The Blood Delirium: The Vampire in 19th Century European Literature

November 29, 2014



‘R J Dent’s translations are fresh with an exciting raw sexual edge…’ (Candice Black)


The Blood Delirium is a definitive collection of 19th century European literature in which the vampire or vampirism – both embodied and atmospheric – is featured or evoked. Twenty-three seminal works by classic European authors, covering the whole of that delirious period from Gothic and Romantic, through Symbolism and Decadence to proto-Surrealism and beyond, in a single volume charged with sex, blood and horror.


The Blood Delirium contains a detailed introduction (by editor Candice Black) which not only examines these texts and their meaning, but which also charts the literary and cultural climate in which the new cult of the vampire was allowed to flourish.


The Blood Delirium includes texts by Bram Stoker, J. Sheridan Le Fanu, Oscar Wilde, J.M. Rymer, Charles Baudelaire, Le Comte de Lautréamont, Paul Féval, Maurice Rollinat, Guy de Maupassant, Count Stenbock, Jean Lorrain, Théophile Gautier, Charles Nodier, John Polidori, J.K. Huysmans, Charlotte Brontë, Ivan Turgenev, Jan Neruda, Augustus Hare, Cyprien Berard and Léon Bloy.


Several of the texts in The Blood Delirium are translated by R J Dent into English for the very first time, including those by Cyprien Bérard, Paul Féval, and Maurice Rollinat.



The Blood Delirium is the definitive collection for literate vampire-lovers.


The Blood Delirium is available from:


or from:


Myth by R J Dent

October 7, 2013

R J Dent’s Myth is a fantasy/horror novel set on a Greek island.
















R J Dent provides some information on his novel, Myth:

R J Dent reads an excerpt from his novel, Myth:

The book trailer for R J Dent’s novel, Myth:

A promotional poster for R J Dent’s novel, Myth:

myth r j dent poster

Myth is available as an e-book:

and as a paperback:

rjdent logo

Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments

February 15, 2011

 Translated by R J Dent

Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments – translated by R J Dent (ISBN 978-1-906451-53-0)

R J Dent’s sensitive modern English translation of the complete Poems & Fragments of Alcaeus is now available to download onto your Kindle at:


and in ePub format (Sony, Kobo, etc) at:


Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments is also available in paperback from Circaidy Gregory Press at:

and from

Alcaeus was a fellow countryman and contemporary of Sappho, and his beautiful and delicate poetry is often overshadowed by Sappho’s reputation. R J Dent has now translated all of Alcaeus’s Poems & Fragments from ancient Greek into lively modern English in an attempt to rescue Alcaeus’s ethereal poetry from obscurity.

There is no other published translation of Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments in existence.

Product Details:

Title: Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments – translated by R J Dent [Paperback Edition]

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-906451-53-0

Title: Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments – translated by R J Dent [Kindle Edition]

e-book ISBN: 978-1-906451-54-7

Translator: R J Dent

© R J Dent (2012)

Language: English 

Pages: 112

Paperback ISBN 978-1-906451-53-0 £7.49.  Orders available to trade and retail customers from or to trade via Nielsen Teleorders. Contact for discount and SoR terms.

Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments (in paperback and kindle formats) is now available from Amazon, and in all other eformats from all i-stores. Orders available to trade from Gardners and Baker and Taylor.

Here’s a recent review of Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments:

R J Dent’s published works include a novel, Myth; translations of Charles Baudelaire’s The Flowers of Evil & Artificial Paradise; of Le Comte de Lautréamont’s The Songs of Maldoror; of Alcaeus’s Poems & Fragments; a Gothic novella, Deliverance; a poetry collection, Moonstone Silhouettes, and various stories, articles, essays, poems, etc, in a wide range of magazines, periodicals and journals, including Orbis, Philosophy Now, Acumen and Writer’s Muse. 

