The House of Souls – Arthur Machen

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  • ISBN-13 : 979-8561060038
  • Dimensions : 5 x 0.72 x 8 inches
  • Publisher : Notoir Books (November 8, 2020)
  • Item Weight : 13.4 ounces
  • Paperback : 287 pages
  • Language: : English

The House of Souls is a collection of four masterpieces of horror and mystery by Arthur Machen, first collectively published in 1906. Controversial and curious, is an apt way to describe his curious fiction.

A Fragment of Life is a sensitively supernatural story. It tells of a young, seemingly ordinary couple, the Darnells. They are living in a London suburb, and start to recieve signals that their life can be far more spiritual, mysterious, and awe-inspiring. Machen gives an enormous amount of detail to illustrate the Darnells’ life only to convince the reader (and Mr. Darnell) that this is just a fragment of life or part of a greater, but hidden reality.

The story The White People is an occult masterpiece. It was written in the late 1890s, and first published in 1904 in Horlick’s Magazine. A discussion between two men on the nature of evil, leads one of them to reveal a mysterious Green Book he possesses. It’s a young girl’s diary, in which she describes in ingenuous, evocative prose her strange impressions of the countryside in which she lives. In a ‘stream-of-consciousness’-style she revisits conversations with her nurse, who initiates her into a secret world of folklore and ritual magic…

The Great God Pan was widely denounced by the press, on publication in 1894, as degenerate and horrific because of its decadent style and sexual content. Today it is recognised as one of the greatest classics of horror. Machen’s story was only one of many at the time to focus on the Greek God Pan as a useful symbol for the power of nature and paganism.

The Inmost Light involves a doctor’s scientific experiments into occultism. He is confronted by a vampiric force instigated by his unrelenting curiosity regarding the realms of the unseen. A mysterious gemstone is the vampire mediator, soaking the soul of the doctor’s wife and replacing it with something demonic. The energy of the protagonist is then gradually sucked up by the stone too. In attempting to enter the forbidden and dark zone of the other worldly…

Here at Notoir HQ we do like to inbibe some Machen every once in a while. That’s why we also have The Great God Pan in our collection.