Tag Archives: Ron Weighell

My reading-lifetime’s Hall of Fame

Image by Tony Lovell (2011)

My reading-lifetime’s Hall of Fame in no particular order:

Charles Dickens, Christopher Priest, AS Byatt, Enid Blyton, May Sinclair, HP Lovecraft, Barbara Vine, Reggie Oliver, Anita Brookner, WG Sebald, Jeremy Reed, Ian McEwan, Elizabeth Bowen, Stephen King, Oliver Onions, Marcel Proust, Salman Rushdie, Glen Hirshberg, Paul Auster, Mark Valentine, John Fowles, Edgar Allan Poe, John Cowper Powys, Lord Dunsany, Algernon Blackwood, Jack Vance, Philip K Dick, Jeff VanderMeer, Samuel R Delany, Anthony Burgess, Susanna Clarke, Rhys Hughes, Lawrence Durrell, MR James, Robert Aickman, Sarban, Ramsey Campbell, Thomas Ligotti, Tommaso Landolfi, Kazuo Ishiguro, Quentin S. Crisp.

This is a list including writers I once considered in my Hall of Fame but now rarely read, and new writers whose works I read quite a lot and have included in my Hall of Fame fairly recently and variations upon that, but all have been major reading experiences some time in my life.  Apologies to those I’ve inadvertently omitted because of my semi-Proustian memory.


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The “TARSHISHIM” Box – Ron Weighell


Fragments. 1

Pertinent to this are persistent tales that the poet had access to something that facilitated communication with Angels and Demons, and that it was not opium.”

Fascinating essay on Coleridge – propounding theories about Kublai Khan and The Ancient Mariner in the light of ‘The Tears of The Gods’. Part of me is regretful that it did not read this Fragment before reading the book, another part of me is glad. (2 Jan 12 – an hour later)


“In the centre of one room was a pyramid, almost to the ceiling, of broken glass, crockery and mirrors.”

An intriguing story in two parts – the latter explaining the former by not explaining it, or not explaining it by explaining it. A cuppish woman of well-travelled tall-tales and, earlier, we were enabled to explore a wayside Palace or Villa with precariously tall ‘contraptions’ of glass (see that prism artwork I mentioned earlier).  A “grotesquery” of Dunsany and Swinburne, I guess, but much else, I cannot guess. For me, and perhaps me alone, shades of Richard Hakluyt. (2 Jan 12 – another 90 minutes later)

Fragments. 1975 (Notes for ‘The Secret Place’ – a story published in The White Road)

“…the statue was a perpetuation of existence…”

A tantalising treatment of Akhnaten (whom I only know from the opera by Philip Glass), and, inter alia, deformities, androgyny, chakras – and ‘trepanning’ that brings me back to the bursting greatness (in total seriousness and without exaggeration) of wisdom and learning in this relentlessly accreting Box that surely needs a ‘relief’ valve (even with – in less seriousness Whovian or otherwise – its Tarshidis qualities)… (2 Jan 12 – another 45 minutes later)

Notes for Novel of Thelemic Magick, The Tablet of Destiny. 1974

“The cusp between the Aeons is traditionally a time of unrest and anxiety,…”

This way-station, way-hell of a Box coming into my life is an effect if not the cause of one such cusp. Although I have long had a “belief in cosmic cycles“, it is by Jungian Synchronicity rather than by airy-fairy cause-and-effect.  I used to cast horoscopes in 1974 with correlative progressions and transits. But not now.  Although I sneak a look at my own planetary transits infrequently. Perhaps today. (2 Jan 12 – another 30 minutes later)

Fragments from the novel “Book of Thoth” [1980s]

Box within box within box within… (2 Jan 12 – another 15 minutes later)

The Box of Bronze

“Rumour said that even his treasured copy of the Iliad, annotated by his old teacher Aristotle was from that day no longer his greatest source of delight.”

Alexander who founded Alexandria without seeing it finished – becomes, in this tale, a sort of Captain Nemo in a glass submarine – with machinations concerning Deep Ones or such like – and boxes – one of Bronze, but, more significantly for me (as regular readers of this real-time review might understand) “a coral encrusted box”. (2 Jan 12 – another 30 minutes later)



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On the Side of the Angels – Marston Moor

Extract below from my Real-Time Review of Ron Weighell’s Tarshishim.
The Battle between – Angels and Demons, Real Books and Ebooks.
Happy New Year!
On the Side of the Angels
“In fifteen sixty six, when Suleiman’s Sorceror called up demons to fight alongside the Ottoman army, an Angelic Host led by the Archangel Gabriel was summoned to oppose them.”
Felicitously, amid the book’s dutifulness towards its own Angelic thread, there is much synergy not only with my own long-term definition of ‘magic fiction’ as a real power in human affairs but also with the use made of it in warfare as described by the masterpiece ‘Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell’ in the name of Susanna Clarke. Also, arguably, a textual hint here of the internet as part of these processes, which my real-time reviewing also taps into, I suggest. “I take it you are not well read in the works of the master, Edgar Allan Poe? I thought not. It was his belief that if you wish to hide something, the best place is in full view.” This book is fast becoming, in full public view, an important part of my life, retrocausally as well as linearly forward in time. Remarkably, it mentions in this section today “Marston Moor” as one of the battles where “Beings” were sent, i.e. a battle which, synchronously, only yesterday was mentioned independently to me on a semi-public internet forum (here) as being a battle that (with right or wrong on my side, angels or demons?) I am currently fighting on behalf of real books against ebooks. (31 Dec 11 – four hours later)

