What do the words “literary horror” mean to you?
Isn’t it strange the way this phrase provokes people who think of themselves as fans? When did the genre become so reactionary? So rabidly anti-intellectual? This was never the case historically. Writers of the macabre were venerated for being masters of their craft. Now, if you appear to take your work seriously, you’re attacked for being elitist, a cardinal sin, and whatever you do, don’t mention the word “art.” They’ll be at your house with pitchforks and torches. (Are you familiar with A Confederacy of Dunces? Every year, that book seems to grow more pertinent.) Literature isn’t about pretense or snobbery. It’s about pride in artistry. It’s about proficiency in the craft and seriousness of purpose. Whenever people – especially authors – profess to find this antithetical to the genre, we should automatically examine their motives.