About André Bay’s “The Queen of Spades”

I confess I know little, and almost all of it circumstantial, about this atmospheric sketch of a gutter-dwelling worm. It was written by André Bay (1916-2013), for more than four decades a senior editor at Éditions Stock. Among the diverse writers he championed there were Jorge Amado, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Joyce Carol Oates, Thomas Wolfe, Anaïs Nin, and […]

The Queen of Spades

Night travelers step from the train. I’m freezing. Footsteps hammer the street, shaking white droplets loose. The gutters are streaming. Mice are nibbling on cobwebs. Cows moo in the mist. Everywhere, without speaking a word, they fear the Queen of Spades. She is a woman, a monster, some claim; others maintain she is a gigantic […]

“Wonders and Blunders”: The Transgressive Fantastic in Mark Hosford’s Art

On his departmental homepage at Vanderbilt University, Mark Hosford, Associate Professor of Art, describes his work as using “narrative imagery to reveal societal wonders and blunders.” I’m not sure reveal is the right word to use, given how much transgressive laughter and horror fill Hosford’s strange dreamscapes. His work makes us see a world where […]

The Strangest of Neverlands: Ray Caesar’s Luminous, Defiant Lost Girls

I was first introduced to Ray Caesar’s work when writing the catalogue essay for Carrie Ann Baade’s Cute and Creepy show, which was exhibited at Florida State University’s Fine Art Museum this past October. I haven’t been able to shake the images of his haunting, and haunted, beauties ever since. Trapped forever between woman and […]