Friday, January 11, 2013

Horror 101: The House and the Brain, The Alchemist, The Haunted House Story, and Wuthering Heights

This month's installment of "Horror 101: Studying the Roots of the Horror Genre" is up, and this  time through, we're looking at The House and the Brain, by Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton, The Haunted House Story, an interesting collection edited by Charles Dickens, "The Alchemist", by none other than H. P. Lovecraft, and Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.

Some of the topics range to the introduction of the "occult detective" in The House and The Brain, commercial ghost stories for entertainment in The Haunted House Story, and the distinction between supernatural phenomena - with occult sources - and actual ghosts and hauntings. 

Also, with our natural/literary gothic selection in Wuthering Heights, the potential demonic/daemonic figure of Heathcliffe, an orphan "born" of the moors, who listerally destroys everything he encounters.

Also, in a moment of humility, I must admit my unfortunate panning of the literary contributions of Wilkie Collins and Elizabeth Gaskell, in my examination of The Haunted House Story. Not sure how I managed that, and my only defense - a weak one, at that - is my exploration of the roots and evolution of the horror genre is exactly that: an exploration, in many cases, of my own weak spots. My only course of recompense, indeed will be to add both authors to my list of upcoming spotlights.

Up for next time are:

The House on the Borderlands, by William Hope Hodgson
"The Rats in the Walls," "The Picture in the House," "The Lurking Fear," and "The Unnameable," all by H. P. Lovecraft
Uncle Silas, by J. S. Le Fenu