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Sub Rosa Strange Tales

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Strange Or Funny Ha Ha? from Sub Rosa on Beatport Check out Strange Or Funny Ha Ha? by Bisk on Beatport Welcome to Beatport Beatport is the world's largest electronic music store for DJs Sub Rosa Strange Tales | Project Gutenberg Self Sub Rosa Strange Tales part our commitment to scholarly and academic excellence all articles receive editorial review||| World Heritage Encyclopedia the aggregation of the largest online encyclopedias available and the most definitive collection ever assembled Sub Rosa Strange Tales Aickman Robert Sub Rosa Strange Tales Hardcover – June by Robert Aickman Author See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions Price New from Used from Hardcover Please retry Hardcover Used f. Sub Rosa Eight tales by Robert Aickman acknowledged as one of the finest British authors of ghost stories or what he himself termed “strange stories” As R B Russell writes in his Introduction to this high uality Tartarus Press publication the stories in Sub Rosa represent Aickman at the height of his powers Although I’m relatively new to Aickman I’ve only read Compulsory Games and Night Voices I entirely concur – a reader would have to dig deep to discover tales eual in their sheer dramatic force and nuanced poetic language Or expressed in concise modern parlance every single tale in this collection packs a WALLOP all caps to emphasize the impact And that's impact as in each tale had me reeling especially after I read the concluding paragraph Let me tell you folks Robert Aickman possessed uniue storytelling giftsEvery strange story in Sub Rosa deserves its own comprehensive review most especially the three of novella length The Inner Room The Unsettled Dust and Into the Wood However in the spirit of brevity I'll contain myself and focus on two from the collection that will remain with me for years to comeTHE CICERONES“John Trant entered the Cathedral of Saint Bavon at almost exactly 1130” That’s the opening sentence that serves to set the stage for this Robert Aickman masterpiece The cathedral is in Gent Belgium and John Trant is a thirty two year old bachelor and by his own account an ordinary Englishman with a specific passion for travel What strikes Trant upon entering the vast building is its silence and the fact that unlike the many other Belgian cathedrals he visited he's alone alone that is except for the people in the tombs As his usual custom he leans against a column and reads the history of the Cathedral in his guidebook; he then walks toward the front where the book notes “Carved oak pulpit with marble figures all by Laurent Delvaux”But just then he spots something extraordinary a figure in the pulpit slumping forward over the preacher’s cushion Trant could see “the top of a small bald head with a deep fringe almost a halo of white hair; and on each side widespread arms with floppy hands” The figure isn't a priest rather he is wearing garments of several bright colors Although unnerved Trant moves forward once passing the next column and looks again – the figure is gone At this point Trant hears a laugh and turns round – behind him stands a slender young man in a grey suit The man speaks with a vague foreign accent “Excuse me I saw it myself so don’t be frightened” Trant replies “It was terrifying Out of this world” to which the young man asks “Did you notice the hair Trant acknowledges he most certainly did and asks in turn “What did you make of it” The young man answers “Holy holy holy” The figure in the pulpit and the exchange with the young man are but the first in a series of mysteries the English tourist encounters including a number of the cathedral’s paintings many horrific and grotesue in the extreme Trant converses with yet another young man and also has brushes with several boys that appear to him as if existing in another otherworldly realm and might appear to the reader as creepy creepy Mystery upon mystery until the concluding eerie event whereupon the boys and young men along with the bald man with the white halo hair encircle Trant with arms outstretched and start singingReading The Cicerones we can ask What is the ultimate fate of our English tourist During his tour one of the boys points out a diptych depicting the blessed on one side and the lost on the other He also informs Trant he'll be there soon Like the many other scintillating aspects of this intricate gripping yarn Robert Aickman leaves the answer to the imagination of each readerCoda Robert Aickman wrote the following regarding this story The cathedral in The Cicerones was at Antwerp but the events described in the story happened to me so precisely almost that I moved the whole thing including all the detail to the cathedral at Ghent I fear therefore that the student has to visit both cathedrals not that he will regret doing so or she Which leads one to wonder where and how the author's almost came into play RAVISSANTEA tale that can be interpreted as the madness of art or the art of madness or both A story within a story that’s knotty and tricky reuiring than an initial read to be fully appreciated So as not to divulge the tantalizing arc of plot I’ll simply highlight four pieces contained within this literary chiller Artist – A British narrator relates his acuaintance with an unnamed British painter whose large canvases remind him of the late Charles Sims specifically of such paintings as Am I Not The Light in the Abyss As the frail slim painter reflects on his own work “My pictures are visionary and symbolical and from first to last have seemed to be painted by someone other than myself” Am I Not the Light in the Abyss by Charles SimsAn Artist's Influences The slim artist discloses his relationship to art and artists how art in general leaves him cold especially when put on display for crowds; rather art should always belong to individuals Likewise most artworks by the great masters have little effect on him “On the other hand in the painters who do affect me I become almost completely absorbed in their lives and thoughts to the extent that I can find out about these things or divine them as well as in their works” He goes on to specify the half dozen or so artists with whom he feels great affinity above all the Belgian artist James Ensor By my eye the below Ensor painting captures much of the ghastliness the British artist encounters in this Aickman tale The Intrigue by James Ensor Madame A An old widow of one of the artists the British painter feels affinity She has been living in isolation in her house in Brussels for years and is than happy to welcome the young artist into her home to share her memory and the paintings hanging in her many rooms Recall my mention of madness above Her hairy legs were bare also and her dull red dress was cut startlingly low for a woman of her years making her creased bosom all too visible The we learn of Madame A and her odd view of life and art the we are drawn into the ghastly and grotesue Creatures Animals often appear in here said Madame A huskily Dogs cats toads monkeys What is a Robert Aickman story without a tincture of menace and a hint of at least one ghost Our Englishman artist is about to discover for himselfBritish author Robert Aickman 1914 1981

