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The test of the really weird

“The one test of the really weird [in writing] is simply this,” H. P. Lovecraft wrote in the introduction to “Supernatural Horror in Literature,” “whether or not there be excited in the reader a profound sense of dread and of contact with unknown spheres and powers; a subtle attitude of awed listening, as if for the beating of black wings or the scratching of outside shapes or entities on the known universe’s utmost rim.”

I love this definition so much. "Scratching...on the known universe's utmost rim." Perfect.

(Quoted in a 2008 interview with Stephen King; the whole interview is excellent.)

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iulia_linnea
Jan. 28th, 2016 03:24 pm (UTC)
Thank you for sharing such a great quote! :D
weird_little
Jan. 28th, 2016 09:06 pm (UTC)
I've deliberately never read Lovecraft -- and don't read much Stephen King, either -- because it's all too easy for my mind to latch onto things and refuse to let go of them. There are some things that I it wise not to put into my mind in the first place.

Not that I'm a Pollyanna -- I'm a therapist in real life, specializing in seeing adults who were physically, sexually, or emotionally abused as children -- so I get my dose of grimness...
dreamy_dragon73
Jan. 28th, 2016 10:13 pm (UTC)
Brilliant definition
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