R J Dent’s Amazon page can be found at:

Details of R J Dent’s other works – novels, novellas, translations, stories, poems, essays and songs – are available on

Follow R J Dent’s work on:








Tom de Freston’s The Charnel House – a review by R J Dent

December 16, 2014


The Charnel House

Tom de Freston

A review by R J Dent




Although Tom de Freston refers to his book, The Charnel House, as ‘a poetic graphic novel’, it’s a hybrid book which defies easy categorization. It’s a poetry anthology; it’s a series of paintings turned into comic strip format, complete with text; it’s a moving and profound multi-authored novel. The Charnel House shares literary and artistic territory with Spiegelman’s Maus, or Moore/Gibbons’ Watchmen, or Briggs’ When the Wind Blows. It also shares some of Samuel Beckett’s tragicomic preoccupations.

The Charnel House origins lie in a series of paintings Tom de Freston has created over the past few years, featuring a horse-headed human hybrid character; a character which Freston freely admits he appropriated from Picasso’s Guernica – and which also has similarities to the horse head in Fuseli’s The Nightmare. In The Charnel House, Freston has provided horse-head with a plausible world and a coherent narrative. The Charnel House narrative follows horse-head through the various stages of its existence.

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The effectiveness of Freston’s imagery is due to the careful juxtaposition of the terrible and the harrowing with the everyday. Scenes of mutation, mutilation, torture, sadness, death, sex, love and lust take place in various domestic settings; the action is constantly framed by windows, or lit up by bare bulbs, or reflected in mirrors, thereby making the reader culpable by being vicariously voyeuristic.

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The startling, often shocking, imagery is set out on the pages in classic graphic novel style and the accompanying poetry is positioned to complement the art that inspired it. The Charnel House challenges the reader’s engagement with both subject and subject matter by the employment of ekphrasis, a technique usually defined as ‘a literary description of or commentary on a visual work of art’. The Charnel House explores themes of identity and memory, love and loss, by presenting twisted and confused versions of the universal and the domestic; of reality and the nature of perception; of cruelty and suffering, and the relationship between the past, the present and the future.

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Contributions by 37 poets, each inspired by the original paintings, are set on the adjacent pages to the illustrations, and the graphic novel format and ekphrasis create a narrative. Mythology is used, historical and notable artworks are frequently referenced, as are images of modern-day political atrocities. This is where the real power of Freston’s use of ekphrasis becomes evident. Although horse-head is constantly on the cusp of revelation, of understanding exactly who and where it is, he/it is never able to actually achieve enlightenment.

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But The Charnel House, despite its name, is not all sturm und drang, screams and shrieks, nihilism and existential angst; a major theme of the collection is identity, and the preoccupations of the self. It’s intense, dark, emotional, surreal, yet deeply personal and simultaneously universal. Admittedly, it’s a very tough collection to get through, but its content is immensely rich, and the poems and the illustrations are so moving that it’s worth the effort needed to read the whole work. It’s an incredible collection.

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The Charnel House is a very experimental and incredibly powerful anthology of poems and illustrations that explore the relationship between mind and body, reality and dreams, passion, lust, and love. It’s a deep, dark, emotional collection. Ultimately, The Charnel House is a work of great depth and imagination.


The Charnel House is available as a free e-book and as a hardback published by Bridgedoor Press.


Tom de Freston’s work can be found at:

R J Dent’s work can be found at

Bonnie Dobson’s Morning Dew

October 23, 2014






Bonnie Dobson (born November 13, 1940, Toronto, Canada) is a Canadian songwriter, singer, and guitarist, most known in the 1960s for composing the song ‘Morning Dew’. The song, augmented (with a co-writing credit) by Tim Rose, became a melancholy folk-rock standard.



‘Morning Dew’, also known as ‘(Walk Me Out in the) Morning Dew’, is a post-apocalyptic song, a dialogue between the last man and woman left alive following an apocalyptic catastrophe. Dobson has stated that the initial inspiration for ‘Morning Dew’ was the film On the Beach which focuses on the survivors of virtual global annihilation by nuclear holocaust.