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Rom Collectible from Books with Buzz Discover the latest buzz worthy books from mysteries and romance to humor and nonfiction Explore Sub Rosa Strange Tales Aickman Robert | Sub Rosa Strange Tales Aickman Robert on comau FREE shipping on eligible orders Sub Rosa Strange Tales Aickman Sub Rosa Sub Rosa by Robert Aickman published by Tartarus Press Sub Rosa is a sewn hardback of ix pages printed lithographically with silk ribbon marker head and tailbands and dw Second Tartarus Press printing ISBN Price inc pp worldwide in Buy Sub Rosa Strange Tales Book in Buy Sub Rosa Strange Tales book online at best prices in india on in Read Sub Rosa Strange Tales book reviews author details and at New Emag Sub Rosa | Strange Attract. The first tale of the collection Ravissante tells of a curious manuscript of a painter that is being read by our protagonist upon the painter's death It tells of a strange episode in Belgium where the artist is visiting the elderly widow of one of his favorite artists The story seems to thrive on alienation between the characters nothing can be perceived until it’s too late Aickman’s prose and turn of phrases through the story create an atmosphere that is so unbelievably unsettling it’s almost hard to read on at a certain point Details present themselves after finishing this tale but they all hint at something far terrible under the surface I can actually not remember being this badly shaken by a short story before The Inner Room tells of a strange childhood gift an ornate dollhouse filled with eerie dolls but seemingly sealed There is something off about the geometry of the house a hidden room that will have some cryptic meaning for our protagonist in the future Never visit Venice has a dark pessimism lingering over it not only of the state of Venice and the tourists that are slowly ruining the city but towards life itself The protagonist seems lost within his own mediocracy and trapped within an introverted state that he seems unable to fathom Seeking consolation in the company of women he cannot seem to open himself to them either What he seeks is a dream an illusion without a clear purpose He cannot clearly see the beginning of it but there is a vague sense of familiarity over the looming dreadfulness of the ending The Unsettled Dust takes place in a curious and forgotten corner of England where two elderly sisters live in a large home immaculately kept except for the dust everywhere Here Aickman draws forth something wonderfully eerie from his keen sense of place and the notion of something unresolved in the past It struck me as poignant in the tale of a small river running through the landscape so obscure that the people who live there haven’t even heard of it There is a notion here that some people would rather forget than try to mend the ravages of time The Houses of the Russians show how masterfully Aickman played with the reader's expectations the oncoming denouement and the supernatural in his tales Here as in many of his other stories there lurks something horrifying than is let on through the narrative somehow a deeply disturbing clue that evades the reader’s attention No Stronger Than a Flowerexplores the complex expectations of a relationship Where a cruel demand is suddenly met and one part of the couple experiences a loss of control and strange new urges arise from it A makeover will bring change total change sometimes not only physically but psychically as wellIn The Ciceronesa tourist's urge to experience something holy something beyond a mere tourist attraction in a cathedral in Belgium Suddenly he finds himself trapped within something exalted in communion with something he doesn’t understand I’m not sure I understand either even upon the second reading of this eerie tale Into the Wood tells of a strange sanatorium nestled within the Swedish woods Filled with insomniacs an English housewife experiences something strange during her 2 day visit to the place It is as if the lack of sleep attunes them to something another meaning found within the labyrinthine forests that surrounds the sanatorium The strangeness that lies over Aickman’s stories is hard to shake some of them lingered with me for days in the back of my mind like a bad dream The prose is as complex and razor sharp as ever each word seems carefully placed and works perfectly together to create his uniue brand of terrifying mystery His incredible sense of place characters and strange situations cement him as one of the very greatest practitioners of the uncanny and ghostly and Sub Rosa is one of the finest short story collections I’ve come across period

