Daria Denisova


The article addresses the evolution and transformation of Weird Fiction in Anglophone 20th- and 21st- century literature. The first part is devoted to the question of genre, placing Weird Fiction within the fantastic genre and discussing its defining characteristics in contrast to those of fantasy, science-fiction and the Gothic novel. The second part reviews the three major stages in the development of Weird Fiction: its establishment in the Old Weird tradition of the 1880–1940s; the transformation of the Old Weird model in the 1940–1990s and the making of the New Weird movement in the 1990–2000s. Old Weird is viewed in the paper as a type of atmospheric literature aimed at achieving a single effect of ontological horror and unease on the reader through a short story mode. It is argued that the hallmarks of Old Weird are visionary sensibility and attention to detail despite general disregard for the plot and novel, primarily tentacular, teratology. The transformation of the Old Weird cannon is attributed to the influence of F. Kafka, M. Peake, the New Wave writers and naturalistic horror in the 1940–1990s. Its focal aspects are seen to include a new approach to plot-building (later exemplified in “the surrender to the Weird” principle), a shift from writing short stories to novels, exploration of surreal visionary sensibility and introduction of social and political agenda of the real world into the fictional worlds. The current state of Weird Fiction – New Weird – is defined as an eclectic type of literature which utilizes and subverts the tropes of science-fiction, fantasy, magical realism, surrealism and horror to achieve the estrangement effect necessary to interpret the real world inferences in the weird reality of New Weird fiction.

Ключові слова

Weird Fiction, Old Weird, New Weird, contemporary Anglophone literature.

Повний текст:



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Цей твір ліцензовано за ліцензією Creative Commons Із Зазначенням Авторства 4.0 Міжнародна.