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bendk
08-15-2010, 08:13 PM
Do you consider Ligotti a gothic writer? Or do you consider any of his stories to be in the gothic vein? I remember someone referring to his stories as urban gothic. Joyce Carol Oates selected "The Last Feast of Harlequin" for her anthology American Gothic Tales. It is hard to argue with that selection as it touches upon Poe, who is considered by many to be the premiere gothic writer. She also has high praise for Lovecraft and mentions "The Rats in the Walls" along with her selection of "The Outsider" as a superlative tale. I would also be interested in knowing what some of your favorite gothic writers, novels, stories, and books are. (I have some good books on the subject that I will include in a later post.)




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American Gothic Tales
Edited and with an Introduction by Joyce Carol Oates


The Introduction can be found here:
http://jco.usfca.edu/gothic.html


Charles Brockden Brown (1771–1810), from Weiland, or The Transformation
Washington Irving (1783–1859), The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804–1864), The Man of Adamant, Young Goodman Brown
Herman Melville (1819–1891), The Tartarus of Maids
Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849), The Black Cat
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860–1935), The Yellow Wallpaper
Henry James (1843–1916), The Romance of Certain Old Clothes
Ambrose Bierce (1842–1914?), The Damned Thing
Edith Wharton (1862–1937), Afterward
Gertrude Atherton (1857–1948), The Striding Place
Sherwood Anderson (1876–1941), Death in the Woods
H. P. Lovecraft (1890–1937), The Outsider
William Faulkner (1893–1962), A Rose for Emily
August Derleth (1909–1971), The Lonesome Place
E. B. White (1899–1985), The Door
Shirley Jackson (1919–1965), The Lovely House
Paul Bowles (1910– ), Allal
Isaac Bashevis Singer (1904–1991), The Reencounter
William Goyen (1915–1983), In the Icebound Hothouse
John Cheever (1912–1982), The Enormous Radio
Ray Bradbury (1920– ), The Veldt
W. S. Merwin (1927– ), The Dachau Shoe, The Approved, Spiders I Have Known, Postcards from the Maginot Line
Sylvia Plath (1932–1963), Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams
Robert Coover (1932– ), In Bed One Night
Ursula K. Le Guin (1929– ), Schrodinger's Cat
E. L. Doctorow (1931– ), The Waterworks
Harlan Ellison (1934– ), Shattered Like a Glass Goblin
Don DeLillo (1936– ), Human Moments in World War III
John L'Heureux (1938– ), The Anatomy of Desire
Raymond Carver (1938–1988), Little Things
Joyce Carol Oates (1938– ), The Temple
Anne Rice (1941– ), Freniere
Peter Straub (1943– ), A Short Guide to the City
Steven Millhauser (1943– ), In the Penny Arcade
Stephen King (1947– ), The Reach
Charles Johnson (1948– ), Exchange Value
John Crowley (1942– ), Snow
Thomas Ligotti (1947– ), The Last Feast of Harlequin
Breece D'J Pancake (1952–1979), Time and Again
Lisa Tuttle (1952– ), Replacements
Melissa Pritchard (1948– ), Spirit Seizures
Nancy Etchemendy (1952– ), Cat in Glass
Bruce McAllister (1946– ), The Girl Who Loved Animals
Kathe Koja and Barry N. Malzberg, Ursus Triad, Later
Katherine Dunn, The Nuclear Family: His Talk, Her Teeth
Nicholson Baker (1957– ) Subsoil

starrysothoth
08-15-2010, 08:50 PM
I consider some of Ligotti's work to be very gothic, especially his early works. In fact, the vignettes and short stories in both TAROVFAOGT and Crypt of Cthulhu issue devoted to him are exceptionally gothic, bouncing between parody and serious attempts at writing modern gothic pieces. Yet, there are some distinct alterations that occur in TL's themes and styles over time. To me, much of what's in the Teatro Grottesco collection and all of the Corporate Horror stories are not gothic, or at least not in the powerful sense his earlier tales are.