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Or Issue of the great newish electronic magazine Sub Rosa is now available for download This comes from the folks who used to do The Daily Grail an eminently sane commentary on the mytho – archaeology scene when it was More → SubRosa Le Canal Auditif articles les lus coute exclusive Carla Blanc Wonderful; Ronald “Khalis” Bell le cofondateur du groupe Kool the Gang est dcd ans; Gold Record Steam Community Sub Rosa Sub Rosa is a multiplayer first person shooter about tense deals double crosses and the occasional high speed car chase SUBROSA Royal Navy's Strange Behaviour Suspected Somali pirates captured by the Royal Navy are being given fuel food and water and sent on their way In three cases they were release. Described by someone who knows as the dreamy side of horrorI thought that genre was out of reach and with it's 200 cost it continues to be The Killing Of Katie Steelstock person shooter about tense deals double crosses and the occasional high speed car chase SUBROSA Royal Navy's Strange Behaviour Suspected Somali Birthday pirates captured by the Royal Navy are being given fuel food and water and sent on their way In three cases they were release. Described by someone who knows as the dreamy side of horrorI thought that genre was out of reach and with it's 200 cost it continues to be


10 thoughts on “Sub Rosa Strange Tales

  1. says:

    'Tis the season for lonely men to grow lonelier for lonely women to lie sleepless in their beds 'Tis the season for cold woods to get lost in for sad memories to get lost in for watery graves and tragic houses for secrets to be unveiled 'Tis the season for dreams to come true alas 'Tis Robert Aickman seasonA collection of strange stories Not one of my favorites by him but impressive nonetheless The dream logic the disturbing ambiguity the prosaic details the chilly formality the awful revelations softly stated all in place per usual for the author my favorite writer in this genre The sheer oddity of life seems to me of and importance because and the pretense is that life is charted predictable and controllable And for oddity of course one would well write mystery Ravissante a lonely artist is at first dismayed then turned on then dismayed again by a vulgar display The Inner Room don't pity the dollhouse's lonely tenants they have a secret place where they can truly be themselves Never Visit Venice lonely men should never try to make their dreams come true The Unsettled Dust a lonely mansion is full of unsettling dust and dusty dreams and secrets best left in the dust |The Houses of the Russians on the lonely Finnish island are the empty houses full of blood XNo Stronger Than a Flower better to be lonely and plain than married and beautiful veiled and clawed oThe Cicerones no one is lonely in the Cathedral; there are many guides to keep you company ;Into the Wood pity the lonely fates of the sleepless woken from the slumber of life terribly awake OOMy favorite was easily The Houses of the Russians in which an old man recounts his strange trip to an island full of increasingly discomfiting houses at first apparently empty but soon seen to be inhabited There are parties a little boy with a gift houses with memories of slaughters that took place far away Evocative eerie and very sad


