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The only illustrated, annotated edition of Machen’s supernatural fiction on the market, this collector’s volume includes the very best of his weird tales and fantasy. A tremendous influence on H. P. Lovecraft, and widely considered one of the most important contributors to the weird fiction genre, Arthur Machen specialized in a highly intuitive horror that was more suggestive and upsetting because of with it implied than because of what it showed. His stories investigate themes studied by Edgar Allan Poe and Robert Louis Stevenson: corruption of innocence, the power of the will, social hypocrisy, vestigial evil, and hidden sin.
Heavily influenced by those writers and by a mystical blend of Celtic Paganism and gnostic Christianity, Machen wrote stories that plumbed the dark unconscious of humanity, seeking and discovering subterranean monstrosities. The tales here include stories of murderous Pagan cults, dark eldritch gods, human sacrifices, witches’ Sabbaths, crossbreeding between humans and evil deities, unevolved races of brutal troglodytes, demonic possession, putrefying zombies, animals declaring war on all humanity, ghostly wartime visions, murder mysteries, and occult detectives. Machen’s works study the Platonic duality of human nature – the good and the evil, the flesh and the spirit – and beckon us to peer behind the veil of daily life at the horrible reality we rarely stop to notice.
TALES INCLUDED in this ANNOTATED EDITION:
The Great God Pan | The Inmost Light | The White People | The Novel of the White Powder
The Novel of the Black Seal | The Red Hand | The Shining Pyramid | Out of the Earth
The Bowmen | The Monstrance | The Soldier’s Rest | The Great Return | The Terror