Wednesday 27 August 2008

'Machen had been a Welsh minister's son who went to London and lived alone for many years, nearly starving, haunted by fantasies of weird pagan rites and longing for the green hills he'd left behind. Lovecraft, in a survey of the field, had praised him highly.'
-T.E.D. Klein, The Ceremonies

...the Welshman Arthur Machen, that fine stylist and strange narrator of subtle horrors, who, in a survey carried out during the Spanish Civil War amongst fifty British men of letters, was the only one publicly to declare his preference for Franco's side, perhaps merely as an affirmation of his affinity with purest terror. Despite his reputation, his books are not easy to find in English, particularly in the old editions prized by collectors...'
- Javier Marias, All Souls, translated by Margaret Jull Costa

Passages randomly reached in close succession in two books I'm currently reading. Compare and contrast.