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The Great God Pan [Kindle Edition]

Arthur Machen
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.


Editorial Reviews

Review

Of creators of cosmic fear raised to its most artistic pitch, few can hope to equal Arthur Machen. -- H. P. Lovecraft

What can I say about a writer whose influence has been acknowledged by H.P.Lovecraft, Peter Straub, T.E.D.Klein, M.John Harrison and Clive Barker? Perhaps that he managed to communicate a sense of the inexpressibly and awesomely supernatural with more power than he ever knew. -- Ramsey Campbell

About the Author

Arthur Machen was an influential horror, supernatural, and fantasy writer whose works included The Green Round, Hill of Dreams, and The Three Impostors.


Product Details

  • File Size: 139 KB
  • Print Length: 96 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1438287763
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0083ZF4QO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Enabled
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
(64)
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark Pagan Horror December 2, 2000
Format:Paperback
I came to know about Arthur Machen and his work through the brilliant mastermind of H.P.Lovecraft; his references, both in fiction ("The Dunwich Horror" makes a very clear statement about Machen's influence in his body of work) and non-fiction ("Supernatural Horror in Literature"), ultimately inspired me to go search something about this author. Needless to say, I found virtually nothing in any bookstore. It was during a trip to Madrid, Spain, where I finally found a book by Machen containing "The Great God Pan" and many others. I was shocked.
"The Great God Pan" was the first story I read by Arthur Machen, and I only had to read the first few pages to know I was going to like it. Indeed, I did, although it was a little short for my taste.
The ideas Machen makes you travel through are some of the finest in horror literature, and the Cosmic view of Pan, is very near the likes of Lovecraft. One can easily see where the influence Machen exerted over Lovecraft is. The only difference is that Machen did believe in some supernatural force existing within the Universe, whereas Lovecraft was the complete opposite.
Dark Pagan Horror is what Machen delivers, and he does so with such a style, elegance (at least the Castilian translation, I still have to read the originals in English, but I am assuming the originals are much better) and wit, you just can't help but to stay with it until you are done.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The power of suggestion.... April 27, 2001
Format:Paperback
The REAL grandeur of this little gothic gem lies in the power of suggestion. Machen, much like a Nicholas Roeg film or the Lovecraft mythology, only hints at the unspeakable horrors in "Great God Pan" and therein lies the novel's strength, short and negligable as it may seem. It's up to the reader to "fill in the blanks", and make the right connections as to which abominations lurks beneath the sinister series of seemingly unconnected events, that are displayed in "Great God Pan."
Scattered around in the book are twisted images of the many abominable faces that the Great God Pan may take, drawn by the esoteric occultist Austin Osman Spare.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great God Pan September 6, 2008
By flask
Format:Paperback
Arthur Machen's "The Great God Pan" (1894) delves into Machen's favorite subject: the supposed existence of a spiritual realm that is imperceptible to the human eye. A realm -- in the mind of Machen -- populated by golden-haired fairies haunting Welsh meadows, sex-crazed demons of ancient mysticism, furry red-eyed changelings that drag children underground with ropes, and phantom Roman legions glimpsed on foggy British moors. Clearly, Machen was a dreamer-sentimentalist, but with a very, very creepy sexual side. His Orthodox Anglo-Catholic upbringing imbued his mind with a love/hate fascination of aberrant sexuality; in particular, its spiritual ramifications. It was this fascination that lead to his writing "The Great God Pan."

Machen's "The Great God Pan" is based upon the concept of spiritual demons that seduce their victims. This age-old story shares some of its esoteric origins in the Old Testament. Prior to textual expurgations by Christian Councils, the Old Testament once referenced the existence of incubi (male) or succubi (female) which preyed on sexual debutantes. Their queen was Lilith -- the Night Hag -- the first wife of Adam in Hebrew and Akkadian folklore. Lilith was a nymphomaniac whom Yahweh made from dung, prior to the creation of Eve. Lilith's inability to obey Adam led to her banishment and replacement by Eve. Later, Lilith mated with beasts and had offspring. Although in Hellenistic myth Pan was the foster brother of Zeus, some of Joseph Campbell's monomyth theorists claim that Pan was one of Lilith's children.

