The Best Psychic Stories

The Best Psychic Stories

by Various, Joseph Lewis French
     
 

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PREFACE


The case for the "psychic" element in literature rests on a very old
foundation; it reaches back to the ancient masters,--the men who wrote
the Greek tragedies. Remorse will ever seem commonplace alongside the
furies. Ever and always the shadow of the supernatural invites, pursues
us. As the art of literature has progressed it has…  See more details below

Overview

PREFACE


The case for the "psychic" element in literature rests on a very old
foundation; it reaches back to the ancient masters,--the men who wrote
the Greek tragedies. Remorse will ever seem commonplace alongside the
furies. Ever and always the shadow of the supernatural invites, pursues
us. As the art of literature has progressed it has grown along with it.
To-day there is a whole new school of writers of Ghost-Stories, and the
domain of the invisible is being invaded by explorers in many paths. We
do not believe so much more, perhaps, that is, we do not so openly
express a belief, but art has finally and frankly claimed the
supernatural for its own. One discerning authority even goes so far as
to assert that the borders of its domain will be greatly enlarged in the
wonderful new field of the screen.

There is no motive in a story, no image in poetry, that can give us
quite the thrill of a supernatural idea. If we were formally charged
with this we might resent the imputation, but the evidence has persisted
from the beginning, lives on every hand, and multiplies daily. What we
have been in the habit of calling the "machinery" of the old Greek
drama--its supernatural effects--has come finally to be an art
cultivated with care at the present hour, and has given us some
wonderful new writers. In fact, few of the best masters for a generation
now have been able to resist its persistent and abiding charm. Every
writer of true imagination, almost without exception, including even
certain realists, has given us at least one story, long or short, in
which the central motive is purely psychical in the Greek sense of the
word.

The whole subject opens up a virgin field which has after all only begun
to be tilled. Within the coming generation we may look for great artists
to devote their whole powers to it, as Algernon Blackwood is doing
to-day. A simple underlying reason is enough to account for it all--_the
new field imposes simply no limit on the imagination_. In addition to
all that science has taught us, there is illimitable store of myth and
legend to aid, to draw from, to work in, to work over, as Lord Dunsany
has shown us. It is the most significant movement in literature at the
present hour, and whether it is supported by a special background of
interest--as at present in spiritism--or not, the assertion is logical
that it is creating a new body of fictional literature of permanent
importance for the first time in the history of literature. The human
comedy seems to have been exploited to its final limits; as the art of
the novel, the art of the stage, but too sadly prove to-day. We have
turned outward for new thrills to the supernatural and we are getting
them.

It only remains to be added that the present great interest in
spiritualism and allied phenomena has made necessary the addition of
certain material of a "literal" character which we believe will be found
quite as interesting by the general reader as the purely literary
portion of the book.

JOSEPH LEWIS FRENCH




CONTENTS


PREFACE _Joseph Lewis French_

INTRODUCTION _Dorothy Scarborough_

WHEN THE WORLD WAS YOUNG _Jack London_

THE RETURN _Algernon Blackwood_

THE SECOND GENERATION _Algernon Blackwood_

JOSEPH--A STORY _Katherine Rickford_

THE CLAVECIN--BRUGES _George Wharton Edwards_

LIGEIA _Edgar Allan Poe_

THE SYLPH AND THE FATHER _Elsa Barker_

A GHOST _Lafcadio Hearn_

THE EYES OF THE PANTHER _Ambrose Bierce_

PHOTOGRAPHING INVISIBLE BEINGS _William T. Stead_

THE SIN-EATER _Fiona Macleod_

GHOSTS IN SOLID FORM _Gambier Bolton_

THE PHANTOM ARMIES SEEN IN FRANCE _Hereward Carrington_

THE PORTAL OF THE UNKNOWN _Andrew Jackson Davis_

THE SUPERNORMAL: EXPERIENCES _St. John D. Seymour_

NATURE-SPIRITS, OR ELEMENTALS _Nizida_

A WITCH'S DEN _Helena Blavatsky_

SOME REMARKABLE EXPERIENCES OF FAMOUS PERSONS _Dr. Walter F. Prince_




INTRODUCTION

THE PSYCHIC IN LITERATURE


War, that relentless disturber of boundaries and of traditions in a
spiritual as well as a material sense, has brought a tremendous revival
of interest in the life after death and the possibility of communication
between the living and the dead. As France became nearer to millions
over here because our soldiers lived there for a few months, as French
soil will forever be holy ground because our dead rest there, so the far
country of the soul likewise seems nearer because of those young
adventurers.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940012865465
Publisher:
SAP
Publication date:
03/13/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
226 KB

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