The Green Book: Writings On The Irish Gothic, Supernatural & Fantastic Wanted

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Brian J Showers

The Green Book: Writings on Irish Gothic, Supernatural and Fantastic Literature is edited by Brian J. Showers, published by the Swan River Press, and is currently seeking submissions.

“To my young fellow-countrymen, at home and in exile, in the cottage and the mansion, amidst the green fields and in the crowded cities, soon to be the men of Ireland, I dedicate this little book . . . ”

– Alexander M. Sullivan, The Story of Ireland (1883)

Aimed at a general readership and published twice-yearly, The Green Book is a print journal that features commentaries, articles, and reviews on Irish gothic, supernatural and fantastic literature. Brian explains:

The journal’s inception arose from a series of questions that I’ve long pondered and often asked others: Is there a tradition — a traceable pedigree or lineage of dialogue — in Irish fantastic literature? And if so, in what way might it be defined? How has it developed over the centuries? What are the connections, if any, between the writings of Charles Maturin and Elizabeth Bowen? Or Charlotte Riddell and Mervyn Wall? And what can be said of Irish literary sensibilities carried abroad in the writings of expatriate authors — and let’s face it, there’s a lot of them — as they encountered new ideas and cultures? Fitz-James O’Brien emigrated to New York where he joined the Bohemian set, Bram Stoker spent half of his life in England working for Sir Henry Irving, while Lafcadio Hearn ended up in Tokyo (by way of everywhere else). Is there an underlying gestalt — something between these lives and between their lines — that unifies these authors?

Maybe these are naïve questions. On the other hand, Ireland has made monolithic contributions to the fantastic genres, contributions the effects of which have resounded far beyond these shores — and indeed echoed back. Who can deny Maturin’s final word on the Gothic with Melmoth the Wanderer? Or the effects that Stoker’s Dracula had (and, good lord, still has!) on the horror genre? And what serious purveyor of fantasy isn’t aware of Lord Dunsany’s sublime novel The King of Elfland’s Daughter? Certainly there’s something here to talk about. The Green Book‘s mission is, I hope, a simple one: to provide a venue in which to explore the wider idea of the Irish gothic, supernatural, and fantastic in literature.

Naturally, the notion of “Irish” means a great many things to as many people; and so as with this modern nation of Ireland, I think we will best be served by a far-reaching definition of inclusion.

Certainly favourites such as Bram Stoker and John Connolly will come to mind, but hopefully The Green Book also will serve as a pathway to Ireland’s other notable fantasists: like Fitz-James O’Brien, Mrs. Riddell, Lafcadio Hearn, William Allingham, J.S. Le Fanu, Cheiro, Harry Clarke, Dorothy Macardle, Lord Dunsany, Elizabeth Bowen, C.S. Lewis, Mervyn Wall, Conor McPherson . . . and this list is by no means exhaustive.

The Green Book is now seeking contributions. Anyone interested in taking an active role in our dialogue is invited to contact the editor (brian@swanriverpress.ie) to discuss proposals for articles or reviews. We also strongly urge that you first familiarise yourself with an issue or two of The Green Book. (Please note that we do not publish fiction.)

The subject proposed, be it an author or a work, must in some way be directly connected to Ireland. We are looking for scholarly, readable and informative pieces that are not bogged down by excessive jargon. Reviews should be both critical and insightful. Please try to avoid footnotes; citations and references should be worked into the text. Articles should be between 3,000-5,000 words; reviews up to 1,000 words. Payment will be in complimentary copies of the journal.

For more information check out http://www.swanriverpress.ie/greenbook.html

(c) Brian J Showers

About the author

Brian J. Showers has written short stories, articles, inter­views, and reviews for magazines and journals such as Rue Morgue, Wormwood, All Hallows, Ghosts & Scholars, Dead Reckonings, and Le Fanu Studies. His collection The Bleeding Horse won the Children of the Night Award in 2008. He is also the author of Literary Walking Tours of Gothic Dublin (Nonsuch 2006) and Old Albert (Ex Occidente 2011); and, with Gary W. Crawford and Jim Rock­hill, he co-edited the Stoker Award-nominated Reflections in a Glass Darkly: Essays on J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Hippocampus 2011).

From Dublin, he runs The Swan River Press and edits The Green Book, writings on Irish gothic, supernatural and fantastic literature. brianjshowers.com

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