Reading the Weird: John H. Stevens with Eight Weird Thoughts

Jeff VanderMeer • February 23rd, 2012 @ 3:14 pm • Culture

John H. Stevens has a wonderful contemplative piece on reading our THE WEIRD compendium up on SF Signal. Here’s a brief excerpt:

Understanding is not knowledge, but revelation: What’s the difference? Knowledge is “the name of that thing is Ook.” Revelation is “there are creatures like Ook in the world!” Weird fiction is about the recognition of what I discuss in #2 above. It is about coming into contact with things that are difficult, contentious, or impossible to know. It about prophecy, divulgence, consequence, afflatus. It is coming to terms with powerlessness, lack of vision, the cosmic smallness of humanity. It is learning the true costs of living, feeling it deep inside you, as in Ryunosuke Akutagawa’s “The Hell Screen.” It is what eats us from the inside out and impels us inevitably towards death, even as we struggle to come to terms with life.

Also, Stephen Graham Jones is teaching a class using THE WEIRD, and he’s had his students do flow charts about the reading experience. Here’s a teaser of Jones’ own flow chart. We hope to feature some of these at Weird Fiction Review later on.

weird flowchart

You can buy THE WEIRD here in ebook form, with the US print edition out in May.

One Response to “Reading the Weird: John H. Stevens with Eight Weird Thoughts”

  1. Books and Words « J. H. Stevens: Writer, Erudite Ogre says:

    [...] latest column at SF Signal has gotten some kind words from Jeff VanderMeer and Adam Mills. I’m happy that a number of folks have enjoyed this entry. I wish that I had [...]

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