The Pan deity present in Machen's horror story borrows from the aforementioned lore and also from the contemporary exorcism of his day.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most unsual and effective horror tales June 19, 1998
Format:Paperback
While the Victorian literary horror world revolved around vampires, Frankenstein monsters, and creaky ghosts in old castles, Machen wrote this terrifying story of the insatiable and malign spirit of nature invading our world through sexual means. Machen tells his story through an intriguing structure that slowly reveals the true horror behind a string of socialite murders. For anyone interested in novels of terror that go beyond the mundane and into the realm of spiritual nightmare.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor Quality Kindle Edition March 18, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This review is specifically for the Kindle edition by the publisher "Public Domain Books". There are several typographical errors in this edition that are not present in other versions; the formatting is poor, with no block-quoting for long quoted passages; and most glaringly, a whole paragraph is left out near the beginning of the book (early in chapter 2).

Skip this version, and get the higher-quality version from Project Gutenberg.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great God Pan. November 13, 2005
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"An incoherent nightmare of sex . . . " - The Westminster Gazette.

_The Great God Pan_ is the first book of the Welsh writer of weird tales and mystic Arthur Machen, published first in 1894. This book was regarded as a form of decadent literature and was panned by critics of the Victorian era. Arthur Machen was a fascinating character and antiquarian whose weird writings reveal his learning in the occult and his mystical inclinations. Machen was an Anglo-Catholic opposed to modernism in all its forms who was to join the secret society of the Golden Dawn, though he would reject the nefarious doings of such individuals as Aleister Crowley. Machen had an enormous influence on later writers of weird tales including especially H. P. Lovecraft who mentions him in his essay "Supernatural Horror in Literature" as an important influence. This book, republished by Creation Classics, is complimented by automatic drawings of Austin Osman Spare, a friend of Machen and a fellow occultist and mystic. In addition, this book contains Machen's introduction to the story proper.

_The Great God Pan_ begins with a scientist/doctor and his friend attempting to perform a surgical operation on the brain of a seventeen year old girl, Mary, so that she may "see the Great God Pan". The doctor discusses his theories of "transcendental medicine", in which he believes he can control her through this operation. The operation fails and Mary is rendered an "idiot". The story then skips to the memoirs of Mr. Clarke, the friend of Dr. Raymond from the experiment on Mary. Mr. Clarke recounts a tale involving a young girl named Helen Vaughan, who encounters a pagan idol from Roman times in a field. The story involves murder and intrigue as well as a demonic sex change, which occur later in the tale.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars but in this day and age I don't consider this a great and enduring...
An interesting addition to one's Victoriana collection, but in this day and age I don't consider this a great and enduring work of literature. Read more
Published 2 days ago by S. D. Martin
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A horror story that was neatly told.
Published 19 days ago by Dale
4.0 out of 5 stars An alchemy of the spirit takes place
My first encounter with Arthur Machen’s writing was in a (now) quaint selection of classic horror, and from my meanderings in the interwebz, his name just keeps cropping up. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Nerine Dorman
4.0 out of 5 stars Great god pancakes
Great short story for a rainy day. Edition is mostly good, perhaps I read a typo,.
Published 29 days ago by Efren Chavez Ochoa
3.0 out of 5 stars ghost story
excellent story, a book for a dark night
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
I don't get it? I have been hearing about this story for years. This book is always listed as a great work of horror fiction and an important influence by many readers and writers... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Bob
2.0 out of 5 stars It's Reputation Is Greater Than How It Reads
Although considered a classic and one of the inspirations for the Cthulhu mythos a few years later by H.P. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful Gothic tale
While somewhat disjointed at times, this little story has that characteristic most necessary in Gothic tales: the sense to know that a hint and the reader's imagination are much... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Jeffrey De Glopper
1.0 out of 5 stars Great God Dishpan
Pretty disma,l antiquated writing. Not terribly interesting. Now trying to figure out how to delete a book from my Kindle...
Published 5 months ago by Timo
5.0 out of 5 stars Very strange
Short, creepy, fun, enticing. The writing style is a little convoluted (several times I had to re-read a paragraph because I wouldn't tell what he was trying to convey). Read more
Published 5 months ago by Lemont
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