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Horror genre in Europe and America

Horror genre developed in almost all forms of art, especially in Europe and America. The eighteen frescoes paintings of Francesco Goya in 1819 are famous as Black Paintings made in horror themes after the invasion of France in Spain.” Symphonie Fantastique” by Hector Berlioz the very next year got extraordinary popularity among audiences for its grotesque imagery and shocking sound effects, the movement was entitled as “Dream of a witch s Sabbath” and “March to the Scaffold”.

The alienated mass audiences of early industrialized society received a more gory and visceral form of horror literature and art. The cheap entertainment by Penny Dreadful became popular among them both in the form of books and stage dramas. The calendar of Horrors in the 1830s by Thomas Prest profoundly influenced the horror genre also his “The Demon Barber”, and “Sweeney Todd” was the most famous of the time.  Behind the most famous in the horror genre “Dracula” by Bram Stoker, was James Malcolm Rymer; s works “Varney the Vampire” and “The Feast of Blood”.

Robert Browning’s “The Ring and the Book” published in 1868 based on a contemporary criminal’s narrative, who killed his wife, is the longest poem on horror theme in English literature. Later in the year 1872, “Camilla” in “Through a Glass Darkly” by Le Fanu dismantled the gothic artifices and brought the horror and supernatural elements into day-to-day life stories disregarding the conventional gothic trappings.

Another real story-based poetry work “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyl and Hyde” appeared in 1885 and got immense success with the audiences. “Jack the Ripper” in the meanwhile in England contributed to the horror genre with another prototype of Ripper-based stories which was not used again until 1913 in “The Lodger” by Belloc Lowndes.

The works of Ambrose Bierce such as “Can Such Things Be” comprised gothic novelty stories that gave modernity to the conventional ghosts in literature. Science, fiction, and horror were blended in “War of the Worlds” by H.G Wells in 1898 and proved to contemporary readers as a gothic source of anxiety and fear. Horror short stories replaced novels quickly by the first decade of the 20th century.

The world-famous “The Willows” was first published in 1907 in “The Listener” a collection of short stories by Algernon Blackwood. The horror genre faded out of literature by the second decade when the members of the Order of the Golden Dawn, a society of writers marked an end to the great era of horror writing in the UK. However, between the 1930s and 1960s, Dennis Wheatley worked enormously on thrill horror fiction. The genre was revoked later between the 1970s and 1980s.

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