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A Century of Weird Fiction, 1832-1937

Disgust, Metaphysics and the Aesthetics of Cosmic Horror

Author(s): Jonathan Newell

Language: English

Genre(s): Literary Criticism

Series: Horror Studies

April 2020272 pages

Paperback - 9781786835444 eBook - epub - 9781786835468 eBook - mobi - 9781786835475 eBook - pdf - 9781786835451

About The Book

A Century of Weird Fiction, 1832–1937 offers a new critical perspective on the weird that combines two ways of looking at weird and cosmic horror. On the one hand, critics have considered weird fiction in relation to aesthetics – the emotional effects and literary form of the weird. On the other hand, recent scholarship has also emphasised the potential philosophical underpinnings and implications of weird fiction, especially in relation to burgeoning philosophical movements such as new materialism and speculative realism. This study bridges the gap between these two approaches, considering the weird from its early outgrowth from the Gothic through to Lovecraft’s stories – a ‘weird century’ from 1832–1937. Combining recent speculative philosophy and affect theory, it argues that weird fiction harnesses the affective power of disgust to provoke a re-examination of subjectival boundaries and the complex entanglement of the human and nonhuman.


Chapter 1: Introduction – Metaphysical Malignancies
Chapter 2: The Putrescent Principle – Edgar Allan Poe
Chapter 3: Ecstasies of Slime – Arthur Machen
Chapter 4: Horrible Enchantments – Algernon Blackwood
Chapter 5: Disgusting Powers – William Hope Hodgson
Chapter 6: Daemonology of Unplumbed Space – Howard Phillips Lovecraft
Conclusion: The Wisdom of the Unhuman

About the Author(s)

Jonathan Newell

Jonathan Newell is an Instructor at Langara College in Vancouver, British Columbia. His research focuses on aesthetics and metaphysics in weird fiction, horror and the Gothic.

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