Dobson would recall how the guests at her friend’s apartment were speculating about a nuclear war’s aftermath and ‘after everyone went to bed, I sat up and suddenly I just started writing this song… What happened with that song is that I saw a film called On The Beach and it made a tremendous impression on me, that film. Particularly at that time because everybody was very worried about the bomb and whether we were going to get through the next ten years. It was a very immediate problem and I remember I sat up all night talking with some friends who went to bed or something and I just sat and suddenly I just started writing… and this song just came out and really it was a kind of re-enactment of that film in a way where at the end there is nobody left and it was a conversation between these two people trying to explain what’s happening. It was really apocalyptic, that was what it was about… It took the form of a conversation between the last man and woman – post-apocalypse – one trying to comfort the other while knowing there’s absolutely nothing left.’


Morning Dew by Bonnie Dobson


Take me for a walk in the morning dew, my honey

Take me for a walk me in the morning dew, my love

You can’t go walking in the morning dew today

You can’t go walking in the morning dew today

But listen! I hear a man moaning, ‘Lord’

I know I hear a man moaning, ‘Lord’

You didn’t hear a man moan at all

You didn’t hear a man moan at all

But I know I hear my baby crying, ‘Mama’

Yes, I know I hear my baby crying, ‘Mama’

You’ll never hear your baby cry again

You’ll never hear your baby cry again

Oh, where have all the people gone?

Won’t you tell me, where have all the people gone

Don’t you worry about the people any more

Don’t you worry about the people any more

Take me for a walk in the morning dew, my honey

Take me for a walk in the morning dew, my love

You can’t go walking in the morning dew today

You can’t go walking in the morning dew today

You can’t go walking in the morning dew today



Bonnie Dobson premiered ‘Morning Dew’ in her set at the inaugural Mariposa Folk Festival that year with the song’s first recorded version being on Dobson’s At Folk City live album in 1962.

Dobson would not record a studio version of the song until 1969, that being for her Bonnie Dobson album. ‘Morning Dew’ was not published until 1964 when Jac Holzman of Elektra Records contacted Dobson with an offer to sign her as a songwriter as Elektra artist Fred Neil had heard ‘Morning Dew’ and wished to record it.



‘In 1964 I was contacted by Jac Holzman of Elektra Records, who told me that Fred Neil wanted to record ‘Morning Dew’ and that as I’d not published it, would I like to do so with his company, Nina Music. I signed a contract and Neil recorded the song. His is the original cover, on Tear Down the Walls by Vince Martin and Fred Neil. His singing of it differed from mine in that he altered the lyric slightly, changing ‘Take me for a walk in the morning dew’ to ‘Walk me out in the morning dew.’ He was also the first person to rock it.’


Morning Dew by Bonnie Dobson (arranged by Fred Neil)


Walk me out

In the morning dew, my honey

Walk me out

In the morning dew today
Can’t walk you out

In the morning dew, my baby

Can’t walk you out

In the morning dew today


Thought I heard

A young man moanin’ Lord

Thought I heard

A young man moanin’ Lord
You didn’t hear

No young man moanin’ Lord

You didn’t hear

No young man moan today


Where have all the people gone

My honey

Where haye all the people gone

Don’t you worry

‘Bout those people, baby

You’ll never see those people



Thought I heard

My baby cryin’ mama

Thought I heard

My baby cryin’ mama
You didn’t hear

No baby cryin’ mama

You didn’t hear

No baby cry today


Walk me out

In the morning dew, my honey

Walk me out

In the morning dew today
Can’t walk you out

In the morning dew, my baby

I’ll never walk you out

In the morning dew again


The first studio recording of ‘Morning Dew’ appeared on the 1964 album Tear Down the Walls by Fred Neil and Vince Martin. It was this version which introduced the song to Tim Rose, who in 1966 recorded ‘Morning Dew’ for his self-titled debut album after soliciting permission to revise the song with a resultant co-writing credit. Dobson agreed without having any intended revision specified and as of the February 1967 release of the Tim Rose single version of ‘Morning Dew’ the standard songwriting credit for the song has been Bonnie Dobson and Tim Rose: Dobson, who in 1998 averred she’d never met Rose (who died in 2002), has stated that she’s received 75% songwriting royalty as she retains sole writing credit for the song’s music.



