In other words, he is apathetic despite the tragic situation. Landy can thus be seen as William's double: his relation to William is a brutal and emotionless one just like William's relationship to Mary, in which she did not receive the love and affection she felt she deserved. Landy also addresses William childishly by calling him "my boy" 23 and giving him orders "Don't interrupt, William. Let me finish. Be good when I am gone, and always remember that it is harder to be a widow than a wife.
Do not drink cocktails. Do not waste money. Do not smoke cigarettes. Do not eat pastry. Do not use lipstick. Do not buy a television apparatus. Keep my rose beds and my rockery well weeded in the summers. And incidentally I suggest that you have the telephone disconnected now that I shall have no further use for it.
William's hubris lays in the fact that he used to rule his wife's life and acted as a God to her, dictating to her the way she should behave. William undoubtedly ruled his wife's life, disregarding her desires.
Landy is a scientist, a rational man, who sees himself as having the power of William's afterlife in his hands: "'Personally I don't believe that after you're dead, you'll ever hear of yourself again-unless [ William even evokes Landy's look that seems to say "Only I can save you" In other words, Landy places himself as a kind of God to William and it accordingly shows his hubris. As a result, by killing and dismembering his double, the narrator is actually unconsciously killing a part of his own identity and Benjamin Fisher suggests that "the protagonists' murder may represent [his] killing, or attempting to repress, key elements in what should be a balanced self" Even though this image seems innocent, it may foreshadow what is going to happen to William after he dies: he will, just like the grape, be dismembered and parts of his body will be placed on an operating table.
Ghostly Matters: Haunting and the Sociological Imagination
As a consequence, by performing a surgical act that aims at dismembering William's body, it may be assumed that Landy's own scattered identity is revealed. Because the two men are seen as the same person, Landy's dismemberment of William's body may imply that Landy is in fact mutilating his own self.
In "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "William and Mary", both authors seem once again willing to expose the effects an unbalanced self can have on a body through mutilation. Mutilating and destroying a part of one self may also actually be the central concern of another tale: "The Black Cat" by Poe.
Indeed, what leads to this interpretation lies in Poe's ability to draw parallels between the cat, the narrator's wife and the narrator himself. First cats are generally associated with women's attributes. In her psychoanalytical study of Poe's tales entitled Edgar Poe: Sa Vie, Son Oeuvre , Marie Bonaparte draws attention to the general interrelationship between a woman and a cat by referring to the popular belief that the cat is the symbol of the female sex organ The relationship between the cat and women is also made obvious in Poe's tale thanks to the many common features the cat and narrator's wife share.
Through a series of humanized details that can be applied to a docile and affectionate wife but also to a cat, the cat may be seen as "a surrogate of his i. The most striking connection between the narrator's wife and the cat is the fact that both characters are victims of the narrator's violent behavior.
The wife is for instance pictured as a wife who is mistreated by her husband: "I suffered myself to use intemperate language to my wife. At length, I even offered her personal violence" Indeed, in this movie, Harry meets Michel who pretends to be one of his former friends and a strong relationship is created between the two men. However, Harry eventually murders Michel's family because he thinks they prevent him from being free and expressing his creative side. Therefore, Harry may actually be Michel's double and embody his unconscious desire to be free from his oppressive family.
At the end of the film, Michel kills Harry, killing then his double and a part of himself. Casulli 43 the first cat, Pluto, is also hurt by the narrator before being killed: " The cat is thus representative of the narrator's wife but more generally of women, and it thus stands for femininity. Furthermore, the narrator is himself associated with his wife and women in general, because of the features they have in common. The narrator underlines his own feminine traits such as "tenderness of heart," and "unselfish and self-sacrificing" love for his pets.
