Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Scarlet Imprint: New Title - Tara Morgana

Dear Friends,
We are pleased to announce that our latest title,Tara Morgana, by Paul Holman, is available for pre-order in standard hardback and fine editions.  

Tara Morgana is a work of pure magical writing. The title comes from the fusion of the Tibetan devi with Morgan Le Fay who is pursued as a mirage throughout this haunting text. Part magical diary, part dreamscape, part Situationist dérive through the landscape, Tara Morgana is an enigmatic record of ritual practice from the poet, whose work has been described as: indefinable ... laconic, occultist, and attached to the line of revolutionary and subversive yearnings. This is not a book about magic, rather, it is a magical book. Contemplation of the work reveals a wealth of hidden treasures, or as Holman says, each dreamed text is a terma in the mind.
Paul Holman is a lucid poet whose writing, with its concise yet elusive energy, takes us down into the tunnels, ghosts broken urban spaces where decay is overwritten with the ingress of the wild. He encounters denizens of the underworld, the magical subculture and down and outs. It is a work of echoes and memories whose reflections coalesce in dreams that can be recovered and manifest in the present. In his Afterword, Holman spells out aspects of the artistic and magical method he employs.
The book is splintered by a sequence of photographic images: glimpsed spirit portraits, apparitions captured in the play and decay of light, giving it an otherworldly aspect. Tara Morgana is a truly esoteric and numinous text, a beautifully realised work that leads us on two parallel journeys of poetry and image, through the world and work of living magical artists. Both poet and photographer are engaged in games of chance and fate, applied as a discipline to the creative process. It is precisely this rigour that gives both an intensity and a gnomic quality to their respective works.

This is a text to be spoken aloud. Mystical conjunction of word and image are resolved in breath and voice. The act of anagnosis opens the reader to the magical operation through the transformative medium of sound, and returns us to the mystery of beginning(s) and becoming(s). As Holman writes in The Memory of the Drift:

‘I had no choice
but to undo the spell
which language had cast
upon me when, in
the days of autonomia,
I first met one by whom I
was to be consumed
and then made
afresh: she taught me
that an operation
performed upon the
tongue must transform
the world.’

The text is introduced by Andrew Duncan, a respected poet and cultural critic, and by Peter Grey, giving insights into both the literary and magical character of Holman's work.
Paul Holman has been engaged for some twenty years upon The Memory of the Drift, a shifting but ultimately circular work which is both a record of operations and a process in itself.
Four previously issued sections were gathered in paperback by Shearsman Books in 2007. Tara Morgana is book five, but this work stands alone. He co-edited the Invisible Books imprint with Bridget Penney through the 1990s, publishing work by Bill Griffiths, Stewart Home, Veronica Forrest-Thomson and others. He is a long-standing member of the Field Study mail art group.

Paul Lambert is a photographer of found situations. His images are the result of finding rather than waiting, discovering rather than creating. The photographs themselves are kept as raw as possible, with little or no enhancement or manipulation. In his collaboration for Tara Morgana he shows a secret side of the city, captures spirits emerging and the dramatic tensions of light and shadow, during what became a two month photographic odyssey. He states that ‘In theory there are infinite journeys but in practice only one...The lens in skilfull hands functions as the third eye.'


Andrew Duncan: Her stomach crammed with nettles ...
Peter Grey: His feet neither bound nor free
I: Magnetic sword
II: And all in armour
III: "Hours, clouds, ghosts"
IV: Births give cataclysms
V: "Daisy and Mollie"
VI: "The memory of a bewildering romance"
VII: In a dead tone
VIII: "Worn out, washed out, clouds"
IX: "A call of spirits"
X: Dustless and space pervading

The standard hardback edition

231 exemplars
Large octavo (160 x 240 mm), landscape format, 112pp and bound in a fine ivory cloth.
The boards are stamped with a Blue She-Wolf device as guardian of the book, as is the dust jacket.
£40 plus postage.

UK pre-order

European pre-order

USA, Canada and Worldwide pre-order

The fine edition

40 exemplars
Quarter bound in black morocco, ivory cloth boards embossed with the device of the Blue She-Wolf, and custom marbled endpapers.
All edges silvered, and finished with a silk ribbon marker. The book is presented in a slipcase.
£160 plus postage.

UK pre-order

European pre-order

USA, Canada and Worldwide pre-order

We expect to ship pre-ordered copies of this title in the second half of April with the fine edition to follow.
If you have any problems with the links, the information can be seen on our website here:

Other book news

Thank you for your many emails congratulating JSK on his latest work. We hope to see many of you at the second launch party at Labyrinth Books to celebrate the culmination of his monumental Encyclopaedia Goetica in Glastonbury on the eve of the Occult Conference.
We can confirm that the fine edition of The Testament of Cyprian the Mage is being finished at the binders and we will email those who have reserved copies as soon as we have a shipping date for this.
Finally we can announce that Bibliotheque Rouge editions of The Testament of Cyprian the Mage and Serpent Songs will be available in approximately three weeks time.  

With Love,

Peter and Alkistis