Mount Abraxas Brochures of Rich Folded Text

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Mount Abraxas Press 2020
[EDIT: Fosforos Library brochures]

My previous reviews of this publisher: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/complete-list-of-zagava-ex-occidente-press-books/

Work by Sebastian Montesi, Patrick Mallet, John Llewellyn Probert, Christian Riley, Milenko Županović, Dominy Clements and Liam Garriock

When I read these, Covfefe permitting, my thoughts will appear in the comment stream below…

22 thoughts on “Mount Abraxas Brochures of Rich Folded Text

  1. The first one has text by Sebastian Montesi. Artwork by Adolf Hiremy-Hirschi.
    As an aesthetic entity, when concentrating on it alone, there is something special about its configuration of rich folded text. A concept that needed a conceit to achieve.
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    When I have read it, in due course, I will sub-comment below.

    • “with the hiraeth of verdant fire”

      “Hiraeth” is an important word for me.
      Reading these many Montesi poems and prose pieces makes me think that reading something has its own necessary embouchure, a shaping up of the thinking mind towards blowing them like woodwind and making them sound out beyond the craquelure of semantics. Here, I have a feel of Finnegans Wake. I mean that as a compliment! (My gestalt real-time review of this Joyce book HERE.)
      Any catharsis of coughing notes blown, notwithstanding.

      “Corvus, cathar so heralded”
      “the spittle from roaring maw”

  2. 0B5D1270-5892-46E8-AB56-007185F7B361 ARABESQUE EN ARRIERE a story by John Llewellyn Probert

    “As the car pulled up to the theatre Maria Bournonville coughed again,…”

    This is the exquisite final symbiosis of an ageing, diseased ballerina with the theatre where she had her triumphs, the theatre that had absorbed so much and was now giving it back. Taken there by her equally ageing, and loyal, chauffeur Bruno, who felt a similar symbiosis with her. This story itself feeds off itself, with elements perhaps of an honouring symbiosis, too, with the theatrical work of Reggie Oliver? The theatre itself is a living force and echoes the fact that I mentioned ‘craquelure’ in the previous review above. A cracking and crunching of bone at every ‘en pointe’. The crunch of plaster, too, “…its crimson paintwork cracking, its gilt peeling.” And I am left with the projected sense of an inevitable purging by all parties triangulating their symbiotic coordinates in death’s distancing. At the point of that one last little leap away or ‘petit saut’…

    [“…that all people die, but art does not. It is all that remains of us.”
    — Sue Harper (The Dark Nest) reviewed a few days ago here.]

  3. 0520E8F2-6E41-4DC9-9F7D-B7E227B1FA4C
    THE UNEXAMPLED PHANTASMAGORIA OF DOCTOR WEIMAR
    a story by Liam Garriock

    “…in their narrow rooms above the butcher shop as if sheltering themselves from the apocalypse outside.”
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    I have shown above, I hope, the experience of reading close-up each folded luxury of brochury represented by these artful items. Those vertical lines — as evocations, when combined with the words they bear, of today’s co-vivid dream-reality, dreams we all now dream in our apocalyptically furloughed times so much like the Weimar Republic — are not lines at all but watermarks or intrinsic textures, and they enhance the already enhanced writing by Garriock. A startlingly clear and engaging texture of text depicting brilliantly a coastal community in the north east of Scotland. Their Calvinist principles et al, and one day the eponymous Phantasmagoria show arrives in town, all seen through the eyes of the young narrator, feeling constrained by his family, a narrator who still holds a crush for the beautiful Freya who had by then already departed the town. The shock of the show I cannot do justice to here, the perfect descriptions of the concupiscence and grotesqueness, and the repercussions for the narrator are surely unforgettable. A disturbing epiphany. Leading to a disarming bathos or dying fall.

    My previous review of this author: https://howivi.wordpress.com/something-remains/#comment-404

    Artwork by Jeanne Mammen

  4. 4C10A398-9AA8-481C-AE28-4D492C84AB87

    THE MACKAY-BENNETT by Patrick Mallet

    “Between the frozen fingers of the child’s tiny right hand, a little ball could be seen.”

    This is a core-stunning witness eye view of the Titanic sinking, as part of a gestalt witness that we all become, firstly, from on board, a little boy and his sister, his precious ball rolling along a sloping cabin floor, she with her doll, the iceberg itself as a prehensile part of this gestalt, and then a sailor on a separate ship who ‘rescued’ some of the multitudinous corpses… and pairs of dancers who ice stuck together in their last dance; you feel the cold to the core of every reading bone. Leading eventually to a “macabre ballet”, a Mallet ballet, with its own (eye)’ball’ embedded, somewhat in tune with Probert’s ‘en pointe’. On the balls of the feet, when the toes are too frozen…

    Translated by Jeffrey Probst
    Artwork by Moyen

  5. Can you recall the lasting effect of the most deeply disturbing collection of horror stories you’ve ever encountered? The narratives join hands…” — From THE USELESS by Dominy Clements, a story in THE HORROR ANTHOLOGY OF HORROR ANTHOLOGIES

    THE PAINTER in Nemonymous 4, I think, was Dominy Clements’ first published story, and we also wrote together a number of fiction collaborations in the day.

