Unutterable Horror: A History of Supernatural Fiction, Volume 2 (Paperback)
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In this second volume of S. T. Joshi's landmark history of supernatural fiction, the initial focus is on an incredible efflorescence of weird writing at the turn of the twentieth century-a period that many scholars have referred to as the Golden Age of weird fiction. Such figures as Arthur Machen, Lord Dunsany, Algernon Blackwood, M. R. James, and H. P. Lovecraft elevated weird fiction to a level of high artistry never seen before, and their work continues to inspire writers up to the present day. Other authors such as Walter de la Mare, L. P. Hartley, and William Hope Hodgson also contributed important novels and tales. Lovecraft's influence extended to such of his contemporaries and successors as Clark Ashton Smith, Robert E. Howard, August Derleth, Robert Bloch, and Fritz Leiber. In the years following Lovecraft's death, a new crop of writers-led by Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Shirley Jackson, and Charles Beaumont-brought horror down to earth and into the realm of ordinary life. Their work laid the groundwork for the extraordinary emergence of weird fiction as a best-selling phenomenon in the work of Ira Levin, Stephen King, Peter Straub, Clive Barker, Anne Rice, and many others. At the same time, more literate figures such as Ramsey Campbell, T. E. D. Klein, and Thomas Ligotti continued to expand the boundaries of the weird in work of the highest literary polish. Today, such writers as Caitl n R. Kiernan, Dennis Etchison, and many others continue to probe new directions in weird fiction.