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Re: Forgotten gems
Posted by: Platypus (IP Logged)
Date: 30 April, 2017 06:01PM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The most memorable moment,
> and "forgotten gem", of that story, that ought to
> be the real subject of important matter among
> weird fiction lovers, is the horse carriage crash;
> which appears to be a magically cast illusion (one
> of the most magnificiant, largest of scale, and
> most impressive, in the history of literature) ...

Definitely a high point. And it leaves behind so many unanswered questions, as if there are entire realms beyond what we can normally see, but of which we can catch only occasional and inadequate glimpses.

Re: Forgotten gems
Posted by: Platypus (IP Logged)
Date: 4 May, 2017 05:05PM
Mr. Rockhill wrote:
Quote:
> * and widely published academics specializing in
> Gothic and Victorian literature such as Dr.
> William Veeder of the University of Chicago
> (“‘Carmilla’: The Arts of Repression,” in
> GOTHIC: CRITICAL CONCEPTS IN LITERARY AND CULTURAL
> STUDIES, ed. Fred Botting and Dale Townshend )

Since you were so offended by my dismissal of your expert opinions, I dug up a copy of Mr. Veeder's seminal article, to make sure I was not being unfair to it, and to see if it had anything to counter my views. I'm afraid it was even worse than I remembered. Mr. Veeder's thesis is that Le Fanu's message is that Laura is a sexually-repressed lesbian. He bases this on a quote where Laura muses that memories are often dim when "passions" are "wildly and terribly aroused". He interprets this, more or less, as an admission that she has trouble remembering those times she got extremely horny (presumably with Carmilla); and seems to vaguely associate this idea in his mind with Freud's theories of psychological repression (with which however it which hardly fits), hence the title of the article.

So the entire article is based on a mistake. "Passions" and "aroused" had no erotic connotations in 1873. Laura was merely saying that terrible and traumatic experiences can interfere with memory. Freud, moreoever, was just 17 years old in 1873, so Le Fanu had never been exposed to his bizarre ideas and could hardly have been writing a story inspired by them. Moreover, if Laura is so sexually repressed, why is she (in Veeder's interpretation) talking openly about how wildly and terribly horny she gets?

Veeder then declares Laura to be an unreliable narrator, and spends the rest of the article hammering square pegs into round holes, dismissing what the text tells us as unreliable, and replacing it with his own fantasies. One of these fantasies is that a 6 year old girl attacked by a sadistic abuser, can't be trusted when she screams and cries in fear and anguish, because deep down she really wants it. "We must recognize", he writes, "that young Laura feels fright and shrieks out not at the advent or the acts of Carmilla, but at her vanishing." I don't know where this fantasy comes from, but it has no reasonable basis in Le Fanu's text. Read chapter 1, where the incident occurs, and judge for yourself.

Is this really an opinion in favor of which I should defer my own judgment?



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 4 May 17 | 05:40PM by Platypus.

Re: Forgotten gems
Posted by: Platypus (IP Logged)
Date: 9 May, 2017 07:01PM
Moving on from "Carmilla":

Krantz' story; excerpt from THE PHANTOM SHIP (1839), by Fredrick Marryat.

"The Sea Raiders" (1896), by H.G. Wells.

THE BOATS OF THE "GLEN CARRIG" (1907), by William Hope Hodgson. Some say the whole of this novel is less than the sum of its parts, but the parts are still awesome.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 9 May 17 | 07:11PM by Platypus.

Re: Forgotten gems
Posted by: Radovarl (IP Logged)
Date: 9 May, 2017 09:40PM
I'm game. Although I am not sure it is truly a horror story, and suspect it was probably mostly overlooked in the first place rather than forgotten, I recently happened upon a gem by Tanith Lee entitled "The Beautiful Biting Machine". I don't think it is giving too much away to say it involves vampirism, but in a science fictional in addition to Gothic context, with Lee's trademark sensual description and quirky style. Highly recommended for a genre-bending twenty minutes.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 9 May 17 | 09:41PM by Radovarl.

Re: Forgotten gems
Posted by: Platypus (IP Logged)
Date: 11 May, 2017 12:43PM
Little by H.P. Lovecraft is entirely forgotten. But the one piece that IMHO gets most slighted is:

Psychopompos: A tale in rime.

This is indeed a "tale" and deserves inclusion in collections of HPL's fiction. It is more deserving (IMHO) than many other entries that are routinely reprinted. But because it is set to verse, one can generally only find it in collections of poetry.

Re: Forgotten gems
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 12 May, 2017 06:30AM
Ritual & Other Stories collects Arthur Machen's lesser known short stories and prose poems. A thick volume, containing many literary gems. Mystical glimmerings, strange hidden knowledge, an alchemist's brew of wisdom and wonder. Pastoral, rustic settings. And prose writing at its very best. An absolute pleasure to read.