  2. says:

    Sub Rosa Eight tales by Robert Aickman acknowledged as one of the finest British authors of ghost stories or what he himself termed “strange stories” As R B Russell writes in his Introduction to this high uality Tartarus Press publication the stories in Sub Rosa represent Aickman at the height of his powers Although I’m relatively new to Aickman I’ve only read Compulsory Games and Night Voices I entirely concur – a reader would have to dig deep to discover tales eual in their sheer dramatic force and nuanced poetic language Or expressed in concise modern parlance every single tale in this collection packs a WALLOP all caps to emphasize the impact And that's impact as in each tale had me reeling especially after I read the concluding paragraph Let me tell you folks Robert Aickman possessed uniue storytelling giftsEvery strange story in Sub Rosa deserves its own comprehensive review most especially the three of novella length The Inner Room The Unsettled Dust and Into the Wood However in the spirit of brevity I'll contain myself and focus on two from the collection that will remain with me for years to comeTHE CICERONES“John Trant entered the Cathedral of Saint Bavon at almost exactly 1130” That’s the opening sentence that serves to set the stage for this Robert Aickman masterpiece The cathedral is in Gent Belgium and John Trant is a thirty two year old bachelor and by his own account an ordinary Englishman with a specific passion for travel What strikes Trant upon entering the vast building is its silence and the fact that unlike the many other Belgian cathedrals he visited he's alone alone that is except for the people in the tombs As his usual custom he leans against a column and reads the history of the Cathedral in his guidebook; he then walks toward the front where the book notes “Carved oak pulpit with marble figures all by Laurent Delvaux”But just then he spots something extraordinary a figure in the pulpit slumping forward over the preacher’s cushion Trant could see “the top of a small bald head with a deep fringe almost a halo of white hair; and on each side widespread arms with floppy hands” The figure isn't a priest rather he is wearing garments of several bright colors Although unnerved Trant moves forward once passing the next column and looks again – the figure is gone At this point Trant hears a laugh and turns round – behind him stands a slender young man in a grey suit The man speaks with a vague foreign accent “Excuse me I saw it myself so don’t be frightened” Trant replies “It was terrifying Out of this world” to which the young man asks “Did you notice the hair? Trant acknowledges he most certainly did and asks in turn “What did you make of it?” The young man answers “Holy holy holy” The figure in the pulpit and the exchange with the young man are but the first in a series of mysteries the English tourist encounters including a number of the cathedral’s paintings many horrific and grotesue in the extreme Trant converses with yet another young man and also has brushes with several boys that appear to him as if existing in another otherworldly realm and might appear to the reader as creepy creepy Mystery upon mystery until the concluding eerie event whereupon the boys and young men along with the bald man with the white halo hair encircle Trant with arms outstretched and start singingReading The Cicerones we can ask What is the ultimate fate of our English tourist? During his tour one of the boys points out a diptych depicting the blessed on one side and the lost on the other He also informs Trant he'll be there soon Like the many other scintillating aspects of this intricate gripping yarn Robert Aickman leaves the answer to the imagination of each readerCoda Robert Aickman wrote the following regarding this story The cathedral in The Cicerones was at Antwerp but the events described in the story happened to me so precisely almost that I moved the whole thing including all the detail to the cathedral at Ghent I fear therefore that the student has to visit both cathedrals not that he will regret doing so or she Which leads one to wonder where and how the author's almost came into play RAVISSANTEA tale that can be interpreted as the madness of art or the art of madness or both A story within a story that’s knotty and tricky reuiring than an initial read to be fully appreciated So as not to divulge the tantalizing arc of plot I’ll simply highlight four pieces contained within this literary chiller Artist – A British narrator relates his acuaintance with an unnamed British painter whose large canvases remind him of the late Charles Sims specifically of such paintings as Am I Not The Light in the Abyss? As the frail slim painter reflects on his own work “My pictures are visionary and symbolical and from first to last have seemed to be painted by someone other than myself” Am I Not the Light in the Abyss by Charles SimsAn Artist's Influences The slim artist discloses his relationship to art and artists how art in general leaves him cold especially when put on display for crowds; rather art should always belong to individuals Likewise most artworks by the great masters have little effect on him “On the other hand in the painters who do affect me I become almost completely absorbed in their lives and thoughts to the extent that I can find out about these things or divine them as well as in their works” He goes on to specify the half dozen or so artists with whom he feels great affinity above all the Belgian artist James Ensor By my eye the below Ensor painting captures much of the ghastliness the British artist encounters in this Aickman tale The Intrigue by James Ensor Madame A An old widow of one of the artists the British painter feels affinity She has been living in isolation in her house in Brussels for years and is than happy to welcome the young artist into her home to share her memory and the paintings hanging in her many rooms Recall my mention of madness above Her hairy legs were bare also and her dull red dress was cut startlingly low for a woman of her years making her creased bosom all too visible The we learn of Madame A and her odd view of life and art the we are drawn into the ghastly and grotesue Creatures Animals often appear in here said Madame A huskily Dogs cats toads monkeys What is a Robert Aickman story without a tincture of menace and a hint of at least one ghost? Our Englishman artist is about to discover for himselfBritish author Robert Aickman 1914 1981


