‘Determined to be Weird’: British Weird Fiction before Weird Tales

Machin, James Fabian (2016) ‘Determined to be Weird’: British Weird Fiction before Weird Tales. Doctoral thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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Weird fiction is a mode in the Gothic lineage, cognate with horror, particularly associated with the early twentieth-century pulp writing of H. P. Lovecraft and others for Weird Tales magazine. However, the roots of the weird lie earlier and late-Victorian British and Edwardian writers such as Arthur Machen, Count Stenbock, M. P. Shiel, and John Buchan created varyingly influential iterations of the mode. This thesis is predicated on an argument that Lovecraft’s recent rehabilitation into the western canon, together with his ongoing and arguably ever-increasing impact on popular culture, demands an examination of the earlier weird fiction that fed into and resulted in Lovecraft’s work. Although there is a focus on the literary fields of the fin de siècle and early twentieth century, by tracking the mutable reputations and critical regard of these early exponents of weird fiction, this thesis engages with broader contextual questions of cultural value and distinction; of notions of elitism and popularity, tensions between genre and literary fiction, and the high/low cultural divide allegedly precipitated by Modernism.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
School/Department: School of Arts > English & Humanities
Depositing User: ORBIT Editor
Date Deposited: 17 May 2017 11:56
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2017 09:08
URI: http://bbktheses.da.ulcc.ac.uk/id/eprint/206

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