The Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural

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The Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural
Cover
Author Jack Sullivan (editor)
Country United States
Language English
Subject Literature; Horror fiction
Genre Reference Encyclopedia
Publisher Viking Press
Publication date
1986
Media type Hardback Volume
Pages 482
ISBN 0-670-80902-0
OCLC 13124397
700 19
LC Class BF1407 .P46 1986

The Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural is a reference work on horror fiction in the arts, edited by Jack Sullivan. The book was published in 1986 by Viking Press.

Editor Sullivan’s stated purpose in compiling the volume, as noted in his Foreword to the book, was to serve as a “bringing together in one volume of the genre’s many practitioners and their contributions to the arts.” In addition to literature and the art of storytelling, the book includes many entries on film, music, illustration, architecture, radio, and television. The book contains over fifty major essays and six hundred shorter entries covering authors, composers, film directors, and actors, among other categories.

More than sixty writers provided contributions to the book, including Everett F. Bleiler, Ramsey Campbell, Gary William Crawford, John Crowley, Thomas M. Disch, Ron Goulart, S. T. Joshi, T. E. D. Klein, Kim Newman, Darrell Schweitzer, Whitley Strieber, Timothy Sullivan, Colin Wilson, and Douglas E. Winter. Jacques Barzun provided the lengthy Introduction, “The Art and Appeal of the Ghostly and Ghastly”.

In order to provide as broad as possible a study of fear, terror, and horror throughout the centuries, the book features numerous entries on “mainstream” artists who Sullivan notes “have dabbled in or plunged into horror”, such as Charles Baudelaire, Thomas Hardy, Henry James, Franz Kafka, Edith Wharton, Sergei Prokofiev, Charles Dickens, Heinrich von Kleist, Herman Melville, Joyce Carol Oates, Franz Liszt, Arnold Schönberg, William Butler Yeats, and Isaac Bashevis Singer, among others.

Hundreds of genre author entries are provided, including: William Beckford by E.F. Bleiler, Ambrose Bierce and Algernon Blackwood by Jack Sullivan, Ramsey Campbell by Robert Hadji, Robert W. Chambers by T. E. D. Klein, James Herbert by Ramsey Campbell, Shirley Jackson by Sullivan, Stephen King by Don Herron, Arthur Machen by Klein, Ann Radcliffe by Devendra P. Varma, and Peter Straub by Patricia Skarda.

Theme essays include: “Arkham House” by T. E. D. Klein, “The Continental Tradition” by Helen Searing, “English Romantic Poets” by John Calhoun, “Golden Age of the Ghost Story” by Jack Sullivan, “Illustration” by Robert Weinberg, “Opera” by Arthur Paxton, “The Pits of Terror” by Ramsey Campbell, “The Pulps” by Ron Goulart, “Shakespeare’s Ghosts” by John Crowley, “Urban and Pastoral Horror” by Douglas E. Winter, and “Zombies” by Hugh Lamb.

Film and television related entries include: The Abominable Dr. Phibes, Tod Browning, Brian De Palma, Eraserhead, Inferno, Boris Karloff, Night of the Living Dead, Roman Polanski, Suspiria, and The Wolf Man.

The book was reprinted in 1989 by Random House.