Some of the finest horror stories ever written. Arthur Machen had a profound impact upon H. P. Lovecraft and the group of stories that would later become known as the Cthulhu Mythos.
H. P. Lovecraft declared Arthur Machen (1863–1947) to be a modern master who could create “cosmic fear raised to it’s most artistic pitch.” This initial volume of his work contains two short stories, the novella “The Great God Pan”, and an episodic novel, “The Three Impostors.” In form something like a puzzle box, “Impostors” cryptic connections and revelations were sometimes abridged. It’s text here is complete.
In these eerie and once-shocking stories, supernatural horror is a transmuting force powered by the core of life. To resist it requires great will from the living, for civilization is only a new way to behave, and not one instinctive to life. Decency prevents discussion about such pressures, so each person must face such things alone. The comforts and hopes of civilization are threatened and undermined by these ecstatic nightmares that haunt the living. This is nowhere more deftly suggested than through Machen’s extraordinary prose, where the textures and dreams of the Old Ways are never far removed.
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