The mystery of Stefan Mart
January 9, 2005 2:54 AM   Subscribe

The mystery of Stefan Mart and the 'Tales of the Nations'. "The Tales of Nations" was not an ordinary book that you could buy in a book store, and it's mysterious narrator/illustrator disappeared into the darkness of Hitler's Germany, seemingly without a trace. Learn the background, read the stories, and view all 150 fabulous colour illustrations — "small in size, but strong in expression, each a microcosm packed with action, each a feast for the eyes like a beautifully set jewel".
posted by taz (20 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Wow! Wonderful work indeed. Thanks Taz! This artist was incredibly talented. The mystery itself is really sad. Let's hope that somewhere, someone knows a little more about him...
posted by elgilito at 4:15 AM on January 9, 2005

Marvelous post, taz...I've only had time to browse the gallery so far, and will have to come back to the site later...but I just wanted to stop by with an enthusiastic thumbs up. You do have a knack for finding superlative sites, g.f.!
posted by madamjujujive at 7:58 AM on January 9, 2005

Love it.
posted by JohnR at 8:13 AM on January 9, 2005

taz, you are a veritable diamond miner. Thank you for sharing this.
posted by scottymac at 8:21 AM on January 9, 2005

posted by rushmc at 8:34 AM on January 9, 2005

Great stuff, as always. Thanks taz!
posted by .kobayashi. at 8:48 AM on January 9, 2005

Fan-taz-tic find. I'm sure I don't have to point out the stylistic affinities between Stefan Mart and the expressionistic Dr. Caligari.
posted by Faze at 9:00 AM on January 9, 2005

Holleeeeee shit, son, best link posted to metafilter in months.
posted by kavasa at 9:42 AM on January 9, 2005

Faze: I find those affinities somewhat farfetched. The mystery of Stefan Mart could probably resolved by a thorough search in Hollywood. Great find though.
posted by semmi at 9:54 AM on January 9, 2005

Missing artist in a growing police state?
Have you checked Git-mo?

/I blame Bush

Great post!! Thank you!!
posted by Balisong at 10:07 AM on January 9, 2005

Recently I walked into a Barnes & Noble to discover that World War II consisted of D-Day and Pearl Harbor (in that order). I've been avidly reading more about the Pacific Theater just to get that Wehrmacht grey out of my brain.

But it's just so good to come up with pre- and early-War stuff like this! I never felt bad for the Swing Kids, but someone like Stefan Mart, whoever he might be, fills in another niche in my heart.

I wonder if there have been attempts made by art historians to compare the style and manner of the work with that of other examples from the period and earlier (or later) rather than simply searching references in books. It seems to me that perhaps Stefan Mart might have been a pseudonym. At any rate, it seems the kind of thing one might like to leave a mystery.
posted by Captaintripps at 10:08 AM on January 9, 2005

Wonderful post, taz. True gold, not the usual donkey dung.
posted by LeLiLo at 10:23 AM on January 9, 2005

Great find Taz - thanks. It's strange that it was tobacco company that put these incredible pages out in the first place.

This website is an amazing labor of love. It had to take a hell of a lot of time to translate the text, scan all the images, and layout such an elaborate backstory and analysis.

Ever since stumbling upon Paul Collin's quest to give new life to forgotten literature I've been fascinated with books that have left the public consciousness.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 10:30 AM on January 9, 2005

Brilliant post. These are the kinds of posts that keep me coming back.
posted by vacapinta at 10:43 AM on January 9, 2005

This is great. The illustration is amazing. Wish I could see the originals. There's so much in there, though, I'm going to be at this all afternoon. I started with Don Quixote, and I'm going to work my way around. Thanks!
posted by exlotuseater at 11:57 AM on January 9, 2005

This is absolutely mesmerizing. Thank you!
posted by azazello at 2:01 PM on January 9, 2005

This thread is a riot.
posted by semmi at 7:36 PM on January 9, 2005

Taz is the new Plep.

The best part about this post is the hour I spent reading the entire site 'cover to cover'. The second best part of this post is the second hour I lost browsing through Taz's website.

Possibly the best post on Metafilter in a year. Thanks so much for sharing this with us.
posted by anastasiav at 9:30 PM on January 9, 2005

First edition now available for $150 at alibris. There's also a $42 version but it's unclear whether all the illustrations are included.

I want!
posted by naomi at 6:44 AM on January 10, 2005

This really made my day. Thanks!
posted by of strange foe at 10:03 AM on January 10, 2005

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