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Arthur Machen
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message 1: by Randolph (last edited Sep 06, 2013 08:07PM) (new)

Randolph (us227381) | 22 comments A thread about Machen. Some compare Machen to Lovecraft as far as importance to the weird genre is concerned and they have a point but for some reason Lovecraft always comes out on top. R.B. Russell wrote an essay about this once, I think in the Tartarus blog. I personally think Machen a better writer's writer than HPL but I'm not sure his ideas were as fully developed.

http://www.arthurmachen.org.uk/


message 2: by Randolph (new)

Randolph (us227381) | 22 comments I just started reading/rereading Tales of Horror and the Supernatural. Had this for a long time and have read most of the contents before but decided I needed to crack the binding on this one at this time of the year.


message 3: by Jordan (new)

Jordan West | 17 comments Fall/early winter is the perfect season, but anytime is the right time for Machen!


message 4: by Char (new)

Char All I have read from Machen is The Great God Pan. I thought it was just okay.
What story of his would you all consider his best?


message 5: by Randolph (new)

Randolph (us227381) | 22 comments I'm partial to The Three Impostors and Other Stories which is actually a short novel of three interconnected stories with a framing story. Two of the stories: The Novel of the Black Seal and The Novel of the White Powder are often presented by themselves but I think the whole is better than the parts. The entire thing revolves around a rare coin with a likeness of the Roman Emperor Tiberius on it and a young man with spectacles who has it. The three imposters of the title will go to any length to acquire the MacGuffin, hence the three stories.


message 6: by Benjamin (new)

Benjamin Uminsky (benjaminu) | 340 comments Charlene wrote: "All I have read from Machen is The Great God Pan. I thought it was just okay.
What story of his would you all consider his best?"


Charlene, you may want to try "The White People", by Machen. I enjoyed that one greatly.

Out of curiosity, when you approached Machen for the first time, what were you expecting? What had you heard about his work and writing style?


message 7: by Char (new)

Char All I had heard was that he was a go to author for a good old school horror story. I had heard the same about Blackwood, so I read The Willows and I thought it was awesome. I had also heard the same about William Hope Hodgson(sp?), so I read The House on the Borderlands. I thought that book was a trip!
So I guess I expected TGGP, to be somewhat similar to those stories.


message 8: by Char (new)

Char I hate that you can't edit your posts with the GR app. Disregard that comma, please. :)


message 9: by 6138 (new)

6138 I like almost anything by Machen Charlene. I would recommend "the Hill of Dreams" (not completely autobiographical but inspired in his own struggle as a writer) and "A fragment of life".
Compared with modern horror Machen may be perceived as tamed or soft, but his use of language and descriptions are for me like a warm blanket, comfortable and cozy.


message 10: by Char (new)

Char Hey, 6138! Ha, you fit right in here. :)

I like the subtlety of some of these older stories. I also like the lack of gore and the command of the language. Though sometimes I feel like some of the descriptions get a little wordy.


message 11: by Char (new)

Char I went to add Hill of Dreams and it turns out I own it. :)


message 12: by 6138 (new)

6138 Charlene wrote: "Hey, 6138! Ha, you fit right in here. :)

I like the subtlety of some of these older stories. I also like the lack of gore and the command of the language. Though sometimes I feel like some of the ..."


Agree with you 100%. Sometimes I feel like modern books focus way too much on action or gore and that most of the readers disqualify a book if is not action packed or extremely violent. I prefer a more balanced approach and also some interesting ideas mixed with the fiction.


message 13: by 6138 (new)

6138 Mike wrote: "The Hill of Dreams is amazing! Also love The White People, The Three Impostors, The Great God Pan, and Ornaments in Jade..."

Machen is really something... isn't it Mike?


message 14: by James (new)

James Everington | 55 comments For me, The White People is superb, and head & shoulders above his other stories. I like a lot of them, but some - The Terror, say - have an unfortunate didactic streak to them that I find simplistic.

He's a very interesting writer but I don't live his stories or find myself inspired by them in the same way I do by Aickman, Jackson, Blackwood etc...


message 15: by Scott (new)

Scott Charlene wrote: "All I have read from Machen is The Great God Pan. I thought it was just okay."

Same here.

I think I have "The White People" in another collection I've not read yet.


message 16: by Benjamin (new)

Benjamin Uminsky (benjaminu) | 340 comments I think I read the White People in volume 1 of Pelan's Best Horror Fiction of the Century.


message 17: by Randolph (new)

Randolph (us227381) | 22 comments If you are not averse to e-books, Tartarus has issued two or three of the Machens as Kindle and Nook books. I usually buy direct from Tartarus to avoid the evil Amazon besides I figure more goes into Tartarus' pockets when you buy direct.


message 18: by Benjamin (new)

Benjamin Uminsky (benjaminu) | 340 comments Does Ray cut you a deal as well, Randolph? ; )

I have found Ray to be quite the gentleman and very generous in his dealings with me.


message 19: by Randolph (new)

Randolph (us227381) | 22 comments Benjamin wrote: "Does Ray cut you a deal as well, Randolph? ; )

I have found Ray to be quite the gentleman and very generous in his dealings with me."


