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Polling Update

You've still got plenty of time to vote in the E.F. Benson poll, and also to make your feelings felt re; the next one. How about Robert Aickman? And if so, which of his stories should be included? Here's a scratch list:

The Swords
Bind Your Hair
The Hospice
Ringing the Changes
The School-Friend
The Inner Room
The Cicerones
Never Visit Venice
Pages From a Young Girl's Journal
The Houses of the Russians
The Same Dog
The Wine Dark Sea
Meeting Mr Millar
The Unsettled Dust...

Actually, it might be easier to decide which stories to exclude and then list the survivors. Let me know what you think, Aickman enthusiasts.

Robert Aickman 7.jpg

Update: Okay, Jason Newton (below) nominates 'Into the Woods', which I do recall as an impressive tale. Any more?

Oh yes, I forgot 'The Trains'.

Update update: And 'The View'.


Jason said…
I can't remember the name of it. A women suffering from insomnia joins others to walk around in the woods. Very unsettling and I still don't know why.
Anyway, I 'd include that one too.

On a side note, I always enjoy your blog entries (these past few years) but never get around to thanking you for it. We did talk briefly once a few years - that occasion was about Aickman too.

valdemar said…
Hi Jason, thanks for the kind words on the blog. I'm not sure which story you mean, but it's been a while since I read Aickman. Obviously it's time to reacquaint myself with his world.
Jason said…
Found it. It's the last tale from 'The Wine Dark Sea'.

”Into the Woods,” the final story and in a sense the most upbeat, resolves this dilemma in the most nearly positive manner, and shows how right Aickman was to style himself a writer of strange stories rather than overt horror fiction. There’s nothing alarming in the gradual departure of the heroine Margaret from ordinary walks of life into a new twilit realm of insomnia via the way station of the enigmatic Kurhus, but a lot that is very cryptic, evocative, profound. If you want to see what all the excitement of the Aickman centenary is all about, this is a very good place to start. Only expect the unexpected.

Unknown said…
David, in my opinion "The Stains" is a masterpiece, and must appear on such a list. Unfortunately as you already suspect, everyone seems to have a different favorite, and coming up with a short list will surely be thankless.
Anonymous said…
Another tale I would posit is THE VIEW; I found that tale rather profound and exquisite when I first read it.
Oscar Solis said…
I consider Aickman to be one of the most challenging writers of the supernatural. He generally doesn't make it easy for you as many of his stories are pretty enigmatic and don't present simple and aha! type solutions. Still, Ringing The Changes and Pages From A Young Girl's Journal are pretty good choices. The funny thing is there are times when I want to read his work again and then I decide it's too "heavy" for the moment. And then, when I do, it lingers in the back of your mind, being mulled over.

By the way, David, some of your stories have a bit of that too. They linger in a good way.