When a giant angry turnip was elected president of the United States in the apocalyptic year that was 2016, I started to feel a little down. Naturally my response was to buy an unabridged copy of Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy. My get-out-of-bed-without-crying-plan is to read a little piece of this gargantuan lump of knowledge daily, and I will illustrate it as I go.
Today I read the drinkable liquids section. You know what else is bad for you? WATER. Especially if it is from a moat. Don’t drink the moat water. And then there’s this: All black wines, over-hot, compound, strong thick drinks, as Muscadine, Malmsey, Alicant, Rumney, Brownbastard, Metheglen, and the like, of which they have thirty […]
Hey look, I’m back at work on the read-along! I picked up where I left off: reading the parts of The Anatomy of Melancholy that have not been read in approximately four hundred years. It has been a rough reentry. Today, I read about fruits and vegetables, also known as vegetals. All classical, Medieval, and […]
My kids have been home sick almost constantly this spring. That might be a slight exaggeration, but it sure feels that way. I haven’t had time for The Anatomy of Melancholy or much drawing at all. But… I have been storing up a pretty incredible list of creepy-cute things that they say, the precious little […]
So Busby’s Chair, aka the Chair of Death: If you sit in Busby’s Chair, you die. Of course everyone dies eventually, so that’s a real fail-safe of a legend, isn’t it?
Much like meat, fish are generally bad news for the melancholic: Rhasis and Magninus discommend all fish, and say they breed viscosities, slimy nutriment, little and humorous nourishment. On the finer points, there is much disagreement over “fumadoes, red-herrings, sprats, stock-fish, haberdine, poor-john, all shellfish.” And what do you know, “Messarius commends salmon, which Bruerinus […]
Now I have begun Member II, which is all about food, some foods inducing more melancholy (and indigestion) than others. I think Member II is shaping up to be one of my least favorite members. Very few people even try to read the complete Anatomy of Melancholy, and of the few that do, most don’t […]
I drew another squid. “It is most true, stylus virum arguit,—our style bewrayes us.” — The Anatomy of Melancholy, Robert Burton
I tried to draw something romantic for Valentine’s Day, so this happened. In a promised lie you made us believe For many men there is so much grief And my mind is proud but it aches with rage And if I live too long I’m afraid I’ll die Strangers on this road we are on […]
I drew another containing/contained/spirit snail drawing, inspired by The Anatomy of Melancholy. But this one is also inspired by a lesser-known Patricia Highsmith short story called “The Quest for Blank Claveringi,” originally published in her 1970 short story collection, The Snail-Watcher and Other Stories. I couldn’t find it online anywhere, sadly, so I can’t link […]
In this section I learned that garlic will fuzzle your brain and give you peevish children who are likewise “fuzzled in the brain.” That’s a real quote, page 214. Also this: Such another I find in Martin Wenrichius, com. de ortu monstrorum, c. 17, I saw (saith he) at Wittenberg, in Germany, a citizen that […]
If you have small children, or if you remember being one, then you know that stacking things is a very big deal for a surprisingly significant portion of early childhood. As a kid, I was obsessed with Shel Silverstein’s drawing of pancakes from Where the Sidewalk Ends, and even as an adult I can’t stop […]
Burton does not have a lot of good things to say about old people: Full of ache, sorrow and grief, children again, dizzards, they carl many times as they sit, and talk to themselves, they are angry, waspish, displeased with every thing, suspicious of all, wayward, covetous, hard (saith Tully,) self-willed, superstitious, self-conceited, braggers and admirers of themselves, as […]
There are a lot more witches in this book than I thought there would be. Some witchy quotes: Erricus, King of Sweden, had an enchanted cap, by virtue of which, and some magical murmur or whispering terms, he could command spirits, trouble the air, and make the wind stand which way he would, insomuch that when […]
SNOTMONSTER I haven’t posted much in the past month because I have been pretty darned sick. Three days ago my brain came out my nose. At least I think it did. I’m pretty sure that’s what that was. My only solace is that as the snot transmogrification progresses my human memories will fade, and in its horrific […]
Finally it is the one day a year when we don’t have to wear our human suits, but I guess zombie wants to wear his to trick or treat. Happy Halloween! I’m not on Facebook much anymore, because who is? But you can follow my stuff on Instagram – @devon_isadevon
The stars rule us, God rules the stars, and we can rule ourselves if we’re smart: Natural causes are either primary and universal, or secondary and more particular. Primary causes are the heavens, planets, stars, etc., by their influence (as our astrologers hold) producing this and such like effects… they do incline, but not compel; […]
A little homage to one of literature’s greatest melancholics, Bartleby. I haven’t been able to read or draw much this summer, but I’m hoping to have more time for it all going forward. Huzzah. I’m not on Facebook much anymore, because who is? But you can follow my stuff on Instagram – @devon_isadevon
I felt like drawing ants today, because I woke up to some unnerving ant trails in my kitchen. This reminded me that Emergence is a super good book.
Never, ever take cake from witches: Ruland, in his 3rd Cent. Cura 91, gives an instance of one David Helde, a young man, who by eating cakes which a witch gave him, mox delirare coepit, began to dote on a sudden, and was instantly mad. This post is part of a long, tedious, and very illustrated read-along […]
So things may be quiet here for a bit while I build up a little stock for an online store. I’m currently experimenting with using stamps to put quotes on original drawings for sale. I’m using stamps because my handwriting is neither precisely neat nor interestingly messy in any way. My first venture has an […]
I drew this for my larger gremlin, who has been having a hard time falling asleep. She says her brain makes her think bad thoughts and that then she can’t sleep, which is just super duper sad. So, I have been trying to find other things for her to think about while she falls asleep, […]
The Iceberg Theory, Literary Studies:
“If a writer of prose knows enough about what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water.”
— Ernest Hemingway, Death in the Afternoon
Here we have an unhallowed pomegranate. Once again, I appear to have drawn an excellent picture for a disturbing holiday card. — Durand. lib. 6. Rationall. c. 86. numb. 8. relates that he saw a wench possessed in Bononia with two devils, by eating an unhallowed pomegranate, as she did afterwards confess, when she was cured by […]
Poor Boxghost. He makes no sense. I’m not on Facebook much anymore, because who is? But you can follow my stuff on Instagram – @devon_isadevon
“Agrippa and Lavater are persuaded, that this humour invites the devil to it, wheresoever it is in extremity, and of all other, melancholy persons are most subject to diabolical temptations and illusions, and most apt to entertain them, and the Devil best able to work upon them.”
Someday when I have time, I’m going to write this entire post-apocalyptic children’s book. But for now: P is for prancing panthers in polluted pineapple pastures. I think I could spend my whole life writing and illustrating alphabet books that aren’t totally appropriate for small children. I’m not on Facebook much anymore, because who is? But […]
The devil can make you famous. The devil can inspire. And the devil can also give you a doozy of a tummy ache: Never was any man extraordinary famous in any art, action, or great commander, that had not familiarem daemonem [a familiar demon] to inform him. And Jason Pratensis, “that the devil, being a slender incomprehensible spirit, […]
Ghost wallpaper, or as I like to call it, ghostpaper.
“I could see everything in space if I had an eyeball-head!” is a thing my kid said last week, because she is amazing. I tried to do this one in black and white, but… then the markers came out. Which do think is better? Or should I add EVEN MORE color? I know what my […]
How far their power doth extend it is hard to determine; what the ancients held of their effects, force and operations, I will briefly show you: Plato in Critias, and after him his followers, gave out that these spirits or devils, were men’s governors and keepers, our lords and masters, as we are of our cattle. They […]