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Old 06-27-2015   #21
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Re: Arthur Machen

I would recommend for anyone who likes Machen to read N, a short story/novella by Stephen King inspired by him. It was also adapted as an online animated series and as a 4-issue comic book miniseries, and both are pretty great too.

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 06-28-2015   #22
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Re: Arthur Machen

Quote Originally Posted by James Sucellus View Post
Halfway through The Terror. Quite boring and clumsy so far. Unsure why Joshi included this in the Penguins Classic collection instead of The Great God Pan. Any fans here?
I agree, "The Terror" is weak sauce for sure. I think the reason it's received the recognition it has over the years is because many have acknowledged it as the first significant foray by an author into the eco-horror genre and the influence it's said to have had on Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds". I can definitely see comparisons between its set-up/structure and what's found in many modern horror/disaster/epidemic type films. But the book was also really popular in its day and I can certainly see its appeal to the masses at the time it was published (1917).

Overall, I think "The Terror" was a good idea but poorly executed and lacking in Machen's usual poetic tongue.
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Old 06-28-2015   #23
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Re: Arthur Machen

I have finished The Terror. It did certainly improve substantially as it went on, and I would rate it as a good story overall, but it wasn't as effective as it should have been. The first half lacked focus, and needed much tidying up. It is at least a memorable horror story, with a few truly creepy moments, but it's not one worthy of being in a collection which purports to contain 'essential' Machen stories, whilst The Great God Pan is omitted.

The manuscript portion of The Terror was excellent. If the story had just been that part then I'd have rated it more highly. The endless meanderings about munition depots previously are what let it down. A flawed story with many lows, but a few truly remarkable highs that made it worth sticking with.

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― Robert Aickman, An Essay

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Old 06-28-2015   #24
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Re: Arthur Machen

If Machen's work is a dinner, then "The Terror" is the steamed vegetables. Not bad, actually lot of good there, but as you said James, flat.
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Old 06-28-2015   #25
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Re: Arthur Machen

It had the potential to be another Machen classic, particularly with the besieged family sections. It just got bogged down in the details, and lost out on greatness for it.

I'm going to read The Hill of Dreams next. This is more like it.

'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
― Robert Aickman, An Essay
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Old 06-28-2015   #26
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Re: Arthur Machen

The Hill of Dreams is dessert.
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Old 06-29-2015   #27
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Re: Arthur Machen

Actually, I like The Terror. I don't think the book "lacks focus" so much as we forget it's in large part a mystery novel.
You tell the Pioneer from the arrows in his back.
Machen did it first but after Du Maurier's short story was filmed the plot was pretty widely known and...the element of suspense in Machen's novel was decimated. .
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Old 06-29-2015   #28
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Re: Arthur Machen

I grew to like it by the end, but the first half is told in a very distant manner which I found a chore to get through. Things pick up considerably later on though, and the image of the cloud of glowing moths was quite unsettling.

'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
― Robert Aickman, An Essay

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Old 07-03-2015   #29
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Re: Arthur Machen

BBC Radio 4 - Arthur in the Underworld

'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
― Robert Aickman, An Essay
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Old 07-05-2015   #30
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Re: Arthur Machen

Tartarus Press have announced the publication of The Library of the Lost by Roger Dobson, a collection of literary essays including four on the writings of Arthur Machen. Roger was one of the foremost Machen scholars of his time, and here explores aspects of The Hill of Dreams, The Three Impostors, The Great God Pan, Machen's London and his links with Wilde. The book also covers Montague Summers, W B Yeats, M P Shiel, John Gawsworth, and a host of other colourful literary characters.
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