Thursday, 1 October 2009

Machen is the forgotten father of weird fiction

Interesting article on Machen on The Guardian blog which gives a reasonable assessment of Machen's significance and the power of his works has attracted a lot of coverage on the web.

As one comment pointed out it is perhaps not fair to say Machen is entirely forgotten - amongst genre fans his name is still fairly well known, as Machen appears in countless anthologies of the best horror stories. Of course amongst educated Forteans Machen is remembered because of the Angels of Mons. Certainly amongst the general public he is unknown now though.

Interestingly Machen's reputation is actually higher abroad in some respects than in the UK. Mentions of Machen in the Spanish press equal or exceed mentions in Britain. The anthologies of Machen by Borges still have a big draw. In all it is a good summary of Machen for a general reader.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Latest Friends publications

The Friends of Arthur Machen’s hardback journal Faunus (Summer 09) reaches its twentieth issue and as always its fifty-eight pages contain many mysteries. Roger Dobson provides an excellent essay on The Three Impostors and its relation with Stevenson’s works. Neil Wilson examines two of Machen’s earliest and least considered tales and Christopher Josiffe discusses how the mysterious magus Kenneth Grant relates Machen’s work in his Typhonian trilogies to many strange subjects including the dread Necronomicon. Grail hunters will be interested to read the startling contents of Machen’s completely unpublished Graal notebook used in the creation of The Secret Glory. [Don't attempt to look for the Grail without this information!]. This comes alongside a captivating essay by Mark Valentine on the grail in fiction. There is also an essay by Machen on the Grail legend written in February 1914 to celebrate a performance of Wagner’s Parsifal in London which not been published for over ninety years. [Sad to note that six months later Machen along with the rest of London would be heartedly cursing German culture.] Musicians take note Faunus 20 also contains the score for the Angel of Mons valse, a strange piece of music inspired by the Angels of Mons legend which has been unpublished since the Great War.

Machenalia also contains many things beginning with a summary of the Friend’s Annual General Meeting in Whitby. There is an essay exploring the mysterious White Cavalry of Bethune inspired by an investigation by TED Klein, details on the Angels of Mons film from 1915, and a long essay on Machen’s The Canning Wonder and its connection to Josephine Tey’s The Franchise Affair. Other topics featured include Clive Barker, Stewart Lee, Tim Lebbon, Lovecraft, the Bowmen podcast, Lord Dunsany and Imperial Tokay. It also includes book reviews by Mr Arthur Machen revealing his feelings on Persian Poetry! Machenalia also provides full details on the Friend’s 2010 AGM in Abergavenny start planning your attendance today.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Arthur Machen and the Orphan

The popular new horror film Orphan has a mysterious and unexpected twist about Esther the "bad seed" child at the centre of the drama the poster warns you that "There's something wrong with Esther". Well mysterious and unexpected unless you have read the works of Arthur Machen. One of Machen’s stories "The Bright Boy" has a very similar twist.

Monday, 11 May 2009

The Bowman Podcast

WildClaw Theatre in Chicago did another good job in this adaptation of Machen's classic story of The Bowmen. Well worth listening to:

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Machen and Psychogeography

Machen is often cited as an influence in the strange world of psychogeography. Here one intrepid soul uses some references from Machen to explore London round Gray's Inn.