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Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 5 July, 2019 03:35AM
Minicthulhu Wrote:
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> Is "The Beckoning Fair One" really a traditional
> ghost story? I read it a long time ago and I
> really enjoyed it but as far as I can remember it
> was more about madness, a gradual mental
> decomposition ended up in killing a woman, than
> about a ghost.

Madness may be an integral part of supernatural experience. To see a ghost or a demon, I think part of the person's mental barrier setup needs to have been weakened, or thinned down, in order for that force to get past inside and be witnessed. Also, a person who claims to have seen a ghost, will likely be considered a mental case by the rest of the social community who have not had similar experiences, even by other family members, and if he presses the issue he will be looked upon as a pariah.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 7 July, 2019 08:18PM
I am planning a trip to Transylvania this autumn, and to get in the right mood I will start reading Bram Stoker's Dracula when I have finished all of the Conan tales. How do you, distinguished members of Eldritch Dark, like Dracula? Jojo Lapin X commented on another forum that Dracula himself is portrayed as a monster, not the handsome gentleman of many films.

Neither have I read Frankenstein. Dracula and Frankenstein, history's two most famous horror books - which one is the best? Was Mary Shelley also a poet at handling words (in prose), like her husband?

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 7 July, 2019 09:15PM
I guess those two plus RLS's Strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde would be the three old literary works on Famous Monsters. I like the RLS the best. Dracula has been worth a couple of readings. Frankenstein -- what a weepy book. I don't intend to read it again.

But before you go to Transylvania, you should consider reading some other, even if non-fantastic, things. May I suggest Patrick Leigh Fermor's Bteween the Woods and the Water?

[monumenteuitate.blogspot.com]

Dervla Murphy's Transylvania and Beyond might be good, but I've only just discovered it exists.

I will probably read William Blacker's Along the Enchanted Way eventually, although the Modern Love romance sounds like an all too familiar "relationship":

[patrickleighfermor.org]


Dale Nelson



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 7 Jul 19 | 09:18PM by Dale Nelson.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 8 July, 2019 02:53AM
Dale Nelson Wrote:
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> ... May I suggest Patrick
> Leigh Fermor's Between the Woods and the Water?
>

I usually do some research before going on trips. Thank you for suggesting this book of first hand account travel writing. I understand Fermor travelled on foot through Europe all the way down to Constantinople. Very interesting.

Another person who travelled extensively was Algernon Blackwood. His spiritually phenomenal book The Centaur can partly be read as a travelogue, taking him all the way to the eastern shores of the Black Sea. There is also a biography of his eventful life, Starlight Man, which is eagerly waiting in my to be read pile.

Lovecraft also did some very historical travelogues, available in Miscellaneous Writings.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 8 July, 2019 07:54AM
Dale Nelson Wrote:
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> ... Strange case of Dr.
> Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ... I like the
> the best.

As a small kid under ten, I read it in an abbreviated edition, but it did not make much impression on me, and I am not sure I actually completed it; I think I found it too dry. I preferred the Classics Illustrated version. At that time also they showed the Spencer Tracy movie on TV (the 1931 version starring Fredric March was then only available to me as a wonderful photo sequence of his horrible transformation, in a huge book, Monsters From Screen to Scream, which I perused google-eyed on a daily basis, and which still probably is my most leafed through reference book throughout the years.).
At that young age my reading was mostly occupied with Alfred Hitchcock presents The Three Investigators (I think it was the nice cover art that drew me to these books, and their adolescent heroes). Every book had "Scooby Doo" endings. I regret that I did not discover more quality weird fiction at an earlier age.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Minicthulhu (IP Logged)
Date: 8 July, 2019 12:56PM
I totally agree with Dan. “Frankenstein“ is really a weak and pathetic book. It is considered to be a classic of horror genre but the fact remains I can remember only two or three fragments of it which speaks volumes I think ....

As for “Dracula“, of course, I have got it but God knows when or if I read it at all. There are so many books that seem to be much more inviting, more interesting than “Dracula“. What´s more, I am probably biased toward Stoker because once I read and never finished his “White Worm“ which was really a piece of crap. (O my God, the madman with the kite ... )

“The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde“ is fantastic, definitely one of the best books I have ever read.

By the way, speaking of Transylvania, has anybody read the WW2 horror novel “The Keep“ by F. Paul Wilson, set in the Transylvanian Alps? It is about an SS unit fighting some old and nameless evil and the rating is very good.

[www.goodreads.com]

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 8 July, 2019 08:59PM
Knygatin, if you want to explore the "tramping" (hiking) passion of which Blackwood partook, by all means look into Stephen Graham. Note the reference to an enthusiastic review by Blackwood of one of Graham's books:

[www.jstor.org]

I've read a couple of Graham's books with much enjoyment and have more on hand.

