By S. T. Joshi
For greater than 30 years, S. T. Joshi has been a pioneering critic of delusion, horror, and supernatural fiction. This new number of his essays and reports covers the total variety of strange fiction, from Romantic poetry to the paintings of Ambrose Bierce, Ray Bradbury, and Shirley Jackson. relatively insightful are Joshi's checks of such modern writers as Ramsey Campbell, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Thomas Ligotti, and Reggie Oliver. Joshi, the prime authority on H. P. Lovecraft, additionally offers smelly analyses of modern works of Lovecraftian fiction via such figures as W. H. Pugmire and Darrell Schweitzer, in addition to incisive experiences of contemporary works of Lovecraft scholarship. All in all, this e-book will interact, entertain, and tell all devotees of strange fiction.
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Extra resources for Driven to Madness with Fright: Further Notes on Horror Fiction
When the Gothic movement began with Horace Walpole’s absurd little novel The Castle of Otranto (1764), poetry was not slow to take up the cause. An important prelude to the development of weirdness in verse was Thomas Percy’s Reliques of Ancient English Poetry (1765), an invaluable font for the balladry that quickly came to fruition in such works as G. A. Bürger’s “Lenore” (1773) and “Der wilde Jäger” (1777), culminating in the greatest weird poem of them all, Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (written 1797).
Lovecraft: His Disciples and His Critics I. The Classics From Gothic to Weird The recent effloresence of neo-Gothic fiction—the literature of fear, terror, wonder, awe, and the supernatural—is the product of centuries, perhaps millennia, of work by a wide array of artists both celebrated and obscure. It is, after all, in the Epic of Gilgamesh (c. ) that we find such motifs as the superhero, the quest for eternal life, battles with monsters, and the like. About a millennium later, the Odyssey is rife with creatures of eccentric cast, from the sorceress Circe to Polyphemus the Cyclops to the twin horrors of Scylla and Charybdis.
Not far behind are such writers as T. E. D. Klein, Thomas Ligotti, Dennis Etchison, and Thomas Tessier. And now that Gothicism has, to some degree, returned to its roots in the small press, such writers as Caitlín R. Kiernan, Norman Partridge, China Miéville, and Laird Barron are only the most prominent of a vibrant new crop of neo-Gothicists. What the present volume demonstrates beyond all doubt is that Gothicism is a mode of writing that writers of many different stripes—whether it be predominantly mainstream writers like Toni Morrison, Peter Ackroyd, Joyce Carol Oates, and Margaret Atwood or genre veterans such as Campbell, King, Straub, Elizabeth Hand, Dan Simmons, Neil Gaiman, and Phil Rickman—can utilize to express themes, conceptions, and imagery beyond the purview of mimetic realism.