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The Great God Pan: Arthur Machen - Eroticdreambattle [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Tony Grist

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The Great God Pan: Arthur Machen [Sep. 8th, 2016|01:49 pm]
Tony Grist
No, Arthur, this really won't do. There's no such thing as unspeakable horror or unfathomable evil. Your dirty little mind is fully capable- as well you know- of visualising and naming the things you're hinting at. Yes, I know you're having to contend with Victorian censorship- but even so you're perpetrating a lie- that evil is somehow glamorous- and that's wrong- as wrong as any of the enormities you're imagining but not describing. As you will find out- because you're going to live through two world wars- evil is actually rather dim and dusty and dingy- "banal" as Hannah Arendt reported- and best symbolised not as a beautiful woman with unearthly eyes but as a little man in spectacles- in some sort of uniform- sitting at a desk...
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[User Picture]From: internet_sampo
2016-09-08 01:34 pm (UTC)
I agree with you about Machen. What bugs me about my own tastes is that I feel this way about Machen but love (no pun intended) H.P Lovecraft, even tho he could be accused of the same thing.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-09-08 04:02 pm (UTC)
Taste is a funny thing. From all I'd read about him- from writers I respect- I thought I was going to love Machen...
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[User Picture]From: sovay
2016-09-08 05:58 pm (UTC)
but even so you're perpetrating a lie- that evil is somehow glamorous- and that's wrong- as wrong as any of the enormities you're imagining but not describing.

How do you feel about "The White People"?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-09-08 06:12 pm (UTC)
Haven't read that one yet- but I will
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[User Picture]From: sovay
2016-09-27 02:47 am (UTC)
Haven't read that one yet- but I will

I look forward to hearing what you think. I remember liking it.

I don't remember feeling much about "The Great God Pan," but it still partly inspired a poem that I like: "The Marriage He Saw Beneath the Shade."
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[User Picture]From: chochiyo_sama
2016-09-08 06:06 pm (UTC)
I think "evil" is born of pettiness, spite, and greed--all of which I view as small. Not insignificant,--just small-minded, close-fisted, and unkind.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-09-08 06:14 pm (UTC)
I agree with that. There's nothing grand about evil.
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[User Picture]From: ashlyme
2016-09-09 12:37 pm (UTC)
Yeah, totally agree with this. The real evil here's committed by Dr Raymond and his friends. "The White People" is much more successful at hinting things, but the frame narrative's frustrating.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-09-09 04:34 pm (UTC)
I found Machen's interchangeable male protagonists rebarbative- and I don't think I was meant to. I'll give the White People a go- and maybe some of his later things.
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