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Join Date: 05 Aug 2001
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 8,502
jmd 

I cannot talk for Kris Hadar, and hope that he responds himself to this query (whether directly or via another).

What follows, then, are my own reflections, based on considerations prior to the bringing out of his deck in the mid-1990s. I of course was not aware of his deck at that time.

From the 1930s until then, there were no real new Marseilles decks which came into existence - or certainly none which made it, to my knowledge, to mass production. Certainly, there was the photographic reproduction of the Conver by Héron, a couple of others made in small runs, and a few which sought to reproduce the Marseille in ways which seemed to not pay careful attention to what may be considered esoteric details. An example of this is the otherwise great Marseille deck from Spain.

I suppose I too had, in the late 1980s, seriously considered (and during times of errr... delusion (?!), reconsider) creating a 'true' Marseille. I am also certain that this was one of the motivations of Camoin & Jodorowsky. To bring out, afresh and new, the Marseille in its 'véritable' form. Here what is needed is a combination of access to older materials, but also, more importantly, discernment as to what aspect to include, and what may be dropped and considered more accidental detail.

It also gives the opportunity to highlight, bring out, or mildly alter detail which may be deemed not central. An example from the Hadar are the crowns on the ten Bastons.

With regards to the courts, for example, Hadar certainly did not stick to tradition with regards their respective horizons. On his deck (and this is especially obvious if the courts are placed alongside one another), their horizon forms a straight line, as opposed to the variagated ridges of virtually every other Marseille I have looked at in any detail. Yet, I do think he may legitimately call it a 'véritable' Marseille.

The 'true' Tarot he therefore seeks to bring out is not a copy of an older existing Marseille, but rather a true Marseille in the sense that it embodies and gives form to what I have now so often referred to as the Ür-Tarot.

Hadar's Tarot de Marseille stands, therefore, as an independent and different, yet one closely paralleling, existing Marseille decks.

It would be interesting to read, apart from the views of others, his own response
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