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Man of Letters

A Collection of Fourteen Psychedelically-Themed Essays

Now available on all Amazons & other online stores worldwide

In his memoir The Mad Artist, Roger Keen details his past psychedelic experiences in the 1970s. As a result of its publication, he became part of the current alternative scene and wrote for magazines and websites, such as Psychedelic Press, The Oak Tree Review, International Times and Reality Sandwich

His interest in countercultural history, avant-garde and psychedelic cinema, and the psychology of altered states manifests in this collection of fourteen essays, which touch on figures such as Thomas De Quincey, Charles Baudelaire, Fitz Hugh Ludlow, William Burroughs, Carlos Castaneda, Timothy Leary, Howard Marks and Will Self.

Using his media background, Keen explores many aspects of left-field cinema in depth, from early surrealism through to the French New Wave and Hollywood depictions of drug trips, to the equivalent movies of the twenty-first century, such as Enter the Void and Midsommar.

He cites a long list of notable directors in this area, including Stanley Kubrick, Ken Russell, Roger Corman, David Cronenberg, Terry Gilliam, Jan Švankmajer, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Georges Méliès, Tim Burton, Christopher Nolan, Richard Linklater and Ben Wheatley.

The essays revisit the ‘Alphabet Wood’ hallucination of the Plym Woods in 1975, the mushroom-inspired ‘Cult of the Novel’ messianic quest to turn the world on to ‘reality fiction’, and contain updates to the ‘trippy movie’ coverage, including 2022 films Avatar: The Way of Water and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

In total this collection bears witness to a lifelong obsession with trippiness and weirdness in all its forms within the narrative arts.

‘[Roger’s] descriptions of the visuals and of the fractured, frantic and inspired thought processes of the LSD experience are brilliant. They sparkle all over. — Leaf Fielding, author of To Live Outside the Law

 Copyright © Roger Keen. All Rights Reserved.