Sunday, June 3, 2012

Alfred Kubin, “The Other Side” (excerpt), 1908

Alfred Kubin
"Oh, if only I could stop thinking, but that functions automatically. There are no certainties that are not counteracted by uncertainties!"
                                                                    Alfred Kubin, “The Other Side”

An extract from Kubin's larger work, The Other Side, the first story in the The Weird anthology works well as a standalone piece, probably because of the surreal nature of the content. The story features a sleeping city called Pearl that wakes up to being overrun by animals and insects of all kinds, and "The American" that seems to be at the root of all the weirdery.

Weird factor is probably at around 2 (out of 5); the story is definitely surreal with some striking imagery, but didn't leave me feeling uncomfortable or unsettled in the way I expect from the truly uncanny.

Kubin was also an illustrator, who supplied images for the works of amongst others Edgar A. Poe. These are hauntingly, beautifully weird, and evoke a sense of disturbance I found lacking from the excerpt that kicks off the Vandermeer & Vandermeer collection. Example below.

Reviewed from The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories, Eds. Anne and Jeff Vandermeer

Jede Nacht besucht uns ein Traum (Every Night We are Haunted by a Dream), ca. 1902-03

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