This love for pets is also shared by his wife, underlining his feminine traits: I was especially fond of animals I married early, and was happy to find in my wife a disposition not uncongenial with my own. Observing my partiality for domestic pets, she lost no opportunity of procuring those of the most agreeable kind. We had birds, gold-fish, a fine dog, rabbits, a small monkey, and a cat. The cat may thus represent the narrator's feminine traits and that is the reason why he thinks he has to kill it. Kevin Hayes in The Cambridge Companion to Edgar Allan Poe seems to share this point of view when he states: "The narrator's inadvertent temporary burial of the cat along with his intentional burial of his wife's corpse may imply that the narrator has walled up, or, in psychological terms, repressed his feminine, nurturing elements in his psyche" This tale may thus show once again a desire to kill a part of one self.
The narrator chooses to kill the first cat because he cannot stand his feminine traits. He succeeds in killing it but another cat appears, meaning that his feminine traits also re-appear because they cannot be dismissed. For the same reason, the narrator wants to murder the second cat. But when he tries to kill it, his wife intervenes and he ends up killing her instead. Because the violence is directed at her, the narrator reaffirms his masculinity, but only temporarily because when he tries to kill the second cat at the end of the tale, he fails.
As just explored, the narrator in "The Black Cat" indeed tries to repress his femininity by killing the cat and his wife. However, instead of getting rid of his wife's corpse, he decides to hide it: "I determined to wall it up in the cellar" The narrator nonetheless enumerates other possible ways of destroying his wife's corpse before proceeding to the concealing: At one period I thought of cutting the corpse into minute fragments, and destroying them by fire. At another, I resolved to dig a grave for it in the floor of the cellar. Again, I deliberated about casting it in the well in the yard — about packing it in a box, as if merchandise, with the usual arrangements, and so getting a porter to take it from the house.
By preserving his wife's corpse and the cat, the narrator shows that he is actually unable to steer clear of the feminine part of his self. A battle between the feminine and the masculine is also a great concern in Dahl's "The Landlady" as the story presents a female character killing a male character and preserving his body.
Billy Weaver, the young male protagonist of the story, is going to be killed by the mother figure he was desperate to have and that he finally found in the landlady. Jacques Sohier indeed refers to 21 The fact that the narrator wants to kill his feminine traits through the murder of the cat and his wife but fails and conserves them finally appears as a source of tension which may unsettle the reader.
Indeed, this source of tension exists at the end of the story between what is written that is to say the literal meaning of the text : the narrator kills and walls up his wife and what the text actually implies that is to say its metaphorical meaning he fails to repress his femininity because he conserves his wife's body and the cat is still alive.
Casulli 45 Billy's will to find a home and a mother to nurture him: At the beginning of the short-story Billy Weaver is depicted as being desperate for a home fitted with all the qualities suggestive of snugness and pleasantness. Being away from home, he yearns for the familiar place that a mother makes secure.
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In the same way, the lady killer also wants something from Billy; according to Sohier: "What is expressed is a desire for the perfection of the skin, the fascination of the body, that could be associated with a desire for whiteness, the whiteness of teeth and, in the same breath, with an insistent apprehension of age and ageing, the whole compounded of a desire for a baby" Sohier 8.
To put it differently, the landlady may be looking for a son she never had. Billy even assumes that "she had probably lost a son in the war, or something like that, and had never got over it" And this may be what drives her to keep the body of her victim. Dahl very much insists on this desire to keep her victim when describing his female character. He states that boarding houses remind him of "rapacious landladies" The adjective "rapacious" is relevant here because it suggests cupidity, or in other words, someone who does not want to share, who just wants to possess more.
And this adjective does apply to the landlady in the story as she wants to possess her clients and, in order to do so, she kills and stuffs them. The adjective is thus appropriate because the landlady is herself a killer and the clients are her preys. Later on, the landlady uses the word "nest" 12 to describe her house, equally highlighting this idea. Casulli 46 Billy also assumes that boarding houses have a "powerful smell of kippers" A kipper is a fish that has been cut and emptied.
