logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: forgotten-fridays
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2015-06-06 06:31
FORGOTTEN FRIDAY

Today's subversive selection is The Confidence Man by Herman Melville

 



Originally published in 1857, this tale of a Mississippi steamer bound for New Orleans with a passenger who is not who he appears to be.....and he appears to be many things before all is said and done in this masterwork of misanthropy, deception and casual evil.

Though not traditionally considered a horror novel, novelist Michael McDowell called it "the most fundamentally unsettling, powerful, and influential book I have ever opened." He went on to say "According to Melville (and now according to me, too), the universe and existence are only a joke but dimly discerned. The punchline is garbled and all we know, while the cosmos' laughter clamors in our fevered brains, is that we are the butt of that joke."

Need he say more?

Trivia Tidbits: The initial reception to this book was so poor, 38 year old Melville gave up writing and devoted the rest of his working life to being a customs inspector.

Both of Michael McDowell's quotes above were taken from his essay on The Confidence Man in Horror: 100 Best Books.

 

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2015-05-30 05:06
FORGOTTEN FRIDAY

And now for something completely different, today's belated edition is dedicated to an author.....Clark Ashton Smith (January 13, 1893 - August 14, 1961)


 

Poet, sculptor, painter, recluse and author, Smith was one of the "Big Three of Weird Tales", alongside Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft.
A member of the Lovecraft Circle, and friend of HPL, Smith's writing moved beyond the Cthulhu Mythos, creating a mythos all his own. From alien worlds to forgotten realms of our world's shadowy past, he wove tales from an "otherness" so personal, so powerful, they read more like witness statements than wild imaginings. Spanning fantasy to science fiction, with a healthy dollop of horror at the center of it all, written in a voice that is unique in literature, casually creating visual vistas of worlds unknown, and "a style so purple it sloshes over into the ultraviolet" ( Harlan Ellison ).

Largely forgotten today, Smith's work never really underwent the "rebirth" that Lovecraft's did. And while his former mentor and friend is now having his legacy torn to pieces by the bookburners of the New World Order, including a movement to strip his visage from the World Fantasy Award, Clark Ashton Smith quietly waits to be remembered.....and perhaps take the place of the Dark Dreamer of Providence until sanity is restored and they can both share the limelight they so richly deserve.

Here's a bit of recommended reading:


( Originally published 1944 by Arkham House )

 

( Originally published 1942 by Arkham House )

Trivia Tidbits: Clark Ashton Smith's wrote in excess of 100 short stories....most of which were written in less than a decade ( 1929 - 1938).

The Arkham House edition of Lost Worlds ( pictured above) features a jacket photograph of four of Smith's sculptures.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2015-05-23 05:50
FORGOTTEN FRIDAY

This extremely late edition of FF features Medusa by E.H. Visiak

 

 

Originally published in 1929, this surreal work of high seas horror is unrepentently dark, suggesting that we are beyond hope of redemption when confronted with genuine evil, for that evil feeds upon the evil within ourselves.

Trivia Tidbits: Visiak, though largely forgotten, is best remembered as an authority on John Milton.
This book was chosen by none other than Karl Edward Wagner as his selection for Horror: 100 Best Books.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2015-05-15 05:12
FORGOTTEN FRIDAY

Today's furry fossil is Darker than You Think by Jack Williamson

 

 

Originally published as a novelette in the pulp magazine Unknown (1940), and expanded to novel length in 1948, this epic tale of a hidden race of shapeshifters (Homo lycanthropus),  the secret reason for the witch purges of the past, and considered myths in the modern enlightened world, that is awaiting the appearance of their "Black Messiah", the "Child of Night" who will lead them in their final battle with the human race.
Williamson skillfully blended '40s noir, horror/fantasy elements and a dash of pseudo-science into a refreshingly original classic that still holds up today.

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2015-05-09 05:57
FORGOTTEN FRIDAY

It's still Friday somewhere, and today's obscure opus is The Manuscript Found in Saragossa by Jan Potocki

 

 

 

Originally published in 1847, 30 years after the author's death by suicide, and supposedly unfinished, but no one really knows, this mad travelogue recounts the 66 days of the narrator's journey through Andalusia during the 1700s, and manages to explore the tropes of horror with an almost slapstick abandon, throwing everything including incest, necrophilia, hauntings, the walking dead, sex changes, shapeshifting....and that's in just 4 pages of one story within this monumental work of inspired lunacy.

 

Trivia Tidbits: Although Potocki was Polish, this novel was originally written in French.

Adapted in 1965 by director Wojciech Has into the Polish black and white film The Sargossa Manuscript. The film was admired by such individuals as Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia, Martin Scorsese, and Francis Ford Coppola.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?