Author Topic: Robert Aickman  (Read 3085 times)


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on: February 21, 2015, 11:45:48 AM
Hello there, it seems that, in the UK at least, Robert Aickman is enjoying somewhat of a renaissance.
Faber & Faber have published 4 volumes of his "strange stories"
 (& I've raided my county library for all of them).
What are the Pseudopod Community's thoughts on Aickman?
I've finished "Dark Entries" and am working my way through "The Wine Dark Sea" - the story "The Wine Dark Sea" has really stood out for me so far, it's a tale of an tourist on his hols on a Greek island who finds himself drawn to another, mysterious island which is shunned by the locals and may or may not contain certain "survivals".

If you've never read him, please do!
I'd love to hear one of his stories on the podcast.


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Reply #1 on: February 21, 2015, 02:03:29 PM
Oh, Aickman has been on the get list from the very start, be assured.  Hopefully, I'll soon be dedicating some time to rights queries again and we'll see what we see.

With Aickman, I see three potential problems:

Rights - the usual difficulties, nothing specific to him.

Length - this would depend on the story, of course, but he tended to write long.

Density and Ambiguity - at least as an audience consideration. Aickman strikes me as sharing the potential roadblocks for audio presentation with Henry James - his text is just so *dense* with meaning that properly processing it in audio may be difficult for the listener (I remember telling Dave a couple of years ago that it took me a third reading of "The Stains" before I caught the subtly buried hints of the narrator's alcohol problems). And then, ambiguity - while Aickman's crowning achievement in creepy effect writing - tends not to go over very well with some listeners.  But that hasn't stopped me before...

If feasible, the best to choose from would be legion but "The Swords" certainly leaps to mind as an engaging and horrific masterpiece, although "Marriage" and "Larger Than Oneself" are also personal faves.

I'd also love to run "Three Miles Up" by his associate, Elizabeth Jane Howard.