On a side note, what's up with the author dates from the table of contents? I thought Tom was born in 1953, not 1947?

paeng
08-15-2010, 08:57 PM
Thanks for mentioning that edition! I was able to buy a second-hand hardcover for only around $4 locally but managed to read only until Plath. I'll look for it and continue reading soon. For now, I can tell you that one of the works that I found striking from what I read was Bowles' "Allal".

I'm also trying to read The Oxford Book of Gothic Tales and the first volume of American Fantastic Tales. The intro for the first collection might help in defining "gothic horror."

bendk
08-17-2010, 04:16 PM
I consider some of Ligotti's work to be very gothic, especially his early works. In fact, the vignettes and short stories in both TAROVFAOGT and Crypt of Cthulhu issue devoted to him are exceptionally gothic, bouncing between parody and serious attempts at writing modern gothic pieces. Yet, there are some distinct alterations that occur in TL's themes and styles over time. To me, much of what's in the Teatro Grottesco collection and all of the Corporate Horror stories are not gothic, or at least not in the powerful sense his earlier tales are.

On a side note, what's up with the author dates from the table of contents? I thought Tom was born in 1953, not 1947?


I'll have to find my copy of Crypt of Cthulhu #68 and reread those early stories. If I recall correctly, "Allan and Adelaide—An Arabesque" is a bit of Poe-inspired gothic writing.

I have come across three different dates for Ligotti's birth over the years, but I think you are correct in that it is 1953.




Thanks for mentioning that edition! I was able to buy a second-hand hardcover for only around $4 locally but managed to read only until Plath. I'll look for it and continue reading soon. For now, I can tell you that one of the works that I found striking from what I read was Bowles' "Allal".

I'm also trying to read The Oxford Book of Gothic Tales and the first volume of American Fantastic Tales. The intro for the first collection might help in defining "gothic horror."


I agree that "Allal" is an excellent story. I'm not sure if I would catagorize it as particularly gothic, as Oates has, but it has been years since I read it and I could be wrong.

Thanks for the tip on The Oxford Book of Gothic Tales. My library has a copy and I think I am going to give that intro a look. I have read more than a few definitions of "gothic" and they vary somewhat. For me the below cover pretty much sums it up. (Although it is missing the fleeing damsel in distress).



http://i.ebayimg.com/06/!BRiyP,gCGk~$(KGrHgoH-EQEjlLluvvMBJ-ht2Ljz!~~_12.JPG

bendk
08-17-2010, 04:18 PM
I picked up an interesting nonfiction book many years ago at a Goodwill bookstore. It had no title on the spine, but I bothered to pull it off the shelf and I was pleasantly surprised. It was about the initial publication of the gothic novel The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis. I wish there were a few more books like this; perhaps on Dracula, Frankenstein, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This book looks to have been published in France in 1960, but it is in the English language. I occasionally check for it on the net, but I have never seen another copy for sale. To give you a feeling of what it is covers, I typed up the Contents page.

The Publication of The Monk
A Literary Event
1796 - 1798

by Andre Parreaux
Didier
Paris 1960


CONTENTS

Preface

SECTION I - THE HISTORICAL AND LITERARY BACKGROUND

1. What was happening in 1796-98
2. Influence of German poetry and fiction in 1796
3. Novel-reading and the critics

SECTION II - THE IMPACT OF THE MONK ON THE BRITISH PUBLIC

4. The two plots
5. The poetry of The Monk
6. The burlesque ballads and The New Monk
7. The Monk on the stage
8. The Monk in chap-book form
9. Ambiguity of contemporary feeling about The Monk: horror and fascination
10. The literary appreciation of The Monk and its contemporary critics

SECTION III - THE CONTROVERSY ON THE MONK

11. The moral and religious controversy in an age of changing standards
12. M.G. Lewis, Esq. M.P., and the alleged immorality of The Monk
13. The Monk and the Bible
14. The Bible in 1796-98
15. T.J. Mathias and The Pursuits of Literature
16. The charge of blasphemy
17. Lewis and the Law
18. The Proclamation Society
19. The new version of The Monk
20. Advocates for The Monk
21. Our own findings
22. The political undertones of the controversy
23. The sadistic strain

SECTION IV - LEWIS'S CAREER AFTER THE MONK

24. A writer with a bad name: M.G. Lewis
25. Was Lewis's developement thwarted by persecution?

Postscript
Select Bibliography
Index of Names
Index of Titles

matt cardin
08-17-2010, 06:17 PM
The Monk book sounds fascinating. Wow.

