About Me

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Adalbert is a forum for me, to post ephemera, photography, poetry, occasional travel notes, and various spontaneous motions. Cover photo: Parsonage where my great-grandfather spent his early years. Taken near Liegnitz, Silesia, ca. 1870. The "xothique" portion of the web address is a nod to Clark Ashton Smith's fictional continent of Zothique.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Five Years

Here marks the fifth anniversary of the Adalbert blog.  Five years ago today I wrote my first three sentence post, and the first image I used in the blog was a deliberately mislabeled photograph of Aleister Crowley.  To suggest a circle, here are two images of the Master Therion from the time of the attempted summiting of K2 in 1902:

Frater Perdurabo is second from the right in the lower picture.
And here's a daruma doll someone gave me in Gunma-ken, Japan, years back. 


Friday, July 26, 2013

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Alfred Hitchcock's Ghostly Gallery (1962)


A couple nights ago finished re-reading Alfred Hitchcock's Ghostly Gallery:  Eleven spooky stories for young people (and apparently for some big kids as well), from 1962.   I previously read it when I was about 10 or 11, gleaning the tome from the school library or the public library, can't recall which.  As with Alfred Hitchcock's Monster Museum (see entry of 6 July 2012), one of the aspects that fascinated me were the illustrations, in this case by Fred Banbery:  http://jaargang.blogspot.com/2009/10/creepy-beautiful-illustrations.html, http://illusstation.blogspot.com/2008/04/fred-banbery.html.  The whimsically disturbing Hitchcock faces growing out of furniture attracted some study.
While not quite up to the pitch of shock and fright of the Monster Museum, the Ghostly Gallery infected my imagination.  One of the two stories that affected me most during my initial reading were F. Marion Crawford's (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Marion_CrawfordThe Upper Berth, penetrated with gelid and extirpative dread.  The tale begins with a classic English ghost story framework (although Crawford was American, more or less), with a gentleman narrating the events over cigars...  Bit of trouble in the old Hindu Kush.  "He had about him, I thought, an air of rather dubious fashion:  the sort of man you might see in Wall Street, without being able precisely to say what he was doing there."  The second story in the anthology which impressed me the most in youth was H.G. Wells' The Truth about Pyecraft, which is amusing but now strikes me as more of a bagatelle than some of the other pieces.

Robert Arthur:  http://www.elizabetharthur.org/bio/rarthur.html, who apparently also ghost-edited the Hitchcock collection, along with the Monster Museum and some of the other Hitchcock-branded anthologies, is represented by no less than three good stories (ahem!):  The Haunted Trailer, The Wonderful Day, and Obstinate Uncle Otis.  Arthur's writing appears light-hearted at first, but contains some dark turns as one reads on.  Algernon Blackwood's (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algernon_Blackwood) The Valley of the Beasts possesses one of the maestro's great atmospheric evocations of nature (the Canadian forest in this instance), but has a heavy-handedness about it at the end which places it at a lower grade than, say, The Wendigo.  Other (mostly) excellent works appear by Robert Louis Stevenson, A.M. Burrage, Lord Dunsany, and Walter Brooks.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Calibration II



Friday, July 19, 2013

near Alaska/ Yukon border

Border City, Alaska

Card sent in 1958

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Portrait of Joseph Roulin


Vincent Van Gogh, 1888
Postcard mailed 12 September 1986 

Friday, July 12, 2013


A third card from the Exel LeDuc file (cf. posts of 3 January 2013 and 18 April 2013), this one sent to her from Quebec City:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quebec_City.   Perhaps the upside down stamp signified something.
"This place eclipses everything I've seen before -- a dream of archaic city walls, castellated cliffs, silver spires, pointed roofs, narrow, zigzag & precipitous streets, & the leisurely civilisation of an elder world."  H.P. Lovecraft, postcard written in Quebec, to Donald Wandrei, 1930
The following is a transcript of the postcard to Exel, although I had difficulty deciphering a couple words.
Our festivities were a grand success.  The Corpus Christi procession through the city especially -- 50,000 people -- is a triumph one sees but once in a lifetime.  Wish you had been here for those 3 days to get an idea of the faith and patriotism of our good french canadians You'd have felt proud of your origin.  Well (?)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, February 1952


Cover art by Chesley Bonestell