The Curmudgeon


Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Wormwood 28

Robert Aickman and Tartarus Press go back a long way. Almost two decades ago, Tartarus brought out a two-volume omnibus edition of Aickman's stories; and later re-issued, in their trademark high-quality hardcover, the original collections and Aickman's two volumes of autobiography. The press also issues Mark Valentine's semi-annual journal Wormwood, which published a previously unknown Aickman story in 2005, and has also printed critical explorations by Peter Bell, Joel Lane and others.

Courtesy of Douglas A Anderson, the latest issue of Wormwood includes an intriguing glimpse at the contents of Panacea: The Synthesis of an Attitude, a massive (over a quarter of a million words) philosophical ramble which Aickman apparently wrote during his early twenties. In addition, Reggie Oliver reviews Artemis Cooper's biography of Elizabeth Jane Howard, who among much else was Aickman's sometime lover and his collaborator on the 1951 story collection We are for the Dark; and there is also an article by me on Aickman's story "Meeting Mr Millar", from his outstanding 1975 collection Cold Hand in Mine.

Further attractions include two pieces on David Lindsay's massif Devil's Tor; one on Kipling's story "Wireless"; essays on a Hibernian hierophant and a disconsolate decadent; and "The Fairy Suffragettes", which treats of three Victorian writers who advanced a progressive agenda through the medium of children's fiction. All things considered, you should definitely fork out for this one before the monsters get you.


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