Dahl thus repeatedly foreshadows Billy's fate and the landlady's sinister desire: like a kipper, Billy is about to be killed, opened up and emptied to be stuffed. The word "kipper" is also a homophone of the word "keeper" which may remind the reader of the landlady who accordingly wants to keep her victims' bodies. Poe's "The Oval Portrait" and Dahl's "Skin" also deal with a desire to keep a body or more precisely, a pure image of a body. Indeed, in both stories, the young women are painted by someone who loves them.
The artist in Poe's tale is the girl's husband: "And evil was the hour when she saw, and loved, and wedded the painter" , and Soutine in Dahl's in story is clearly in love with his friend's wife as he keeps asking her if she "will marry [him]" , and he accepts to tattoo his friend only because it is a portrait of Josie: 'All I am saying' the boy told him, 'is that you are drunk and this is a drunken idea. A study of Josie upon my back. Am I not entitled to a picture of my wife upon my back? Their will to portray these women may also be motivated by their will to preserve something that they know is going to expire: their beauty.
In "The Oval Portrait", the young girl's "rarest beauty" is underlined and in executing the portrait the artist has lost his bride, but he succeeded in creating an impression of her which will defy time; he has captured in his painting her most perfect beauty. In Dahl's short story, the way Soutine wants to paint Josie is quite relevant as it shows Soutine's desire for his muse: "Let her be standing there, by my dressing table.
Let her brushing her hair. I will paint her with her hair down over her shoulders and her brushing it" Casulli 47 This quote suggests that Josie has long hair that goes beyond her shoulders. And this striking image of the woman's hair is indeed a strong symbol because, as Anthony Synnott in "Shame and Glory: A Sociology of Hair" ; "long hair Soutine thus appears as being sexually driven to Jodie as his main focus when painting is on her hair and it underlines her sensuality. However, because the artist knows a body is not meant to last, he chooses to represent Jodie in a painting to defy time and keep a perfect image of her.
In "The Oval Portrait" and "Skin", both women are seen as extremely beautiful and, as Ralph Ciancio puts its in Literature and The Grotesque ; "the beauty of the body has often been considered evidence of the purity of one's soul" Therefore, because they are described as beautiful, their purity is also implied. In both stories, the models' purity and innocence lie in the fact that they are both obedient and submissive to their husband.
As Floyd Stovall argues in his paper entitled "The Women of Poe's Poems and Tales"; the women in Poe's fiction "are all noble and good, and naturally very beautiful Most remarkable of all is their passionate and enduring love for his hero" In this tale, it is said that the young woman agreed to be painted because "she was humble and obedient" In Dahl's story, although Josie is not enthusiastic about being portrayed because she thinks "It's a damn crazy idea" , she accepts "reluctantly" though.
In "Skin", Jodie's purity and innocence is defeated by others' selfish will to conserve something without regards to people's feelings. Indeed, this theme appears as one of the main concerns of the short story and the end indeed confirms this idea. The reader understands that Drioli has been killed and that the tattoo on his back has been sold and exposed: It wasn't more than a few weeks later that a picture by Soutine, of a woman's head, painted in an unusual manner, nicely framed and heavily varnished, turned up for sales in Buenos Aires.
By depicting characters with outstanding skills in concealing their true intentions, especially in "The Landlady" and "Skin", Roald Dahl manages to represent the untrustworthiness of human nature. In "The Landlady", "The Oval Portrait" and "Skin", the characters willingly preserve what they were seeking for: the landlady in Dahl's conserves Billy's body because she was looking for a substitute son, the artist in Poe's "The Oval Portrait" tried to preserve his wife's beauty, and in Dahl's "Skin", Soutine equally tried to recapture his lover's beauty by painting as he knew it will one day fade away and the strange man also wants to preserve Drioli's back tattoo in order to satisfy his cruel greed.
Bodies in pain abound in Poe's and Dahl's writing, whether they are being let to die, dismembered or killed and preserved. These neglected and mutilated bodies, as this part just explored, may stand for an externalization of the characters' unbalanced minds. Thanks to the Gothic genre and, more precisely the motif of mutilated bodies, Poe and Dahl try to describe inner states of consciousness.
