Gentlemen, Madmen, Things That Are Not Men

            

Gentlemen, Madmen, Things That Are Not Men
May 2017
Hardcover book, stamped copper title plate, hand-carved rubber stamp impressions on endpapers, signed & numbered, limited edition of 13
– Original polaroid photographs of liminal places and objects in color (white frame) and b&w (black frame)
– Curated collection of antique cabinet cards, RPPC’s and photos of strange and beautiful gentlemen (and a few ladies) in sepia and b&w
– Poems and cantrips about life in the fairy mound and its perilous denizens
© D. Venatrix

Available for purchase at Goblinesquerie.

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House of Dreams

“Life – her own life anyway, Sophie had come to think, as it grew longer – was like one of those many-storied houses of dreams she had once been able to build, where the dreamer, with a slow or sudden rush of understanding like a wash of cool water, knows himself to have been merely asleep and dreaming, to have merely invented the pointless task, the grim hotel, the flight of stairs; they go away, tattered and unreal; the dreamer awakes relieved in his own bed (though the bed for a reason he can’t quite remember is laid in a busy street or afloat in a calm sea), and rises yawning, and has odd adventures, which go on until (with a slow or sudden rush of understanding) he awakes, he had only fallen asleep here in this desert place (Oh I remember) or (Oh I see) in this palace antechamber, and it’s time to be up and about life’s business; and so on and on: her life had been of that kind.”

(Little, Big, John Crowley)

A mad person’s relation to objects

“At times, the puppet shares with the mask a power to give form to gods and demons, to the spirits of the dead….In such cases the manipulator, even the puppet itself, can take on the guise of a priest or shaman.”

“Puppet theatre is a highly refined art, but depends on something like a child’s, a clown’s, or a mad person’s relation to objects…They are dead things that belong to a different kind of life.”

(Kenneth Gross, Puppet: An Essay on Uncanny Life)

For All Cizarnies

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“Who doesn’t want to run away and join the carnival? In 1937, my grandparents did just that. They only toured for a year, but they left with a special gift that – much later – they passed on to me: the secret language of the carnival folk.”

Step behind the scenes and find out what the rubes don’t know at carnivaltalk.wordpress.com. Signed copies, postcards and prints of the original 1937 photographs here.

The Cold Hillside

“….men and fairies both contain within them a faculty of reason and a faculty of magic. In men reason is strong and magic is weak. With fairies it is the other way round: magic comes very naturally to them, but by human standards they are barely sane.”

(Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell)

“‘You make us want what we can’t have and what you give us is worth nothing and what you take is everything and all there is left for us is the cold hillside, and emptiness, and the laughter of the elves.’”

(Terry Pratchett, Lords and Ladies)

They have artists among them too

“The Nightmage was the first of them for Anna,” he continued, “and he gave her the Sight to see the rest. Under his influence, Anna began to paint the paintings in this house. It is the best work she’s ever done; true work……But what she didn’t understand is that they have artists among them too. They call them mages. And for some of them, we are the materials they use. Our lives are their raw canvas; our emotions are the paints. We’re the clay: they push a little here, they prod a little there, till the work is done. If they drive a man or woman insane in the process, it matters little to them. They are amoral beings, Anna told me. They are neither good nor bad; those concepts mean nothing at all to them. The Nightmage was an artist, like Anna. And she was the work that he was creating. When she was strong in herself and in her art, the work they created of each other was good. But later, when Anna was frightened, and a bit unstable… then it all went wrong.”

(Terri Windling, The Wood Wife)