Morning Dew (with additional lyrics by Tim Rose)

Walk me out in the morning dew, my honey

Walk me out in the morning dew today

Can’t walk you in the morning dew, my honey

They can’t walk you out in the morning dew at all

I thought I heard a young girl crying, momma

I thought I heard a young girl cry today

You didn’t hear no young girl crying, momma

You didn’t hear no young girl cry at all


Walk me out in the morning dew, my honey

Walk me out in the morning dew today

Can’t walk you out in the morning dew, my baby

They can’t walk you out in the morning dew at all


Thought I heard a young man crying, momma

Thought I heard a young man cry today

You didn’t hear no young man crying, momma

You didn’t hear no young man cry at all


Now there’s no more morning dew

Now there’s no more morning dew

What they were saying all these years is true

‘Cause there’s no more morning dew


Oh, now there’s no more morning dew

Oh, now there’s no more morning dew

Lord, what they were saying all these years was true

Oh, ’cause there’s no more morning dew


Yeah, now there’s no more morning dew, now, now, now

Oh, now there’s no more morning dew

What they were saying all these years is so true

They have chased away all our morning dew


Oh, now there’s no more morning dew

Oh, now there’s no more morning dew



Bonnie Dobson recalls her involvement with Tim Rose: ‘Now I must tell you my involvement with Tim Rose. In 1967 while I was living in Toronto, I had a call from Manny Greenhill, my agent, saying that Tim Rose wanted to record ‘Morning Dew’, but he wanted to change the lyric. I duly signed a new contract and Rose was written in as co-lyricist on the basis of his new lyric.’


Dobson also says: ‘Tim Rose, I’ve never met him, was written into the contract subsequently, I think it was 1967 maybe early ’68. I had a call from Manny Greenhill saying Tim Rose is going to record your song but he wants to make a few changes, can you write a new lyric. I think what happened was there was no way we could not actually cut him in on the lyric because I had performed it and then published it. I hadn’t done it the way you’re supposed to do things, so it was somewhat in the public domain.’


‘So that was difficult, but the worst part was that when I came to England in 1969 and I gave my debut concert at Queen Elizabeth Hall everybody had thought that Tim Rose had written that song because he had never ever given me any credit at any time for anything to do with that song. I’ve written songs with other people and I have never claimed them for my own. I just think it was really a dreadfully dishonest thing to do. I still get my royalty check, but I still consider it quite a grievous injury.’

‘In 1968, when Lulu released her single of ‘Morning Dew’, a full-page ad was placed in Billboard referring to it as ‘Tim Rose’s Great Hit’ – no mention of Ms. Dobson at all.’

‘From that time till now-particularly here in England – people have never believed that I had anything to do with the writing of ‘Morning Dew’. Rose never gave me any credit. Even Nazareth’s single from 1981 has only him listed as the composer.’

‘t has caused me a lot of aggravation and unhappiness. Even though I have and still do receive substantial royalties (75 percent as opposed to his 25 percent), it doesn’t make up for the man’s behaviour.’


 ‘Morning Dew’ became a signature song of the Grateful Dead, whose singer/guitarist Jerry Garcia was alerted to the Fred Neil recording by roadie Laird Grant in 1966. The Grateful Dead introduced ‘Morning Dew’ into their repertoire as their opening number in January 1967: that same month the group recorded their self-titled debut album featuring ‘Morning Dew’ and released that March.



Dobson says: ‘I always liked the Dead’s version of ‘Morning Dew.’ My one regret is that when they first appeared in Toronto – was it 1967 or 1968 at the O’keefe Centre? – they didn’t sing ‘Morning Dew’ in the concert that I attended. I also regret that I was too shy to go backstage and meet them.’

