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Pacific Novelties

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1 June 1967 : The Quiet Furies [Oct. 28th, 2008|02:40 pm]
Pacific Novelties



This is a book of psychiatric case studies, published in 1967 and, to the best of my knowledge, never reprinted. Several of the case studies were made into thirty-minute, black & white films by the University of Michigan Television Center in 1969. The most interesting thing about this book, in my opinion, is the set of illustrations done by an artist named Edith Dines, about whom I can find nothing. They are imperfect but striking. Some of them are, as the kids say these days, "nightmare fuel". I present them here with the case names they accompanied serving as titles.

Case 1: The Invisible Sickness

Case 2: Gross Stress Reaction

Case 3: Obsessive-Compulsive Reaction

Case 4: Dissociative Reaction

("At this very moment it is possible that you—the reader—are in the throes of a dissociative reaction, have amnesia for some period of your past life, and have obliterated your previous identity to assume a new one.")

Case 5: Anxiety Reaction

Case 6: Phobic Reaction (Acrophobia)

Case 7: Musculoskeletal Reaction

Case 8: Sociopathic Personality Disturbance

Case 9: Antisocial Reaction

Case 10: Sexual Deviation

Case 11: Trait Disturbance (LSD)

Case 12: Addiction (Alcohol)

Case 13: Addiction (Drugs)

Case 14: Manic-Depressive Reaction

Case 15: Depressive Reaction

Case 16: Paranoid Type

Case 17: Chronic, Undifferentiated Type

Case 18: Chronic Brain Syndrome (Head Injury)

Case 19: Chronic Brain Syndrome (Syphilis)

Case 20: Chronic Brain Disorder (Senile)

From: machinegunheart
2008-10-28 11:47 pm (UTC)
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From: stupidoptimist
2008-10-29 01:23 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: successjoe
2008-10-29 04:47 am (UTC)
Beautifully jarring. Also, interesting to note that the "Sexual deviation" entry actually looks the least deviant of any of the illustrations (except that the one guy's hand appears to be coming out of the huge silhouette's mouth at first), and about as sexual as a magazine ad for dish detergent.
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[User Picture]From: ariamech
2008-10-29 05:14 am (UTC)
The "Depression" one has a rather striking horror-movie feel to it. Thank you very much for sharing these; for some reason this sort of "ugly" art only really seemed to thrive in the 60s and 70s!
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[User Picture]From: zartan
2008-10-29 01:48 pm (UTC)
I think it's important to distinguish between the smug, are-you-shocked-yet ugliness of artists like John Kricfalusi and artwork that consciously wields ugliness and is genuinely psychically unsettling. And you're right; the latter seems to have more or less vanished, at least from the published (or even publishable) mainstream.

James Spanfeller's illustrations in a sinister little children's novel (!) called Dorp Dead (ca. 1965) haunted me—this is no exaggeration—for years.
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[User Picture]From: ariamech
2008-10-30 06:38 am (UTC)
In regards to haunting illustrations, I think you can put me down for Charles Keeping's work for an odd little book called Weirdies, Weirdies, Weirdies: A Horrifying Concatenation of the Super-Sur-Real or Almost or Not-Quite Real (try saying that thrice quickly), which I originally encountered in my middle school's library. The stories were odd enough, but I remember the illustrations being astoundingly unpleasant, yet fascinating, not unlike anyone who's ever gotten within thirty paces of a Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark book. Things like a loving close-up of a carnivorous snail's mouth, a "photo" of a scowling woman with a piece of cursed hair pinned across her forehead, and so forth.

The book itself had that old-book smell that sometimes hinted that it had been forgotten for many years, and you were the first schmuck to disturb its rest in an epoch; that if there was something bad in the book, you'd be the only one to know. A lot of books printed in the late 1960s to mid 1970s do the same to me.

I found a gallery of Mr. Keeping's work here, though the navigation is best described as excruciating. Thankfully, they bothered to put some of his black-and-white work in the "Gallery Tour" area, so if you can survive the dreadful Flash it's worth a look.
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[User Picture]From: zartan
2008-10-30 01:20 pm (UTC)
You were correct about both the Flash interface and the man's artwork. I just read his picture book, Through the Window, and good lord. Haunting and heartbreaking.
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From: nessthanthree
2008-10-29 06:49 am (UTC)
Yeah, sexual deviation coulda been worse.
Everyone else gets their heads split open, faces smearred, and organs exposed.
Sexual deviants just get to strike poses in a world of wallpaper, as a giant shadow gay chews on their elbows.
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[User Picture]From: zartan
2008-10-29 01:50 pm (UTC)
It didn't occur to me until you and other pointed out the relative tameness of the "Sexual Deviation", but perhaps the reason it isn't gory and gut-level disturbing like the other ailments is because the author seems to be taking—at least for the time and field in which he was writing—a rather progressive attitude regarding homosexuality.
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