STOIC DECAY pictures & projects by gElm • Lem de Grosnpreg

Illustrations for John Cowper Powys' A Glastonbury Romance


Worse than God's

The words emanated from a pale, insubstantial husk upon the air, a husk that resembled the cast-off skin of a snake or the yet more fragile skin of a newt, diaphanous and yet flaccid, a form, a shape, a human transparency, limned upon the darkness above the great chair to the left of the fireplace.

[…]

No sooner were these words uttered, than a simulacrum in human form, seated opposite to the shade of the Rector returned a bitter response. → Chapter I: The Will

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS IMAGE USED: “Southwood,” residence on Via Del Lago, Palm Beach, Florida

INTERNET ARCHIVE IMAGE USED: Examples of Gothic Architecture, Vol. 3, page 168

Wuther-Quotle-Glug

Its primordial goodness warring forever against its primordial evil holds life up only by vast excess of energy and by oceans of lavish waste. Even though the cry of a particular creature may reach the First Cause, there is always a danger of its being intercepted by the evil will of this vast Janus-faced Force.

[…]

“It is extraordinary that we should ever have met!” These words, uttered by John in a moment of relaxed gratefulness, struck the attention of that solitary ash tree in Water-ditch Field with what in trees corresponds to human irony. Five times in its life of a hundred and thirty years had the ash tree of Water-ditch Field heard those words uttered by living organisms. → Chapter II: The River

A Meeting Near Dark

The man gave him his hand and John stood up. He surreptitiously substituted the handle of his hazel-stick for its ferrule end and grasped it tightly. “If he becomes dangerous,” he thought, “I’ll step backward and hit him on the head with all my force.” → Chapter III: Stonehenge

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS IMAGES USED: Stonehenge, Salisbury, England •  President Roosevelt after inauguration leaving the Capitol to head the parade

Tis a Daffadowndilly Day

She was in fact an animated Euclidean Square moving about over the earth. → Chapter IV: Hic Jacet

On Sam's Mind

The pit of his stomach suddenly seemed to sink inward then for he thought to himself, “She is going to sleep with him again! I could feel it in the air when we came away.” → Chapter V: Whitelake Cottage

A Painful Meeting

Sam ought to have had the wit to realise at this moment that had he swallowed his pride and changed his tone all would have been well. Apparently a man can call his love a whore and be forgiven! But he was at once too aggrieved and too simple-minded to take advantage of the tears that were now pouring down her face. → Chapter VI: The Look of a Saint

Note

To learn more about John Cowper Powys and his work visit The Powys Society.

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