The study of trauma within literature can enlighten one's comprehension of Poe and Dahl's works. Literary trauma theory is thus the representation of one's traumatized unconscious as it is supposed to analyze the manifestations a traumatic event has had on an individual's psyche and creative mind. This idea of an unconscious being represented in literary forms is also at the center of Charles Mauron's psychocriticism.
What Mauron calls an "obsessive metaphor" 9 is actually a network of obsessive images that need to be confronted to an author's life in order to elucidate his "personal myth" 9 and thus to discover his "unconscious personality" Consequently, Charles Mauron's psychocriticism may be considered as a predecessor of the trauma theory in literature because the two concepts essentially foregroud the same idea: the idea that an author's unconscious may have been inspired by traumatic events and may have been transferred into his fiction.
This third part's aim is thus to demonstrate that Poe and Dahl's fiction are filled with obsessive images whose study may lead to an understanding of the authors' personal myths which may have suffered an unconscious transfer into their fiction. The first stage consists in superimposing different texts from the same author in order to detect repetitive images that seem to obsess the author The aim of the second stage of the method is to identify the "mythical figures and dramatic situations" that these images convey The third stage must then enable a critical reader to uncover the author's personal myth and finally the last stage involves a confirmation of this information based on the author's biography Therefore, according to Mauron, works of fiction are supposed to reflect an author's unconscious and psychocriticism is an useful tool to discover it.
Before identifying the "obsessive metaphors" in Poe and Dahl's work, an explanation of Mauron's expression itself should be carried out. In "obsessive metaphors", the word "obsessive" refers to the frequency in which the images appear. From Mauron's point of view if these images appear too often, they become obsessive as they are repeatedly22 used and they may reveal that the author is haunted by them. Charles Mauron also alludes to these repetitive images as "metaphors".
According to The Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online, a metaphor is: "a figure of speech in which a word or phrase literally denoting one kind of object or idea is used in place of another to suggest a likeness or analogy between them" In other words, the images that keep on appearing in an author's text that is to say the different mutilations of the body should not be understood in their literal meaning and instead they imply something else. The different mutilations of the body in Poe and Dahl's work may thus be considered as "obsessive metaphors" as they are repeatedly dealt with in the stories under consideration and they stand for something else than their literal meaning.
Poe and Dahl seem to share a similar "personal myth" as they both express the same obsessive images. Live burials, dismemberment and the conservation of bodies may indeed imply something else because those events are quite irrational as they are unlikely to happen. According to Fisher, Poe was aware of the symbolic value of these terrifying motifs: "Poe comprehended the greater realities in such terrifying occurrences, and that they had rich symbolic values" Poe and Dahl's stories about live burials probably do not evoke the real fear of being buried alive but instead this motif becomes a symbol that may reveal their unconscious personality.
It might indeed evoke a fear of confinement in general, or in other words, a feeling of claustrophobia. When confronted to the authors' biographies, the motif of live burials as a symbol of the authors' fear of confinement may indeed be validated. Poe's fear of confinement probably stems from his financial situation and his restricted professional career as a short story writer. According to many Poe specialists, including Fisher; "Poe's major demon, so to speak was poverty. More than any other cause, hardships and worries regarding scanty financial means troubled Poe's life" 4.
In "The Black Cat", the fact that the narrator is himself in a desperate financial situation may reflect Poe's own situation: "My entire wealth was swallowed up, and I resigned myself thenceforward to despair" As Hammond explains: Throughout his literary career Poe regarded himself as first and foremost a poet and only secondarily a writer of short stories.
He had turned to the writing of fiction when he realised that his earnings from poetry would be insufficient for his modest needs, but in the last analysis he felt this was a distraction from his central artistic concerns. Because Poe could not support his family just by writing poetry, he had to write fiction and may have felt imprisoned in a role of short story writer. Roald Dahl's fear of confinement may also be found when reading the author's biography.
