Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Yesterday was a day of editing, printing, art-ing, folding, sewing and sticking and lo! two new publications were born. I recently got permission to reprint a short story by Forrest Reid called Pan's Pupil. Reid was perhaps the best twentieth century writer on the theme of 'the sensitive boy' and spent most of his writing career on just that subject, often placing the boy in vaguely supernatural situations and often in sub-homosexual relationships with men and other boys. Pan's Pupil, though short is a sweet little story which shows Reid 'setting out his store' as it were in the first piece of fiction he ever published (in 1905), this is it's first republication since then.
The second booklet I am even more proud of, in terms of the way it looks, Tarcissus: Boy Martyr of Rome by Frederick Rolfe aka Baron Corvo, is again the first published piece by the author. It's a longish poem written for boys about the martyrdom of a young boy in the Diocletian persecutions in the third century AD. You can already see in this poem how important it was to Rolfe to conflate the beautiful and the good. The booklet is in textured card covers with the cover design hand painted onto each one. Both are in limited editions of 50 and both are already selling pretty well although in the end I would expect the Rolfe to outsell the Reid.