Krampus Book Party
book signing, reading, and musical performance
Saturday November 19, 2016, 7-10PM
Last appearing at La Luz de Jesus at the 2012 publication party for Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society, a national group of guerilla artists and pranksters in which he played a leading role, author Al Ridenour returns tonight as Krampus researcher par excellence with his new book The Krampus and the Old, Dark Christmas.
In this new incarnation, Ridenour has obsessively translated his way through countless 19th-century compendiums of folk tales and superstitions, medieval witchcraft documents, and rhymed folk plays, networked with contemporary Krampus groups and mask-carvers, corresponded with Austrian anthropologists and museums, and traveled to the Alps to be properly smacked by whips and tossed into snowbanks by rampaging devils. He’s even sweated inside his own handcrafted suit as part of LA’s annual Krampus festival, which he helped found in 2013 and now directs. With the publication of The Krampus and the Old, Dark Christmas, Ridenour offers a summation of these explorations in one entertainingly written lavishly illustrated volume examining not only the Krampus but related folklore of Alpine witches, ghosts, spectral armies, diabolical hunstmen, and murderous saints.
Tonight he’ll serve up some history, folklore, and fact on the topic, much of it in direct contradiction to what Americans have come to know of the Krampus through our pop-culture (mis)representations. Along with stories, slides, and video clips, expect some costumed appearances, an audience-participation Krampus Kwiz with prizes (and punishments), and perhaps a musical guest or two. Ridenour will not only be discussing and signing copies of his book, but also demonstrating a form of fortune-telling using molten lead associated with the haunted nights (“Rauhnächte”) that form the background to the Krampus mythology.
A native of Pasadena, California, Al Ridenour holds BA’s in German and English literature, has worked as an author, journalist, animator, and artist, and has been a fixture in the West Coast underground art community since the mid-1990s.
His Krampus research has taken him to the Austrian Alps and Munich, and brought him in contact with cultural anthropologists working in Salzburg and Vienna as well as dozens of members of contemporary European Krampus groups. In 2013, Ridenour co-founded Krampus Los Angeles, an organization that’s made the city ground zero for American Krampusmania.
Ridenour has translated and produced the only English-language version of 19th-century Krampus play, written articles, and lectured on the topic at the international Goethe-Institut and elsewhere, and exhibited his Krampus suits at the University of Southern California’s Doheny Museum
The Krampus and the Old, Dark Christmas:
Roots and Rebirth of the Folkloric Devil
by Al Ridenour
Published by Feral House
7 x 0.6 x 10 in | Pages: 248
Shipping Weight: 2 Lbs.
Non-Fiction | History | Folklore | New Age | Occult | Holidays | Mythology
Order your signed copies today by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.