  3. says:

    Wouldst thou like to write sentences deliciously like this? I might compare them though a little distantly with the once controversial last works of the late Charles Sims apparently confused on the surface even demented they made one doubt while one continued to gaze as upon Sim's pictures whether the painter had not in truth broken through to a deep and terrible orderOf course you would You're tired of Lovecraft's confused adverb sodden descriptions Bored with his hundreds of pale imitators But you still want to capture that eerie sense of something missing You my friend want to read Robert AickmanAickman's clarity and ability to plunge the reader under the water of the mind and personality of his narrator here locks the reader in and provides confidence that the author is going to deliver something special Reading this is a lesson in writing A graduate seminar no less Like any class there is at least one slow point but this might be a mercy rather than a failing Given the height of literary airs here one must come down into the atmosphere to breathe at least once Given the depths of subtly hypnotic writing that draws the reader down like a long missed lover on a warm bed one must for a moment come up for airThe opening breath Ravissante is at turns wonderfully subtle then ridiculous then embarrassing then horrifying There may or may not have been a supernatural element to the story a black poodle that was as much spider as dog a domineering crone who stoked the bellows of lust in the narrator for a girl that may or may not have been real an insect demon all of which might have just been occlusions of the mind or not Marlowe is banging his head against his sarcophagus because he knows what Faust could have been since Aickman has shown the world how to best portray the invasion of the demonic into the banality of life on planet earth Five stars that may be either real or imagined You decide Aickman isn't telling As the trees around me became yet bigger and thicker fear came upon me; though not the death fear of that previous occasion I felt now that I knew what was going to happen next; or rather I felt I knew one thing that was going to happen next a thing which was but a small and far from central part of an obscure inapprehensible totality As one does on such occasions I felt than half outside my bodyThe Inner Room is a creepy dollhouse story Take the best of Danielewski Angela Carter and Brothers uay stir it together make the syntax perfectly exuisite the imagery simultaneously vivid and murky and each character's mannerisms subtly but thoroughly manifest through their dialogue and actions with just a touch of philosophical insight into people's hearts and you have a start But only a start Add this bit of inner dialogue which accurately portrays the strange frisson that children often feel or at least that I often felt as a child before an ominous momentous event As the trees around me became yet bigger and thicker fear came upon me; though not the death fear of that previous occasion I felt now that I knew what was going to happen next; or rather I felt I knew one thing that was going to happen next a thing which was but a small and far from central part of an obscure inapprehensible totality As one does on such occasions I felt than half outside my body which is reflective of the way I felt as I read this story Five stars Never Visit Venice coddles you in hope warmth and the promise of love It lulls you like a gondola on the water Then it thrusts you into the waves and begs nay insists the uestion Is it preferred to live like a lion for an hour than to live a lifetime like an ass? Five stars above a lilac sky with the waves lapping up against the sides of your wooden gondolaThere's synchronicity in that I read The Unsettled Dust at the same time I read Est Collected Reports from East Anglia A un?happy coincidence? Like the landscape it's set in this is a slow malingering matter of fact character study intertwined with the supernatural This one is a little straightforward for Aickman but still sprinkled with the dust of uncertainty Four starsThe Houses of the Russians is a prime example of Aickman's ability to control pace You think you're coming to a horrific conclusion then find out you're not You think you are going to gain some great knowledge and you do not You think that the nightmare is over but it has just begun Aickman says this is his own favorite story of the collection but what does an author know about his own work? Nothing I can assure you And though