Brisk Money July 23, 2014 Brisk Money Adam Christopher It's hard out there for a robotic detective. A Short History of the Twentieth Century, or, When You Wish Upon A Star July 20, 2014 A Short History of the Twentieth Century, or, When You Wish Upon A Star Kathleen Ann Goonan A rocket story. The Angelus Guns July 16, 2014 The Angelus Guns Max Gladstone There's a war in heaven, outside of time. Sleep Walking Now and Then July 9, 2014 Sleep Walking Now and Then Richard Bowes A tragedy in three acts.
From The Blog
July 18, 2014
Summer 2014 Anime Preview: In the Name of the Moon!
Kelly Quinn
July 16, 2014
Picturing Dragons
Irene Gallo
July 15, 2014
Who Should Play The Magicians?
Ryan Britt
July 14, 2014
A Long Overdue Nod to SciFi and Fantasy’s Best Librarians
Stubby the Rocket
July 11, 2014
For Love or Money (And If You Do It Right, BOTH): Choosing a Career in Art
Greg Ruth
Showing posts by: Anne Ray click to see Anne Ray's profile
Wed
Oct 24 2012 4:00pm

Ghost Stories While You’re Waiting for Downton Abbey: Why Edith Wharton Gives Us The Whim-Whams

The ghost stories of Edith WhartonI was perusing the excellent used bookstore in my neighborhood and encountered The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton. It was a 1973 paperback version from Scribner, and, flipping the pages, it was filled with illustrations, all by the artist Laszlo Kubinyi (like this one, from the cover). I’d read a few Edith Wharton novels, but I hadn’t become enraptured with her work until I read this book. After I read it, my notion of the ghost story changed, and I’ve become a Wharton enthusiast.      

I’ve always been a person who’s easily spooked. Zombies and serial killers don’t get me – it’s ghosts. Demons, spirits. (Actually, this is not true. Buffalo Bill and 28 Days Later totally get me. But mainly, it’s ghosts.) Maybe it’s my suburban childhood filled with TV and movies, and too many stories told at sleep-away camp around a dying campfire. The rigid societal mores Edith Wharton traveled in stuck with me most about her novels. After reading her ghost stories I couldn’t help but imagine Wharton herself, in The Mount, her giant house, locked in her terrible marriage, living in that incredibly rigid age, having her desperate love affair. Much has been written about that age, but until I read this it didn’t capture my imagination. 

[Read more]