Hermetic Library Newsletter - Issue #19 (a weird twist about a weird book that makes for a good story)

Hermetic Library Newsletter - Issue #19 (a weird twist about a weird book that makes for a good story)
By John Bell the Librarian • Issue #21 • View online
Hey, hey, it’s Pride month! So, I’ve got some updated propaganda about that which I’ve got posting to social media.
(As an aside, I tried a while ago to add the rainbow LOVE IS THE LAW design as a tee to my Amazon Merch account, but they rejected it for their own mystifying reasons, which was the second design they rejected, and about when I started to give up on using that service for merch!)
On the other hand, posting rainbow stuff, in Solidarity, like so many other issues, is a great time to grease up the old ban hammer and get a workout swinging for bleachers as certain people crawl out of the woodwork to comment out of the blue. So that’s fun, for some value of fun that’s mostly just smdh.
This week, I announced the call for submissions to Magick, Music and Ritual 16, the Anthology Album for 2021! I’ve already got a few submissions, and will hope for plenty more. I get a bit over excited about these albums, but they are a highlight of my year. I never know what I’ll get, and it’s a fun surprise; then I get to pull together the playlist and share it with everyone. What’s not to like?
In other submission news, I’ve been drafting the next zine. There’s not nearly enough to release an issue yet. I’m about ½ way there though! I need more submissions before Aphelion in July, with enough time to do layout and all the little details.
Consider participating on album or zine! Or, letting someone you know, who would be interested, in on the opportunities!
On a more personal note, I’ve been talking with contractors for a much needed new roof, as my current one is barely there and what is there is leaking, and finishing my new bathroom (replacing a really gross bathroom/shower that’s in an addition that’s falling down!) which has been on hold for, what? 2 years now? Yeah, anyhow, it’d be nice to have that done!
Also, this week, I came down with something or ate something that took me out for a few days. Still feeling a little yucky. But, I’ve been fully vaccinated for long enough that I doubt it was the plague. Still, sucks to be sick.
Don’t forget that as of the 1st of the month, after a year of being exclusive to ongoing Patrons on Patreon and supporting Members of this newsletter, all of Omnium Gatherum posts on the blog for May 2020 are now public. So, go check out what you missed!
Other things this in this week’s newsletter include a silly caption contest, Bulkagov’s The Master and Margarita, another Patron giveaway soon, quotes, book reviews, other anthology updates, refreshing the mini art print merch, and mail call.
And, as always, I worked on various other things on website, blog, and more … Enjoy!

B-day anniversary gifts from the Librarian's mom
B-day anniversary gifts from the Librarian's mom
Caption contest!
“Papers, please!”
“Why yes, I do have a license.”
“We’re on a mission from God”
The Master and Margarita
Recently the Librarian’s mom discovered this wild book whilst looking up things about library cats. Then ordered a bunch of them sent to me. 5 books, 4 different covers. So, I guess I’ve got a new Patron first-come giveaway sorted, probably posting later this month!
The Master and Margarita: 50th-Anniversary Edition [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Mikhail Bulgakov, illustrated by Christopher Conn Askew, translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, with foreword by Boris Fishman.
A 50th-anniversary Deluxe Edition of the incomparable 20th-century masterpiece of satire and fantasy, in a newly revised version of the acclaimed Pevear and Volokhonsky translation
Nothing in the whole of literature compares with The Master and Margarita. One spring afternoon, the Devil, trailing fire and chaos in his wake, weaves himself out of the shadows and into Moscow. Mikhail Bulgakov’s fantastical, funny, and devastating satire of Soviet life combines two distinct yet interwoven parts, one set in contemporary Moscow, the other in ancient Jerusalem, each brimming with historical, imaginary, frightful, and wonderful characters. Written during the darkest days of Stalin’s reign, and finally published in 1966 and 1967, The Master and Margarita became a literary phenomenon, signaling artistic and spiritual freedom for Russians everywhere.
This newly revised translation, by the award-winning team of Pevear and Volokhonsky, is made from the complete and unabridged Russian text.
I don’t really make winter gift lists anymore, but I used to do. But, you know, I rarely took it completely serious. I always added a bunch of silly impossible things just for fun. One other thing I did a lot was add a note at the end of my lists asking generally for interesting books and left it up to whomever pulled my name that year. One year, I’m still not entirely sure who, someone put an old used paperback copy of this book in my gift stocking.
This was probably close to two decades ago now? I’d not heard of the book or the author. The cover was wild. Let me tell you the blurb on the back was even more wild. I was thrown for a loop at how bizarre the story sounded. I recall exclaiming, “What the hell?”
I have to admit I didn’t end up actually reading it until a few years later, but when I did I discovered it was indeed as bizarre as it seemed, but also that it was pretty good fun! I think I probably didn’t quite get a lot of the Russian social satire, the way someone more close to the culture and lived experience would, but the rest of it was quite delightfully insane.
At some point, I either bought for myself or was gifted a tee from Out of Print with the cover design on it. Mine was on a kind of unpleasant cream colour and with a tight fit, instead of the heather grey and regular fit they appear to have now. But that’s my paperback’s cover!
Out of Print tee
Out of Print tee
I just spent a silly amount of time trying to locate my actual physical copy so I could show you, but, as one might expect from a giant talking cat named Behemoth, who’s armed and dangerous, it has absconded itself somewhere secret. I also wore out the Out of Print shirt I used to have at some point, and can’t show that off either.
In the last year of so, I also picked up an ebook of the 50th anniversary edition that was on special in case I got around to re-reading it again after so long.
As an aside, back in 2014, RM Isaiah added a track Master And Margarita to the old Soundcloud audio pool, before SC removed that feature, but the track is still there RM Isaiah’s profile. (Still pissed at SC for removing that feature! My group was quite active, and my attempts to create it again elsewhere never worked well as it had originally.)
There’s also been a lot of adaptations. Back in 2012, I posted about one of them, but the original video disappeared, so I just now put something else, a recording from 2009, but it is different. There was also some news about a Russian movie or film adaptation recently that I’m not finding at hand.
So there it is, a weird twist about a weird book that makes for a good story! And, if you’re an ongoing Patron, look for the giveaway some time this month!
Things to check out at Hermetic Library
Unicursal LOVE IS THE LAW rainbow propaganda
Unicursal LOVE IS THE LAW rainbow propaganda
Unicursal RAINBOW-COLOURED TEXTURE rainbow propaganda
Unicursal RAINBOW-COLOURED TEXTURE rainbow propaganda
Stuff on the blog
Omnium Gatherum: 2jun2021
Call for submissions to Magick, Music, and Ritual for 2021
The Satanic Witch
The newest merch for Patrons on Patreon is a refresh of the mini art print with the Unicursal Sabo Cat Magick Union Dept 666 One Big Egregore propaganda I made a while ago. Here’s what that looks like, or, rather, will look like!
This new design refreshes the first Patreon merch I added for Patrons, back in January. Current Patrons should earn this new design after they reach a 3 months milestone. New Patrons would start their own 3 month countdown at the time they join. So, there’s a window of only a few months to get in on this design before the next refresh, as I work through updating all the other designs and then loop back around again.
And, you know, there’s a lot of other merch and perks for ongoing Patrons you might be interested in checking out. Just sayin’!
Mail call
This week, I got a nice letter, posted on May 28, from Hermetic Library Fellow Walter C Cambra, that included a donation. Both much appreciated!
Did you enjoy this issue?
John Bell the Librarian
By John Bell the Librarian

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