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Re: Less Familiar Weird Literature
Posted by: Minicthulhu (IP Logged)
Date: 7 February, 2014 03:28PM
Have you never made a mistake in writing a text? Water-tank, of course.

Re: Less Familiar Weird Literature
Posted by: asshurbanipal (IP Logged)
Date: 8 February, 2014 10:11AM
Tanks.

Re: Less Familiar Weird Literature
Posted by: Minicthulhu (IP Logged)
Date: 8 February, 2014 04:02PM
You are welldone.

Re: Less Familiar Weird Literature
Posted by: Ken K. (IP Logged)
Date: 23 February, 2014 01:21AM
I have finally read The Dream of X. I'm sorry to say that it doesn't work for me. As difficult as it can be, I recommend reading The Night Land. I realize that X was only written to secure copyright, but cutting out all the lengthy quest/trek to and from the lesser pyramid fatally flattens the story. It's as if, in The Fellowship of The Ring, after Frodo leaves Bag End, the next sentence is "And after a while, we reached Elrond's house".

Re: Less Familiar Weird Literature
Posted by: Minicthulhu (IP Logged)
Date: 25 February, 2014 04:12PM
To finish reading The Night Land was an ordeal for me; I did not mind the pseudo-archaic language but the constant repetition (chiefly on their way back to The Great Pyramid) was unbelievably irritating and tantalizing. But the first part of the book, with the hero heading for The Lesser Redoubt, makes up for all the flaws and makes the book worth reading.

Re: Less Familiar Weird Literature
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 9 June, 2014 06:59PM
Have been reading BEST GHOST STORIES of J. S. Le Fanu (Dover). The first three stories are absolutely stellar! "The Haunted Baronet" was a disappointment. Rather boring and melodramatic, vague, unfocused, and diluted. Could have been trimmed to a third of its length. "Green Tea" and "The Familiar" were also disappointing; both describe mental states, but lack memorable characters and detailed environments. It's less than a week since I read "The Familiar", and can't remember any of its events, try as I do. "Mr. Justice Harbottle" builds up excellently, with one of the most awful bad persons in all of literature, but I had hoped for a more refined and cruel ending for the Judge. I am presently reading "Carmilla", and it seems to be of top quality. . . . It has the grandest supernatural scene I have ever read, when the girl invites herself into the schloss, tricking her way past mental barriers by that sophisticated illusion of the crashing equipage. I don't know yet who that girl actually is, but suspect she must be the vampire. . . .

Le Fanu's writing is not as polished as M. R. James's, but when he hits it right, I think he is more profound spiritually. And then the words fall in place without competition from any other writer. Some of his introductions are somewhat awkward and convoluted, with too many levels of text sources introduced and loose end characters soon discarded. But I suppose it ultimately contributes to the documentary feel of realism.

I have also read, elsewhere, "Wicked Captain Walshawe, of Wauling", and it was excellent. . . . Best detailed description of a ghost ever. "The Child That Went with the Fairies" was also quite good.

After "Carmilla" I will probably lay this book aside for the future. Then I have read his foremost tales, and about the same quantity of text as James. Time to move on to other writers.

Re: Less Familiar Weird Literature
Posted by: gesturestear (IP Logged)
Date: 9 June, 2014 08:10PM
I don't know why I respond sometimes because I always get blasted back but Fanu's Green Tea is a macrabe story of physiological terror. The beginning through half way is a little slow but the second part is a crazy ride through self mania, with this crazed monkey always showing up more and more abd know one else can see it. Even when the monkey isn't there he is constantly afraid until he lets his guard down after like six months and then it starts all over. I haven't read it in awhile but I believe that was one of the first physchological horror novels that deals with mental illness. Carmilla is great and Schalken the Painter is also an excellent thrill.

Re: Less Familiar Weird Literature
Posted by: jimrockhill2001 (IP Logged)
Date: 9 June, 2014 09:11PM
The psychological interpretation is certainly not an invalid one, and it is the one that Dr. Hesselius himself ascribes to, though in the latter case, rather in self-defense. I do not, however, believe that the psychological interpretation offers the complete explanation of what has occurred to Jennings. If you pay attention to the quoted passages from ARCANA COELSTIA and read the story in the context of the other stories in IN A GLASS DARKLY - note particularly how Barton in "The Familiar" is failed by every institution he approaches - the law, the church, and medicine - you will note that hauntings in Le Fanu can be both tied to a person's individual psyche and spiritual at the same time. The haunting thus affects each person differently, but attaches itself to a person through an "interior sense" from outside.

Re: Less Familiar Weird Literature
Posted by: jdworth (IP Logged)
Date: 10 June, 2014 12:02AM
gesturestear Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I don't know why I respond sometimes because I
> always get blasted back but Fanu's Green Tea is a
> macrabe story of physiological terror. The
> beginning through half way is a little slow but
> the second part is a crazy ride through self
> mania, with this crazed monkey always showing up
> more and more abd know one else can see it. Even
> when the monkey isn't there he is constantly
> afraid until he lets his guard down after like six
> months and then it starts all over. I haven't read
> it in awhile but I believe that was one of the
> first physchological horror novels that deals with
> mental illness. Carmilla is great and Schalken the
> Painter is also an excellent thrill.

