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Stealing the Fire from Heaven by Austin Osman Spare
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    Stealing the Fire from Heaven by Austin Osman Spare

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    This is from the personal collection of Michael W. Ford

    Edited by A.R. Naylor, Softcover, 240 pages.

    Thame, England: I-H-O Books, 2002. First Edition. Softcover. Small Quarto. Printed decorated wrappers. Illustrations. Text etc. printed in four colours. In his Introduction Anthony Naylor argues that a number of the capital letters and other decorations that are attributed to Spare in publications such as J.C. Squire's "Twelve Poems" were actually "lifted" from earlier sources. There follows a detailed assembly of the works in question ("The Stolen Fire") and then a selection of the works which contained capitals, tailpieces etc. by Spare (legitimate and otherwise): "Eight Poems" by W.B. Yeats; "The Grotesque" by Edmund Sullivan, "Automatic Drawing" by Austin Osman Spare and Frederick Carter (all from "Form" magazine); and "Twelve Poems" by J.C. Squire. Light bump and crease to lower corner, very light chafing to edges - Still overall a tight clean VG+ copy. 

    Stealing the Fire from Heaven edited & compiled by A.R. Naylor by Austin Osman Spare This remarkable piece of detective work by the Editor throws new light upon the work of Spare - he was an art thief! Many of the decorated initials that Spare claimed to have designed were in fact copied from the works of others! However, the Editor also recovers some work which Spare published under a pseudonym in Form Magazine, & restores it to the corpus of known Spare work. Eight Poems by W.B. Yeats & The Grotesque by Edmund Sullivan are reprinted with the illustrations now known to be by Spare, together with Twelve Poems by J.C. Squire, which Spare claimed to have illustrated & decorated. Although these discoveries do not affect the occult significance of the work they may now be viewed, by some people, very differently. Also raised is the question of authenticity regarding some of his very elaborate & formal alleged automatic drawings - the Spare & Carter illustrated essay entitled Automatic Drawing is reproduced. Austin Osman Spare was an English artist who developed idiosyncratic magical techniques including automatic writing, automatic drawing and sigilization based on his theories of the relationship between the conscious and unconscious self. His artistic work is characterised by skilled draughtsmanship exhibiting a complete mastery of the use of the line, and often employs monstrous or fantastic magical and sexual imagery.

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