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“TARSHISHIM – boxed limited edition” by Ron Weighell

tarshI was lucky enough to receive this for Christmas today – as a present from one of my close family. In due course, I shall append below a real-time review of this work of literature. (25 Dec 11)

A double-sided box – plush and sturdy: with red-mottled linings to die for. On spine of box: <<TARSHÍSHÍM by Ron Weíghell. Passport Levant.>> There is much design or artwork in the contents of this box (as well as the box itself) that I currently understand has been perpetrated by Santiago Caruso.  I shall broadly refer to these designs etc. (I hope) during my forthcoming real-time review to appear below on this page (please see list here for all my previous reviews and here specifically for my previous Ex Occidente Press reviews). At a preliminary glance, the contents are (i) tied up by a ribbon of indeterminate material, many sheets of fine-quality, loose-leaf, yellow sheets with pictures and text (the top sheet saying: “Summoning of Ancient Dust” – Journal Notes) — plus, separately, (ii) a landscape-format sturdy hardback book (‘The Tears of the Gods’ by Ron Weighell) with stiff black dust-jacket, red end-papers and red board-covers: and about 140 stiff-quality pages.  At the  end of this book: “…an edition of 107 copies, of which this is No. 80”. The ’80’ looks as if it is pencil but I dare not check with a rubber. (27 Dec 11)

To give some idea of the artwork, please see HERE (rather than myself, an inexpert artistic eye, commenting upon it, although I can safely say it is, for me, skilful and evocative and magical from what I’ve seen of it so far): although I have NOT discovered (as yet) a silk pouch with mandrake seeds or a celestial map or some “double-pages illustrations by Santiago Caruso, expressly done for The Tears of the Gods, printed on thick deluxe paper”!

Starting with ‘The Tears of the Gods’ book:

Consorting with Angels

“Who owns the region owns the religion. But is it not equally true that who rules the religion rules the region?”

Amid much mythic name-checking from various occult or arcane regions or religions, we learn of Holy Roman Emperors and a form of wondrous Star Chamber edifice on the outskirts of Prague – and, inter alios, Dee involved with the creation, by astrology or alchemy or sheer magic wordplay (as enhanced by the book’s private artwork), of an Angel Cage and the synergy, symbiosis, host/parasite relations of human and angel, and my own inferences of (mock?)-esoteric-language and Lovecraftian-feel of conspiracies surrounding it.  I am practised in astrological harmonics myself, but I’m not sure I believe in them – but, equally, I often wonder at the correlations produced. Also, personally, this is a real-time review so I am giving initial reactions: scratching the surface: and I can already tell it will require several readings to eke out its full “sweet syrup“.  Having said that, I already sense a power beyond the words, a pervasion of or by a ‘magic fiction’ (as I have defined it publicly in the past) that indeed often subsumes reality itself.  The apparent glitches, too, like “like – minded” rather than “like-minded”, and “Stone-Hinge on Salisbury Plain” and “supercellestial” feel deliberate… meaningful. (27 Dec 11 – two hours later)

A Sudden Sunshine

“Through an opening can be glimpsed a garden stunned to utter stillness by the summer heat. It is a vision of intricate knots, topiary and marble statues.”

A brief tarramadiddle that I may later fit into some hindsight context of this book – wondrous prose in itself, nevertheless, about an old man in dialogue with a Thames-side enarboured diadem demoiselle, ‘knots’, for me, being translated as ‘ligotti’ and Angelic kings as Angevins…  Polish : Polar. (27 Dec 11 – two hours later)

The Black Lake of Night

“Because it is within Man’s power to seek wisdom does not mean that it is within his power to find it.”

Ranging from Dvorakian-Rusalkan “water goblins” toward – what I sense to be – this book’s continual seeking of craftsmen in “minuterie” to assist – via a hindsight of erstwhile retrocausality – with Dee’s Angel Cage (here involving Tycho Brahe in a word-materialising Prague). Weighell’s prose style itself is part of that synergy of “minuterie” – as is, for me, the synergous prose style here: Allurements of Cabochon – by John Gale. Also a “demon tamer“, and images to die for or to be set in ‘bas relief’.  Hell and Heaven worked together by “intaglios” – but which the host, which the parasite?: I find myself asking for no reason.  There is incidentally a ‘hell’ in ‘weighell’. And nearly in ‘angel‘… (28 Dec 11)

The Summe and Substance of the Conference

That was undeniably unfortunate; an example of the Law of Unintended Consequences.”

A hilarious human-nature ‘racism’ fable, encompassing London fires or freeze-ups, blamed on Angels or those who encourage them? Well, not quite. But you’ll get the message when you read it: as you continue to delight in the book-sturdy prose with its hard gems as well syrupy lightnesses – and brotherships as well as magical powers in Limehouse, Wapping etc. And a reprise of ‘polar’ makes me think ‘Plague’ is a deliberate assonance with ‘Prague’! At least on frozen rivers, you can put a fair. (28 Dec 11 – another 2 hours later)

[Just realised that I have real-time reviewed Weighell fiction before – ‘The World Entire’ here. And then, when double-checking, that this was exactly two years ago today!] (28 Dec 11 – another hour later)

This real-time review now continues HERE.


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