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The surreal abd the weird in literature: do they overlap?
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 11 December, 2018 01:13PM
I would like to use this post merely to record an idea before my initial thoughts evaporate. It will necessarily be disorganized, ill-formed, and incomplete--and I promise to get back to it with a better effort.

Recently on this forum I identified an extract from a longer work (Les Chants de Maldoror), The Hours in the Life of a Lousy-Haired Man, by Lucien Ducasse, writing under the name "le Comte de Lautréamont". This extract was collected in Wolf's Complete Book of Terror, a very lengthy and eclectic anthology published in 1979. By no means is this extract clearly in the weird or horror fiction genres, and yet my reaction to it is that indeed it does in some subtle way belong in such a collection.

Fast-forward to a couple of months ago, puttering around with various sources of weird tales...

I stumbled over several works that reminded me of "Lousy-Haired Man" in mood and tone, and especially in a sense of an unexplored and non-traditional cosmos of the non-normal. These tales were all by Continental writers and I would tend to associate the works with Surrealism, but they bore closely on the work of Ducasse, in my opinion, and his work seemed to me to border weird fiction, or perhaps to even overlap it.

Regrettably, I can't recall the names of the Continental writers, nor their stories, but it may yet come to me. In the meantime, I'm hoping that the combined readership of the ED forum, and the excellent and thorough scholarship that seems to be a revered avocation among some of the members, may help me to recall this odd-ball genre. I'd also be intrigued to read any opinions/ideas concerning the evocative overlap between the weird (as represented by Lovecraft, e.g.) and what seems to be the literary expression of the surreal.

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."

Re: The surreal abd the weird in literature: do they overlap?
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 11 December, 2018 03:37PM
BINGO!

The collection in which I read the "continental" authors was:

The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories

by Jeff VanderMeer

Published 2012

Approx 120 stories, as I recall.

I'll see if I can find the specific authors.

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."



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