Robert Louis Stevenson’s “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” is an oblique and artful Gothic tale framed as a detective story. The truth seeker is Jekyll’s lawyer, Utterson, the book’s most prominent character. Jekyll — the gentleman who dabbles in chemical self-transformation — appears only intermittently, never fully speaking for himself until the end, when he discloses the details of the disastrous experiments that unleashed his primitive alter ego. The novel isn’t a conventional horror story, lingering on the macabre for its own sake, but an allegory of the divided self, perhaps also a meditation on addiction. Stevenson dramatizes human duality but doesn’t analyze its causes, treating it as pervasive and fundamental. For him, the Jekyll-Hyde split is the split in all of us, between the animals we evolved from and the angels we aspire to be.
A new zombie series is making its way to IDW Publishing. “Rot & Ruin” is based in the world created by the Bram Stoker award-winning Jonathan Maberry in his novel of the same name. Maberry has been making big steps in the comic book realm as of late with “V-Wars”, “Bad Blood”, and now this. Joining the prolific horror writer will be Tony Vargas on interior art.
Don’t expect vampires to sparkle in this upcoming apocalyptic drama series from Guillermo del Toro.
“…such delicate phantasies as Jimbo or The Centaur. Mr. Blackwood achieves in these novels a close and palpitant approach to the inmost substance of dream, and works enormous havock with the conventional barriers between reality and imagination.” Supernatural Horror in Literature‘ 1926, H.P. Lovecraft.
Dr. Maya Angelou, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer, filmmaker and civil rights activist, was found unresponsive in her Winston-Salem, North Carolina home this morning. Her literary agent later confirmed Angelou’s death to the press, though the cause of death is unknown at this time. The announcement of Angelou’s passing comes days after she cancelled her appearance at the Major League Baseball Beacon Awards Luncheon, where she was scheduled to be honored on May 30, due to health problems.
Valancourt Books is an independent small press specializing in the rediscovery of rare, neglected, and out-of-print fiction. James Jenkins and Ryan Cagle (who’ve incidentally been together for 10-plus years and were married in Iowa in 2009), began the press to bring back the many great books that remain out-of-print and inaccessible. Specializing in gay titles, gothic and horror novels, as well as literary fiction, they founded Valancourt Books in 2005 to restore many of these works to a new generations of readers. It’s an impressive and fascinating list. I got so lost in it, and had so much fun looking around at all the great books I’ve never even heard of, I just had to interview these guys.
Surprised classic lit inspires death metal? You have to admit Wuthering Heights author Emily Brontë’s penchant for violence, dark passion and gothic morbidity is totally hardcore. And Triptykon, acclaimed for its genre-defying, avant-garde metal stylings, is the perfect band to make the connection.