THE DEEP ONES: "The Haunted and the Haunters: Or the House and the Brain" by Edward Bulwer-Lytton

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THE DEEP ONES: "The Haunted and the Haunters: Or the House and the Brain" by Edward Bulwer-Lytton

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3paradoxosalpha
març 28, 2020, 1:27pm

I have this one in a battered, unmatched ex-library volume of Bulwer-Lytton's collected works, one that includes Zanoni and A Strange Story. So I'll read it from there.

4housefulofpaper
març 29, 2020, 10:47am

>2 housefulofpaper:
I should add, thanks for the bibliography in >1 KentonSem: that led me to it!

5paradoxosalpha
abr. 1, 2020, 11:11am

I'm sure I haven't read this one before, but the whole resolution of finding the mysterious hidden room that powered the haunting gave me super vivid deja vu. Is there maybe a later story that lifts this bit?

6AndreasJ
abr. 1, 2020, 12:03pm

Initially I thought it was an overly formulaic haunted house story, but then it veered of in a direction I didn't expect at all. 'Twas probably for the best.

>5 paradoxosalpha:

You're not thinking of "The Dreams in the Witch House"?

How prophetic is the narrator's description of the sorcerer's end? The north polar setting made me think of Frankenstein.

7paradoxosalpha
abr. 1, 2020, 12:14pm

>6 AndreasJ:

No, I'm pretty sure I wasn't thinking of "Witch-House," but I wonder if we're looking at a case of conscious influence there.

8RandyStafford
abr. 1, 2020, 4:11pm

Well, I think it has too many coincidences and is too long, but I still liked it -- mostly for that ending where the narrator confronts the sorcerer. It's interesting that the narrator in no way thwarts the sorcerer apart from wrecking his spell on the house.

I don't know how much I would have liked it if I hadn't been sort of primed by the book I read just before the story: Brian Stableford's Yesterday Never Dies which also deals (as do many of the stories in Stableford's August Dupin series) with mesmerism and how the "supernatural" is just a rare occurrence of natural, if unrationalized, laws working.

>6 AndreasJ: I don't if it's the influence of Frankenstein or not. I suspect just more evidence of a general interest in polar settings that you see in English and French literature from about 1800 through at least 1860. (And, when this story was written, the search was still on for the Franklin Expedition.)

While I've never seen it listed as partial inspiration for Lovecraft's The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, we know Lovecraft read this story. It does mention palingenesis as does the Lovecraft story, and both also have a long-lived sorcerer frequently shifting identities.

I did like the humor, intended or not, of the narrator settling his nerves by reading Macauley's Essays.

9housefulofpaper
Editat: abr. 1, 2020, 6:48pm

Have we read two different versions of the story? The story notes in The Penguin Book of Ghost Stories From Elizabeth Gaskell to Ambrose Bierce explain that Bulwer-Lytton substantially rewrote the story to remove the living magician from the narrative. In Bulwer-Lytton's words "because encroaching too much on the main plot of the "Strange Story".
>5 paradoxosalpha: Is this scene also in "A Strange Story"? (even though this one has been rewritten) and would that be why it's familiar to you? Or, it's just occurred to that that there's Richard Matheson's much, much later Hell House, with Belasco's body hidden away in a secret room.

Edited to add: The online version in >1 KentonSem: must be the original version and is indeed different - in its ending at any rate - to the version I read.

Also edited to correct "toy" to "to you".

10paradoxosalpha
abr. 1, 2020, 6:13pm

I thought that the discovery of the dog's broken neck was frankly quite startling.

11paradoxosalpha
abr. 1, 2020, 6:17pm

Ah, the "confrontation with the sorcerer" ending is absent from my old and undated book copy!

12AndreasJ
abr. 2, 2020, 1:27am

So how does the revised version end?

13RandyStafford
abr. 2, 2020, 3:19pm

I'm glad I read the long version on line then since I couldn't find my copy of H. P. Lovecraft's Book of Horror

14housefulofpaper
abr. 2, 2020, 8:12pm

>12 AndreasJ:
The secret room is discovered and the magician's personal effects are discovered. All we learn of him (after the miniature is discovered), is "Withinside the lid were engraved, 'Mariana to thee - Be faithful in life and in death to -'. Here follows a name that I will not mention, but it was not unfamiliar to me. I had heard it spoken of by old men in my childhood as the name borne by a dazzling charlatan who had made a great sensation in London for a year or so, and had fled the country on the charge of a double murder within his own house - that of his mistress and his rival." The phenomena are brought to an end when the saucer and needle are accidentally upset. The implication here, i think, is that the magician's will haunted the house after his death via this magical apparatus.

When I got to this part of the story, it brought t mind the "monster from the id" from Forbidden Planet.

15paradoxosalpha
abr. 2, 2020, 8:26pm

Wait, which is the revision? I think my copy (matching the description in >14 housefulofpaper:) pre-dates 1921.

16housefulofpaper
abr. 2, 2020, 8:39pm

The first version was published in Blackwood's Magazine for August 1859. The revised version in A Strange Story; and The Haunted and the Haunters first published 1865.

17housefulofpaper
abr. 2, 2020, 8:40pm

>14 housefulofpaper:

I know more words than "discovered", but it's very late here :)