The Secret Ceremonies: Critical Essays on Arthur Machen

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  • Critical Essays on Arthur Machen
  • Edited by Mark Valentine and Timothy J. Jarvis
  • Fully indexed, with a new bibliography
  • ISBN 9781614982456: trade paperback
  • 412 pages
  • All citations keyed to ARTHUR MACHEN: COLLECTED FICTION

 

 

This title is being released at NecronomiCon Providence 2019.

Orders placed here will be filled in late August, after the convention.

 

 

Arthur Machen (1863–1947) is one of the leading figures in horror and supernatural fiction. Admired by his contemporaries Oscar Wilde, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Jerome K. Jerome, he was associated with the Decadent movement of the Eighteen Nineties and faced hostile criticism for his dark and daring stories.

 

Later he explored Celtic mythology and the symbolism of the Holy Grail, and in the First World War created the legend of the Angels of Mons, a story so convincing many took it as a true account. His “The White People” is often acclaimed as one of the finest weird stories ever written.

 

This important critical anthology offers over 20 essays on Machen, many of them newly written for the book. Contributors discuss the full range of Machen’s writing, including his association with Decadence, his incantatory prose style, his evocative writing about London and Gwent, his interest in ritual magic, alchemy and the occult, his Celtic Christianity, and his sense of the numinous.

 

As well as a full account of Machen’s period of peak artistry in the Nineties, the collection also covers his neglected later work. He never lost his deep interest in folklore and popular customs, eccentric characters and curious historical episodes, and contributors show how these continued to inform his work right up until his last writings.

 

This volume also reprints Machen’s own rueful and amusing commentary on his books, from the hard-to-find 1923 bibliography by Henry Danielson; Arthur Rickett’s “A Yellow Creeper,” an 1895 satire on Machen’s “The Great God Pan”; Donald Sidney-Fryer's lyrical essay on Arthur Machen and King Arthur; and Aleister Crowley’s views on the Angels of Mons and other hoaxes of the war.

 

The volume has been edited by Mark Valentine, who has written introductions to several of Machen’s books, and is the author of Arthur Machen (1995) and editor of the journal of the fantastic Wormwood; and Timothy J. Jarvis, co-editor of Faunus, the journal of The Friends of Arthur Machen, instructor in creative writing, and author of the novel The Wanderer (2014) and numerous works of short fiction.

 

 

Contents

Introduction 

MARK VALENTINE

 

I. Biography and Bibliography 

Arthur Machen: The Evils of Materialism

S. T. JOSHI

 

Arthur Machen: The Pagan— His Work and His Personality

GEOFFREY H. WELLS

 

Arthur Machen: A Novelist of Ecstasy and Sin

VINCENT STARRETT

 

About My Books

ARTHUR MACHEN

 

The City, the Vision, and Arthur Machen 

GODFREY BRANGHAM

 

II. Aestheticism and Decadence 

The Book in Yellow: How Dorian Inspired Lucian 

ROGER DOBSON

 

A Yellow Creeper 

ARTHUR RICKETT

 

Arthur Machen and Decadence: The Flower-Tunicked Priest of New Grub Street 

JAMES MACHIN

 

New Arabian Frights: Unholy Trinities and the Masks of Helen

ROGER DOBSON

 

A Glow in the Sky: Some Observations on Machen’s Style 

JON PREECE

 

The Secret and the Secrets: A Look at Machen’s Hieroglyphics

JOHN HOWARD

 

III. Mysticism, Magic, and Paganism .

 

Arthur Machen’s Panic Fears: Western Esotericism and the Irruption of Negative Epistemology

MARCO PASI

 

A Fit Symbol for His Meaning: Arthur Machen and the Inexpressible

KAREN JOAN KOHOUTEK

 

The Revenge of Vulcan 

G. J. COOLING

 

Perfume of the Trellised Vine

RON WEIGHELL

 

Of Sacred Groves and Ancient Mysteries: Parallel Themes in the Writings of Arthur Machen and John Buchan 

PETER BELL

 

Beyond the Veil of Reality: Mysticism in Arthur Machen’s “The White People”

EMILY FOSTER

 

Sanctity Plus Sorcery: The Curious Christianity of Arthur Machen

IAIN SMITH

 

“The Abyss of All Being”: “The Great God Pan” and the Death of Metaphysics 

GEOFFREY REITER

 

Arthur Machen and King Arthur, Sovereigns of Dream: A Personal Interpretation 

DONALD SIDNEY-FRYER

 

IV. Myths and Wonders 

The Impossible History: Machen’s “A Fragment of Life” 

JOHN HOWARD

 

Three Great Hoaxes of the War 

ALEISTER CROWLEY

 

The Canning Enigma: Some Observations on Arthur Machen’s The Canning Wonder

JEREMY CANTWELL

 

“All Manner of Mysteries”: Encounters with the Numinous in The Cosy Room and Other Stories

JAMES MACHIN

 

Some Thoughts on “N”

THOMAS KENT MILLER

 

“It Is Getting Very Late & Dark”: Machen’s Last Fiction 

MARK VALENTINE

 

Bibliography

Acknowledgments 

Index 

 

 



This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 01 August, 2019.