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Bonaventure
Jun 23, 2005



MockingQuantum posted:

I should read more MR James. I think I've only ever read the two that show up in every collection (Casting the Runes and... Oh Whistle and I'll Come to You, My Lad or something like that) and they were good, but didn't fire me up to read more of him. Any other standouts?

I'm going to assume that part of what's not clicking with you is the leisurely pace and detached/academic tone, so I'm going to try and think of what James has the least amount of bookish professors puttering around for an hour before they see a ghost. Since that describes even James' most vigorous works, that might be difficult, but:

'Lost Hearts' is one of his most straightforward and almost pulpy ones, I like it a lot but I seem to recall James himself thought it was one of his weaker stories.

'Wailing Well' is pretty cut-to-the-chase and I love anything that ends with a bratty kid getting exsanguinated by ghosts.

'The Mezzotint' does involve a lot of bookish puttering but has a fantastically creepy concept that's been ripped off many times by various film and tv anthologies, and is worth a read.

'Number 13' similarly has some puttering but also a wonderfully inventive concept.

'Count Magnus' is a slow build as most James is, but it's also what introduced me to James and the way that it develops is great.

Now I keep thinking of other ones but I like them too much to really evaluate them; Jesus Christ, M. R. James is good, gently caress. I'll just say also 'An Episode of Cathedral History' and leave it at that.

For what it's worth, 'Oh Whistle' is among my least favorite James but his best-regarded, so maybe my taste shouldn't be trusted.

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Bonaventure
Jun 23, 2005



Lafcadio Hearn (writer of Kwaidan) was an absolute badass and his life is fascinating.

Bonaventure
Jun 23, 2005



anilEhilated posted:


Anyway, I just finished Kwaidan and I found out about it in this thread - are there any more books in this vein (not necessarily Japanese, it could be from anywhere; just folk horror stories) anyone could recommend?

the title has been variously translated so i will link the wikipedia page about it, but you may enjoy this (though it is a bit light on the horror elements, really)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strange_Stories_from_a_Chinese_Studio

Bonaventure
Jun 23, 2005



anilEhilated posted:

This looks great, thanks!

i also just remembered this book, Terrifying Tales: Stories of the Occult from Around the World, edited by Terri Hardin: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/terrifying-tales-terri-hardin/1119275200 which i found at Barnes and Noble 10 years ago, and which surprised me.

The title is misleading: there's nothing in here about Occultism, and it really has the feel of "what's some public domain or cheaply licensed poo poo we can stuff in a book and shove it out for Halloween" about it as opposed to being an intentional work like Kwaidan or Strange Tales from [Whatever] Studio, but the actual content of the book really surprised me: it's almost exclusively articles from early folklore and anthropology journals relating stories told from around the world, selected by the editor to be ones with horrific and supernatural elements to them. So as far as looking for 'folk horror stories,' it sounds to me like it's very much what you're looking for.

It's out of stock on Barnes and Noble but you can probably get a used copy on Amazon or something.

A caveat: these articles are all from the early 20th century or even late 19th century if memory serves, so you may see the word 'Mohammedan,' or even 'Mahometan' now and then

Bonaventure fucked around with this message at 13:54 on Jun 7, 2019

Bonaventure
Jun 23, 2005



my library system doesn't have NALM so i got Wounds instead

lmao, skullpocket

i haven't enjoyed a piece of fiction so much in at least 25 years

Bonaventure
Jun 23, 2005



i'm surprised to see people so down on The Visible Filth. it wasn't my favorite story in Wounds (Skullpocket) but it was the only one that made me feel uneasy and disturbed.

i read Wounds before North American Lake Monsters (and sorry but i hated NALM) so i get what people mean by The Visible Filth being an exercise in Ballingrud's worst tendencies and obsessions, but the feeling i got from it was more "ah, so The Visible Filth is the story he kept trying to write in NALM, except now it's good." my reception might be colored by the order in which i read them.

Bonaventure
Jun 23, 2005



SniperWoreConverse posted:

Any good vampire stuff I can get for free?

Weird old pre-Dracula stuff would be better, but that might be a bit of an ask, at that point I'm kinda looking for actual folklore and dunno if there's good free collections

for free?

