Dark Arts (Tartarus Press Edition)

Eric Stener Carlson

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Limited Edition

Cover image by Joseph Dawson

Eric Stener Carlson’s short stories navigate dark spaces, intertwining life with death and art. His characters seek enlightenment in music, literature, painting and photography, but they also find darkness—something menacing, magical and obscure. Art is a spirit board allowing them to contact shades from the past, or to discover danger in the shadows.

A man keeping vigil at the bedside of his dying lover hears jazz that reminds him of a girl he lost long ago. At a late-night coffee shop, a professor clings to the diary of a dead man, but it fails to give him the protection he’s longing for. A girl wrapped up in the wonders of a book tumbles down the stairs and wakes up in a world beyond her dreams. A refugee paints the last picture the world will ever know.

Lyrical and haunting, these twelve stories (ten published here for the first time) explore the tenderness and terrors of life. They invite us to a place where the worlds of the living and the spirits of the lost blend in a seamless new reality. And when the end finally comes, Mother Night is kind.


  • Author’s Introduction
  • Golden Book
  • Coffee Shop
  • Divining Rod
  • Leopard-spotted Scarf
  • Corridor
  • Bradycardia
  • Stray
  • Strasse 60, Berlin
  • Salt
  • Monsieur Machine
  • I Loved You at Your Darkest
  • The Atelier

Limited to 300 copies

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Publisher Tartarus Press