Saturday, November 28, 2009

The strange book of Von Junzt

Aside from my teaching, I had for some years been engaged in various anthropological projects with the primary ambition of articulating the significance of the clown figure in diverse cultural contexts. I was interested in original sin and had dabbled in esoteric philosophy; my remote ancestors had been Salem witches. I owed the formation of my character chiefly to accident. I shall not pretend to determine in what degree I was credulous or superstitious. I shall tell you what occurred, and let you judge for yourself.* --from my cento review of American Fantastic Tales (ed. Peter Straub), in the L.A. Times.

UPDATE: Also at the LAT, my editor Nick Owchar's Siren's Call column on Clark Ashton Smith (and a little Robert E. Howard) is a nice companion piece to this month's Astral Weeks...and for those curious about what CAS's sculptures looked like—Grognardia has the goods:

*The sentences in this passage come from Thomas Ligotti, "The Last Feast of Harlequin"; Julian Hawthorne, "Absolute Evil"; Charles Brockden Brown, "Somnambulism"; and F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"

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Blogger mallard said...

I love the story you constructed and was all set to find me a copy of this anthology, but as I perused the notes, I noticed that the collection edited by Peter Straub also contains a story by Peter Straub. I'm dubious of any editor who inserts his own story into a collection. Is that wrong-headed?

10:05 PM  
Blogger Ed Park said...

Don't let it dissuade you! (Plus: PS's story is a good example of the rare first person plural!)

10:00 PM  
Blogger Ed Park said...

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10:00 PM  

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