As for Ligotti and gothicism, I'm with the rest of you: Some of Tom's work is definitely gothic, and some of it isn't.

In the gothic category, stories that spring immediately to mind are "Dr. Locrian's Asylum," "The Last Feast of Harlequin," "The Lost Art of Twilight," "Masquerade of a Dead Sword," "The Sect of the Idiot," "The Tsalal," and "The Prodigy of Dreams."

And I'll say that when I first saw the subject line of this thread, before I even read the opening post, I thought immediately of the entirely educational distinction that Tom makes in "Notes on the Writing of Horror" between the stylistic varieties of horror fiction: supernatural realist, gothic, and experimental. (Of course he also describes that "impossible godlike style," plus the "final style," presumably metafiction merging with existential reality. These two are obviously "fictional" styles, although one should read such an assertion, I think, in light of CATHR.) One could have no knowledge of such matters besides the information provided there, and still have a functional taxonomy for deciding which of Tom's own stories should be considered gothic.

gveranon
08-17-2010, 06:41 PM
I read a library copy of Mario Praz's The Romantic Agony back when I was a teenager, and haven't looked at the book since, but I remember it as being full of detailed accounts of lurid old-school gothicism. It's an old-fashioned work of scholarship, with a moralistic disapproving tone, but it carries quite an atmospheric charge. I felt like I was in another world while I was reading it. Here is a web page (http://www.artandpopularculture.com/The_Romantic_Agony)that describes the book.

bendk
08-18-2010, 11:31 PM
Here is a recent gothic novel that I have read and enjoyed. Baltimore, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden. When I first saw this on the net I thought it was a graphic novel, but it isn't. It is a 300 page novel written by Golden and profusely illustrated in b&w by Mignola. The book design, an oversized hard cover, is outstanding, and I love the art. The story is set around the time of WWI. They deliberately went for the gothic on this one. Golden even has some of the novel written as from a journal by the main character. It is heavy on atmosphere (which I like) both from Golden and Mignola, and obviously influenced by Stoker's Dracula. The story even has some nice folklorish elements to it. I know one section of the novel that is sure to appeal fans of Ligotti's work.

Mignola even dedicates it, in part, to some major gothic writers:

For Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, Herman Melville, Hans Christian Anderson, and my wife, Christine.
-M.M.



http://pictures.abebooks.com/GUNSANDROCKETS/1092909570.jpg



Dark Horse Comics is currently adapting it to the graphic novel form. Written by Golden, with covers by Mignola, and interior art by Ben Stenbeck. I am unfamiliar with Stenbeck's work, but if it is good I will probably end up buying the comics, or at least the collected graphic novel when it eventually comes out. The first issue is already out. Below is shown the finalized layout of the first issue and the original Mignola cover art for the remaining issues.



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[URL="http://by123w.bay123.mail.live.com/Comics/Previews/16-902"]http://images.darkhorse.com/covers/300/16/16902.jpg (http://by123w.bay123.mail.live.com/Comics/Previews/16-901)



http://i.ebayimg.com/08/!B-NEhnQCWk~$(KGrHqYOKpYEy+jCzKnEBM8B8KYNOg~~_3.JPG

bendk
08-19-2010, 12:56 AM
These three gothic horror books are very nice. All are oversized hardcovers. The first two are wonderfully illustrated by Satty. (I have included an image from The Annotated Dracula). The Annotated Frankenstein also has some good illustrations by Macia Huyette. The Publisher, Clarkson N. Potter, published a number of excellent annotated volumes in the 1970s.



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bendk
10-29-2010, 08:58 AM
Some gothic odds and ends.



