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    Weird fiction and the virtues of obscurity: Machen, Stenbock, and the weird connoisseurs

    Machin, James (2017) Weird fiction and the virtues of obscurity: Machen, Stenbock, and the weird connoisseurs. Textual Practice 31 (6), pp. 1063-1081. ISSN 0950-236X.

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    In order to fully understand what weird fiction is and how the mode works, one must consider weird fiction’s valorisation of minority or obscurity – both within the text and by its audience – and the concomitant mythologisation of minor or obscure writers and their lives. To do this I examine the mutable critical regard of Arthur Machen (1863–1947) and Eric, Count Stenbock (1860–1895). I posit the notion of a ‘connoisseur culture’ firmly imbricated with weird fiction, and suggest (referring to the ideas of Pierre Bourdieu) that the term weird fiction is used as an imprimatur of literary authenticity unencumbered by the (to some) problematically déclassé implications of popular genres such as horror. Moreover, the notion of the obscure writer – regardless of the accuracy of the particular claim to obscurity – connotes an authenticity in both the work and its reader, the latter achieving the status, by virtue of this process, of a weird connoisseur.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Weird, genre, Arthur Machen, Count Eric Stenbock, H. P. Lovecraft, Pierre Bourdieu
    School: School of Arts > English, Theatre and Creative Writing
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2017 12:30
    Last Modified: 13 Nov 2017 16:15


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