Limitation 150 standard hardback copies
Dimensions 228 × 150 mm
Extent 72 pp
Illustrations 8 original pen and ink drawings by Jennifer Rain Crosby
Binding Golden ochre cloth stamped in red, scarlet endpapers: Sold out
Bibliothèque Rouge paperback edition
£10 plus postage
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¶ Seeking Faust is a wild, ribald, and irreverent ride through the realms of conjuring and alchemy, by the poet Dale Pendell, author of the acclaimed Pharmako trilogy on psychoactive plants. Seeking Faust is a comedy of 13 scenes in prose, following a verse prologue; the dramatic form is apposite, invoking its origins in the archaic rites of Dionysus, the god of vegetal life, intoxication and revolution.
With Seeking Faust, Pendell revisits the legend of Dr Faustus, giving his own slant to the story made famous by Marlowe and Goethe. Our protagonist is Wagner, Faust’s former student and apprentice, who has chosen the royal path of alchemy over his master’s necromantic conjurations. His goal, to seek his master whom rumour would have is ‘far from dead.’ By art Wagner makes his antagonist, the Serpent, appear. As Mephistopheles is Faust’s shamanic ally, so is the Serpent – a sexy hermaphrodite born from the homunculus – to Pendell’s Wagner. Born of the homunculus, the hermaphroditic Serpent leads our hero on a visionary journey through various illusory scenarios, including the evocation of Augustine, a psychedelic trip, an encounter with Freud, and eventually ending in jail, defended by Daniel Webster.
Pendell, known for his own adventures on the poison path (‘so completely articulated’ in Goethe’s Faust), here uses humour as a pharmakon to counter our postmodern malaise.
The text is graced with 8 charming pen & ink illustrations by the artist Jennifer Rain Crosby.
Praise from the poet Andrew Schelling: ‘Thoroughly enjoying the wit, foolishness, and smuttiness of Seeking Faust. Dale Pendell has caught a good mix of neo-Elizabethan and Modernist dictim. This fits right on the shelf with his Neo-Coyote output. … It is as good a piece of book art as one could find these days. The delicate ‘wonderland’ illustrations, that cocky chanticleer on the cover …’