The Modern Weird Tale: A Critique of Horror Fiction

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9780786409860: The Modern Weird Tale: A Critique of Horror Fiction

This is a critical study of many of the leading writers of horror and supernatural fiction since World War II. The primary purpose is to establish a canon of weird literature, and to distinguish the genuinely meritorious writers of the past fifty years from those who have obtained merely transient popular renown. Accordingly, the author regards the complex, subtle work of Shirley Jackson, Ramsey Campbell, Robert Aickman, T.E.D. Klein, and Thomas Ligotti as considerably superior to the best-sellers of Stephen King, Clive Barker, Peter Straub, and Anne Rice. Other writers such as William Peter Blatty, Thomas Tryon, Robert Bloch, and Thomas Harris are also discussed. Taken as a whole, the volume represents a pioneering attempt to chart the development of weird fiction over the past half-century.

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About the Author:

Researcher, writer and editor S.T. Joshi lives in Seattle, Washington.

From Publishers Weekly:

Joshi (Lovecraft: A Life), an accomplished critic and independent scholar, follows up his earlier The Weird Tale (1990) with this provocative examination of more recent exemplars of the genre. Again he adopts the concept of "weird fiction" as championed by H.P. Lovecraft in the latter's capacity as a critic, namely horror that upsets the reader's assumptions about the nature of reality itself. This usually involves the supernatural, though some psychotic killer fiction (Thomas Harris, Bret Easton Ellis) can also fit the bill. Here Joshi conducts a sort of comparative study of those late 20th-century authors he deems best (Shirley Jackson, Robert Aickman, Ramsey Campbell, T.E.D. Klein, Thomas Ligotti) with those whose books sell best (William Peter Blatty, Stephen King, Peter Straub, Anne Rice, Clive Barker). Though he never suffers gladly the pandering that can prevail among the big commercial names, he leaps to give credit where due, even declaring that "no praise can be too high" for King's Richard Bachman novel, The Running Man. As always, Joshi eschews pretentious academic jargon and fatuous theoretical constructions. The lack of an index or coverage of fiction published after 1993, however, is regrettable. In addition, Joshi delights in saying that certain authors aren't as good as they think they are, to scant evidence or relevance, while occasional political asides only remind us that he's a literary commentator and not a political one for good reason. But throughout, this volume shouts brilliance and diligence and belongs on the bookshelf of every thinking horror reader. (Dec.)Forecast: Despite the high price, the lack of publicity and promotion, the datedness (it evidently took Joshi years to find a legitimate press willing to accept such an iconoclastic work), the somewhat arbitrary selection of authors for inclusion (for treatments of Dennis Etchison, Les Daniels and David J. Schow one must turn to the two-volume, unabridged German edition), and the absence of a firm editorial hand, this study rivals in importance Lovecraft's classic survey of the genre, Supernatural Horror in Literature. It will be read long after many of the authors Joshi discusses have been forgotten. For now expect paltry sales.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Descripción McFarland Co Inc, United States, 2001. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. The august art of horror fiction, with its oral roots going back to prehistory, remains a very popular genre. Its most prolific modern writers are examined in this work, which begins with an introduction to horror fiction and a discussion about how it has been dealt with by the critics. The author provides his own literary criticism of the writings of well-known authors such as Stephen King and Anne Rice, among others. Divided into five segments - Shirley Jackson: Domestic Horror; The Persistence of Supernaturalism; Ramsey Campbell: The Fiction of Paranoia; The Alternatives to Supernaturalism; and Pseudo-, Quasi-, and Anti-Weird Fiction - this work takes a close look at writers who have worked extensively in horror fiction and examines themes that often operate in this genre. Nº de ref. de la librería AAN9780786409860

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Descripción McFarland Co Inc, United States, 2001. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. The august art of horror fiction, with its oral roots going back to prehistory, remains a very popular genre. Its most prolific modern writers are examined in this work, which begins with an introduction to horror fiction and a discussion about how it has been dealt with by the critics. The author provides his own literary criticism of the writings of well-known authors such as Stephen King and Anne Rice, among others. Divided into five segments - Shirley Jackson: Domestic Horror; The Persistence of Supernaturalism; Ramsey Campbell: The Fiction of Paranoia; The Alternatives to Supernaturalism; and Pseudo-, Quasi-, and Anti-Weird Fiction - this work takes a close look at writers who have worked extensively in horror fiction and examines themes that often operate in this genre. Nº de ref. de la librería AAN9780786409860

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Descripción McFarland Co Inc, United States, 2001. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. New.. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. The august art of horror fiction, with its oral roots going back to prehistory, remains a very popular genre. Its most prolific modern writers are examined in this work, which begins with an introduction to horror fiction and a discussion about how it has been dealt with by the critics. The author provides his own literary criticism of the writings of well-known authors such as Stephen King and Anne Rice, among others. Divided into five segments - Shirley Jackson: Domestic Horror; The Persistence of Supernaturalism; Ramsey Campbell: The Fiction of Paranoia; The Alternatives to Supernaturalism; and Pseudo-, Quasi-, and Anti-Weird Fiction - this work takes a close look at writers who have worked extensively in horror fiction and examines themes that often operate in this genre. Nº de ref. de la librería BTE9780786409860

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Descripción McFarland & Co Inc. Paperback. Estado de conservación: new. BRAND NEW, The Modern Weird Tale: A Critique of Horror Fiction, S. T. Joshi, The august art of horror fiction, with its oral roots going back to prehistory, remains a very popular genre. Its most prolific modern writers are examined in this work, which begins with an introduction to horror fiction and a discussion about how it has been dealt with by the critics. The author provides his own literary criticism of the writings of well-known authors such as Stephen King and Anne Rice, among others. Divided into five segments - Shirley Jackson: Domestic Horror; The Persistence of Supernaturalism; Ramsey Campbell: The Fiction of Paranoia; The Alternatives to Supernaturalism; and Pseudo-, Quasi-, and Anti-Weird Fiction - this work takes a close look at writers who have worked extensively in horror fiction and examines themes that often operate in this genre. Nº de ref. de la librería B9780786409860

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