Friday, 10 April 2009

World's Weirdest?

This morning I read a newsletter from Abebooks about what they consider to be the world's weirdest book. At the end they write: 'If you know a weirder book (...) we’d love to hear about it', which made me think of a vampire book which is pretty unusual, but probably not as 'weird' as the book chosen by Abebooks.

I'm thinking of a German book titled Drakula, Drakula - Ein transsylvanisches Abenteur written by H. C. Artmann and graphically designed by Uwe Bremer. It was published in 1966 in cooperation between the Berlin Rainer Verlag and the Swiss Magica Verlag. The first 120 copies were signed by both Artmann and Bremer. My copy is not signed.

The story itself is a mix of Stoker, Le Fanu, Lovecraft in a tale of an English couple visiting Dracula in his Transsylvanian castle. It does not work very well as more than a short grotesque tale in its own right, but what makes the book 'weird' and 'wonderful' is the graphical presentation.

Printed in a mix of gold of black, using different alphabets, and combining the text with 13 full page illustrations that are pretty unusual, this is really more of a bibliophile piece of art than a vampire tale. It is certainly difficult to do it justice by showing a few sample pages, you have to see this book for real. I don't claim that this is great art or literature, but it is certainly an interestinig curiosity that will no doubt be cherished by any collector of vampire books.

A number of copies are for sale on Abebooks, and they are certainly not so expensive as the 'world's weirdest book'. There is even an edition signed by Artmann available at 280€.

1 comment:

Niels K. Petersen said...

After writing this post I noticed that the book has been released in 2008 as an audiobook with music apparently creating a 'symphony of horror'.

The signed edition I referred to is actually a fragment of the original, but there are a number of copies of the 1966 edition for sale on ebay and

Finally, here is some information on Artmann.

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