I remembered, all of a sudden and for no apparent reason, of reading Alfred Kubin’s Die Andere Seite (The Other Side) many years ago. At the time I thought the illustrations of the book were actually much more interesting than the story, a labyrinthine web of many remarkable suggestions and ideas but a mess in storytelling. Strangely enough, looking at the illustrations today I feel the impression the story left me is much stronger than that of the illustrations. That is, the illustrations may work on their own, but they feel dated. They are bizarre and eerie, but they have nothing of the mysterious depth of something by Redon. They are, by today’s taste and standards, too vulnerable in their self-assurance. This vulnerability is perhaps their charm, but also their flaw. The story on the other hand may be dated when you read it, but it has some timelessness that emerges at a later date, when you have stopped making out plot details and regretting unfulfilled expectations. Now that I can only remember the enigma without the solution, Die Andere Seite feels like an excerpt from a dream projected on a screen, out of focus, and I perceive Patera’s effigy, towering, with eyes wide open.