The Grateful Dead’s patronage of ‘Morning Dew’ has resulted in the song’s being recorded by a number of hard rock acts such as Episode Six:

Blackfoot (who added an extra verse):

Walk me out in the morning dew, baby
Please walk me out in the morning dew
I can’t walk you out in the morning dew
I can’t walk you out in the morning dew, yeah


I thought I heard a young girl cry, baby
I thought I heard a young girl cry
You didn’t hear no young girl cry
You didn’t hear no young girl cry today

Well, I thought I saw a flash in the sky this morning
Thought I saw a flash in the sky today
Well, the earth it trembles and
The sky is no longer blue
Now there is no more morning dew, oh today


Now there is no more morning dew
Now there is no more morning dew today
What they’ve been sayin’ all these years has come true
Now there is no more morning dew
Oh, today
No more morning dew today

Won’t you please walk me out in the dew
The dew
Morning dew, yeah, yeah


Robert Plant:

The Jeff Beck Group:

Jazz Is Dead’s instrumental version:



1962 Bonnie Dobson, At Folk City

 1963 The Briarwoods ‘Well Well Well’ album

1964 Vince Martin & Fred Neil, Tear Down the Walls

1966 Tim Rose Tim Rose, ‘Morning Dew’ (single), plus later re-recordings

1967 Episode Six ‘Morning Dew’ single

1971 Nazareth Nazareth

1972 Blue Mink Live at the Talk of the Town

1973 Clannad Clannad

1974 Blue Mink Fruity

1980 Long John Baldry Long John Baldry

1984 Blackfoot Vertical Smiles

1990 Devo Smooth Noodle Maps

 2002 Robert Plant Dreamland

 2003 Mungo Jerry Adults Only



Bonnie Dobson’s Morning Dew



Dandelion Wine, Summer Morning, Summer Night, and Farewell Summer by Ray Bradbury

October 12, 2014

Dandelion Wine


Dandelion Wine is a 1957 novel by Ray Bradbury, taking place in the summer of 1928 in the fictional town of Green Town, Illinois, based upon Bradbury’s childhood home of Waukegan, Illinois. The novel developed from the short story ‘Dandelion Wine’ which appeared in the June 1953 issue of Gourmet magazine.

The title refers to a wine made with dandelion petals and other ingredients, commonly citrus fruit. In the story, dandelion wine, as made by the protagonist’s grandfather, serves as a metaphor for packing all of the joys of summer into a single bottle.

The main character of the story is Douglas Spaulding, a twelve-year-old boy loosely patterned after Bradbury. Most of the book is focused on the routines of small-town America, and the simple joys of yesterday.

In the winter of 1955–56, after a consultation with his Doubleday editor, Bradbury deferred publication of a novel based on Green Town, the pseudonym for his hometown. Instead, he extracted seventeen stories and, with three other Green Town tales, published the 1957 book as Dandelion Wine.

Summer Morning, Summer Night


The most significant of the remaining unpublished stories, scenes and fragments were published as two novels. One was under the originally intended name for the novel, Summer Morning, Summer Night, in 2007.

In Summer Morning, Summer Night, Bradbury returns to this signature locale with a generous new collection of twenty-seven stories and vignettes, seventeen of which have never been published before. Together, they illuminate some of Green Town’s previously hidden corners, and reaffirm Bradbury’s position as the undisputed master of a unique fictional universe. The core of Summer Morning, Summer Night was Bradbury’s witnessing of the American small-town and life in the American heartland.

Farewell Summer


In 2006, Bradbury published the original novel that remained after the extraction, and re-titled it Farewell Summer.

Farewell Summer is a novel by Ray Bradbury, published on October 17, 2006. It was his last novel released in his lifetime. It is a sequel to his 1957 novel Dandelion Wine, and is set during an Indian summer in October 1929. The story concerns a mock war between the young and the old in Green Town, Illinois, and the sexual awakening of Doug Spaulding as he turns fourteen.

