Thursday, June 14, 2018

Ghost Stories

So, after really liking Susan Hill's The Woman in Black, I've made a foray into other ghost stories. Currently most of the way through M. R. James's work. Although it kinda reminds me why I never got into ghost stories in the first place (the "weird" factor just isn't intellectually interesting enough for me), I did have an odd de ja vu experience while reading "Casting the Runes." First, I was just predisposed to like this story -- the villain is a warlock who goes crazy after having his paper on alchemy rejected via peer review. Right up my alley, right?

But I continue on with the story, and I realize it's striking similar to an academic horror novel I once read, Publish and Perish. Well, I look things up, and sure enough, the author's note admits to using James's original story as a pastiche. Strikingly appropriate, of course, but it's odd the connections you see if you keep on reading long enough.

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