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Old 08-29-2017   #1
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Topic Nominated Weird Fiction and the Cult of Obscurity

Just saw this on the WeirdLit subreddit, methinks that it is very much relevant to this place. This is something that I have been thinking about quite a bit, especially in relation to why it is so much common in the weird/horror fiction fields than it is in other areas of genre fiction, but this is pretty much the first time that I saw longer article that deals with this.
Weird fiction and the virtues of obscurity: Machen, Stenbock, and the weird connoisseurs
In order to fully understand what weird fiction is and how the mode works, one must consider weird fiction’s valorisation of minority or obscurity – both within the text and by its audience – and the concomitant mythologisation of minor or obscure writers and their lives. To do this I examine the mutable critical regard of Arthur Machen (1863–1947) and Eric, Count Stenbock (1860–1895). I posit the notion of a ‘connoisseur culture’ firmly imbricated with weird fiction, and suggest (referring to the ideas of Pierre Bourdieu) that the term weird fiction is used as an imprimatur of literary authenticity unencumbered by the (to some) problematically déclassé implications of popular genres such as horror. Moreover, the notion of the obscure writer – regardless of the accuracy of the particular claim to obscurity – connotes an authenticity in both the work and its reader, the latter achieving the status, by virtue of this process, of a weird connoisseur.
(read at least a bit of the article before you make the obvious comment about Machen & "obscurity", it actually makes sense)
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cult, fiction, obscurity, weird

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