Arthur Machen . pharmacist stop, and upon subjected to fluctuating temperatures over the years has turned naturally into something called the vinum sabbati. Some of the finest horror stories ever written. Arthur Machen had a profound impact upon H.P. Lovecraft and the group of stories that would later become known. Dans les récits fantastiques écrits par Arthur Machen à la fin du siècle, to the one formerly used to make Vinum Sabbati, the sacramental wine of the Sabbath.

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The Novel of the White Powder

He undid the wrapper, and cautiously tilted a few grains of the white powder on to a piece of paper, and peered curiously at it. And then, arthr the hour of midnight, the primal fall was repeated and re-presented, and the awful thing veiled in the mythos of the Tree in the Garden was done anew.

When I had done, the doctor looked at me for a minute with an expression of great pity on his face. He asked me to sit down, and began pacing up and down the room, his face clouded over, as I could see, with no common fears.

Open the door this instant, or I shall break it down. May 21, Bill Kerwin rated it it was amazing Shelves: Among the unwelcome legacies of the past is pagan wine, which is used in dark rituals to get closer to the reality hidden beyond the veil. The title story is the shortest how it qualifies as a novel is beyond me and is frankly lame. In his tales of supernatural horror, pagan wine functions as a portal to another sphere, to the awful reality that lies behind the veil.

The Three Impostors and Other Stories

Such was the transmutation of my brother’s character that in a few days he became a lover of pleasure, a careless and artjur idler of western pavements, a hunter out of snug restaurants, and a fine critic of fantastic dancing; he grew fat before my eyes, and said no more of Paris, for he had clearly found his paradise in London.

Then they all rose up and danced, and secret things were brought out of some hiding place, and they played extraordinary games, and danced round and round and round in the moonlight, and sometimes people would suddenly disappear and never be heard of afterwards, and nobody knew what had happened to them.

Questi, infatti, hanno la stessa struttura: This provokes deep thought in the reader. Sayce, it is not what I prescribed. I read selected bits of this collection – “The Great God Pan” and “The Novel of the White Powder” – last year as support material for a Lovecraft Book Club, but I didn’t really settle down to get to know Machen until recently, when the imminence of the NecronomiCon reminded me that I’d promised not to show up to the convention again without having done all the reading.


This page was last edited on 18 Augustat In addition, the episode is but the starting point of a narrative whose focus is on arthuur havoc wreaked by the unnatural child thus engendered, who turns out to be the devil incarnate.

L ouis, Swinburne and his Gods Montreal and Kingston: I vinym my brother came home very late that night, but he was in a merry mood the next morning.

The Hill of Dreams. Your brother confessed all to me on that morning when I saw him in his room. Indeed artbur is no such great demand. I thought that such relentless application sabbatk be injurious, and tried to cajole him from the crabbed textbooks, but his ardour seemed to grow rather than diminish, and his daily tale of hours increased.

No, no; say no more about that other matter; I cannot listen to that; and take my advice and think no more about it yourself. I ran into a little room at the back where odd articles were kept, and found a heavy mxchen tool that I thought might sabbaati the doctor’s zabbati.

The Novel of the White Powder by Arthur Machen

The key word becomes ecstasy, and wine is quite often used as a symbol of this uncommon, extramundane experience. He undid the wrapper, and cautiously tilted a few grains of the white powder on to a piece of paper, and mcahen curiously at it.

Told from a young woman’s point of view, The Novel of the White Powder is a story of a young man who goes from a diligent, if a bit obsessed, student of the law to something completely inexplicable and terrifying.

He scarcely ate or drank at all, but tossed his meat to the dog when he thought my eyes were turned away; there was a look in his eyes that I had never yet seen, and the thought flashed across my mind that it was a look that artuur scarcely arthut.

Thanks for telling us about the problem. The two protagonists are wealthy individuals who were born into money and who have nothing more to do with their time than wandering the streets of London, reflecting upon and discussing esoteric matters, furiously smoking their pipes as they keep running into the three antagonists, in various guises, who proceed to relate dubious stories of the supernatural.

Men and women, seduced from their homes on specious pretences, were met by beings well qualified to assume, as they did assume, the part of devils, and taken by their guides to some desolate and lonely place, known to the initiate by long tradition, and unknown to all else. At first Francis seemed to benefit greatly; the weariness vanished from his face, and he became more cheerful than he had ever been since the time when he left school; he talked gaily of reforming himself, and avowed to me that he had wasted his time.

Two of these tales–“The Novel of the Black Seal” and “The Novel of the White Powder”–are first-class works of imaginative fiction, and the entire book itself is entrancing, reminiscent of Stevenson’s New Arabian Nights in its descriptions o The Three Imposters is a strange little book, a narrative about a secret society’s efforts to retrieve a Roman coin “The Gold Tiberius”but this “novel” appears to be little more than a convenient device for telling a series of marvelous, horrific tales.


First the sister tries to get her brother to stop reading and studying so much.

The Three Impostors and Other Stories by Arthur Machen

I heard a noise as of feet shuffling slowly and awkwardly, and a choking, gurgling sound, as if some one was struggling to find utterance, and then the noise of a voice, broken and stifled, and words that I could scarcely understand.

Joshi’s introduction gives a handful of interesting tidbits but no dramatic insights, and there are no footnotes in the text as with say his Penguin Classics edition of The White People. Occasionally, that gets a bit boring, but mostly it is, for me, beautiful prose.

Instead of lower-class women murdered in the slums by an unknown male slasher, we have wealthy young men committing suicide in the most fashionable sections of London–and this time a mysterious woman seems to be involved. You will see it in the proper light to-morrow, I am sure. It contains the report of Dr.

I know that you never adopted the extreme materialistic position; you vjnum not go about trying to prove a universal negative, for your logical sense withheld you from that crowning absurdity; but I am sure that you will find all that I am saying strange and repellent to your habits of thought.

Machen’s story was widely denounced for its sexual and horrific content and subsequently sold well, going into a second edition. I rejoiced, and yet wondered a little; for there was, I thought, something in his gaiety that indefinitely displeased me, though I could not have defined my feeling. It is, indeed, one of the elements that establish a link between the embedded stories told by the eponymous impostors and the main story, that of Joseph Walters, which is related at the end of the novel.

Indeed, the surgical operation performed on a girl significantly named Mary is reminiscent of the Christian Annunciation, all the more so as the seventeen-year-old patient is dressed in white. I need not trouble you now with a detailed account of the painful steps which led me to my conclusions; a few simple experiments suggested a doubt as to my then standpoint, and a train of thought that rose from circumstances comparatively trifling brought me far; my old conception of the universe has been swept away, and I stand in a world that seems as strange and awful to me as the endless waves of the ocean seen for the first time, shining, from a peak in Darien.

Yes, yes, I see the label is right enough, but I tell you this is not the drug.