On The Genre of Horror
(09-02-2023, 06:48 PM)Guest Wrote: I never read "Paperbacks from Hell," but I visit the author's blogger once in a blue moon.

His entries are trite but informative, and his autistic commitment to collecting paperback horror books is somewhat commendable. If anything, it shows the florid—if hackneyed—variety of covers publishers were willing to use to attract eyeballs. A confluence of artistic daring, desperate advertising, and readership expectations provided an ideal situation for unique and intricate book covers.

I am conflicted when thinking about projects like this. As you have said, there is something commendable about the archival of these things; such paperbacks are very time-bound to whenever they were first published, and most of them are nothing special in isolation, so to dig them up does take work. I actually don't take issue with such a project so long as there is initiative and vision to assess it. Other time-periods such as the Victorian Era surely have works to be unearthed, average or bad (or an unknown rarity that should command the world's attention). The issue is who will be attracted to the effort, or who could tolerate the time spent on works found to be wanting. The thing about this effort is that it doesn't involve a lifelong attention — if the mind of the critic/writer is sharp enough, it can penetrate through all those vapid airs and produce something of far greater value, and then they can return to whatever they like.

"Plutarch, nowadays, would write the Parallel Lives of Losers" - E.M. Cioran, All Gall is Divided.

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