O'Sullivan: Master of the Fallen Years
May 7, 2012 11:29 AM   Subscribe

"As the Nazis approached Paris, the American Colony broke camp & abandoned the city like rats from a sinking ship. Behind them they left a frail, elderly, impoverished, homeless Irish-American who, as a young man, had been an heir to wealth, a close friend to Beardsley & Wilde, & the only important American in the 1890s Aesthetic movement of England & France. He was Vincent O'Sullivan, one of the world's great authors of horror fiction..."

O'Sullivan's works online:

-The Good Girl (Reckoned by the admittedly idiosyncratic John Cowper Powys to be the 97th Best Book ever.)

Short Stories:
-A Book of Bargains
-Human Affairs
-The Houses of Sin
-"The Interval"
-"Master of Fallen Years"

-"On the Kind of Fiction Called Morbid"

Decadent Prose Poem Monologues:
-The Green Window

(The quoted article is from Jessica Amanda Salmonson's fantastic series of weird fiction essays and reviews, last seen on Metafilter in 2003.
posted by Iridic (9 comments total) 69 users marked this as a favorite
Why have I never heard of this bloke before? No matter; he's on my Kindle now.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:35 AM on May 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

And on my Nook as soon as I get home. :)
posted by Celsius1414 at 11:45 AM on May 7, 2012

And on my axe!

(seriously, fantastic post.)
posted by vorfeed at 11:49 AM on May 7, 2012 [9 favorites]

That Salmonson essay is brilliant, with an easy mastery of very obscure material such as I've rarely encountered, and a fully developed almost pre-Augustan prose style that reminds me of no one else.
posted by jamjam at 12:07 PM on May 7, 2012

What everybody else said. Why hadn't I heard of Sullivan or Salmonson before?
posted by MartinWisse at 12:25 PM on May 7, 2012


WHEN winds scream round the corners damp and chilly,
And clouds of rain blot out the gas lamp's flare,
While lean faced pale eyed men take stand and glare,
Upon the sin soiled floor of Piccadilly,
And harlots of the pavement fling their silly
Maniac laughter in their great despair--
Sweet Drug! 'tis thou who draw'st me thence to where
Sways languidly the dew embroidered lily.

Light up the dusky cavems of my soul,
Light up the dead oppressive days and shine,
Miraculous life giver! where the scroll
Of hours is spent and charred: ah, come and twine
Thy soft arms round me! Now let tempests roll;
The pageant of thy spirit blends with mine.

posted by telstar at 1:15 PM on May 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

I thought this was going to be about Ronnie winning the snooker.
posted by marienbad at 1:47 PM on May 7, 2012

Salmonson writes a helluvan essay herself.
posted by Twang at 2:05 PM on May 7, 2012

Yes, this does seem awesome.

Side note: I'm...um, admittedly idiosyncratic... but I wish I was in the type who had a 97th favorite book.

Another side note, I just got around to reading the links from a folder that I had marked LAST YEAR in Instapaper as "Iridic philosophy post" (thanks to my relatively new Kindle meaning I'm actually reading the things I always said I'd read later), and now you're filling it up again. Thanks!
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:12 AM on May 8, 2012

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