    His story in ‘The First Book of Classical Horror Stories’: ANEMNESIS IN EXTREMIS.

    Berian Winslow & The Stream Of Consciousness Storyteller – his story in ZENCORE

    Angel Zero – his story in CONE ZERO

    Artis Eterne – his story in CERN ZOO

    My previous reviews of his work: https://horroranthology.wordpress.com/editors-story-by-story-commentary/ and https://nullimmortalis.wordpress.com/2012/07/31/book-the-inkermen/

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    There are two stories by Dominy Clements in this Abraxas Brochure and I will read and review them both separately below…

  6. THE GREAT CIRCUMBENDIBUS by Dominy Clements

    “The high, soft sound which I had experienced before came as a prelude,…”

    Quite randomly, as I typed out the above quote from the story, Spotify filled my room with some sweetly high and soft notes of a flute playing Schwanenlied by Fanny Mendelssohn…
    This story with adeptly evoked genius-loci has the wonderment of a lost or hidden realm, a large house in Kent parkland at the embouchure of the Second World War, a place where the narrator as boy and later as callow teenager was able to stay on a number of visits – often playing hide and seek in its large maze with his friends.
    Is this a story as a metaphor of a personal and social ‘lost innocence’ via Rodin’s Gates of Hell or is it a disarmingly gratuitous journey in fiction for its own sake with a chill of terror in its closure charming those who simply relish such chills? Each of us will have their own answer to that question. Meanwhile, games of hide and seek with voices guiding you high and soft as well as hot and cold can often involve extra seekers or hiders you did not otherwise know were there. Poised for playing at the Jaws of Hell, as Hell has no need for Gates?

  7. THE OLD MASTER by Dominy Clements

    “Most people like to know what they are going to get in advance, especially if they are about to fork out a vast sum of money for something intrinsically useless.”

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    Is all art intrinsically useless, unless the fickle Tuning-Fork of genuineness deems it not? And this is a creditable copy of an original, or an original begging for a copy. A jobbing artist who doubles, in a fabricated capsule of seventeenth century lockdown, as creator of original work by Willem Claez. Heda. A Tuned Forgery as adeptly described here that makes Heda make Still Lifes hedonist! Rather than cold objects. Until he emerges into the cold light of day to find some other artist had beaten him to the game almost by travelling back in time to obtain the unobtainable object. Who is the primary source in mutual synergy with whom? The painter himself (the one by Dominy Clements in 2004) or the painter by Brian Howell? Or the reviewer who drew it altogether as a crystallisation of truth? All of us invisible, except here.

  8. DEVOTIONAL TEXTS by Milan Županović

    “…black anchors
    still standing.”

    Astonishingly to me, I seem to have asked exactly the right question as a postscript to the two Clements works above yesterday — is Rodin’s Gates of Hell a Still Life? And great still lifes do indeed come to life! As if a fermenting still of existence and memorials and monuments, ‘a dead monument to once ancient hope’ and Ruinenlust, I suggest. And this feeds into today’s ‘statues’ issues, at least the enormous political and historical and stone-into-life issues about them in the UK….
    And, these hauntingly hypnotic (sometimes experimentally typeset) prose pieces and poems are mainly instilled with such considerations, especially from a devotional and spiritual and Christian point of view. Frescos, come to life with a hammer. A stone statue at the bottom of the ocean. Those black anchors as black statues. Dreams of Gods. And three boys who are either in the above image or playing in Clements’ maze! And when the sun itself died…

    ‘Sunce obasjalao. mesec zacarao.’

  9. WHEN THE WOODS COME CALLING by Christian Riley

    “I heard voices. It was perhaps a vague chorus, a song of some kind, at least that’s what it sounded like.”

    …if not this story’s keynote, it is certainly a connection with the image above created before I read this story, a story, for me, uncannily and personally epiphanal. Dungiven, of course, that it starts with a boy, this narrator amid a house of a lost domain (in the woods of Ireland), a lost domain that we found similarly with the house that the boy is visiting in the Dominy story, both stories explicitly mentioning or featuring hide and seek. And now we meet him again as a man of my own age, and I, too, was in Corporate Assurance for much of my life! This surely must be a rite of ‘Midsommar’ passage for such septuagenarians as me that I have long publicly talked about. Perhaps that Rite day is today! Also a story of Anti-Natalism made into almost a self-cannibalism of sin-eating, following the discovery of a still-life box of wood that was also found in the Dominy story. Wood beyond Aickman. And this Riley story’s ‘Mends’, for me, represent all the books I happen to read and review every day, especially the Mount Abraxas ones. The narrator had perhaps ‘seeked’ his own hidden self and found Rourke as his own self, a sort of re-oak. Rourke is also the name of one of my favourite reviewed authors…

    All these Brochures edited and designed by Dan Ghetu.

  10. Just been reminded that there are 6 other Fosforos brochures – new works by D.P. Watt, Thomas Strømsholt, Geticus Polus and a few other surprises. The entire Fosforos Library set contains 13 brochures. I have these other ones already on order. 🙂

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