T.E.D. Klein and the Rupture of Civilization

A Study in Critical Horror


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About the Book

Lauded by critics yet largely unappreciated by fans of horror and “weird fiction,” T.E.D. Klein is considered one of the great horror writers, despite his scant body of work. His prose blends the mundane and the supernatural, conjuring the monstrous and the malign with accessible but charged discourse that breaks with the formulaic entries in the genre. Exploring a range of topics from religious fundamentalism and right wing extremism to fashionable pessimism and the rise of “digital humanities,” the author argues that Klein’s work is a prime example of what he terms “critical horror,” a distinct subgenre that entertains while questioning individual and cultural complacency.

About the Author(s)

Thomas Phillips is an academic living in Raleigh, North Carolina. In addition to novels and story collections, he has written two previous scholarly monographs. He is known internationally as a composer of minimal electronic music.

Bibliographic Details

Thomas Phillips
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 196
Bibliographic Info: appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7028-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2937-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Introduction: “Sabbats likely” 1
1. “The Weird Tradition of America” 9
2. Events and Ceremonies 34
3. White, Black and Other People: “Children of the
Kingdom” and “Black Man with a Horn” 65
4. Sorceries of ­Self-Negation: “Petey” and “Nadelman’s God” 81
5. Goosebumps and the Haunting Conscience 97
6. “We are not saved”: Critical Horror Today 116
Appendix I—Reassuring Words: An Interview with T.E.D. Klein 155
Appendix II—The Singular Ceremonies 165
Chapter Notes 175
Bibliography 181
Index 185