Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Machenology: Tributes to the Master of Mysteries

Machenology: Tributes to the Master of Mysteries is a 44 page A5 booklet limited to 300 copies edited by Gwilym Games. All profits from the booklet will raise funds towards the 2007 Caerleon sculpture to Machen and to commemorating Arthur Machen. [You can see images of The Sculpture here.] It contains special new tributes to Machen written by Gwyneth Jones, Simon Clark, Tim Lebbon, China MiĆ©ville, Mark Samuels, Catherine Fisher, David Hewson, and Machen’s daughter Janet, plus a collection of the thoughts of other notable figures on Machen including: Tanith Lee, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell, Iain Sinclair, AE Housman, Henry Miller, HP Lovecraft, R.E. Howard, AE Waite, Clark Ashton Smith, MR James, Jorge Luis Borges, Sylvia Townsend Warner, plus many more.

It also includes a controversial essay in which Rhys Hughes explains why Arthur Machen is a far better writer for the Welsh to idolise than Dylan Thomas: “We are a low people. Dylan Thomas is treated as a god here and Machen is ignored." While well known Machen scholar Roger Dobson in his essay outlines the greatest unsolved mysteries of Machen scholarship.

It features two rare essays by Machen unpublished for many years, “A Book I Should Like To Write”, in which he discusses “one of the wonderful books that ought to be written – and never will be written… of those problems which are - almost - insoluble; and yet are not beyond all conjecture” and a thrilling true account of a weird Oriental Adventure in which Machen plumbs the depth of the mystery of The Hidden Claw, an escapade Machen illustrated himself.

It also includes a rare picture of the original “stone head of grotesque appearance” from The Great God Pan which will be an influence on the Machen sculpture. [Dr. Phillips tells me that he has seen the head in question, and assures me that he has never received such a vivid presentment of intense evil.] Dare you see it?

Copies available now. Cost is £5.00, postage free within the UK. Postage abroad is £1.00 inside Europe, £1.50 US/overseas. Make cheques payable to G. Games, or use paypal via gwilix@yahoo.co.uk. G. Games, 9 Heneage Drive, Westcross, Swansea, SA3 5BR. Copies will also be on sale at the seminar and around Caerleon.

Remember too Machen is highly collectable similar booklets from the eighties are now worth up to five times or more their original price.

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