man of Letters — Coming March 2023
A collection of fourteen essays, each with a theme involving aspects of psychedelia. Several have previously appeared in Psychedelic Press, The Oak Tree Review and Reality Sandwich, covering countercultural history, avant-garde and psychedelic cinema, and the psychology of altered states.
They touch on figures such as Thomas De Quincey, Charles Baudelaire, Fitz Hugh Ludlow, William Burroughs, Carlos Castaneda, Timothy Leary and Howard Marks; and in the field of cinema, directors including Ken Russell, Roger Corman, David Cronenberg, Terry Gilliam, Jan Švankmajer, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Georges Méliès and Ben Wheatley are explored.
The essays revisit the ‘Alphabet Wood’ hallucination of the Plym Woods in 1975, the mushroom-inspired ‘Cult of the Novel’ messianic quest to turn the world on to ‘reality fiction’, and contain updates to the ‘trippy movie’ coverage, including 2022 films Avatar: The Way of Water and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
The title and book cover too form part of the underlying mind-expanded narrative, with an ‘Afterword’, tying the history of the alphabet phenomenon to photomontage representations done at art college in the 1970s, and more than one cover design in recent times.