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/29412/29412-h/29412-h.htm

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/62873/62873-h/62873-h.htm

you might be able to find The Vampire in Europe and The Vampire: His Kith and Kin by noted pedophile Montague Summers somewhere on the internet but i think they might still be under copyright

Bonaventure
Jun 23, 2005



SniperWoreConverse posted:

I started mining these for info and have so far been able to disregard the pedo writer so so far so good, thanks

in spite of his membership in some society that promoted certain ideals of 'greek' love, his books are good & insane and should stay on the radar

writing in the 1910s-40s; he believed vampires are real, and lobbied the british government to reinstate the death penalty for witchcraft. his books contain entire pages of untranslated Ancient Greek, German and Latin, because he expects the reader to know them

described by contemporary critics as "as learned as he is stupid," every piece of quoted research in his books is solid--an absolute treasure trove of folklore that can provide a multitude of jumping-off points for further research--while every bit of his own prose is florid grand guignol horror fiction mixed with ultraconservative religious psychosis and the exact kind of rambling, spurious comparative folklore connections that he criticized in Margaret Murray's "witch cult" book.

he also pretended to be a catholic priest.

very entertaining

Bonaventure
Jun 23, 2005



Franchescanado posted:

Are there any good Witch books?

The Golden rear end

Bonaventure
Jun 23, 2005



dunno about reputations, but my copy is P. G. Walsh. from minimal research I think most modern ones are fine, but avoid any public domain translations since they're more likely to be censored

Bonaventure
Jun 23, 2005



MrMojok posted:

I have come to ask for recommendations, for good vampire fiction. Iím not interested in anything like Twilight, or any sort of romance-type stories.

Some Vampire stuff I have read and enjoyed:

Stokerís Dracula
Enter, Night
ĎSalemís Lot
Let the Right One In
Interview With the Vampire


Can anybody recommend anything else? One thing I saw on Amazon that sounded interesting was a book called The Shake, by Mel Nicolai.

In addition to LeFanu's "Carmilla" (FYI: don't get the edition edited by Carmen Maria Machado, the 'annotations' are all "playful" inventions and the book gives no indication that they're completely fictional), check out his "Schalken the Painter."

the first version i read of Schalken the Painter wasn't strictly speaking a vampire story, but another edition i read included a line about the undead bugaboo of the piece having fangs, which is enough to make it count; and the story is really good and creepy

Bonaventure
Jun 23, 2005



similarly, "Count Magnus" by M R James is often referred to as a vampire story even though its revenant doesn't suck blood, so you can count it as a vampire story based on critical precedent and the fact that there's a count

it's also very good

Bonaventure
Jun 23, 2005



The Count of Monte Crisco eats lard and is therefore a certain type of vampire that South Americans call a pishtaco

Bonaventure
Jun 23, 2005



many debates in folklore studies about what can properly be called a vampire . . . not helped by the precedent that most foundational writers like Augustin Calmet used a wide definition, because he and others like him were more interested in the "coming back from the dead" part and whether it was permissible to believe in such things as a Christian, than doing taxonomy, so they would pull precedent from all kinds of sources like Greek myth and traditions from places where anything related to the word 'vampire' wouldn't exist until the 18th century

Bonaventure
Jun 23, 2005



i fall in with Michael Bell's broader definition which runs something like "any corpse that is blamed by the community for causing some kind of mischief or calamity which is supposedly arrested by its denigration or destruction" but i do understand the arguments of the camp that say it should only apply specifically to Slavic bloodsucking corpses

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Bonaventure
Jun 23, 2005



ravenkult posted:

I guess I was thinking of the Greek Vrykolakas that ate flesh rather than blood. I always thought it was the same root as Vurdalak.

it does! both words come from the same root, related to wolves, and was originally used to denote werewolves or wolf-demons. at some point during the mixing and development of beliefs throughout the ages, its meaning shifted to come to mean the vampire (or vampire-like) creatures for which it is now mostly used; but i don't think that there is an actual etymological connection between that word and the "true" vampire words: upir, vampyr, etc.

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