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From: "Tony Ellis" <tony.ellis@futurenet.co.uk>
Subject: Re: (urth) Dualism & horror
Date: Mon, 19 Oct 1998 17:27:51 +0100

Apologies for prolonging a thread that steered due west of topic some
time ago, but this is getting interesting:

Alga wrote:
> Alex, you can't say that there is only Dark in Lovecraft,
> for opposed to that is the normal world, represented, in Hollywood versions,
> by pretty suburban streets. If you don't have a norm--Innsmouth or Arkham
> before the horrors came--where's the scare? The Amurican Way of Life, that's
> the Light. At least in novels.

I'm on Alex's side. I don't think you can say that the normal world
"opposes" the Dark, in a dualistic sense, because in Lovecraft's fiction
the normal world _is_ the Dark. What we think of as normality is
invariably revealed to be a delusion, or merely the narrowest slice of a
much bigger, scarier universe. As for "Innsmouth or Arkham before the
horrors came", it's another basic tenet of the stories that the horror
was there _first_, inhabiting this world long before humanity turned up.
Any pretty suburban streets are just a part of a transient blip in
reality, cosmically speaking.

Sgt. Rock wrote:
> ...I do believe you're helping me  understand why
> I've always despised the horror genre. 

Interesting choice of pejorative there. <g>

> Since I do believe in the God of
> Abraham, this "supernatural evil" stuff seems a trifle silly to me;

Well, the usual expression is "supernatural horror" rather than
"supernatural evil". Most of the more highly-regarded horror writers
long ago grew out of the simplistic good\evil trap. 

Rostum wrote:
> I haven't read much horror, however.

You should! There's some great writing out there. (And an even huger
amount of crap, naturally.)

>  Are there many horror novels that
> have both a supernatural Good and Evil but the Evil wins?

Off the top of my head... none (but there must be a few). The rule seems
to be that if you have a supernatural Good, it has to win. That's
probably why the horror I prefer doesn't have such feeble concepts in it
in the first place.

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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