Free read ☆ Supernatural Horror in Literature 104

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De obsesiones y sueños ue reflejados en la literatura convierten al terror en una emoción cotidianamente humana y también de alguna manera en una huida imaginativa de la realidad Así pues se trazan las líneas de continuidad y de ruptura de una tradición tan antigua como la humanidad mediante el examen de los albores clásicos y medievales del cuento de horror el nacimiento apogeo y decadencia de la novela gótica los relatos de Edgar Allan Poe y las creaciones muchos otros cultivadores del géner. Every time I reread Supernatural Horror in Literature I find something new to appreciate This is an invaluable resource both for what it tell us of the development of the Gothic weird fiction and horror and for that matter science fiction and fantasy Lovecraft is a well informed and insightful critic who grasps context as well as content and also for what it tells us of Lovecraft's influences and inspirations Anyone interested in imaginative literature should consider this a must read work

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Supernatural Horror in LiteratureLovecraft fue el creador de mitos ritos cosmogonías ue aspiraban paralelamente a la verosimilitud y al terror Su originalidad consistió en dotar de nuevos horizontes a la narración fantástica mediante un realismo descriptivo ue permitía situar un rico y terrible mundo ancestral al ue respaldaba la ciencia la razón los sueños y los tesEsta obra escrita a lo largo de diez años es el resultado de un estudio brillante y ue guarda dos direcciones por un lado la amplitud y la claridad de las ideas de. In this lengthy essay of literary criticism first completed in 1927 revised in 1934 HP presents his considered opinions of most of the well known—and than a few obscure—practitioners of the gothic and the weird Unlike his own creative works however this critical piece though knowledgeable and useful is neither original nor essentialHe writes justly of the gothic and early romantic traditions and the three modern masters Arthur Machen M R James and Algernon Blackwood and he is often surprising in the writers—both major and minor whom he praises for their use of the weird Charlotte Bronte Mary E Wilkins Freeman Edward Lucas White Rudyard Kipling and Arthur Conan Doyle to name a fewHis chapter on Poe is particularly fine for Lovecraft who saw himself in Poe praises the older writer for his deliberate rational artistic choices not reveling—as too many writers do—in what they suppose to be his frenetic emotionalism Poe on the other hand perceived the essential impersonality of the real artist; and knew that the function of creative fiction is merely to express and interpret events and sensations as they are regardless of how they tend or what they prove—good or evil attractive or repulsive stimulating or depressing—with the author always acting as a vivid and detached chronicler rather than as a teacher sympathiser or vendor of opinion In contrast he is too dismissive of Hawthorne who lacks the admirable Poe characteristics He was not disinterested enough to value impressions sensations and beauties of narration for their own sake He must needs weave his phantasy into some uietly melancholy fabric of didactic or allegorical cast in which his meekly resigned cynicism may display with naive moral appraisal the perfidy of a human race which he cannot cease to cherish and mourn despite his insight into its hypocrisy You will find many other interesting opinions here too almost all of which—however apt they may be—reveal of Lovecraft himself that they do of the writers he writes aboutThe worst thing about this essay is that so much of it consists of extensive summaries of the works themselves spoilers for those who have not read them unnecessary rehashes for those who have Even these summaries themselves however show us the workings of the Lovecraft mind and are therefore instructive and welcome to those who—like myself—admire Lovecraft’s world and his works

