Horror as Revelation | Some thoughts on Adam Nevill’s ‘Hasty for the Dark.’


Stephen J. Clark | Art & Writing

While reading Adam Nevill’s collection of macabre tales Hasty for the Dark I was reminded of a conclusion I’d reached about horror fiction; that at its best it borders on satire and particularly that peculiar offshoot of satire; the Grotesque. Like the renowned masks of comedy and tragedy the tradition of satire has always had another face besides parody; for what makes us laugh is never that far from what also troubles us. Satire as a tradition also taps the rich vein of human monstrosity and pathos at the margins where sanity deserts us and life’s edges distort into absurdity, dream logic and nightmare vision. Being a mutation from the same roots as Grand Guignol, horror fiction holds up a distorting mirror to society and the human condition to show us in acts of revelation the nightmares hidden within. And it is these acts of revelation that partly characterise the…

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