Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Faunus 16 - Summer 2007 Collection of Machen letters

The Friends of Arthur Machen commemorated the sixtieth anniversary of Machen’s death and the centenary of the publication of The Hill of Dreams in 1907 with the first ever publication of "John Lane and Arthur Machen: A Correspondence" in Faunus The Journal of the Friends of Arthur Machen, volume 16 (Summer 2007). It covers Machen's correspondence with the important fin de si├Ęcle publisher John Lane from 1895-1906. The letters demonstrate Machen’s refusal to censor The Three Impostors in the aftermath of the Wilde trial despite Lane’s requests and Machen’s irritation with the puritanical climate of the time. Machen did agree however to the removal of one terrifying word from the manuscript now put into print for the first time ever. The letters also covers Machen’s difficulties in getting The Hill of Dreams published in the climate of the time, which although written 1896-7 was not published for ten years. Other articles in that issue include Machen scholar Roger Dobson discussing in "The Book in Yellow: How Dorian Inspired Lucian" the connection between Machen’s reading of Wilde’s Dorian Gray and The Hill of Dreams. Paul Fox’s article “On the Matter of Coincidence: 'Though' and 'Why' and 'The Inmost Light.'” discusses the place of that story in Machen's 1890s fiction, and in his ideas of aesthetics. In Machen's 1916 article "The Shade of a Great Man" published for the first time since the war Dr Johnson returns to pontificate to Boswell on the such matters as the Blackout, the coming of “fireships of the air” and Conscientious Objectors.

The most recent Machenalia the newsletter of the society covers the recently finished Caerleon sculpture commemorating Machen, a number of Machen based film scripts in development, more on the Angels of Mons, Machen themed music and in a special Tobacco themed issue reveals that Machen foretold the recent ban on smoking.