I have glanced at a library copy of a newly-reprinted Graham book --

[www.barnesandnoble.com]

Dale Nelson



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 8 Jul 19 | 09:00PM by Dale Nelson.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 9 July, 2019 04:35AM
Thanks again for the tips. Yes, "tramping" about, even in nearby, familiar locations, is a pleasurable pastime. One need not go very far. In cities, but especially for me in bucolic surroundings, a different path, a small shift of perspective, will open up new vistas, variant little details that never fail to delight the soul.

This reminds me again of M. R. James's story "A View From a Hill", my favorite of his work.
And yes, certain secluded vistas will even let us travel back through time, or at least stall awareness of the dreary mundaneness we just stepped away from.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Platypus (IP Logged)
Date: 9 July, 2019 12:44PM
Knygatin Wrote:
> Neither have I read Frankenstein. Dracula and
> Frankenstein, history's two most famous horror
> books - which one is the best?

As a complete novel, Frankenstein is definitely the best. Dracula features a very impressive opening, but somewhat lackluster follow-through.

BTW, there is alot of modernist nihilistic nonsense interpretation about Victor being "the real monster", and this idea poisons alot of modern adaptations. Don't believe it. The monster is indeed a real monster, in spite of ... if not actually because of ... its all-encompassing self-pity and self-justification.

Victor's sin was that he created the monster. After that, the situation just spiraled out of his control.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 9 Jul 19 | 12:46PM by Platypus.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 9 July, 2019 07:01PM
Interesting spread of opinions, between Frankenstein, Dracula, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, ... Those classic three very most archetypal of all invented monsters, endlessly working upon and enthralling the collective human consciousness.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 9 July, 2019 07:10PM
I should have added the Wolfman too! The werewolf! Naturally! But I know of no famous literary work connected to it.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 9 July, 2019 07:16PM
And the gillman! Popularized in The Creature From the Black Lagoon, and perfected in H. P. Lovecraft's The Shadow Out of Innsmouth!

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: El'Khestor (IP Logged)
Date: 9 July, 2019 09:13PM
In his non-fiction book Danse Macabre, Stephen King identified three archetypes and their associated foundational, literary works: The Monster (Frankenstein), The Vampire (Dracula), THe Wolfman (Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde). He also suggested a fourth archetype, The Ghost, though I don't remember if he referenced a foundational text. So, there is a famous literary work connected to the wolfman/werewolf, at least in his mind, because both the wolfman and Jekyll/Hyde involve the man being transformed into the beast. Thoughts?

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Platypus (IP Logged)
Date: 10 July, 2019 01:21AM
Knygatin Wrote:
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> I should have added the Wolfman too! The werewolf!
> Naturally! But I know of no famous literary work
> connected to it.

Well, of course there is Dracula (turns into a wolf) and Carmilla (turns into a black panther). But I suppose you mean werewolves who are not also vampires.

It is possible that Sabine Baring-Gould's The Book of Werewolves (1869), a non-fiction survey of werewolf legends, had more influence than any work of fiction.

But yeah, there's never been a famous literary werewolf work. In the 19th century we had a werewolf episode in Maryatt's The Phantom Ship (1839) which sometimes gets excerpted for anthologies. It is good, but not famous; and is a demon that can take human form, rather than a man that becomes a wolf. We also had The Wolf-Leader, by Alexandre Dumas (1857), which is certainly worth reading, but is not horrific enough to be a horror classic, and was not even translated to English until 1904. The creepiest part of the story is the framing device; because it is the only part not told from the POV of the monster. "Thw Were-Wolf", by Clemence Houseman (1896), follows more or less in the tradition of Maryatt's werewolf. There's a few other 19th century titles, but I have not read them.


I can't bring myself to count Jeckyl/Hyde as a werewolf.

In the 20th century, HPL and CAS have both dealt with werewolf themes.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 10 July, 2019 04:27AM
Thank you Platypus for those interesting sources to the werewolf!


El'Khestor Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So, there is a famous literary work connected to the
> wolfman/werewolf, at least in his mind, because
> both the wolfman and Jekyll/Hyde involve the man
> being transformed into the beast. Thoughts?

I think I agree with this. Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde is no werewolf, but both monsters involve the same archetypal principle in man.

Though there may be subtle differences between them. Mr. Hyde involves the chemical drug. On the other hand, lycanthropy involves a strange plant found only in the Himalayas, and only reacts under full moon. And the werewolf can only be killed by silver, and thereby is more supernatural than Mr. Hyde who appears more like an uninhibited brute, a violent alcoholic; he is directly translatable to reality and of how drugs numb emphatic social sections in the brain. Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde could be said to be a social political statement. The werewolf is deeper in folklore and natural forces. But anyway, their archetype energies tangent each other. In both are the uninhibited animal brute, unchecked by human civilized cultivation. The werecat also belongs here.

We may also compare these two to the purely evil character, possessed by Satanic or demonic energies, which is yet another kind of monster; or perhaps its standing is placed higher in title, above monster?

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