We’re delighted this week to feature a story from Hieroglyphic Press’s recent release, Requiems & Nightmares by 1800s Italian writer Guido Gozzano. The book has been translated by the team of Brendan and Anna Connell. In addition to the story “The Real Face,” we have an extensive interview with the translators—about translations generally and about Gozzano in particular, for those unfamiliar with him.
Hieroglyph Press publishes beautiful little books, designed and printed with great care. The press on their website has a general statement of intent worth quoting:
We are a small imprint primarily dedicated to publishing works of an eclectic and rarefied nature: to use a quote from elsewhere we wish for spiritual art – Decadence, Esoterica and Symbolism. Our use of the term Symbolism in this context is very catholic: we use it not because all of the authors we are passionate about fall into that category – in fact half the writers named in the ‘Authors We Like’ section of the Sacrum Regnum page wouldn’t be considered so, but because many of the features of Symbolism i.e. the aestheticism, the contempt with decayed modernity, the mystical aspects, the love of ‘ancient traditions and hermetic histories’ and the devotion to style and skill in language itself, tally with what we wish to champion.
This emphasis on Symbolism in a catholic way is important, especially because of the interplay between the Symbolists and the Decadents. Even Flaubert at one point was teetering on the edge of being thought of as a Decadent before being claimed as a Symbolist. And both traditions have connections to The Weird. Indeed, if not for the rise of modern commercial Weird and for the huge influence of both Kafka and Lovecraft, the Decadents and Symbolists might have had more direct influence on both horror and weird fiction. Instead, such influence tends to manifest indirectly except in a small group of writers.
So, please enjoy our offerings this week, which also include Edward Gauvin’s post reprinting Thomas Owen’s thoughts on Lovecraft. We’ve published Owen’s fiction before. And also if you haven’t seen our interview with Stefan Grabinski’s translator (Hieroglyphic Press also published a book his fiction recently), check it out—it’s great. Along with fiction from Grabinski.