dragonhelmuk's Reviews > The Great God Pan

The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen
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Jul 24, 11


** spoiler alert ** Available very cheap because of its age: what a great story! From the inscription to Deo M.-Nodenti which I only studied a couple of weeks ago to the illusion and glamour this book is beautiful. The only flaw was that there were a few too many main characters, I had trouble keeping up with who was speaking, but otherwise it was amazing! I will definitely look out for more books by this author. Three quotes...

(some things shouldn't be seen... sometimes I get poetic like this in real life ;>)
It was, indeed, an exquisite symbol beneath which men long ago veiled their knowledge of the most awful, most secret forces which lie at the heart of all things; forces before which the souls of men must wither and die and blacken, as their bodies blacken under the electric current. Such forces cannot be named, cannot be spoken, cannot be imagined except under a veil and a symbol, a symbol to the most of us appearing a quaint, poetic fancy, to some a foolish tale.

(I think Machen could have gone a bit further here... but good for the time it was written perhaps!)
You see me standing here beside you, and hear my voice; but I tell you that all these things -- yes, from that star that has just shone out in the sky to the solid ground beneath our feet--I say that all these are but dreams and shadows; the shadows that hide the real world from our eyes. There is a real world, but it is beyond this glamour and this vision, beyond these 'chases in Arras, dreams in a career,' beyond them all as beyond a veil.

(Amazing characters!)
the temptation to relax in the evening was too great, especially in the winter months, when the fire cast a warm glow over his snug bachelor apartment, and a bottle of some choice claret stood ready by his elbow. His dinner digested, he would make a brief pretence of reading the evening paper, but the mere catalogue of news soon palled upon him, and Clarke would find himself casting glances of warm desire in the direction of an old Japanese bureau, which stood at a pleasant distance from the hearth. Like a boy before a jam-closet, for a few minutes he would hover indecisive, but lust always prevailed, and Clarke ended by drawing up his chair, lighting a candle, and sitting down before the bureau. Its pigeon-holes and drawers teemed with documents on the most morbid subjects, and in the well reposed a large manuscript volume, in which he had painfully entered he gems of his collection. Clarke had a fine contempt for published literature; the most ghostly story ceased to interest him if it happened to be printed; his sole pleasure was in the reading, compiling, and rearranging what he called his "Memoirs to prove the Existence of the Devil," and engaged in this pursuit the evening seemed to fly and the night appeared too short.


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