Friday, September 24, 2010

The Al-Azif of the Mad Poet Abdul Alhazred

Back cover, Azif fragment.

Front inside cover, with illustration of the Vermiform Sorcerers as guardians.

Front cover of the letterpressed dust jacket, on glorious Zerkall Nideggen rag paper.

Title page.

10x17in Folding plate of correspondences, including Jinn Kings.


Close up of text, high quality laser printing on Neenah Classic Crest.

Two column spread, generous margins.


Back cover, letterpressed Adobe Arabic.

The halo effect of the letterpress "bite" into the dampened Rives BFK.





Back cover of the dust jacket.

Colophon watched over by masked being with third eye emerging.

The primal beauty of Zerkall Paper's watermark, preserved in some of the dust jackets.


Spine of interior cover, showing binder's cord. Each book was hand sewn, the cord treated with beeswax to prevent fraying. Subtle essence of honey can still be detected.

Azif Kufic glyph, inside dust jacket.

Viatorium's Sortilege series of monographs combines arcane letterpress with modern printing techniques, on the best papers, to produce exquisite works for bibliophilic, scholarly, and imaginative enjoyment. Our inaugural publication, Near Eastern Studies 1, by independent scholar Ryan Parker, is a fascinating linguistic deconstruction of the the name of the imaginal 8th century Yemeni "mad poet" Abdul Alhazred and his daemonic tome the Al-Azif, creations of famed writer of the Weird, Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937). With over seventy textual notes of supporting evidence, Parker has extensively documented his exploration of the life and social function of a poet and mystic in 8th century Arab culture, and the fascinating parallels between Lovecraft's fictional creations and historical reality. The study encompasses and addresses original Arab language terminology, with Arabic script accompanied by transliteration throughout. Forty pages high quality laser printed interior on Neenah Classic Crest, 10x17 folding plate of correspondences, letterpress printed dust jacket on Zerkall Nideggen paper, letterpress printed inside cover on Rives BFK. Single gathering of signatures, hand sewn spine in beeswaxed cord. Limited edition of 150.

At a young age Ryan Parker encountered the fiction of H. P. Lovecraft, and was immediately enthralled with the artificial mythology of the Cthulhu cycle of tales. Around this same time, he began researching Sufism; traditional Arab magic known as Ruhaniyah; and other Arab mystical and mythological traditions. He was profoundly struck by what he perceived as deep parallels between these Arab traditions and the mythology attributed by Lovecraft to his legendary creation, the mad poet Abdul Alhazred. Over the last 25 years he has accumulated a wealth of material which illustrates these many parallels, and how the mythology associated with the Al-Azif resonates deeply with the genuine but nearly forgotten legends and sorceries of the early Islamic period.  By exploring these Arabic traditions and their parallels with the Cthulhu Mythos, the author hopes to provide insight into why Lovecraft's mythology has had such a strange and compelling impact, and why so many individuals have been persuaded that there is a deeper level of truth lying just beneath the surface of this body of fiction.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Esoteric Book Conference September 18, 19

www.esotericbookconference.com

It's almost here, the second annual Esoteric Book Conference in Seattle, Washington. Many great artists and publishers from around the world will be in attendance. Music, a play, guest speakers, and of course books, art, and prints. A bibliophile's dream. Viatorium Press will have art on display, prints for sale, and a new book to announce as well. If you are in Seattle you are especially encouraged to drop by.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Audio Centaur 2: The Forest that Hears and the Field that Sees






Letterpress packaging for Paracelsian drone project Clarified Birds. Title and imagery inspired by the Hieronymus Bosch drawing of the same name. Art and printing by Viatorium Press. Double folded six panel, printed one side on Somerset Velvet natural white cotton paper. Unprinted Taiyo Yuden cdr. Price is $10 postpaid. To purchase contact onikubi [at] gmail [dot] com.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Memory



H. P. Lovecraft turns 120 years old today. Looking out over gray the rooftops of a murky Seattle summer morning confirms my inspiration to read as much Lovecraft as possible today (though most days involve dipping into his writings at least once). Shadow Over Innsmouth? Thanks for the years of reading pleasure and life inspiration, Mr Lovecraft, your influence lives and gains strength with each passing year.
This anniversary of the beloved master of the Weird inspired me to post this illustration of the 1919 prose poem Memory. I am entertaining the idea of making letterpress chapbooks of H. P.'s prose poems, for which I have a strong fondness.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tabula Smaragdina Hermetis



Tabula Smaragdina Hermetis, the foundational word on Hermeticism, Alchemy, and the world. The Emerald Tablet of Hermes has taken on many forms and translations. Presented here is Titus Burckhardt's rendering, written in German from an Arabic language original, and translated into English. Particularly appealing are the nuances found in this text, in relation to those brought out from the Latin. The helix glyph at the head of the broadside was hand illuminated after printing, using weasel hair Chinese brushes and ink. Each highly detailed miniature constitues an emblem of the elemental forces of ancient thought, and is a cosmos of information unto itself. This is an edition of 22, letterpress printed on Revere Felt 100% cotton paper, each with a unique hand illuminated emblem, and numbered. This piece was printed at the Fall Equinox, 2009, and was originally presented at the first annual Esoteric Book Conference in Seattle, Washington. To purchase please inquire at: onikubi [at] gmail.com.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Clark Ashton Smith, In Saturn





Printed in the Autumn of 2009 to mark the harvest time and the advent of Samhain. This is the poem "In Saturn" by American poet Clark Ashton Smith, published in his 1922 collection Ebony and Crystal. Inspired by the heady visions of the poem, the grotesque illustration was executed in miniature, using weasel hair brushes and traditional Chinese ink, and was reproduced at original size in the plate. The font is the elegant, organic, and opiate Eckmannschrift, an early twentieth century embodiment of the Art Nouveau style. Dampened Rives BFK paper. To purchase please inquire at: onikubi [at] gmail.com.

The Generation of Homunculi










Printed herein is a choice passage culled from the voluminous writings of the great Theophrastus Paracelsus. Reading the master's work, one imagines that, though divided by five centuries, a powerful sense of the man himself comes through: the divinely furious wit, the questioning observer of minutiae, and the wild flights of fancy into the realms of the giants, gnomes, and the glorious Homunculi, confront one in these pages. The image was inspired by readings into the possible hermaphroditic nature of the man Paracelsus, found in the Newman's excellent Promethean Ambitions. This broadside is letterpressed on dampened Rives Heavyweight Cream paper using a Vandercook 4 proof press. This piece measures 8x18.5 inches. There is an alternate version to be displayed soon, printed in historical Textura, with variant graphics. To purchase please inquire at: onikubi [at] gmail.com.



Zosimos of Panopolis, On Virtue











Letterpress printed on Rives BFK Moulin du Gue, a very densely textured and elegant 100% cotton paper. Designed by J. F. Uccello and printed in the Winter of 2009. Broadside measures 12x14 inches. This fragment is from the elusive work "On Virtue" written by the early Greek/Egyptian hermeticist and alchemist Zosimos of Panopolis. One of the earliest mentions of the Homunculus in the literature of the Art. To purchase please email the Viatorium Press at: onikubi [at] gmail.com.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Ouroboros Press Publishes Tabula Lunarium



Viatorium's first collaboration with Ouroboros Press of Seattle is available at the publisher's website, http://www.bibliomancer.blogspot.com/, or direct from Viatorium by contacting onikubi [at] gmail [dot] com.