As Donald Sturrock reveals; the author's schooldays were dreadful and his "pleasures of youth had been stifled by an unfair system that was devoid of affection and feeling … " Dahl was bullied at school: he was beaten and tortured by older boys and his teachers were also violent to him.
This book is a very violent one because Roald Dahl describes the tortures and the different kinds of bullying he had to face when he was younger: "All through my school life, I was appalled by the fact that masters and senior boys were allowed literally to wound other boys, and sometimes quite severely" Accordingly, Dahl's feeling of claustrophobia may come from his schooldays because he felt he could not escape the tortures and his tormentors even though he tried many times. And that is probably one of the reasons why he wrote short stories about bullied women who take their revenge.
In "William and Mary", for instance, one object appears as an item symbolizing power. Indeed, the "cigarette" 13 seems to be an effective image which is only used by those in control. Casulli 53 As previously mentioned, Landy is in control because he addresses William as if he were a child, he gives him many orders and William obeys.
During his speech, Landy also proposes a cigarette to William: "Have a cigarette" 18 , but William refuses because "[He doesn't] smoke" 18 and he "disapprove[s]" 29 of that. The fact that Landy decides to "lit it i. Likewise, at the end of the story, the reader discovers that William did not want Mary to smoke either, but when visiting him at the hospital, a revengeful Mary appears and this image of a victorious woman defeating her former controlling husband is conveyed by the cigarette she is smoking right in front of him: Then very slowly, deliberately, she put the cigarette between her lips and took a long stuck.
She inhaled deeply, and she held the smoke inside her lungs for three or four seconds; then, suddenly, whoosh, out it came through her nostrils in two thin jets which struck the water in the basin, and billowed out over the surface in a thick blue cloud, enveloping the eye. The recurrent images of dismemberment in Poe and Dahl's stories may also be an obsessive metaphor. The motif of dismemberment may be linked to the fear of castration because, in both cases, the body is sliced into pieces. However, in Poe and Dahl's fiction, this fear of castration does not have to be a literal fear of castration.
Metaphorically, as the Collins Concise Dictionary highlights, a man can be castrated by losing his "vigour and masculinity" and the recurrent image of dismemberment in Poe and Dahl's stories may indeed represent the fear of losing one's manhood. Therefore, the dramatic financial situation of the narrator in "The Black Cat" reinforces his feminine traits as it was a man's role at the time to provide his family.
Because the narrator cannot properly fulfill this role, he is in a feminine position and is emasculated and that may echo Poe's fear of castration.
Moreover, as Hammond underlines: "There has been much speculation by biographers regarding the relationship between Poe and his child-wife. That he was deeply devoted towards her there can be no doubt, but controversy persists as to whether he regarded her as a dearly-loved sister or as a wife in the conventional sense" To put it differently, Poe's marriage has been regarded by many biographers as a chaste one, especially by Joseph Wood Krutch who insisted that "Poe and Virginia did not have a normal married life and that 'prolonged illness made sexual relations with her impossible after she reached maturity'" qtd.
Poe's unconsummated marriage thus reinforces the motif of dismemberment as a symbol representing his fear of castration, his fear of not being manly enough. As far as Dahl is concerned, the motif of dismembering a body may also symbolize his fear of castration. The fact that the author was constantly humiliated and tortured by his schoolmates and teachers may have developed his fear of castration as he was not in a manly position and did not dare to confront his troublemakers to stand his ground.
Moreover, as a child, Roald Dahl witnessed many deaths that could have played a role in the author's fear of losing his manhood. The funeral was grand and formal. Others wept but she i. Much rested on her shoulders. She was thirty- five years old and have five children in her care A sixth was on the way. She was already looking forward. She intented to concentrate her energies on the living rather than the dead.
