More About Dead Women Surrealists

Amy Hale has done another podcast interview about her forthcoming biography of Ithell Colquhoun, which is due to drop from Strange Attractor in June 2020.

It’s in a special episode of the Secret History Of Western Esotericism Podcast (SHWEP), which regular readers and newsletter subscribers will know is a long-standing favourite of mine. Hearing about Colquhoun on SHWEP feels like a treat.

Hale has done several similar interviews over the past year or so, but this one is particularly worth a listen. She goes into more depth than I have heard before about the relationship between Surrealist automatism and magickal practice in Colquhoun’s work, discusses Cornishness and Colquhoun’s take on Celticity, and sketches in some detail about which secret societies Colquhoun joined and why.

I should warn you that the podcast presenter does drop a few clangers along the way, including a bad one about Dalí’s fascism. But Hale navigates it all with grace, so let’s not hold it against him.

You can listen to the interview on the SHWEP episode webpage, which also provides a small gallery of Colquhoun images and a handy reading list.

In fact, 2020 looks set to be a bumper year for dead women Surrealists. It’s not just Hale’s Colquhoun biography: Fulgur Press are promising what they have described as “major projects” on both Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varo, while Wakefield Press are releasing the first English translation of Leonor Fini’s novella Rogomelec in March.

It’s all exciting stuff, and only a churl would complain that we could also do with some lavish colour books and/or good-quality English translations of work by women Surrealists who are still, y’know, alive. But I’ve banged that drum before, so ENOUGH.

Book cover images reproduced under fair use.

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