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The Three Impostors or, The Transmutations

EGP 240.00

الكاتب

  • Arthur Machen was a leading Welsh author of the 1890s. He is best known for his influential supernatural, fantasy, and horror fiction. His long story The Great God Pan made him famous and controversial in his lifetime, but The Hill of Dreams is generally considered his masterpiece. He also is well known for his leading role in creating the legend of the Angels of Mons. At the age of eleven, Machen boarded at Hereford Cathedral School, where he received an excellent classical education. Family poverty ruled out attendance at university, and Machen was sent to London, where he sat exams to attend medical school but failed to get in. Machen, however, showed literary promise, publishing in 1881 a long poem "Eleusinia" on the subject of the Eleusinian Mysteries. Returning to London, he lived in relative poverty, attempting to work as a journalist, as a publisher's clerk, and as a children's tutor while writing in the evening and going on long rambling walks across London.

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الوصف

The Three Imposters is a strange little book, a narrative about a secret society’s efforts to retrieve a Roman coin (“The Gold Tiberius”), but this “novel” appears to be little more than a convenient device for telling a series of marvelous, horrific tales. Two of these tales–“The Novel of the Black Seal” and “The Novel of the White Powder”–are first-class works of imaginative fiction, and the entire book itself is entrancing, reminiscent of Stevenson’s New Arabian Nights in its descriptions of London–conveyed in musical, Swinburneian prose–make of this nineteenth century metropolis something as exotic and fantastic as the Baghdad of Haroun al-Rashid.

In addition, this collection contains not only two short stories but also the novella “The Great God Pan,” one of the acknowledged classics of the weird tale. Its Chinese box structure–the horror revealed in fragments, in various voices, with lacunae which must be supplied by the reader–makes the narrative all the more compelling and terrifying in its obliqueness. (Lovecraft used this structure as his model for “The Call of Cthulhu.”) “The Great God Pan” has an interesting plot as well, in that it is an inversion of the Ripper murders which occurred only a few years before. Instead of lower-class women murdered in the slums by an unknown male slasher, we have wealthy young men committing suicide in the most fashionable sections of London–and this time a mysterious woman seems to be involved.

الكاتب

  • Arthur Machen was a leading Welsh author of the 1890s. He is best known for his influential supernatural, fantasy, and horror fiction. His long story The Great God Pan made him famous and controversial in his lifetime, but The Hill of Dreams is generally considered his masterpiece. He also is well known for his leading role in creating the legend of the Angels of Mons. At the age of eleven, Machen boarded at Hereford Cathedral School, where he received an excellent classical education. Family poverty ruled out attendance at university, and Machen was sent to London, where he sat exams to attend medical school but failed to get in. Machen, however, showed literary promise, publishing in 1881 a long poem "Eleusinia" on the subject of the Eleusinian Mysteries. Returning to London, he lived in relative poverty, attempting to work as a journalist, as a publisher's clerk, and as a children's tutor while writing in the evening and going on long rambling walks across London.

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