No, but an entire order, numerous books, got lost somewhere between the UK and the US postal services during the dreadful high alert Homeland Security days and he replaced the entire order, no questions asked, at his cost. This was literally hundreds of pounds worth of books. That in my estimation is superior customer service and gained my loyalty forever. BTW the original order never showed up so I've always wondered if it didn't get blown up in some bomb destruction overreaction or is in some government minion's library somewhere.


message 20: by Benjamin (new)

Benjamin Uminsky (benjaminu) | 340 comments Randolph wrote: "Benjamin wrote: "Does Ray cut you a deal as well, Randolph? ; )

I have found Ray to be quite the gentleman and very generous in his dealings with me."

No, but an entire order, numerous books, got..."


Yeah, I'm really huge on the customer service thing. Ray really has that down and his books are out of this world. I really like that they have two distinct interests and directions with their publishing... bringing back the forgotten masters and introducing contemporary strange fiction.


message 21: by Char (last edited Nov 18, 2013 10:53AM) (new)

Char It looks like a nice edition of Machen works is on sale today for Kindle, in case anyone is interested. (Not everyone can buy the expensive hard copies you guys get.) :)

http://www.amazon.com/Arthur-Machen-C...


message 22: by Randolph (new)

Randolph (us227381) | 22 comments Jodi wrote: "Here's something that looks interesting - Iain Sinclair on Machen...

http://www.iainsinclair.org.uk/2013/1..."


Actually the first volume of the Machen autobiography looks interesting as well. I'm still deep into Tales of Horror and the Supernatural by Machen.

(Why does the damn gr search by title never work? Why when I type in: "tales of terror and the supernatural" do I get: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as the first hit? Wouldn't the logical thing be to list all exact matches first?)


message 23: by Randolph (new)

Randolph (us227381) | 22 comments I always assumed the "Angel of Mons" was one of those legends people make up during wartime. I didn't realize until I read the Machen story that it had actually been the genesis for the bogus accounts. I wonder how many people claimed to have seen the incident during WWI, and even curiouser how many actually believed they had really seen it?


message 24: by Randolph (new)

Randolph (us227381) | 22 comments Jodi wrote: "Sharing this post from the Friends of Arthur Machen FB page by Raymond Russell:

Myself and Mark Valentine are selling some of the books from the library of the late Roger Dobson, Machen scholar, e..."


I bought one and put a couple on my watch list. Look at the descriptions carefully. It appears Dobson was not particularly careful in taking care of his books (like me).


message 25: by Randolph (new)

Randolph (us227381) | 22 comments Jodi wrote: "Another Facebook Friends of Arthur Machen page post, this one from Leigh Blackmore:

Leigh Blackmore 5:16pm Feb 24
Some time ago I obtained a photocopy of the Machen essay collection THE LINE OF TE..."


Thanks Jodi. Machen-maniacs will have to get this. I'm surprised Gafford never saved a copy. I'll have to give him a hard time about it. I think he is kind of disorganized. For anyone that wants to read something bizarre find his essay "Writing Backwards" about William Hope Hodgson. It's one of the most outrageous literary conjectures I've ever read.


message 26: by Karl (new)

Karl ARTHUR MACHEN COLLECTION AT RISK

http://wormwoodiana.blogspot.co.uk/20...


message 27: by Randolph (new)

Randolph (us227381) | 22 comments Karl wrote: "ARTHUR MACHEN COLLECTION AT RISK

http://wormwoodiana.blogspot.co.uk/20..."


I actually followed all the links and "voted" (I'm obviously not a citizen), but it allowed me to leave a comment as well. I encourage all to do so since this has ramifications for all scholars and fans of Machen around the world, not just in Newport.


message 28: by Latasha (new)

Latasha (latasha513) I've read the great god pan and the white people. i admit i have not read as much as i should have of this awesome guy.


message 29: by Karl (new)

Karl Latasha wrote: "I've read the great god pan and the white people. i admit i have not read as much as i should have of this awesome guy."

Machen was a game changer that's for sure. Not having read much can be considered a good thing, as look at all the good reading you have to look forward to !


message 30: by Latasha (new)

Latasha (latasha513) That's a great point Karl!


message 31: by Randolph (new)

Randolph (us227381) | 22 comments Latasha wrote: "That's a great point Karl!"

The Three Impostors and Other Stories I still think is his apogee.


message 32: by Latasha (new)

Latasha (latasha513) Thank you very much!!


message 33: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 71 comments Another name I will be exploring on Hundred Year Old Horror.


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