November 10th, 2010

S.C. Hickman

Mark Samuels - The Aesthetics of Horror

"Art proceeds from Mystery. What matters is the treatment of the theme, the skill in the telling of the tale, and how successfully the atmosphere surrounding the phenomena is evoked."
             - Mark Samuels

Been reading a few of the interviews on Matt Cardin's site, The Teeming Brain, of late and discovered Mark Samuels. Reading the interview I came across some of his reflections concerning horror.

Mark is of the lineage of writers who have a fidelity to 'cosmic horror', to a "school of thinking... in which man was seen in relation to infinity and eternity, and his own self-importance diminished." He has a personal blog, and has written both novels and short stories. One can read two of his short stories online: Vrolyk and Mysteries of the Abyss.

Matt Cardin queries him concerning the distinctive elements of weird fiction and this is his response:

"Horror authors ought not to be valued simply as social commentators or political theorists who hold views with which we agree, and who appear merely to have condescended to write horror fiction rather than mainstream fiction... After all, what could be more vital than the awful mystery of our own existence and the enigma of this spectral cosmos we all inhabit? It has been an integral part of man’s experience since one of the first of our ape-like ancestors stood on two legs, turned its gaze upward to the night sky and felt a holy dread. Supernatural horror fiction remains a valid artistic end in itself, a response to being alive."