Saturday, 8 March 2008

Clive Barker on Arthur Machen - "Yes, this man redefines genres as far as I’m concerned."

Like many of the greats of horror and fantasy literature have before him Barker has gone on record in an interview to express his admiration for the work of Arthur Machen as part of the publicity for the Chicago production of Pan. Nice to see the interview took place the day after Machen's birthday.

CHARLIE: So what are your thoughts on Arthur Machen and The Great God Pan?

CLIVE: Well, this is a huge subject and we haven’t time, but there are a lot of things to be said. First thing is, Arthur Machen is wholly neglected in this country and I’m afraid in England, too. He is, to my mind, easily as important as Lovecraft. He’s certainly a better writer, no question, and infinitely subtler in his effects. Infinitely more humane in his philosophies and completely untouched by the anti-Semitism and misogyny, which to my mind is so strong in Lovecraft that it makes the work odious....

CLIVE: Yes, this man redefines genres as far as I’m concerned. I’ve never had a taste for Lovecraft. Never understood why anybody would have a taste for Lovecraft. I recommend to you, for instance, a little story not more than three pages long called, I think, An Incident on High Holborn. That’s a street in London.


CLIVE: It’s three, four pages long and it is so charged with magic and, as they say, a sort of documentary reality. It’s like nothing in English fantasy. Like nothing in English fiction. Extraordinary stuff.

You can read the full interview here where he discusses The Angels of Mons saga.

Barker has mentioned his longstanding admiration for Machen before in interviews and articles.

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