Arthur Machen

A Novelist of Ecstasy and Sin

Cover image for


Published: 1918
Language: English
Wordcount: 6,280 / 25 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 50.9
LoC Category: PR
Downloads: 431
Added to site: 2011.09.11 30735
Genre: Poetry

be translated into odor; who at the desired kiss should be ravished with the scent of dark violets, to whom music should be the perfume of a rose garden at dawn."

This is not prose at all, but poetry, and poetry of a high order. And it is from such beautiful manipulation of words, phrases, and rhythms that Machen attains his most clairvoyant and arresting effects in the realms of horror, dread, and terror; from the strange gesturings of trees, the glow of furnace-like clouds, the somber beauty of brooding fields, and valleys all too still, the mystery of lovely women, and all the terror of life and nature seen with the understanding eye.

So much for Arthur Machen as a novelist. It is a fascinating subject, but it is also an extensive one, and the curious, tenuous quality of his work may lead one into indiscretions.

* * * * *

The peculiar philosophy of Arthur Machen is set down in "Hieroglyphics" and in "Dr. Stiggins: His Views and Principles." The first chapter of the latter work i


Average Rating of 3 from 1 reviews: ***
C. Alan Loewen

I confess that this literary essay leaves me slightly confused. Though the author has a deep respect for Arthur Machen and his very impressive body of literary work, I leave this essay wondering if the author believes that Machen was more into promoting evil than good, or demonstrating that evil was more powerful than good.

I cannot deny that the author's main thesis that ecstasy can come from both holy and unholy sources, but to allude that Machen prized unholy ecstasy over holy ecstasy seems to stretch at least my understanding of his stories.

I will leave it to other reviewers to more accurately critique the main point of the short literary essay.

C. Alan Loewen

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