this is a fabulous story I don’t think it’s the best of the collection Then again how does one compare one story’s uality against another’s when every story is a miniature master class in writing? Five eerily meandering stars to this tale of anachronistic spectres or notNo Stronger Than a Flower is the one disappointing tale in the book; inscrutable really Is Nesta a vampire insane or merely symbolic? Maybe all three? In any case her withdrawal seems merely whimsical perhaps a touch spoiled A mere three stars hereAAAAH CREEPY CHILDREN The Cicerones has them This tale is particularly chilling when compared to the others in this collection “Sinister” doesn’t even begin to describe the level of paranoia inducing conspiracy that this tale dredges up from the catacombs Yep I've got the shivers now And yet this story still has that Aickmanesue power of understatement unlike my screaming introduction to the paragraph The ending phrase especially after everyone started singing so seemingly innocent when seen alone is absolutely one of the most terrifying things I have ever read in context I do not want to hear that hymn Five starsThe novella Into the Wood the centerpiece of the book though it appears last is one of the most satisfying reads I've had all year Ostensibly a story about insomnia it's really a strange tale about self discovery and empowerment of the main characters Margaret It's a walk into dreamlessness that blurs the line between night and day erasing notions of the way things should be while remaining gentle and respectful of the needs of those who don't follow the same path It's about as feminist a work as a man writing in the early 1960s could produce Consider the thoughts of Margaret the protagonist who has accidentally checked in at a Scandinavian resort for insomniacs while her husband attends to business matters in a nearby city Margaret took a small pull on herself Henry must be broadly right and she broadly wrong or life would simply not continue as it did and and the same everywhere The common rejoinder to these feelings of rebellion was as she knew well that she needed a little scope for living her own life even as a few Mancunians might dare to say for self expression But that popular anodyne never according to Margaret's observation of other couples appeared in practice to work nor could she wonder It reduced the self in one to the status and limits of a hobby It offered one lampshade making or so many hours a week helping the cripples and old folk when what one truly needed was a revelation; was simultaneous self expression and self loss And at the same time it corrupted marriage and cheapened the family The rustling sunny forest empty but labyrinthine hinted at some other answer; an answer beyond logic beyond words above all beyond connection with what Margaret and her Cheshire neighbours had come to regard as normal life It was an answer different in kind It was the very antithesis of a hobby but not necessarily the antithesis of what marriage should be though never was This paragraph perfectly brings to light the desire and need I have to read and write spooky or strange fiction as well as my drive to immerse myself so much into roleplaying games and my penchant for strange art and hiking alone in the woods I've learned something about myself and my desiresneeds that I couldn't articulate before but Aickman renders clearly and compellingly into words WonderfulThe satisfaction of Into the Wood is worth the entire price of the book And while Aickman thought The Russian Houses was one of his best stories in this volume at least I think he under rates what he's created here The depth of insight here into desire for self satisfaction without hedonism and into the pleasures not sexual of losing oneself is profound This story is ripe for analysis whether Marxist feminist or what have you I sense that this story would hold up to any sort of theoretical microscope under which it is examined It is a writer's story by a writer's writer nearly perfect in every way Five starsIf you are not a writer have no fear Well I take that back Have some fear but let Aickman serve it to you in little enticing doses of unease and just a hint that something isn't right though it may be; but it probably isn't unless you look at it in a certain way which you shouldn't You think I'm full of vagaries? Try Aickman The difference is that Aickman's vagaries are as carefully measured and doled out calculated really as mine are flippant and chaotic Aickman is in controlAickman is always in control


