Robert W. Chambers' The King in Yellow
greatly influenced Lovecraft's
work, especially in the realm of Cosmic Terror, one that seems to have no direct "center".
This "novel" is actually a series of short stories centered around a play (or book) that, when read, drives the reader mad.
This is what Lovecraft
said about the book:
"The King in Yellow
, [is] a series of vaguely connected short stories having as a background a monstrous
and suppressed book whose perusal brings fright, madness
and spectral tragedy
Here's what one internet reviewers writes:
"The first four stories, 'The Repairer of Reputations,' 'The Mask,' 'In the Court of the Dragon,' and 'The Yellow Sign,' concern people who have come across copies of the rare and banned play. Horrific tragedy strikes all who remain sane after reading it. The middle two tales are a classic ghost story and a poetic, mystical trifle. The last four tales harken back to Chambers's first novel, revolving around the Paris student art scene but all involve some small, eerie twist."
This is an important book in the horror genre and, as such, it has had a tremendous impact upon the development and current perception of horror writing.
I hope you enjoy it.
P.S.: (Don't let some of "prefatory" material in French -- one or two short paragraphs - turn you off of this eerie collections of stories.)
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