I recently found out that Ligotti's story "Purity" was included in an Ash-Tree edition of gothic fiction.


http://pictures.abebooks.com/COLDTONNAGEBOOKS/1022787509.jpg



Ash-Tree Press, 2007. Hard Cover. First Edition. EXOTIC GOTHIC: Forbidden Tales from Our Gothic World, Edited by Danel Olson. Ashcroft, BC; Canada; Ash-Tree Press; 2007. 1st edition hardcover. ISBN: 978-1-55310-099-7 (Hardback, limited to 350 copies). x + 306pp; Published October 2007. IN THE OLD GOTHIC, nothing scared so much as a touch of the cold and the foreign in the midst of the familiar, for it begged the question, 'What has become of the world we knew?' The twenty-three stories in Exotic Gothic ask this question differently: 'What has become of the world we know?' These stories are concerned with the here and now, and demonstrate how today's international Gothicists are reimagining the traditional setting, mood, and characters of their British, German and French predecessors. You will not be safe here as you roam the world and travel from Tanzania to Zanzibar, Mali, Sumatra, Japan, Iraq, Russia, Australia, England, Scotland, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, America, and Canada. On this tour, the uncanny is everywhere. Isn't that the attraction? CONTENTS: Preface: 'The Gothic Takes a Holiday' by Danel Olson, 'Mbo' by Nicholas Royle, 'In the Desert of Deserts' by Thomas Tessier, 'Going Native' by John Bushore, 'The Butsudan' by Lucy Taylor, 'Twilight in the Green Zone' by David Wellington, 'Jarkman at the Othergates' by Terry Dowling, 'Rustle' by Peter Crowther, 'Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Nameless House of the Night of Dread Desire' by Neil Gaiman, 'Skin of My Soul' by Sean Meriwether, 'The Man Who Stalked Hyde' by William F. Nolan, 'The House by the Bulvarnoye Koltso' by Steve Rasnic Tem, 'Bones' by Ilsa J. Bick, 'Extinctions in Paradise' by Brian Hodge, From Against Gravity by Farnoosh Moshiri, 'Tide Pool' by Douglas Unger, 'The Black and White Sisters' by T. C. Boyle, 'The Pumpkin Child' by Nancy A. Collins, 'Ever After' by James Cortese, 'Lovecraft's Pillow' by Mark Steensland and Rick Hautala, 'Purity' by Thomas Ligotti, 'Waiting for the 400' by Kyle Marffin, From Beasts by Joyce Carol Oates, 'The Wide Wide Sea' by Barbara Roden. This wonderful anthology contains eight brand new stories—those by James Cortese, Terry Dowling, William F. Nolan, Barbara Roden, Mark Steensland and Rick Hautala, Lucy Taylor, Steve Rasnic Tem, and David Wellington.




This list was in the Book of Lists: Horror


James D. Jenkins's Ten Weirdest Gothic Novels

James D. Jenkins is the founder/publisher/editor of Valancourt Books (www.valancourtbooks.com (http://www.valancourtbooks.com/)), a small press specializing in new editions of rare Gothic, supernatural, and decadent novels. Since 2005, Valancourt has published over fifty works originally published between 1790 and 1950, and has dozens more titles in the works. In addition to new editions of well-established classics, Valancourt has reprinted novels so rare that they survived in only one known copy worldwide prior to republication.

1. The Witch of Ravensworth (1808), by George Brewer
2. Horrid Mysteries (1796), by Carl Grosse
3. The Necromancer; or The Tale of the Black Forest (1794), by Peter Teuthold
4. The Animated Skeleton (1798), by Anonymous
5. The Demon of Sicily (1807), by Edward Montague
6. The Mysterious Hand; or, Subterranean Horrours! (1811), by Augustus Jacob Crandolph
7. Manfrone; or, The One-Handed Monk (1809), by Mary Anne Radcliffe
8. Santa-Maria; or, The Mysterious Pregnancy (1797), by Joseph Fox Jr.
9. Deeds of Darkness; or, The Unnatural Uncle (1805), by G.T. Morley
10 Rosalviva; or, The Demon Dwarf (1824), by Grenville Fletcher





And a couple of gothic horror books that I have.


http://img1.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/c0/c2310.jpg


Contents

Sardonicus
Sagittarius
Sanguinarius
Comet Wine
The Runaway Lovers
The Vendetta
The Cage

Stephen King called the novella Sardonicus "Perhaps the finest example of the modern Gothic ever written."



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