Ramsey Campbell and Modern Horror Fiction

Ramsey Campbell and Modern Horror Fiction

Ramsey Campbell and Modern Horror Fiction

Ramsey Campbell and Modern Horror Fiction

Synopsis

Ramsey Campbell is one of the world's leading writers of supernatural stories, although he has received far less attention than other practitioners of the genre. Joshi focuses in a thematic rather than chronological approach on the whole of Campbell's rich and varied work, from his early tales to the powerfully innovative stories collected in Demons by Daylight. The Doll Who Ate His Mother (1975) to Silent Children (1999) are also examined in detail. Throughout this book, the author places Campbell's oeuvre within the context of contemporary horror literature.

Excerpt

In the realm of modern horror fiction, there are few living writers whose work is sufficiently rich and variegated to justify a full-length critical study. It is not my place here to engage in a polemic for or against some of the more popular figures in the field; but I can say with confidence that Ramsey Campbell, although by no means the most widely known living writer of horror fiction, is worthy of study both because of the intrinsic merit of his work and because of the place he occupies in the historical progression of this literary mode. Campbell, although he is only fifty-five years old, has been publishing for some thirty-five years and has been a professional writer for more than twenty; he has almost twenty novels and hundreds of short stories to his credit; and he represents a bridge between the ‘classic’ weird writers of the first half of the twentieth century and today's diverse crop of best-sellers, although he himself is in many ways still in advance of his younger colleagues in the provocative dynamism of his work.

Campbell himself has facilitated the study of his work by making available documents that ordinarily would only see the light after an author's death. He has been generous enough to allow his juvenilia, written at the age of eleven, to be published; and, more significantly, he has issued his own bibliography of his work. (It should be made clear that the impetus for the publication of this bibliography did not come from Campbell.) This bibliography is doubly valuable in that it lists items in order of composition, not publication, and gives their dates of writing (by year only), allowing one to gain a precise idea of the growth and development of Campbell's output. Although I have decided on a thematic rather than a chronological study of Campbell's novels and tales, I will frequently have occasion to refer to the progression of a given theme or element in his work; hence, when I wish to refer to the date of composition of a given item, I place the date in brackets.

I presume my system of citations is readily understandable. I cite all major works by a series of abbreviations and page numbers in the text; the edition used, when not the first, is indicated with an asterisk in the bibliography. in those cases where I only discuss a story without citing from it, I have not identified the collection in which it appears, as the reader can ascertain that information by consulting the contents of Campbell's story collections in the bibliography.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.