Aubrey Beardsley: “The Litany of Mary Magdalen”.
“To help a man is like reviving an assassin who has designs on your life. For beyond the truth that most men are naturally your enemies, the one who solicits your help shows by the very act that you have something which he has not, and which he cannot like you for having. … A sense of obligation engenders a sense of hate.”
A prose collection of twenty-five short stories where each story is titled with a mononym.
The book, first published in 1899, was described by the author as a “book of monologues” – perhaps he meant that the stories were not so much speeches of entertainment but one-sided views with no argument or questioning given by someone who is, best to say, not under-confident in their views.
This collection of short, pithy, cynical pieces is illustrated with modern photographs by Robert Gray. The only exception being the story “Vah!” using Aubrey Beardsley’s “The Litany of Mary Magdalen”, which is the subject of that story.
Vincent O’Sullivan (1868–1940) was born into a prosperous Irish American family in New York and moved to London as a child. He spent much of his life in the demi-monde world that is the setting of his books and stories. While in Paris he was friends with Oscar Wilde, Leonard Smithers, Aubrey Beardsley and other fin-de-siècle personalities.
The writer Robert Aickman wrote of O’Sullivan that: "Having lived a longish life as a more or less well-to-do rentier, in latish middle age found himself ruined, wrote his last book under terrible conditions, and, dying in Paris, ended anonymously in the common pit for the cadavers of paupers."
Other books by Vincent O’Sullivan that are also published by Solis Press:
Paperback, 234mm × 156mm; tba pages | illustrated with photographs
Also available as an ebook
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