Sturrock 39 In other words, Dahl's father died and could not assume his role, probably leaving Roald Dahl with a desire to do what his father could not: protect his family. Growing up without a father figure may indeed have affected Dahl because, according to David B. Lynn who wrote an article entitled "The Husband-Father Role in the Family" , a child, and especially a boy, needs a father in order to learn how to be a man: "The presence of the father seems especially important in the development of boys.
The man of the house is the model of the boy's future potential as a man. The boy in effect says of his father, 'So that is what it is like to be a man'" Because of his father's death, Dahl probably became unconsciously afraid of losing his own masculinity, just like the male characters of his stories whose powers are destroyed after their death. For instance, William in "William and Mary" is, at the end, considered as a child by his wife who eventually takes the power back: "'He's like a baby, that's what he's like. He's exactly like a little baby'" This comparison to a baby obviously undermines and even kills William's masculinity and it may reflect Dahl's own unconscious fear of castration Therefore, according to Charles Mauron's theory, the recurrent images of a body being dismembered in the short stories under consideration can be considered as obsessive metaphors, expressing the authors' unconscious fear of being emasculated.
The last method of mutilating the body in Poe and Dahl's tales, that is to say the conservation of the body, can also be considered as an obsessive metaphor and it may express the authors' fear of losing something, and more precisely someone they care about. Both authors' lives were indeed fraught with personal dramas. Poe and Dahl were surrounded by death and this fear of 25 Dahl's fear of castration is also made extremely explicit in one of his other short stories entitled "Georgie Porgy". Indeed, in the story, a sexually repressed vicar is seduced by a woman who eventually swallows him whole.
Casulli 56 losing someone may thus stem from the painful experiences they had to face. As it is generally known, Poe "lost an unusual number of beautiful, relatively young, nurturing females in his lifetime: his mother, Eliza Poe; his foster mother, Fanny Allan; the mother of one of his friends, Jane Stanard and his own wife, Virginia Clemm. As a child, Roald Dahl also witnessed many deaths in his family: in , his seven year old sister, Astri, "died from [an] infection [after she] was diagnosed with acute appendicitis" Sturrock 37 and his father died the same year.
Because the authors encountered death very early in their lives, they may have been afraid of losing another loved one or being all by themselves. Unconsciously, these fears of loss and solitude found their way into their fiction, and more precisely in the obsessive metaphor of preserving a body. Poe and Dahl's fiction are thus filled with many obsessive metaphors that reflect their personal myth and their unconscious personality.
Because these obsessive metaphors echo the authors' unconscious which was, itself, troubled by the terrible crisis that dominated their lives, Poe and Dahl's stories may nowadays be considered as "trauma narratives". A definition of this word should thus be carried out. According to The Oxford English Dictionary, the word "trauma" means two things: first it is used to describe "any physical wound or injury" in general , and, in the second place it is used to refer to "A psychic injury, especially one caused by emotional shock the memory of which is repressed and remains unhealed" This definition is thus relevant in this paper's context as the theme of the mutilation of the body implies a physical wound but also because, as mentioned in the introduction to this third part, it is linked to the psyche, the unconscious.
Something traumatic can thus be physical but, more importantly, it can be psychological because it cannot be forgotten. In her essay on trauma and literature, Elissa Marder also draws attention to the fact that "there is no specific set of physical manifestations identifying trauma, and it almost invariably produces repeated, uncontrollable, and incalculable effects that endure long after its ostensible 'precipitating cause'". In other words, a traumatic event is not "experienced fully at the time, but only belatedly" qtd. The numerous and violent deaths Poe and Dahl witnessed throughout their lives can therefore be considered as "traumatic".
Accordingly, in Poe and Dahl's cases, the many deaths they experienced while they were young were traumatic and may have affected the authors' psyche. In other words, both authors' short stories exhibit the deep sense of loss that they experienced throughout their lives, making their fiction "trauma narratives". Indeed, his wife had tuberculosis and he constantly watched her coughing up blood: On the evening of January 20, the day after Poe's thirty-third birthday , while the undernourished and debilitated Virginia was singing and playing the piano, she suddenly broke a blood vessel and began to hemorrhage in a terrifying way.
