Saturday, October 20, 2007

Mark E Smith: Big Arthur Machen Fan

Just been perusing a copy of Machenalia, the newsletter of the Friends of Arthur Machen edited by Gwilym Games. It's a great read and as you might expect it's wall to wall Machen info. What's evident is that the Welsh horror writer continues to exert an influence on the cult cognoscenti. For example Machenalia points to an interview in The Independent (Feb 22, 2007) given by singer Mark E Smith. Turns out incurable curmudgeon Smith is a big fan of the Welsh writer:

"I used to be in the Machen society... Been a fan since I was 16. Fanatical and all. He's one of the best horror writers ever. MR James is good, but Machen's fucking brilliant. Wrote the first drug story, The Novel of the White Powder. Before Crowley, all of them. Have you read The Great God Pan? Terrifying."

Referring to Machen's work in general he continues: "It's like another world. Goes to all these places, like, 'this is where the working class hang out, this is where the dandies hang out... I went in this pub, a bloke comes in with a knife in his back'. Like, the real occult's in the pubs of the East End. In the stinking boats of the Thames, not in Egypt. It's on your doorstep mate. Strikes a chord with me."

Apparently Machenalia are hoping to publish a definitive account of the connections between The Fall and Machen in a future edition.