New in our Moloko+ catalogue:
In 1594 Elizabethan satirist Thomas Nashe published ‘The Unfortunate Traveller’. This picaresque novel, the first of its kind in Britain, was set on the continent and followed its protagonist’s adventures through a string of European towns. In graphic descriptions Jack Wilton, a court page, testified to the “wonderful spectacle of bloodshed” that 16th-century Europe had become and doing so allowed Thomas Nashe to expose the religious and political hypocrisy of his days. William Levy, who has been familiar with the works of Nashe since the 1960s, has now coined a collection of his erotic stories ‘The Fortunate Traveller’. In that way Levy’s tales, published on various occasions over the years and now compiled by Moloko Plus, form a loose but in content and style coherent series of picaresque adventures with the author himself as a horny protagonist. While picaresque novels traditionally use frog’s perspectives, low viewpoints from the fringe, to present readers with distorted and hilarious images of the higher layers of society, Levy’s perspective is rather outside-in. Levy offers the reader glimpses of bedrooms that he shared with attractive women in Amsterdam, Paris, Prague, Ohio, Baltimore and Vilnius, at the same time satirizing the incrowd, the “haute riff-rafferie of the demimonde“, among whom several figures of the counterculture. “History without gossip is a dry biscuit”, Levy once explained. And that is very true: his latest erotic picaresque novel is not only to a large extent autobiographical but sheer voyeur’s and eavesdropper’s delight to boot. More →
Moloko Print publishes:
With drawings by Ben Schot.
Inspired by Baudelaire and his translations of Edgar Allan Poe on the one hand and Friedrich Nietzsche and early expressionism on the other, Heym’s tales in ‘Der Dieb’ are supremely grotesque and dark to the extreme. And all of them written in an evocative style that builds up to absurd climaxes and erupts in apocalyptic scenes of violence. ‘Der Dieb’ – first published posthumously in 1913 – consists of seven tales: ‘Der Fünfte Oktober’, which is a wild ride on mob sentiments, ‘Der Irre’, a psychopath’s celebration of freedom, ‘Die Sektion’, a sigh of love from the autopsy table, ‘Jonathan’, the ecstacies of pain during a hospital romance, ‘Das Schiff’, a cat-and-mouse thriller with the Black Death aboard, ‘Ein Nachmittag’, the first dagger of love in a young boy’s heart, and ‘Der Dieb’ itself, in which a religious and mysogynist maniac triggers his personal apocalypse. All of them ruthless and beautiful tales, combined with nine of Schot’s drawings, wrapped around the tales to fit them in atmosphere rather than illustrate them.
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New in our Moloko Print catalogue:
‘Über die allmähliche Verfertigung der Gedanken beim Reden’ (On the Gradual Construction of Thoughts during Speech) is an essay written by Heinrich von Kleist in 1805. In the guise of a letter to his friend, general Otto August Rühle von Lilienstern, Kleist advises to start speaking – to whoever is around – when further meditation on a problem brings no solution. The French say “l’appétit vient en mangeant”, Kleist writes in his essay and adds that “l’idée vient en parlant” as well. “I have only to begin boldly and the mind, obliged to find an end for this beginning, transforms my confused concept as I speak into thoughts that are perfectly clear, so that to my surprise, the end of the sentence coincides with the desired knowledge”, Kleist explains and stresses that a sense of danger on the part of the speaker heightens the effect. He gives examples of improvised speeches that either became a turning point in history or saved the speaker’s life, such as the Count of Mirabeau’s improvised speech to the accent régime’s Master of Ceremonies or the fox’s shrewd improvised plea in La Fontaine’s fable ‘Les animaux malades de la peste’. Speeches like that, Von Kleist formulates, are pure articulated thought.
Moloko Plus chapbook #3 is illustrated by Berlin artist Frank Diersch, whose improvised but thoughtful drawings are a perfect companion to Kleist’s essay. Read more & order →
New Sea Urchin chapbook:
Dimitrie Stelaru’s poem Eumene has now been translated into English for the first time and has been published by Sea Urchin as Eumenes. The poem was part of Stelaru’s compilation Ora fantastică (The Fantastic Hour), which was published by Editura Prometeu in 1944 shortly before Romania switched sides in World War II and Ion Antonescu was toppled by King Michael I. The volume contained a preface by Eugen Lovinescu and established Stelaru as a poet. But Stelaru’s relative success would only last a couple of years. After the publication of his volume ‘Cetățile albe’ (White Cities) in 1946 Stelaru suffered the fate of many poets of his generation and was, until his death in 1971, as violently repressed by the communist regime as he had been by the fascists in World War II. Eumenes is a visionary poem written during Romania’s turbulent years as an ally of the Axis powers. Despite its intoxicated and escapist imagery the poem’s reference to the ancient Greek general Eumenes who was betrayed by his own troops, appears to be a veiled comment on the political situation of those days. Eumenes has been published as a hand made Sea Urchin chapbook in a limited edition of 15 copies. Artwork and translation: Ben Schot. Read more & order →
Real Free Press was an alternative comics store and press in Amsterdam in the 1970s, run by former Provo-member Olaf Stoop (1945-1999). Between 1968 and 1974 the press published six issues of its Real Free Press Illustraties which contained – in Dutch translations by Martin Beumer – works by well-known American underground artists such as Robert Crumb, S. Clay Wilson and Will Eisner and launched the Dutch artists Peter Pontiac, Bernard ‘Willem’ Holtrop and Joost Swarte. Dutch translations of early 20th-century comics such as Krazy Kat and Little Nemo in Slumberland, advertisements, anarchist texts, reviews and interviews also found their way into the six Real Free Press Illustraties and the only issue of ÉHÉ-CATL (1971).
Real Free Press, with its roots in the Dutch Provos and anarchism, was a product of the Amsterdam counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s. The store served was a hotbed of subversion, where imported American, British and French underground comics and records were enjoyed and changed hands. After Bill Daley’s Daley News had taken over the European distribution of underground comics and magazines in Amsterdam in the mid-1970s, the role of Real Free Press steadily diminished. Olaf Stoop and Martin Beumer ceased all activities of the press and store in 1985. Avaialble from our Collectible catalogue are a limited number of copies of Real Free Press Illustratie No. 4 (1971), Real Free Press Illustratie No. 5 (1972), and ÉHÉ-CATL (1971). All copies in very good condition and unfolded.