Supernatural Horror in Literature

"Supernatural Horror in Literature" is a non-fiction survey of the field of horror fiction by the famed horror writer H. P. Lovecraft, written between November 1925 and May 1927, and revised in 1933-1934. It was first published in 1927 in the one-shot magazine "The Recluse". [S. T. Joshi and David E. Schultz, "Supernatural Horror in Literature", "An H. P. Lovecraft Encyclopedia", p. 255.]

Lovecraft examines the roots of weird fiction in the gothic novel (relying heavily on Edith Birkhead's 1921 survey "The Tale of Terror"), and traces its development through such writers as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe (who merits his own chapter), and Ambrose Bierce. Lovecraft names as the four "modern masters" of horror Arthur Machen, Lord Dunsany, Algernon Blackwood and M. R. James.

"An H. P. Lovecraft Encyclopedia" calls the work "HPL's most significant literary essay and one of the finest historical analyses of horror literature." [Joshi and Schultz, p. 255.] Upon reading the essay, M. R. James proclaimed Lovecraft's style "most offensive." [Joshi and Schultz, p. 256.]

The essay is now available in its annotated form (with a bibliography of the authors mentioned in the essay and an introduction) by S. T. Joshi under the title of "The Annotated Supernatural Horror in Literature", (Hippocampus Press, 2000).

Footnotes

External links

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