shits who write, unsurprisingly, tend to produce written shit. Sooner rather than later everyone has to contend with content, with thoughts and ideas their idols peddle--and all too frequently, other ramifications and legacies.

But in order to do so they should be read, of course. My only preference is for more criticism and less of the incense and kowtowing.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 13, 2018, 9:22 am

Ah! An onslaught of fresh air and the fields! - like Luther just burst in on a Borgia chestnut social - sucking all the frangipani out of the kiva! (Shit and Luther, I always enjoyed the strains of the protestant movement. Shit Lit: Wasn't it Shem the boy who wrote in his self-provisioned pigment? I saw those scrolls on ceramic whilst driving across the southwest with my keepers in the early 70s - scented sonnets on lavatory walls celebrating the miracles of love and birth, basically).

I'm only here to divert and lead astray. And this is how the best books have found me.

Ideologues and bigots are, generally, dull - but that said, I have been entertained by the writings of the likes of Ewers, Ghelderode, Juenger (and I much prefer Storm of Steel to All Quiet on the Western Front - not only because I find Juenger a better writer than Remarque, but in the main because of the jarring lack of didacticism - a capture so clear as to blend terror and disgust with exhilaration. I prefer Beckett, who risked his life working with the French resistance against aliens like Juenger, and, in later years, drove young Andre the Giant to school in the mornings and anonymously paid the hospital bills of distant relatives in Ireland. My opinion is that he was a better writer than Juenger, but that is likely informed by what I sense about him personally, as well as his -vs. Juenger's- approach to the sense of senselessness and nothingness at the heart of whatever all this is).

An author is not necessarily, to the reader, even to the intrigued reader, an idol. They are entertaining, diverting - and some of the best have things in their books we find repellent: Robert Burton, Poe, Chesterton and Wodehouse and their "of the times" remarks on Muslims, Catholics, Jews, race etc., do not add to the pleasure of the text, but neither do they annul it. The Supreme Entity himself wrote the Torah, the Qu'ran and that golden diary of the teenage Jesus found in the bushes in Utah by some hobbled vagrant, yet he drowned multitudes, sicced bears on some kids taunting one of his glabrous barkers. Etc. And his fan-base remains relatively undiminished. And his books are top-notch (so I've heard, through secondary sources whom I respect,... too lazy yet to have read him myself).

Of course they should be read, and reading should not only be entertaining, but a nourishment against collective "thought" (I prefer Weininger's concept of the henid here - though in his context the thing is highly disagreeable as likely was the man himself. I think I am completer for having read poor Artaud, though he did write letters to Hitler).

That said, I have no interest in giving Manson's songs a chance, or Gacy's paintings, or Goebbels' novella, Michael. Maybe it's because I knew they were scum and bastards up front? Or perhaps I'm tainted, even a hypocrite. Whitman and Satan, two very interesting and on record naughty fellas, both claimed to be legion.

huhtikuu 10, 2018, 11:53 am

reading should not only be entertaining, but a nourishment against collective "thought"

Right--including conformism masking as trendy non-conformism.

No argument about Remarque's second-ratedness, but I'd point out Jünger was an influential "teacher" no less for not stooping to stark didacticism, was very aware of and prided himself on his "disciples" (his word). Possibly because I'm a woman and therefore of no consequence to gentlemen except as one or another kind of raw material (something that is as evident in all literature, as in history), scepticism about Übermensching tendencies and adulations of militarism comes easily to me.

But maybe Nazism has to visit one's house, so to speak, for mere literature to show what it is worth, how words become flesh, stones, mangling thorns. In any case, ropes remain tricky subjects in the houses of the hanged.

But that's to be counted on, no? Else why read at all.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 10, 2018, 12:05 pm

>11 Randy_Hierodule: Shit and Luther, I always enjoyed the strains of the protestant movement.
A Protestant is one to whom all things sacred are profane, whose mind being all filth can see nothing in the sexual act but a crime or a jest, whose only facial gestures are the sneer and the leer. Protestantism is the excrement of human thought, and accordingly in Protestant countries art, if it exists at all, only exists to revolt. --Aleister Crowley

huhtikuu 10, 2018, 12:20 pm

Rembrandt was a Protestant.

I'll take the dude sketching monks fucking in the fields over crucifixion porn any day. ;)

huhtikuu 10, 2018, 12:41 pm

Crucifixion porn?! Oh rather! In candlelight and a nimbus of incense? - with an inquisition later (or, at least a nun on guitar at high Mass! Oh sister xtine... ahem.)?

I took my kid to a Mass once when she was small and as the shaman was ranting about someone's epistle to someone else or the need for what was my wallet, she, on my shoulder, burst out - "daddy! look! tikis!" -pointing, of course, to all the elaborately and beautifully suffering statues of saints and virgins adorning the walls. Yes, baby. Tikis.


Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 10, 2018, 2:24 pm

>12 LolaWalser: Right--including conformism masking as trendy non-conformism.

But which is which, O pandit? I'm blind from slavishly adoring that crucifixion porn :).

huhtikuu 10, 2018, 1:30 pm

No pandas, just us chikins here...

huhtikuu 10, 2018, 1:34 pm

One of my favorite Rev. Louis Jordan numbers!

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 12, 2018, 10:07 am

And now back to our regularly scheduled progrom:

huhtikuu 12, 2018, 10:40 am


Century Guild's Sinister Harvest: Artworks from Der Orchideengarten is a collection of the artwork, often with some short explanatory text about the story and/or the author. Here's an example:

huhtikuu 12, 2018, 10:39 pm

17: No pandas, just us chikins here...

Good thing, at least according to conservative pundit and NRA sock puppet Tucker Carlson, who says pandas are violent and sex-crazed.

To be fair, Carlson does look like he was sired from between the buttcheeks of Asmodeus Just look at that face. The poster child for Planned Parenthood

huhtikuu 13, 2018, 2:23 pm

Great big balls of... furry depravity!

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