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Tony Grist

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Lovecraft And Priestcraft [May. 30th, 2006|09:32 am]
Tony Grist
A friend of a friend is frightened of demons. He puts it down to being a fan of Lovecraft's. And he puts the Lovecraft thing down to his good, old-fashioned Catholic education.

I can't be doing with Lovecraft. I find him completely over the top. He doesn't frighten me because I  don't believe in his mythos.

Maybe you need to have been brought up as a certain kind of Christian- traditional Catholic or hell-fire Protestant- to find Lovecraft frightening.

I was brought up as an Anglican with an elusive God who "moves in a mysterious way his wonders to perform" and so the spook stuff that ruffles my feathers is the hinty, blink-and-you'll-miss-it English ghost story, as purveyed by the likes of M.R. James and Robert Aickman.

[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2006-05-30 05:17 pm (UTC)
I thought Lovecraft's Rats in the Wall wonderful until I figured out the premise, which wasn't nearly as creepy as a real ghost story.

When they broke out into the underground vista, it was thrilling!

Most ghost stories of that time (I'm thinking now of Blackwood and of a new favorite, M.R. James) tend to set up a wonderful idea and then chew it to death in long conversations...James in particular jumps over plot points as irrelevant when the transition could have been fun, and also has mysterious references that are never mentioned again, most frustrating: in one I read last week, a grave was surrounded by a high hedge so that no one could go through, but he never explained why.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-05-31 08:37 am (UTC)
I imagine James does it on purpose. It's scarier not to know.

The BBC did a series of film adaptions of M.R. James short stories. They're worth seeking out. The best of them is probably O Whistle and I'll Come to You.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2006-05-31 10:16 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'll see what Netflix offers.
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