Friday, July 31, 2009

The Night-Farers by Mark Valentine


I nearly spilt my Cocopops this morning when the doorbell rang. We so rarely have visitors so it had to be the postman and I really wasn't expecting anything. Wonderfully, I have been sent, out of the blue, a copy of The Night-Farers a collection of short stories by Mark Valentine, doyen of all things mysterious, supernatural and macabre in fiction and editor of the brilliant Wormwood Journal. It is a beautiful book. Holding it in your hands, you feel like the quality is dripping from it. A great frontis from a friend of FFEP, John Coulthart is sandwiched between endpapers that might as well be velvet. The jacket feels silky and the upper board has been even blocked with the title in gold on green cloth. Gorgeous...
Clearly I haven't had time to read properly yet but the verse on the front cover, from Angelus Silesius has been haunting me all day:

"Who in this mortal life would see
The light that is beyond all light,
Beholds it best by faring forth
Into the darkness of the night"

It's published by the adventurous Ex Occidente Press from Bucharest, yes Bucharest, a small publisher with a juicy list well worth a look.

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