At home with Edward James

April 4, 2014 § Leave a comment

A wonderful look at the great eccentric (and nomad) Edward James. An hour well spent for such a wealth of inspiration, though perhaps it’s best that we’re not all so fabulously rich as to indulge in such follies as James seemed powerless to avoid.

Strange Flowers

So yesterday we paid a brief visit to the far-flung digs of Austrian artist Alfred Kubin, and while we’re on creative spaces I thought I should pass on this video which I only came across recently. It’s a 1978 documentary concerning, and extensively featuring, Edward James, described by the narrator as “a legendary man most people have never heard of” and “the last of the great eccentrics”. That narrator, by the way, is no less a personage than jazz singer George Melly, of whom Quentin Crisp famously said “Mr Melly has to be obscene to be believed”.

Of course being “at home” with Edward James is a multinational undertaking. And people, what wonders the journey brings! James describes the travelling menagerie that is his life in the high, piping voice which contemporaries always remarked upon. His irascible temperament and bitterness are also much in evidence. There is little to…

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