  4. says:

    Where is the masterpiece button because 5 stars are not enough Robert Aickman is criminally neglected A superb writer one of a kind really Reading Sub Rosa was a uniue reading experience I have felt the same way when I first read the work of Gene Wolfe Wolfe also blurbed Aickman's novel the model and he really liked it so the connection here is justified I don't really want to tell anything regarding the stories because i will spoil the overall experience Read it if you are into strange stories or atmospheric ghost tales The only thing that you must have in mind is that Aickman's stories need the reader's full attention because most of them are little puzzles and you don't want to lose any hints Otherwise you might not fully comprehend the meaning of the story Robert Aickman's stories are multi dimensional and work in so many ways


  5. says:

    According to a number of sources Sub Rosa is one of Robert Aickman's best works The book contains some of Aickman's longer stories Of the eight stories in the book I'll just talk about a few of them to give a taste of it Seven of the eight stories in the book concern travel or going elsewhereThe first story in the book titled Ravissante which is french for delightful or enrapturing concerns a young painter who visits the widow of a deceased painter The widow is old and ugly and uite bizarre As the woman appears to try and seduce the young painter the erotic tension and story's heat continually build as the woman's domineering commands entice the young man The story is truly creepy And what about that little dog ? The next story is The Inner Room a story that concerns a little girls doll house which houses eight or nine strange little dolls Later in life the little girl finds the house while lost in a bog and must try to seek shelter within A story about guilt neglect and the power of the unconsciousIn Never Visit Venice driven by a recurring dream the world weary Henry Fern travels to Venice in the hope of some revelation Fern discovers Venice isn't the best of places until Fern takes a gondola ride with a mysterious woman in black Aickman likes to write about characters disappointed by ordinary lifeNext we have The Unsettled Dust as close as Aickman gets to a real ghost story Mr Oxenhope works for the Historic Structures Fund which buys British country houses from their occupants and allows them to continuing living there in exchanging for maintaining the houses as museums Oxenhope meets the Brakespear sisters whose covert feuds make for a series of uncomfortable evenings and disrupt the sexual tension between the narrator and one of the sisters One night in his room he sees a mysterious figureAickmans stories are at times hard to analyze with one or two readings I read most of the stories in this volume multiple times my favorite story in the book was the last Into the Wood and was also the longest The story is about insomnia and is a story that brilliantly blurs the line between ordinary eccentricity and the supernaturalCertainly a book to seek out


  6. says:

