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Old 11-22-2014   #11
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Re: Whatever be your favourite Arthur Machen work(s)?

"The White People", of course?

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Old 07-08-2016   #12
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Re: Whatever be your favourite Arthur Machen work(s)?

I somehow missed that there was another Machen thread.

I have now read all of Machen's available novels and short stories bar the missing chapters of The Secret Glory. Looking back, my favourites are The Hill of Dreams, The White People, A Fragment of Life, the prose poems featured in Ornaments in Jade, Novel of the Black Seal, Novel of the White Powder and The Great God Pan. Strong runners up are The Great Return, The Secret Glory, Far Off Things, Rus in Urbe, The Inmost Light, The Shining Pyramid, Change, Eleusinia, N and Opening the Door.

Like many other readers I wish Machen had written far more tales of mixed terror/awe than he in fact did, but much of his best work curtails the terror aspect and pulses with pure spiritual awe which is just as powerful. Even at the end of his career Machen was pushing boundaries in this regard, despite his many lesser pieces. I have found my Machen odyssey to be a richly rewarding and life-changing experience. He's so much more than just a horror writer and the proto-Lovecraft he's primarily known as. More people need to read Ornaments in Jade.

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Old 07-08-2016   #13
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Re: Whatever be your favourite Arthur Machen work(s)?

I appreciate the continued exploration of Machen's work here.

I was first introduced to his work in "The Three Imposters" in the 70s through Lin Carter's old Adult Fantasy Series. Nowadays I would have to claim The White People as my all-time favorite, though N is also wonderful.

I second the notion that more people should explore "Ornaments in Jade," a very evocative work.
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Old 07-08-2016   #14
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Re: Whatever be your favourite Arthur Machen work(s)?

I love how there seem to be echoes of The White People in A Fragment of Life, and echoes of Fragment again in N- like fractal geometry. It's hard to separate them in my mind.
Rus in Urbe & By the Brook are reminiscent of Poe's landscape pieces, which i also love.

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Old 07-09-2016   #15
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Re: Whatever be your favourite Arthur Machen work(s)?

Probably two not too original options: The White People and The Great God Pan.

Your fall should be like the fall of mountains. But I was before mountains. I was in the beginning, and shall be forever. The first and the last. The world come full circle. I am not the wheel. I am the hand that turns the wheel. I am Time, the Destroyer. I was the wind and the stars before this. Before planets. Before heaven and hell. And when all is done, I will be wind again, to blow this world as dust back into endless space. To me the coming and going of Man is as nothing.
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Old 10-21-2016   #16
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Re: Whatever be your favourite Arthur Machen work(s)?

I would definitely say "The White People" so far. The opening discussion between Ambrose and Cotgrave concerning the nature of evil will remain with me for a long time.
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Old 10-22-2016   #17
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Re: Whatever be your favourite Arthur Machen work(s)?

LibriVox -The White People

not about meaning only survival
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Old 10-22-2016   #18
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Re: Whatever be your favourite Arthur Machen work(s)?

I'm very fond of "The Three Impostors." I love frame stories, and every tale it contains is excellent. The undercurrent of perverse secret societies and the ending (human sacrifice!) perversely scaffolds tales like "The Novel of the Black Seal" and "The Novel of the White Powder." One of the best novels I've ever read.
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Old 10-25-2016   #19
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Re: Whatever be your favourite Arthur Machen work(s)?

The more i think on it, the harder i find it- the less sense it seems to make- to single out any one piece. Sure, there's The White People, and A Fragment of Life, and they do tower somewhat over the field entire, let alone the man's own work.
Yet taken as a whole, Machen's oeuvre seems preoccupied with a single theme, and the delight is in reading how he manages to shade this theme into terror and darkness, but also into a gentle sense of wonder; to see him examine the same woodland, the same alley now under this light, now under that. His work is itself a landscape, and spacious and diverse enough to wander in and see anew each time.

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Old 10-26-2016   #20
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Re: Whatever be your favourite Arthur Machen work(s)?

The Great God Pan and The Inmost Light.

And it's a tie, because I really like The Inmost Light.

Lucian pigeon-holed the letter solemnly in the receptacle lettered 'Barbarians.' ~ The Hill of Dreams by Arthur Machen
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