The Focus of Life: The Mutterings of Aãos, Austin Osman Spare
The Focus of Life: The Mutterings of Aãos, is arguably the most biographically significant of all Spare’s published works. Often obscure, magical and fragmentary, it invites exploration of a strange Nietzschean landscape through what Spare termed ‘the labyrinth of the alphabet.’ But the recent discovery of Spare’s original conceptual folio for the book, once owned by the respected writer E.M. Forster, has revealed an unseen series of powerful magico-erotic drawings – termed by Spare ‘blasphemous Ideographs’ – that provide an important key to understanding the ‘secret ritual of Self-Love’ that underlies this evocative and deeply personal work.
This latest edition of The Focus of Life offers a high-quality facsimile of the 1921 first edition and a full-color facsimile of the newly discovered conceptual folio. The magical narrative and the illustrations, which were too explicit for publication in 1921, have been reunited, providing new perspectives for those interested in exploring the artist's life and magical beliefs. Furthermore, critical essays by Phil Baker and Robert Ansell supplement these significant works.
London: Fulgur Limited, 2012. Limited to 600 copies bound in brown cloth with dust jacket; pp. 128. A fine copy in a fine dust jacket, protected in archival mylar.