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Free read ☆ Supernatural Horror in Literature 104 Ð Lovecraft fue el creador de mitos ritos cosmogonías ue aspiraban paralelamente a la verosimilitud y al terror Su originalidad consistió en dotar de nuevos horizontes a la narración fantástica mediante un realismo descriptivo ue permitía situar un rico y terrible mundo ancesLovecraft ue hicieron de su trabajo un elemento fundamental en los estudios sobre lo ue se ha dado en llamar la literatura fantástica sacando a la liz sus preferencias como lector; por otro lado la referencia obligada a todo auel ue se aproxima a la obra de un maestro del género El horror sobrenatural en la literatura es así simultáneamente un planteamiento teórico sobre el marco en ue se desenvolvía la tarea de un escritor y un rastreo en los antecedentes históricos para hallar la genealogía. The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown H P LovecraftThe sentence above is often uoted but many readers aren't aware of its context It opens this short monograph really a very long essay which Lovecraft originally wrote in 1927 after a three year stint of intensive reading in response to the reuest of a pen pal W Paul Cook for a historical survey of weird fiction to be published in The Recluse a magazine Cook hoped to start It appeared in the first issue but that was also the only issue It was later serialized in a fan magazine in the 30s and Lovecraft sporadically tinkered with revisions and updates during his lifetime; but the amended version was published only in 1939 after his death and as a free standing book in 1945 E F Bleiler himself the foremost academic critic of his generation to actually take weird fiction seriously provides this information in the 5 12 page preface to the 1973 Dover reprint edition which was the one I read He also contributed the handful of helpful short footnotes and apparently the index of authors and titles As he notes this was really the first serious historical critical survey of this field a landmark of its type with continuing value for readers and scholars of the weird This however doesn't mean that it's an unflawed workHPL organized his 106 page treatment into ten chapters In the introduction he defines his area of interest as the literature of cosmic fear that which posits or hints at mysterious realities alien to humanity and threatening towards it By supernatural in the title he means unexplainable by the normal understandings of natural phenomena that we use in day to day experience He argues for the legitimacy of this literature as an expression of a basic and permanent part of the human psyche The second chapter is a Eurocentric survey of prehistoric folkloric ancient and medieval roots and precursors of literary horror before it begins to appear in prose in the 18th century In the other eight chapters he provides an opinionated and sometimes patronizing survey of nearly all of the important and many of the less known British American German and French authors of literary weird fiction and poetry mostly the former down to his own time He freuently summarizes the whole plots of novels so readers should be warned that his discussion may contain major spoilers In some cases such as Ann Radcliffe he deals with writers who aim to evoke fear or horror but who admittedly don't resort to cosmic or supernatural causes for itBecause his shabby genteel family couldn't afford to send him to college Lovecraft had only a high school formal education; he was very well read as an autodidact but not being an academic literary major he doesn't lace his essay with critical jargon That's a plus; but he also tends to write here in the same kind of purple prose he used in his fiction In the latter context it's very powerful and atmospheric; in nonfiction it's sometimes opaue so with some of his sentences here describing the style or merits of other writers it can be anybody's guess as to exactly what he means He also uses italics for titles both of books and short stories apparently not being aware of the convention of using normal type and uotation marks for the latter; and he doesn't seem to be aware of the broader periodizations and historical context of Western literature as a whole as a frame for his treatment Generally his meaning is clear but in the cases where I've read the same works that he has I don't always agree with his critical judgements which tend to reflect his own personal preferences For instance he's disdainful of any morally didactic purpose in literature while my view is just the opposite is tone deaf to spiritual values and concerns and disparages the occult detective tradition just because he disliked fictional detectives I also have to admit that in many instances I haven't read particular writers or works that he discusses so can't second guess him there He does whet my appetite for reading some of them and introduces a few I hadn't heard of All of that said though there are a lot of times that I concur with him and I do find some of his comments insightful and felicitous The book also provides a window into his own literary influences; the terms in which he describes and praises particular writers like Robert W Chambers and Arthur Machen leave no doubt as to where he got some of his own inspiration Not surprisingly Poe has an entire chapter devoted to him but I disagree with HPL as to whether Poe's horror is of the cosmic sort and Mesmeric Revelations proves IMO that the earlier writer was no materialistFans of this work have sometimes declared that it's never been superseded Given the fact that it's dated in several respects it frankly needs to be But it's still a groundbreaking work with a lot of solid content and a basic starting point for looking at an overview of this type of literature If it ever is superseded whoever writes the new and updated definitive treatment will be shortchanged if heshe doesn't start by reading this essay and making use of the foundation that HPL laid here