Charlie Fox’s This Young Monster was an entertaining companion for a cold with associated mild fever. The spaciness of my elevated temperature met the dreamlike quality of Fox’s exploration of freaks, monsters, children, outcasts and other ‘unacceptable’ outsiders. Channeling the hero of my teenage years, Rimbaud, Fox is drawn to individuals and art that rejects the adequacy of apparently normal beliefs, attitudes and behaviour.
Nine essays conclude with For Arthur and all the Other Mutts, in which Fox addresses Rimbaud directly. This is followed by Monster Materials: Reading. Watching. Looking. Listening: a loose source list for the works that underpin the essays. Connected only by theme the nine essays form a sort of looking-glass narrative that builds into an ironic subtext, interweaving social and critical commentary into their fabric.
Do you remember the old Waterstones, when it still used an apostrophe? In my twenties, my destination was the section labelled Cult Books. It was there I’d find Bataille, Baudelaire, Kathy Acker and Stewart Home. Thanks to Fitzcarraldo Editions for capturing that section within the glorious pages of This Young Monster.