Civilized behavior is not instinctive. Ecstatic nightmares and infernal miracles undermine the comforts and hopes of our oridinary existence. But, infernal or supernal, Machen's extraordinary prose evokes the grace and hell of life with equal facility, and freshens our eyes and hearts.
H. P. Lovecraft declared Arthur Machen (1863-1947) to be a modern master who could create "cosmic fear raised to its most artistic pitch." This second volume of his work contains the short novel A Fragment of Life, ten short stories including a rarely seen abridgement, "The Coming of the Terror" and the superb title story, "The White People". Ornaments of Jade, a much praised set of prose-poems, completes the volume.