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

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.