An old story of mine, Maldoror Abroad, originally published in Album Zutique, is online for a limited time at Weird Fiction Review. The story is a riff off of, or love letter to, the original, inimitable 1869 work of batshit genius, Les Chants de Maldoror by “Comte de Lautréamont”, nom de guerre of Isidore Ducasse.
Also at WFR is an essay by Mark Valentine on Sarban, another pseudonym, and one which caught my attention because I randomly gave one of the cities in my head-world that name. “Sarban” was John William Wall, a diplomat who spent many years stationed in the Middle East and North Africa and who published three books of strange fiction in the 1950s. I was intrigued enough to buy The Doll Maker, which is now sitting on my Kindle.
Agan for a short time, WFR has Sarban’s A Christmas Story online. I like this story a lot. It goes from:
“We always gave the meteorological data of Good King Wenceslaus with feeling”
“Far and wide we could see now over the immense, sad taiga: a level, lonely waste of drab brown and faded grey, every particle of life in it stilled by that one terrible grip of the Lord Frost and its dead body stabbed through and through by the bayonets of the snow-wind. When the wind ceased we knew that the winding-sheet would fall from the black sky.”
My favourite contest — between irony and sincerity. The world of emotion under the groomed convivial facade and the agreed rules, even the rules of celebration. A time of carnival opens a wider than wanted door? And isn’t that what Christmas is about?