The first chapter, also titled Farewell Summer, appeared in The Stories of Ray Bradbury in 1980. Publishers Weekly called the novel a ‘poignant, wise but slight ‘extension’ of the indefatigable Bradbury’s semi-autobiographical Dandelion Wine’ and concluded, ‘Bradbury’s mature but fresh return to his beloved early writing conveys a depth of feeling.’ Kirkus Reviews found it ‘a thin work, heavily reliant on dialogue, but one that serves as an intriguing coda to one of Bradbury’s classics.’ Booklist said, ‘A touching meditation on memories, aging, and the endless cycle of birth and death, and a fitting capstone, perhaps, to a brilliant career.’

In the afterword to Farewell Summer, Bradbury contends that the novel was actually intended to follow what became the Dandelion Wine story arc as a complete book tentatively titled Summer Morning, Summer Night. ‘When I delivered it to my publishers they said, ‘My God, this is much too long. Why don’t we publish the first 90,000 words as a novel and keep the second part for some future year when it is ready to be published.’

Dandelion Wine, Summer Morning, Summer Night and Farewell Summer form a Green Town trilogy of novels inspired by Ray Bradbury’s childhood in Waukegan, Illinois.


Penelope Farmer

October 10, 2014


Penelope Farmer is a British writer of books for children and adults.



Penelope Farmer was born as a fraternal twin in Westerham, Kent, on 14 June 1939. Her parents and the medical staff at the hospital were not aware of her presence until some twenty-five minutes after the birth of her older twin sister, Judith. Throughout Farmer’s life, being a twin has been a defining element of her understanding of her identity. The twins have an older brother, Tim, and a younger sister, Sally.


After attending a boarding school, she read history at St Anne’s College, Oxford and did postgraduate work at Bedford College, University of London.


Penelope Farmer lives in Lanzarote on the Canary Islands.


Her first publication was The China People (1960), a collection of literary fairy tales for young people. One story written for this collection was too long to include. This was re-written as the first chapter of her first novel for children, The Summer Birds. In 1963, this received a Carnegie Medal commendation and was cited as an American Library Association Notable Book. The Summer Birds was soon followed by its sequels, Emma in Winter (1966) Charlotte Sometimes (1969), and A Castle of Bone (1972).


Penelope Farmer has also written several novels for adults. These are:


Standing in the Shadow (1984)

Away From Home (1987)

Eve: Her Story (1988)

Glasshouses (1989)

Snakes and Ladders (1993)


Standing in the Shadow (1984): Penelope Farmer’s debut adult novel…

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Away From Home (1987): A novel in ten episodes describing Elinor’s experiences – her lonely adolescence, her marriage, her children and unsympathetic husband, her divorce, her lover’s inability to come to terms with his Jewishness and her fear of her cancer.

afh pf


Eve: Her Story (1988): A modern Eve tells her own story about life in the Garden of Eden as the loving but obstinate Adam, the knowing Lilith, the manlike serpent, the disdainful Archangels, and the ambivalent Jehovah each try to exploit her innocence.


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Glasshouses (1989): An intense novel of three characters, Grace, her husband Jas, and her young apprentice, set in the suggestive, obsessive milieu of a glassblowing workshop.


gh pf


Snakes and Ladders (1993): Set in Kenya, Ecuador and Europe, and intertwining fact and fiction, this novel uses a multitude of techniques – diary, narrative, history, information and adman copy – to explore the implications of the protagonist’s international research project into epilepsy.


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Penelope Farmer’s writings are widely varied: she has written books for children (including contemporary realistic fiction, historical fiction, and mythological retellings), fantasies for young adults, and, most recently, novels for adults. Farmer confesses to a lifelong love of fantasy; as a child she loved to read – in addition to fairy tales – the works of Eric Linklater, Mary Norton, C.S. Lewis, Philippa Pearce, and Lucy Boston. Farmer notes that fantasy allows the writer to “make metaphors for life… turn it into narrative – and thereby get at the essences of life and death.” Although she has dabbled in several types of fiction, she invariably returns to fantasy, the genre of her most significant work.



Penelope Farmer’s books are available at:      


Reflections in a Hubcap by Steve Atkinson

September 6, 2014

Reflections in a Hubcap - Steve Atkinson

Reflections in a Hubcap — a collection of short stories by Steve Atkinson.

