No need to worry that Irish Short Story week will be dull. Not with writers like Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (he is descended from Huguenots driven from France to Ireland in the 17th century) bringing his lesbian vampires and demon lovers to the party.
|"Please Join me for Irish Short Week-I|
promise it will not be dull"-Carmilla
|"Hi-party at Bowen's Court March 17?"|
Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (1814 to 1873-Dublin) is considered a leading writer of 19th century Ghost Stories and supernatural tales. In his most famous work, his novella Carmilla, (1872) a lesbian vampire is the central character. He seems to be the first author who made use of lesbian vampires in his stories. He had an interesting life that you can read more about here. I was also very happy to see that almost all of his novels and a lot of his short stories can be read online on the web page of the library of the University of Adelaide.
There are lots of good possibilities here for Irish Short Stories week, including his most famous story "The Ghost and the Bone Setter" (1838) which would make a very good pick for the week, I think. I think I will post on at least one or two more of his works during Irish Short Stories Week
I decided to read now " Strange Event in the Life of Schalken the Painter" because it was said to be about the tradition of the Demonic Lover so I thought it might help me understand Elizabeth Bowen's most famous story, "The Demonic Lover" a bit better. This story is very well done and beautifully written. In no way does the prose style seem antiquated or stale. In fact it is anything but that. I do not want to tell much of the plot as it is very suspenseful and the atmosphere is pure Gothic. Here is a good representative sample of his prose:
" flesh of the face was coloured with the bluish leaden hue which is sometimes pro- duced by the operation of metallic medicines administered in excessive quantities; the eyes were enormous, and the white appeared both above and below the iris, which gave to them an expression of insanity, which was heightened by their glassy fixedness; the nose was well enough, but the mouth was writhed considerably to one side, where it opened in order to give egress to two long, discoloured fangs, which projected from the upper jaw, far below the lower lip; the hue of the lips themselves bore the usual relation to that of the face, and was consequently nearly black."
It took a little while for the excitement in the story to build up but once it did I was very taken into the world of this story. I can see why Le Fanu is said to best Victorian Ghost story writer.
One of the reasons I wanted to post on this was just to let interested people see there was a huge treasure of reading material online. On just this one author you can read over 50 ghost and supernatural stories online..
I am looking for stories by female authors from Ireland, especially stories that can be read online. If you have any suggestions please leave a comment-if you think you might want to participate-all you are asked to do is post on one Irish Short Story that week and leave me a comment with a link so I can create a master post, please leave a comment. It can include immigrants like the great Australian short story writer Barbara Baynton whose parents were both Irish.