The blood gushed from her mouth and her life was in danger. She partially recovered, only to sink, like a drowning survivor, again and again. In this regard, The Oval Portrait but also many of his other tales reflect Poe's own life. But many experiences in his own life also probably caused Dahl to be fascinated by the body and write about it: Accident and disease-prone throughout his life, Dahl's childhood was packed with grisly medical encounters and Boy is full of hair-raising and mostly true accounts of these.
His nose is 'cut clean- off' in a car crash and stitched back on by a doctor at home on the kitchen table. Then, on holiday in Norway, a doctor with a 'round mirror strapped to his forehead' and a nurse 'carrying a red rubber apron and a curved enamel bowl' remove his adenoids without anaesthetic.
"Supernatural Horror in Literature" by H. P. Lovecraft
Sturrock 56 Moreover, as previously mentioned, Dahl was bullied at school he was beaten up and his body was thus an object of torture. Thanks to Mauron's theory, the different methods of mutilating the body in the authors' short stories stand as "obsessive metaphors" and it accordingly leads to the authors' personal myth: Poe and Dahl may have been haunted by their fears of confinement, castration and loss and those fears stems from their own lives which have been fraught with personal drama.
Therefore several autobiographical elements can thus be found in their tales and Poe and Dahl's fiction may now appear as trauma narratives. Furthermore, as Elissa Marden highlights; "To be traumatized is precisely to be possessed by an image or event" located in the past. Therefore, the traumatic past of the authors seems to haunt them and, it may emphasize the fact that their fiction can be considered as trauma narratives because they may represent the authors' past which affected their unconscious. A traumatic event has a "ghostly quality" qtd.
Poe and Dahl accordingly seem haunted by the traumatic events they faced. The cats in Poe's "The Black Cat" indeed haunt the narrator throughout the tale. Firstly, the first cat, Pluto, appears as a haunting presence because it physically follows the narrator everywhere: "he attended me wherever I went about the house. It was even with difficulty that I could prevent him from following me through the streets" Then, after the fire which destroyed his house, the narrator visits the ruins and notices, on the only remaining wall, the outline of a hanging cat: "I approached and saw, as if given in bas relief upon the white surface, the figure of a gigantic cat There was a rope about the animal's neck" The narrator once again seems obsessed by the cat.
Finally, the second cat also terrorizes the narrator who becomes so haunted that he has bad dreams about it: Alas! He would also often write stories for newspapers at short notice, with the result that he was unsure exactly how many short stories he had written and there is no sure total. Though Blackwood wrote a number of horror stories , his most typical work seeks less to frighten than to induce a sense of awe. Good examples are the novels The Centaur , which reaches a climax with a traveller's sight of a herd of the mythical creatures; and Julius LeVallon and its sequel The Bright Messenger , which deal with reincarnation and the possibility of a new, mystical evolution of human consciousness.
In correspondence with Peter Penzoldt , Blackwood wrote, . My fundamental interest, I suppose, is signs and proofs of other powers that lie hidden in us all; the extension, in other words, of human faculty. So many of my stories, therefore, deal with extension of consciousness; speculative and imaginative treatment of possibilities outside our normal range of consciousness Also, all that happens in our universe is natural ; under Law; but an extension of our so limited normal consciousness can reveal new, extra-ordinary powers etc.
I believe it possible for our consciousness to change and grow, and that with this change we may become aware of a new universe. A "change" in consciousness, in its type, I mean, is something more than a mere extension of what we already possess and know. Blackwood died after several strokes. Officially his death on 10 December was from cerebral thrombosis , with arteriosclerosis as a contributing factor.
He was cremated at Golders Green crematorium. This list of all Blackwood's known Weird Fiction stories appears by date of first publication, or where untraceable, by date appearing in a collection:. As well as his supernatural tales for adults, Blackwood also wrote a considerable number of children's tales, some supernatural and some not, as well as other pieces for an adult readership that were not in the weird fiction genre.