A review by R J Dent.


Steve Atkinson’s Reflections in a Hubcap really is a collection of profound reflections. The twenty-three beautifully-crafted short stories in this collection cover a range of subjects and themes, but the essence of many of these stories is the way that the past impinges on the present; the way that tales that are whimsically autobiographical suddenly become maps of the dark and murky places of the human mind.


Between its covers, Reflections in a Hubcap has something for everyone. It is a carefully-crafted collection that is structured very much like a symphony or a concept album, with a variety of moods and styles cleverly juxtaposed for maximum emotional impact.


There are tales of the unexpected (Cokum, One, Two, Miss a Few, Yellower Than a Buttered ‘Possum in Custard, What’s That You’re Reading); tales of revenge (Tickle Under There, Innocents Abroad, Armed and Dangerous, On the Rocks); tales of wonder (Old Grumpy, Matinee), and tales of malice (Wipe-out!, Shines the Light, A Song for Angels) all told in the crisp, clear prose that is Steve Atkinson’s trademark. The descriptions reveal the author’s love of and delight in the English language.


If you want stories that will surprise, delight, shock, and unsettle, then Reflections in a Hubcap is the perfect book to read.


Reflections in a Hubcap is available at:

Stephen Atkinson, was a Fleet Street reporter on the Daily Mirror in London for 27 years. He has also been a sub-editor, news editor and deputy editor and a writer on a leading American magazine, then based in Florida. He briefly served as a New York correspondent for a major UK title. Now retired, freed from deadlines and editors, he enjoys writing fiction, playing guitar and fishing for mackerel and tin cans from an old boat. He is the author of Ghosts Who Google.


Huitzilopochtli’s Dying Thoughts by R J Dent

August 29, 2014




Huitzilopochtli’s Dying Thoughts



I’ve got the Tamanaco and Paris

and the bright scarlet splash of Mexico’s

flowers and life and death in my blood-stream


My ice sculpture now wears a sugared skull

and stares at me with melting ibis eyes

from its nest of fading rainbow fragments


And by the waterfall, the hummingbirds

fly in reverse, sip calico nectar

and ignore the cocooned African moon moths


I shake the plateau with my screech owl’s scream;

at my groan, ghost orchid stems snap and fall

(they’ll end up lining some young osprey’s nest)


As I die, ice melts and waterfalls stop.

I’ll return to earth as a butterfly,

or as an eagle – I don’t mind which…



© R J Dent (2014)



Sade: Sex and Death – The Divine Marquis and the Surrealists (translated by R J Dent)

August 22, 2014



The Divine Marquis and the Surrealists

Edited by Candice Black

Translated into English by R J Dent



André Breton, Surrealist Manifesto (1924)


The Marquis de Sade (1740–1814), best known for his violent, erotic novels, such as 120 Days of Sodom and Justine, was also one of the key inspirational figures identified by André Breton in his Surrealist Manifestos. De Sade’s importance to the Surrealists and their close affiliates is reflected in the sheer volume of art and writing dedicated to, or inspired by, his life, philosophy, and writings. Sade documents this body of Surrealist work, including many key texts and bizarre and erotic images never before assembled in one volume.  Included in Sade: Sex and Death are more than fifty rarely seen transgressive illustrations by some of the most famous names associated with Surrealism, including Dalí, Hans Bellmer, Magritte, André Masson, and Man Ray. The book also features analytical texts by writers of the period such as Bataille, Breton, Bunuel, Eluard, and Klossowski.


Also included is the first-ever English translation (by R J Dent) of ‘The Divine Marquis’ by Guillaume Apollinaire, which was the first modernist appraisal of Sade and remains one of the best concise biographies of its subject, and “Sade and the Roman Noir” by scholar Maurice Heine, in which Heine posits Sade as inventor of the gothic novel. Putting the works in context is an extensive history by Candice Black that details the relationship between the Surrealists and Sade.


