By S. T. Joshi
The last word number of bizarre and scary American fiction.
As Stephen King will attest, the recognition of the occult in American literature has in simple terms grown because the days of Edgar Allan Poe. American Supernatural stories celebrates the richness of this practice with chilling contributions from many of the nation's brightest literary lighting fixtures, together with Poe himself, H. P. Lovecraft, Shirley Jackson, Ray Bradbury, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and-of direction- Stephen King. by way of turns phantasmagoric, spectral, and demonic, this can be a frighteningly solid addition to Penguin Classics.
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Additional info for American Supernatural Tales (Penguin Classics)
Social compacts were the vogue. Wolfgang was too much of a theorist not to be tainted by the liberal doctrines of the day. ” said he: “our hearts are united; in the eye of reason and honour we are as one. ” The stranger listened with emotion: she had evidently received illumination at the same school. “You have no home nor family,” continued he; “let me be every thing to you, or rather let us be every thing to one another. If form is necessary, form shall be observed—there is my hand. ” said the stranger, solemnly.
But you have a home,” said Wolfgang. ” The heart of the student melted at the words. “If a stranger dare make an offer,” said he, “without danger of being misunderstood, I would offer my humble dwelling as a shelter; myself as a devoted friend. ” There was an honest earnestness in the young man’s manner that had its effect. His foreign accent, too, was in his favour; it showed him not to be a hackneyed inhabitant of Paris. Indeed there is an eloquence in true enthusiasm that is not to be doubted.
James’s compatriot Edith Wharton manifestly followed in his footsteps—perhaps, indeed, at times a bit too closely. Nevertheless, there is enough originality and artistry in her dozen or so ghost stories to earn her a place in the supernatural canon. H. P. Lovecraft joins Poe and Bierce in the triumvirate of towering American supernaturalists. In a career that spanned little more than two decades, Lovecraft transformed the horror tale in such radical ways that its ramifications are still being felt.