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Ancient Sorceries and Other Weird Stories…
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Ancient Sorceries and Other Weird Stories (Penguin Twentieth-Century… (original 1908; edição 2002)

por Algernon Blackwood (Autor), S. T. Joshi (Editor), S. T. Joshi (Introdução)

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426246,257 (4.04)11
"Ancient Sorceries and Other Weird Stories" is a collection of supernatural stories by one of the greatest writers of such stories to have ever lived, Algernon Blackwood. This collection contains the title story, "Ancient Sorceries," which is the tale of a tourist who becomes enchanted by a strange French town and the ancient secrets that are hidden there. Also included in this collection is one of Blackwood's most celebrated stories, "The Willows," the story of two campers who pick the wrong place to sleep for the night, as well as the following seven tales: "Smith: An Episode in a Lodging-House," "The Insanity of Jones," "The Man Who Found Out," "The Wendigo," "The Glamour of the Snow," "The Man Whom the Trees Loved, and Sand."… (mais)
Membro:Slapco_Fudd
Título:Ancient Sorceries and Other Weird Stories (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics)
Autores:Algernon Blackwood (Autor)
Outros autores:S. T. Joshi (Editor), S. T. Joshi (Introdução)
Informação:Penguin Classics (2002), Edition: F First Paperback Edition Used, 400 pages
Colecções:Lista de desejos
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Ancient Sorceries and Other Weird Stories [9 stories, ed. Joshi] por Algernon Blackwood (1908)

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H.P. Lovecraft called Blackwood ‘the one absolute and unquestioned master of weird atmosphere’, and, for once, this is not a hyperbolic blurb to increase sales. Blackwood really is brilliant at creating an atmosphere of otherworldly terror and uncanny intrigue. I picked up this collection of Blackwood’s stories in desperate need of some short fiction, preferably of a speculative bent. Blackwood did not disappoint. Although I was never terrified out of my mind (my cosy nook in our sitting room prevented that) I can definitely say that Blackwood’s stories are a cut above most supernatural tales.

Blackwood spent much of his life travelling around the more remote parts of the world: from the Canadian backwoods, to the secluded parts of the Danube river basin, from the ancient tombs of Egypt, to the Swiss Alps, Blackwood visited them all at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth. Obviously, these places were more isolated back then, and their seclusion had a salient effect on Blackwood’s imagination. Most of his best tales are situated in these out-of-the-way places, and it is the solitude of his characters as they are faced with forces of cosmic proportion that really stays with one.

One of the interesting things about Blackwood’s stories is that the main characters rarely, if ever, come face-to-face with the source of their terror; they nearly always only experience the sensations of horror at a remove. It is usually something that they manage to just avoid, or they experience it vicariously through another character who faces the horror head-on. This has the interesting result of increasing the isolation of the main character and, concomitantly, that of the reader. Blackwood has an insidious way of increasing the horror of his stories by what he does not show. It is, he seems to be saying, that which we imagine for ourselves which really terrifies us. Even in his longer stories, he rarely reveals the true nature of the horror, opting for more indirect ways of exposing the dreadfulness of the situation. Of course, one might argue that these obfuscatory practices conceal the fact that Blackwood himself does not know what the true nature of the horror is. Perhaps it serves to conceal a confusion of the subject-matter on Blackwood’s part. I would argue against this, although it is probably true that Blackwood sometimes does not describe the horror because it is inherently indescribable. Whether this is obfuscation, I leave up to other readers to decide.

What I can say, is that I really enjoyed this selection of Blackwood’s tales. As always, S.T. Joshi, the editor of the collection and many other Penguin collections of weird tales, has done a wonderful job with his introduction and notes. This is one for the connoisseur of the speculative genre. ( )
3 vote dmsteyn | Dec 5, 2011 |
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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Algernon Blackwoodautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculated
Joshi, S. T.Editorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Pound, JohnArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Toro, Guillermo delEditorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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There are at least four different Blackwood collections (two of them Penguins) entitled "Ancient Sorceries and...", all with different contents:

9 stories: isbn 0142180157 Ancient Sorceries & other Weird Stories ed S. T. Joshi - Penguin 2002. Contains Smith: An episode in a Lodging-House/The Willows/The Insanity of Jones/Ancient Sorceries/The Man Who Found Out/The Wendigo/The Glamour of the Snow/The Man Whom the Tress Loved/Sand
Also isbn 142093368X published by "Author House" seems to be a pirate edition of the Joshi collection, with the same 9 stories
. ----------------------------
6 stories (Empty House & 5 others) isbn 0140029044 Ancient Sorceries & other Stories - Penguin 1974. The Empty House; A Haunted Island; Keeping His Promise; A Case of Eavesdropping; The Nemesis of Fire
Also isbn 0755107888 AS & other Stories - House of Stratus 2001 (same as 1974 Penguin) - Empty House; Haunted Island; Keeping the Promise; Case of Eavesdropping; Ancient Sorceries; Nemesis of Fire
Also isbn 174121128X AS & other Stories - Redwood 2004 (probaby the same as Penguin 1974 and House of Stratus 2001)
7 stories (The Wendigo & 6 others) isbn 1907429859 Ancient Sorceries & other Chilling Tales - Capuchin Classics, 2013: The Willows, Ancient Sorceries, The Wendigo, {four others}
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Original edition, 6 stories (The Willows & 5 others) Ancient Sorceries & other Tales - Collins, 1927 - Ancient Sorceries; The Willows; The Return; Running Wolf; The Man Whom the Trees Loved; The Man who Played Upon the Leaf.
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"Ancient Sorceries and Other Weird Stories" is a collection of supernatural stories by one of the greatest writers of such stories to have ever lived, Algernon Blackwood. This collection contains the title story, "Ancient Sorceries," which is the tale of a tourist who becomes enchanted by a strange French town and the ancient secrets that are hidden there. Also included in this collection is one of Blackwood's most celebrated stories, "The Willows," the story of two campers who pick the wrong place to sleep for the night, as well as the following seven tales: "Smith: An Episode in a Lodging-House," "The Insanity of Jones," "The Man Who Found Out," "The Wendigo," "The Glamour of the Snow," "The Man Whom the Trees Loved, and Sand."

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