The Marquis de Sade was one of the key figures identified by André Breton in his Surrealist Manifestos as inspirational to the whole Surrealist movement. Sade’s importance to the Surrealists and their close affiliates is reflected in the sheer volume of their art and writing dedicated to, or inspired by, his life, philosophy and work.


Sade: Sex and Death documents this body of work, and features many key texts as well as a host of bizarre and erotic Surrealist images never before assembled in one volume.


Including texts, paintings, photography and drawings by: Guillaume Apollinaire, Georges Bataille, Hans Bellmer, André Breton, Luis Buñuel, Salvador Dalí, Robert Desnos , Paul Eluard, Max Ernst, Leonor Fini, Maurice Heine, Valentine Hugo, Pierre Klossowski, Felix Labisse, René Magritte, André Masson, Roberto Matta, Man Ray, Toyen, Clovis Trouille and others.




Candice Black: Sade and Surrealism: An Illustrated History

Guillaume Apollinaire: The Divine Marquis (Trans. R J Dent)

Georges Bataille: The Use Value of De Sade (Trans. Allan Stoekl)    

Maurice Heine: De Sade and the Gothic Novel (Trans. R J Dent)

Pierre Klossowski: A Destructive Philosophy

Andre Masson: Notes on the Sadistic Imagination (Trans. R J Dent)        

Paul Eluard: Sade: A Revolutionary Intelligence (Trans. R J Dent)



ISBN-13: 978-0-9820464-9-4

Available from:


Almost Famous

June 22, 2014



Almost Famous is a 2000 comedy-drama film written, co-produced, and directed by Cameron Crowe, telling the coming-of-age story of a teenage journalist writing for Rolling Stone magazine while on the road with a fictitious 1970s rock band named Stillwater. The film is semi-autobiographical, Crowe himself having been a teenage writer for Rolling Stone.

The film received positive reviews, and received four Oscar nominations, with Crowe winning one for best original screenplay. It also earned the 2001 Grammy Award Best Compilation Soundtrack Album. Renowned film critic Roger Ebert hailed it the best film of the year.



The film is based on Cameron Crowe’s experiences touring with rock bands Poco, The Allman Brothers Band, Led Zeppelin, Eagles, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. In a Rolling Stone article, he talks about how he lost his virginity, fell in love, and met his heroes, experiences that are shared by William, the main character in the film.

Crowe compiled an alternate version of the film for home video called Almost Famous: Untitled, which was a compilation of both released footage and his favorite deleted scenes. It runs for about forty minutes longer than the theatrical release and was subtitled “The Bootleg Cut“.





Patrick Fugit as William Miller

Michael Angarano as Young William

Billy Crudup as Russell Hammond

Frances McDormand as Elaine Miller

Kate Hudson as Penny Lane

Jason Lee as Jeff Bebe

Zooey Deschanel as Anita Miller

Anna Paquin as Polexia Aphrodisia

Fairuza Balk as Sapphire

Bijou Phillips as Estrella Starr

Noah Taylor as Dick Roswell

Philip Seymour Hoffman as Lester Bangs

Terry Chen as Ben Fong-Torres

Jay Baruchel as Vic Munoz

Jimmy Fallon as Dennis Hope

Rainn Wilson as David Felton

Mark Kozelek as Larry Fellows

Liz Stauber as Leslie Hammond

John Fedevich as Ed Vallencourt

Eric Stonestreet as Sheldon the Desk Clerk



Almost Famous – A Film by Cameron Crowe





My Father’s Garden: Greenhouse by R J Dent

May 5, 2014





1: Frame


Several lengths of silver angle-iron had been in the garden for over a week before my father acknowledged their existence.

      – Ah, yes. I’d better put that together, he said cryptically, one morning.

      Later on, he’d assembled several lengths of the angle-iron into a cube-shaped frame.

      – What are you making, dad?

      – Assembling.

      – What are you assembling, dad?

      – A greenhouse. With a gable roof.

      – Are you going to grow anything in it?

      – No, I thought I’d leave it empty for years, and then knock it down.

      – Oh. What for?

      – Not really. I’m going to grow tomatoes in it. Read more…




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