Re: Forgotten gems
Posted by: Radovarl (IP Logged)
Date: 15 May, 2017 03:17PM
I've been meaning to read more Machen for some years now, and that sounds like a good place to continue my exploration. I have one of the Chaosium paperbacks (The White People and Other Stories, I think) with some of his best-known work, which I enjoyed well enough. Ritual and Other Stories, unfortunately, seems to be available only in hardcover from Tartarus Press and a kindle edition. While by no means impecunious, my book budget is largely spoken for for the foreseeable future, so the TP edition is out (at least until I "must" have it), and I am one of those Luddites who refuses to read anything longer than a newspaper article on a screen. Can you recommend another Machen collection that contains some of the same material? I'm especially intrigued by the mention of prose poems, which is IMO a much-neglected form.

Re: Forgotten gems
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 15 May, 2017 08:29PM
The prose poems were reprinted in the book you have, The White People and Other Stories. The original collection containing these, is called Ornaments In Jade.

I don't know if the other stories in the book have been printed elsewhere recently. They were gathered from diverse long out of print volumes. Their contents can be compared here: [tartaruspress.com]
My copy of The Ritual & Others Stories is the expanded fourth edition.
[homepages.pavilion.co.uk]

Re: Forgotten gems
Posted by: Radovarl (IP Logged)
Date: 15 May, 2017 09:59PM
Too funny. I think I might have acquired my taste for prose poems since shelving the aforementioned volume in one of the upstairs rooms. I will seek it out posthaste. Anticipating that I will thirst for more of the same, are there any other Machen books I should be on the lookout for?

Re: Forgotten gems
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 16 May, 2017 04:20AM
Radovarl Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> ... are there any other Machen
> books I should be on the lookout for?

At the same time I think it is difficult to recommend books, because what one likes also depends on what personal interests and preferences of subject matter one has.

I like atmospheric descriptions of landscapes and old settings, with a sense of history, spirituality, and weird presence. But I don't necessarily need a grand storyline with spectacular happenings.

I have not read everything by Machen, but I like the collections Tales of Horror and the Supernatural and Ritual & and Other Stories, I like The Hill of Dreams, The Three Impostors, Far Off Things (one of his autobiographies), and Hieroglyphics (his treatise on ecstasy in literature and art).

"The Red Hand" is my personal favorite of his stories about the little people.

Re: Forgotten gems
Posted by: Radovarl (IP Logged)
Date: 8 June, 2017 02:55PM
So, it turns out that the Chaosium Machen collection I have is not The White People and Other Stories, but rather The Three Impostors and Other Stories, which does not contain the Ornaments in Jade material. I'm thinking of springing for the Tartarus edition of either that book, or Ritual and Other Stories, which I understand contains all of the same material. I'd like to sample some of the prose poems, though, before I spend the cash. Is there anywhere online they're available? I've tried the usual places (Gutenberg, etc.) to no avail.

Re: Forgotten gems
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 8 June, 2017 05:04PM
Radovarl Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So, it turns out that the Chaosium Machen
> collection I have is not The White People and
> Other Stories, but rather The Three Impostors and
> Other Stories, which does not contain the
> Ornaments in Jade material. I'm thinking of
> springing for the Tartarus edition of either that
> book, or Ritual and Other Stories, which I
> understand contains all of the same material. I'd
> like to sample some of the prose poems, though,
> before I spend the cash. Is there anywhere online
> they're available? I've tried the usual places
> (Gutenberg, etc.) to no avail.

Here you go. The prose poems 5 - 9 are originally from Ornaments in Jade.

[ebooks.adelaide.edu.au]
[gutenberg.net.au]

It seems Ritual and Other Stories is out of print. The White People and Other Stories has many fine stories that complement the volume you have.

Re: Forgotten gems
Posted by: Radovarl (IP Logged)
Date: 10 June, 2017 12:11PM
Ah, thanks. I went to Gutenberg Australia, knowing their copyright laws are somewhat different, but couldn't locate these somehow. So much for my vaunted Google-fu.

Re: Forgotten gems
Posted by: Jojo Lapin X (IP Logged)
Date: 10 June, 2017 12:30PM
Radovarl Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'd
> like to sample some of the prose poems, though,
> before I spend the cash. Is there anywhere online
> they're available? I've tried the usual places
> (Gutenberg, etc.) to no avail.

Delphi Classics offer what they claim is the complete works of Machen in a handsome ebook for $2.99.

Note: The "US version" of the ebook is missing ORNAMENTS IN JADE and some other material. They will not stop you from buying the regular version even if you are in the US, however.

Re: Forgotten gems
Posted by: Radovarl (IP Logged)
Date: 12 June, 2017 02:06PM
Thanks, but my current plan is to someday be the last living human being never to have read an ebook ;-).

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