Monday, September 16, 2019

Gothic Stories Master Post #SomethingWickedFall


This is the master post for Gothic books or short stories read during Something Wicked Fall. I will be updating this post with my thoughts on stories I've read during the event.

Please share what you've read/your thoughts on what you've read in the comments. I think this will make for some hearty conversation!

Feel free to continue sharing any Gothic stories you read in October in the comments. I'll keep the tab in the blog menu.

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My thoughts on...

The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson

Shirley Jackson, probably the most famous 20th century Gothic author. I'm about halfway through this book now. When I first started it, I skipped to the end to read The Lottery first. Oh my goodness! What a story. Veins of Harvest Home by Thomas Tryon, The Wicker Man, and even the recent Midsommar. A subgenre moniker I recently stumbled upon thanks to Katherine Nabity, Folk Horror. There's an excellent article about the three films which are considered the "progenitors of folk horror" here, and it also outlines the definition of the genre itself (below).

Folk horror is concerned with characters and communities who are located out of the way of urban environments. As such, they have developed their own skewered belief systems, which results in violent and twisted acts being carried out on the unfortunate victims who find themselves caught up in the madness. These communities have ranged from pagans to hoodie gangs, and they can be any group of people who live beyond the fringes of normal society.

I love the subgenre myself so The Lottery was a real treat for me. Another favorite, which I've read previously, is The Witch. It's very short, but has a menacing quality, especially for anyone who is a mom. 

Most of the stories aren't particularly scary so far, but I like them because they touch on aspects of human nature and society. Stories about lying (Like Mother Used to Make, Charles, Afternoon in Linen) betrayal (The Daemon Lover, Like Mother Used to Make), deception (Like Mother Used to Make, The Daemon Lover) and racism (After You, My Dear Alphonse, Flower Garden). Studies of communities and the nature of gossip (The Renegade, Flower Garden). 

Looking forward to reading the rest of the book. I'll be back to share more thoughts soon.

10/2/19
I finished The Lottery and I have to say, I was mildly disappointed because I was hoping for more scares, or at least some more stories along the lines of The Lottery. To say that story is the gem of this collection is an understatement. That being said, there's something about the way Jackson captures human nature. It's compelling, and it kept me reading.

One story that really had me squirming, I have to admit...The Tooth. I have a hard time with going to the dentist so this story was relatable. Talk about a traumatic experience with dental issues. Ack!

Another one was Pillar of Salt. In this one, the female character starts to have trouble dealing with the hectic and deteriorating nature of the big city. I can relate once again. I live in Nashville, Tennessee and this city just keeps growing and growing. I'm moving back to my home town in Michigan next year, and I really can't wait to escape the traffic, the heat...all of it. lol

I did not get to any other Gothic stories, but I'm still reading various short stories so I'm going to leave this post up for anyone who is still reading Gothic stories in October.

There will be a separate master post for horror stories in October. 

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2 comments:

I apologize for word verification, but as soon as I changed the settings from only users with Google accounts, I started receiving a ton of spam comments...within one hour of changing the settings. The bots are on high alert apparently.

  1. I’m reading Desperate Remedies by Thomas Hardy. It’s more a Victorian sensation novel with some gothic touches. I don’t read or watch a lot of fantasy or horror etc so I’m easing in via gothic flavour. Bit of a scaredy-cat here. Though I’m also doing some
    Stephen King with a short story audiobook collection that l just got off library hold today and hope to start soon. Will try to be brave. #somethingwickedfall

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  2. I finished "Poe: Stories and Poems: A Graphic Novel Adaptation" by Gareth Hinds. I loved the artwork, 5 stars for that. The book included my favourite, The Cask of Amontillado (5 stars). I don't enjoy Poe's other works quite as much, although I still really like The Pit and the Pendulum (4 stars) but I have to admit that I'm not that fond of The Raven!!

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