I know that you and I seldom agree on these things, but there is no rancor involved in my part; simply critical disagreement. I would hate for you to stop posting because of such disagreements; even when I may be profoundly in disagreement with you, I think the input from your end is nonetheless interesting to me, and likely to be so to others as well... not to mention that there are quite likely those who agree with you, whether they voice their opinions or not.

When it comes to this particular story ("Green Tea"), I'm not quite sure I understand your use of the phrase "physiological terror" here but, if I am understanding it, then I think you are at least partly right, and certainly this take on it has its own distinct chill (and story text to support it -- again assuming that I am understanding your use of the term).

Kyngatin: when I first read "Green Tea" many, many years ago (in Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural), I, too, found it disappointing. It grew on me with time, and I began to see more going on there than I had at first realized. Now I am among those who would consider it among Le Fanu's masterpieces of subtle but particularly horrific (not, however, without a strong element of pathos) nature; very carefully constructed, but not necessarily easily deciphered. I lean toward Jim's statement that it plays on a multitude of levels, and the answer(s) to the riddle are more complex (and compound) than may at first appear. I would suggest you give the story some good length of time (a year or two, perhaps more) and revisit it then; see if your views on it have changed. I may be mistaken, but I am willing to wager they will....

Re: Less Familiar Weird Literature
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 10 June, 2014 04:44AM
jdworth Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> Kyngatin: when I first read "Green Tea" many, many
> years ago (in Great Tales of Terror and the
> Supernatural), I, too, found it disappointing. It
> grew on me with time, and I began to see more
> going on there than I had at first realized. Now I
> am among those who would consider it among Le
> Fanu's masterpieces of subtle but particularly
> horrific (not, however, without a strong element
> of pathos) nature; very carefully constructed, but
> not necessarily easily deciphered. I lean toward
> Jim's statement that it plays on a multitude of
> levels, and the answer(s) to the riddle are more
> complex (and compound) than may at first appear. I
> would suggest you give the story some good length
> of time (a year or two, perhaps more) and revisit
> it then; see if your views on it have changed. I
> may be mistaken, but I am willing to wager they
> will....

You may very well be right. The problem I saw with it, and to even stronger degree with "The Familiar", is that Le Fanu has left out his usual talent for painting characters and settings with visual and historic details, that function as hooks, by which, clinging to, the more subtle and intangible nuances can be remembered. The text in these two stories is built up too much of abstract explanations and analyses.

Re: Less Familiar Weird Literature
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 10 June, 2014 05:10AM
jimrockhill2001 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
...
> hauntings in Le Fanu can be both tied to a
> person's individual psyche and spiritual at the
> same time. ...

Yes, his writing is ambiguous, and yet he has full control and authority of understanding. He is a master.

Re: Less Familiar Weird Literature
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 10 June, 2014 05:19AM
gesturestear Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Green Tea. . . . a crazy ride through self
> mania, with this crazed monkey always showing up
> more and more and no one else can see it. Even
> when the monkey isn't there he is constantly
> afraid until he lets his guard down after like six
> months and then it starts all over. ...

The concept certainly had potential. And touched me momentarily.

Re: Less Familiar Weird Literature
Posted by: jimrockhill2001 (IP Logged)
Date: 11 June, 2014 06:54PM
jdworth Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> gesturestear Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > I don't know why I respond sometimes because I
> > always get blasted back but Fanu's Green Tea is
> a
> > macrabe story of physiological terror. The
> > beginning through half way is a little slow but
> > the second part is a crazy ride through self
> > mania, with this crazed monkey always showing
> up
> > more and more abd know one else can see it.
> Even
> > when the monkey isn't there he is constantly
> > afraid until he lets his guard down after like
> six
> > months and then it starts all over. I haven't
> read
> > it in awhile but I believe that was one of the
> > first physchological horror novels that deals
> with
> > mental illness.
>
> When it comes to this particular story ("Green
> Tea"), I'm not quite sure I understand your use of
> the phrase "physiological terror" here but, if I
> am understanding it, then I think you are at least
> partly right, and certainly this take on it has
> its own distinct chill (and story text to support
> it -- again assuming that I am understanding your
> use of the term).

I assumed that physiological and psychological were being used interchangeably, since the explanation sounds more psychological than somatic.

Re: Less Familiar Weird Literature
Posted by: jdworth (IP Logged)
Date: 11 June, 2014 11:45PM
jimrockhill2001 Wrote:
> I assumed that physiological and psychological
> were being used interchangeably, since the
> explanation sounds more psychological than
> somatic.

As noted, I'm none too sure myself; but I think there is a distinction being made here, albeit the two are (again, I think) related. I'm not quite sure I can express what I'm getting from the above, but the impression I'm getting is that the physiological aspect is the effect of the stimulant on his system, that physically (and therefore ultimately psychically) opens that door of perception; combined with other physiological symptoms which he exhibits -- the effects on him being both psychological and physical, in such a way as to tightly bind the two together while still retaining a certain distinction between them. If this impression is correct, then I'd say this adds another level to the reading of the tale, with its own special kind of terror.... gesturestear can certainly correct me if I'm wrong (and I will freely admit that I may be completely off-base here); but if not, then I think it's a rather unusual and fascinating insight he has offered....

Re: Less Familiar Weird Literature
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 12 June, 2014 04:04AM
In Lovecraft's "From Beyond" a machine stimulates the brain pineal gland to sense other dimensions. In Smith's "The City of the Singing Flame" a "drug" causes expanded consciouness. In "Green Tea" green tea affects the front lobe of the brain in a similar way.

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