These included love stories and, at the height of the first world war, propaganda pieces. Aside from well over a hundred published articles, essays, prefaces, and book reviews which remain to be collected, Blackwood authored only one nonfiction book, a memoir of his youth:. Again as himself, he also appeared in an early television series Saturday Night Story with John Slater.
Several of his stories were subsequently used in television anthology series such as Suspense and Night Gallery.
Introduced by E. Blackwood was a regular BBC Radio contributor from the s to the early s, talking about scary subjects. He also read a number of his own stories during this period, in particular: Algernon Blackwood Tells a Strange Story. To mark Blackwood's 80th birthday, an appreciation was broadcast on The Third Programme in March It was repeated in The adaptation featured Roger Allam as narrator.
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Algernon Blackwood. Novels portal. National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 7 February The Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural , p. The Golden Dawn. Archived from the original on 9 November Retrieved 5 June Bound to please. After these adventures in the New World Wordsworth Editions, Russell Wakefield", in E. Bleiler , ed. New York: Scribner's, Joshi and Dziemianowicz, ed. Westport, Conn. James Press, , pp. James and Algernon Blackwood Scarecrow Press, Rockville, Md.
Drout, J. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment. Chambers , etc. Bleiler and Richard Bleiler. Science-Fiction: The Early Years. Kent State University Press, , p. Joshi, ed. Encyclopedia of the Vampire: the living dead in myth, legend, and popular culture. The story is awesome, just as I remembered it, although I think I would have enjoyed it better had their dead son actually walked into their house as a zombie Jan 19, Patrick rated it really liked it Shelves: Good old-school scary stories, everyone should read the title tale.
Aug 02, Elizabeth Kemmerer rated it liked it. The Monkey's Paw was definitely an interesting read, if not a little disturbing. I would recommend this book for people who like suspense, and personally I liked this story because it wasn't really hard to follow. Feb 22, Nick rated it it was amazing. An excellent little collection; completely enjoyable, the Twilight Zone from a different age. Dec 30, Janice rated it did not like it. Oct 10, Kimberly rated it really liked it. The number one scariest tale--at only 15 pages, it's a quick read that leaves you creeped out, but also a little disappointed.
May 16, Ash rated it liked it. This book contains fantastic stories that are sure to give you shivers. Dec 26, Emily rated it liked it Shelves: scary-stories. Aug 12, Jennifer rated it it was amazing Shelves: own , creepy.
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Talk about creepy stuff Nov 03, Jess rated it liked it Shelves: creepy. Nice short stories, more ironical than scary. Dec 27, Amanda Marshall rated it liked it. I love how the author leaves the actual scary parts up to the reader's imagination. I really enjoyed these dark, suspenseful tales.
Dec 30, Erin rated it it was amazing. This book can spark some romance.
Feb 06, Mechelle rated it really liked it. There were a few very interesting stories but most of them did not interest me. May 22, A. I don't know how the stories are considered horror. They start off climactic and you wait for something bone-chilling to occur, but nothing. They were drab. Oct 24, Jennifer rated it liked it. Although a lot of the stories were quite similar I found it interesting they were based on humans and human emotions and thoughts instead of supernatural things.
Jan 15, Timothy Boyd rated it liked it. Nice collection of older supernatural stories. Sep 09, Chelsey added it. I like this author : Must read more by him. Readers also enjoyed. Short Stories. About W. William Wymark Jacobs was an English author of short stories and novels. Quite popular in his lifetime primarily for his amusing maritime tales of life along the London docks many of them humorous as well as sardonic in tone.
Today he is best known for a few short works of horror fiction. One being "The Monkey's Paw" published It has in its own right become a well-known and widely antholo William Wymark Jacobs was an English author of short stories and novels. It has in its own right become a well-known and widely anthologized classic.
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