Mundane Things, Part One

Four Weird TalesMundane Things, Part One

Or, Four Weird Tales, by Algernon Blackwood. Lately I’ve been on an Algernon Blackwood kick. I’ve mentioned it before, the way Blackwood writes is very simple; he takes very mundane situations and objects, turning them into interesting tales. The previous story was The Wendigo, a quick read with an interesting premise. Here I am looking at two stories in the book: The Insanity of Jones and The Man Who Found Out.

As we all know, the horror genre is all about eliciting a fear response within its audience, taking very familiar things or situations, and then turning them upside down. After seeing Scream, can you look at your garage the same way still, or do you think twice before going in there alone? Horror is not necessarily in your face, though. Often, it’s more subtle. Sometimes you may not even know it’s a horror story till you get to the end, or till you read it again.

Now, is Four Weird Tales considered horror, or is it just weird fiction? Well, in this case the lines can be easily blurred. If you think about it, H.P. Lovecraft wrote a lot of weird fiction, and most (if not all) of his work was also horror . . . So . . . This neither confirms nor denies anything, meaning that it’s all up to you. Too many choices can slow things down, ironically, so does this mean that nothing gets done?

Algernon Blackwood likes his horror to be more about awe, according to Wikipedia, which makes sense to me. Perhaps that’s why I’ve been enjoying his work so much. The thing I like about these two stories is that the main characters can be sane, or they can be insane; and they’re obviously written in a way that forces you to make a decision. It’s a very intriguing thing to think about; reality and perception are two things which can be very frightening . . .

What it all comes down to is that you really don’t know if what you see is actually there, or if you are perceiving things as they are, or if there is anything at all.

Am I saying that we’re all crazy? Hell no. But if we begin to cast doubt upon ourselves, things can get a bit hairy. I was disenchanted after watching The Matrix, because it did just that: cast doubt upon how I see reality.

Everyone perceives things differently, sees things differently. Some people see things, some see them differently, and others see things that aren’t there.

Or are they there?

See what I mean? So, was Jones really insane, or was he actually living his life according to all of his past lives, settling accounts good or ill? And did the professor really find the answers to life’s deepest questions, answers so revelatory that he lost all hope for life?

Who knows what Algernon Blackwood was thinking on this one . . . The good thing about fiction, is that we don’t have to think to hard on it—it’s not real!

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Coming Soon . . .

Cover of first issue!Coming soon to The Enigmatic Monster Project will be the very first free issue of The Enigmatic Monster. There will be several versions available come Thursday (October 31): a PDF file (with working links), and an online version (at the Read page, which will be put back up tomorrow)!

Due to technicial difficulties we were unable to create an EPUB document at this time. However, the PDF document should work fine on your tablet, by itself or with the aid of a helpful app (Penny uses iBooks).

On Thursday there will be a new post with the download, and we’ll update a few of our pages (and link to those for your convenience). The first issue will remain online until a possible next issue .

Team Monster would like to take the time to thank all of our visitors, viewers, and valued supporters! Thank you for all the love you have shown us! If you have any ideas, comments, or suggestions, feel free to drop us a line! Help us make this project AWESOME!

On a further note there will be no updates on the project by Penny this week, for those of you who follow her on Tumblr. There will be a rather unusual wrap up to The King in Yellow blog series for this Friday, and another podcast with Jake and Jon is underway. On another note, we will try to upload some more creative process work for everyone to enjoy!

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