© 2020 Jon Crabb

Books

This illustrated anthology concentrates on the major preoccupations of Decadence: Artifice, Intoxication, Spirituality, and Death. The selections include not only the finest examples of Decadent prose and poetry, but also extracts from theoretical texts, criticism and parody. 

This beautifully designed book highlights some of the most striking and amusing examples from the British Library’s collections and provides brief commentary on the political and social background of the images. 

Shortlisted for best illustrated book at the British Book Design and Production Awards.

WITCH-IKON gathers a vast selection of images of witches and their diabolical magic, emphasizing the range of artistic depictions that have helped coalesce this most powerful of modern supernatural icons.

 

The book includes writings by Michael Bertiaux, Daniel A. Schulke, Madeleine LeDespencer, Martin Duffy, Lee Morgan, and Jon Crabb.

First published in 1900 by an anonymous author, this is the earliest book devoted purely to the art of the cocktail. For thirty years including prohibition, it was a staple of well-stocked bars, although originals are now extremely rare. 

While working for British Library Publishing, I rediscovered this in the collections. We published a new edition, and I added a small glossary.

The third offering in the PDR selected essays series is positively bursting with goodness, including chocolate highs, scorbutic visions, wonky badgers, sexy flora, deadly fogs, mathematical fish, coloured cubes of hyperspace, a very naughty Aristotle, and pianos comprising yelping cats. 

 

Includes my essay on ‘The Fourth Dimension and Hyperspace’ (illustration also used on the cover).

Automata, astral travel, bawdy gods, balloonscapes, the combinatorial arts, invisible worlds, battered bodies, gloomy skies, the many faces of Don Quixote, and a pilfering Oscar Wilde.

Contains my essay ‘The Strange Case of Mr William T. Horton’, on the life and art of an overlooked illustrator and mystic.

Witches, walruses, doomsdays, death masks, utopias, enormous hair, unlikely Aztecs, telepathic dreams, a dictionary of demons, and the art of hiding in taxidermied cows..

Features my essay ‘Woodcuts and Witches’, on how the image of the witch – complete with pointy hat, broomstick, and cauldron – was created and popularised through the reproduction of early modern woodcuts.

Abraxas No. 2 offers over 200 pages of essays, poetry, interviews and art. Features Alan Moore, Mark Titchner and Ira Cohen. Fulgur redefined what an esoteric press was capable of with their Abraxas series. 200 copies of a cloth-bound, deluxe edition, with a silkscreen print, were also printed.

Contains my 10,000 word essay ‘Brion Gysin: Shaman of the Beat Hotel’.

Luminous Screen is the second Special Issue of Abraxas. It is a collection of essays commissioned by guest editor Jack Sargeant that seek to explore the impact of esotericism on cinema.

Features my essay ‘Experiments in Film and Magic: The Phantasmagoria of William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin’.

Writing

I write about various, and only tangentially related, things that intrigue me.
Over the years, I have written for various books, journals, magazines and websites.

 

Topics include William Burroughs and Brion Gysin, Decadence, witches, alcohol, higher mathematics, modern art, and the seventeenth century

I’ve occasionally contributed to some academic journals and – at the other end of the scale – some very niche, deluxe, editions for esoteric presses.

When I worked as an editor at British Library Publishing, I became fascinated by their collection of early modern pamphlets and wrote a book on 17th-century woodcuts – which are far more interesting than they sound. This was shortlisted for a British Book Design and Production Award.​

I’ve also written about UX and tech for UX Collective, UX Planet and HackerNoon.