    The first tale of the collection Ravissante tells of a curious manuscript of a painter that is being read by our protagonist upon the painter's death It tells of a strange episode in Belgium where the artist is visiting the elderly widow of one of his favorite artists The story seems to thrive on alienation between the characters nothing can be perceived until it’s too late Aickman’s prose and turn of phrases through the story create an atmosphere that is so unbelievably unsettling it’s almost hard to read on at a certain point Details present themselves after finishing this tale but they all hint at something far terrible under the surface I can actually not remember being this badly shaken by a short story before The Inner Room tells of a strange childhood gift an ornate dollhouse filled with eerie dolls but seemingly sealed There is something off about the geometry of the house a hidden room that will have some cryptic meaning for our protagonist in the future Never visit Venice has a dark pessimism lingering over it not only of the state of Venice and the tourists that are slowly ruining the city but towards life itself The protagonist seems lost within his own mediocracy and trapped within an introverted state that he seems unable to fathom Seeking consolation in the company of women he cannot seem to open himself to them either What he seeks is a dream an illusion without a clear purpose He cannot clearly see the beginning of it but there is a vague sense of familiarity over the looming dreadfulness of the ending The Unsettled Dust takes place in a curious and forgotten corner of England where two elderly sisters live in a large home immaculately kept except for the dust everywhere Here Aickman draws forth something wonderfully eerie from his keen sense of place and the notion of something unresolved in the past It struck me as poignant in the tale of a small river running through the landscape so obscure that the people who live there haven’t even heard of it There is a notion here that some people would rather forget than try to mend the ravages of time The Houses of the Russians show how masterfully Aickman played with the reader's expectations the oncoming denouement and the supernatural in his tales Here as in many of his other stories there lurks something horrifying than is let on through the narrative somehow a deeply disturbing clue that evades the reader’s attention No Stronger Than a Flowerexplores the complex expectations of a relationship Where a cruel demand is suddenly met and one part of the couple experiences a loss of control and strange new urges arise from it A makeover will bring change total change sometimes not only physically but psychically as wellIn The Ciceronesa tourist's urge to experience something holy something beyond a mere tourist attraction in a cathedral in Belgium Suddenly he finds himself trapped within something exalted in communion with something he doesn’t understand I’m not sure I understand either even upon the second reading of this eerie tale Into the Wood tells of a strange sanatorium nestled within the Swedish woods Filled with insomniacs an English housewife experiences something strange during her 2 day visit to the place It is as if the lack of sleep attunes them to something another meaning found within the labyrinthine forests that surrounds the sanatorium The strangeness that lies over Aickman’s stories is hard to shake some of them lingered with me for days in the back of my mind like a bad dream The prose is as complex and razor sharp as ever each word seems carefully placed and works perfectly together to create his uniue brand of terrifying mystery His incredible sense of place characters and strange situations cement him as one of the very greatest practitioners of the uncanny and ghostly and Sub Rosa is one of the finest short story collections I’ve come across period


  7. says:

    Robert Aickman and MR James are IMHO the finest writers of ghost stories ever and Sub Rosa includes Aickman's best work I read it in a library edition though I've got some of the stories in Aickman's superb Fontana modern collections Just as well since it costs £32


  8. says:

    I've read dozens of books of ghost stories by all the purported greats but somehow this writer has eluded me until now Aickman's stories are actually a cut above the usual as they don't ever have a moment of relying on a crutch they are atmospheric to the extreme and carry with them those gentle hints of horror which make them truly terrifying All of the stories in this collection except perhaps the slightly disappointing No Stronger than a Flower are stylistically similar in creating unsettling atmospheres of mood related to experiences to which you can relate then gently gradually draw you in with ambiguous hints that pull you back and forth This is not the forthright horror of Lovecraft or the occult devildemon based or violence filled horror you might otherwise find this is kind of like cultured horror terrifying in what it hints at rather than what it revealsThe stories all involve travel of some sort and generally a normal character although generally someone who is single and unattached with normal thoughts to which you can relate They are generally placed in situations where odd things happen very gradually and each presents a puzzle that the protagonist and the reader experiences together Some of it is maybe a little predictable but the uality of the writing is exuisite some of these stories would be excellent models for teachers of the craft The foreign settings also add to the mystery of the stories many of them are remote and all of them are interestingIt's tough to name a favorite as they each are effective in their own particular way I think perhaps The Inner Room with an abandoned dollhouse and the striking juxtaposition of the troubled family and the sentiments of the protagonist was the most psychologically complex and really rose to the level of great art The Cicerones must surely rank among the most terrifying stories ever written and to me would make an incredible short film if done rightIn all strongest recommendation for horror enthusiasts and a step up from the usual fare If you appreciate finely crafted writing ambiguity and subtlety and like to be entertained with a book you won't be able to put down a recommendation for you as well


  9. says:

    Described by someone who knows as the dreamy side of horrorI thought that genre was out of reach and with it's 200 cost it continues to be


  10. says:

    Does anyone know where I can find this book??


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