Thursday, 1 October 2015

Autumnal ghost stories

This is tonight's countdown to Halloween post and I thought I would start with a reading suggestion. I am reading this book at the moment, the ghost stories of Edith Wharton. I am enjoying it quite a lot. She wrote very subtle ghost stories, where terror appears, but is not in your face as it is usually now with modern writers. I guess it is the old fashioned way, the horror that you perceive at the corner of your eyes. M.R. James was amazing at it, but even he used at some point its share of gore and violence. That said, she is a great atmospheric writer. And there is one thing that makes me appreciate her stories greatly: while many ghost stories written in her time were set during the Christmas season (a tradition that dates back from generations), her stories are so far set at least partially during autumn. And she really brings the season's menacing atmosphere. In Kerfol for instance, you have a line like this: "The grey-trunked trees sprang up straight to a great height and then interwove their pale-grey branches in a long tunnel through which the autumn light fell faintly." I love it. So that is my new reading recommendation.

2 comments:

Deborah ShireGardener said...

I think I will enjoy this too, so have ordered a copy just now. I suddenly find myself buying Autumn and Hallowe'en books just for displaying ~ I think I am bitten by the Awe~tumn bug, don't you?

Ms Misantropia said...

Thank you for the recommendation, I love reading ghost stories in October!