Notes on the weird – Steve Rasnic Tem

We react to the weird with a sense of frisson, but it’s not necessarily a fearful reaction, a reaction of horror. It can be, but I think it’s just as likely that we’ll react to the weird story with a sense of delight, with no fear at all.

Steve Rasnic Tem

Notes on the weird – China Mieville

By Stuart Caie (originally posted to Flickr as China Miéville) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

I resent the way that a certain notion of parsimony has become the norm for skilful literary writing. My problem is that adjectives like “spare” raise so many questions. Why should sparseness in and of itself be a desideratum? I think there’s something quite interesting about the almost tragic quality of a lot of overwrought prose, because it has a much more self-conscious awareness of its own failure to touch the real.

China Mieville

Notes on the weird – Virginia Woolf

Henry James’s ghosts have nothing in common with the violent old ghosts–the blood-stained sea captains, the white horses, the headless ladies of dark lanes and windy commons. They have their origin within us. They are present whenever the significant overflows our powers of expressing it; whenever the ordinary appears ringed by the strange. The baffling things that are left over, the frightening ones that persist–these are the emotions that he takes, embodies, makes consoling and companionable.

Virginia Woolf

Notes on the weird – China Mieville

I don’t think you can distinguish science fiction, fantasy and horror with any rigour, as the writers around the magazine Weird Tales early in the last century (Lovecraft in particular) illustrated most sharply. So I use the term ‘weird fiction’ for all fantastic literature – fantasy, SF, horror and all the stuff that won’t fit neatly into slots.

China Mieville