Dram – Litmas JD McPherson – Every Single Christmas Margo Guyen – I Don’t Intend to Spend Christmas Without You Josh Rouse – Sleigh Brother Bill Sufjan Stevens – Put the Lights on the Tree Bailen – Christmas is All Around Hoodoo Gurus – Tojo The Magnetic Fields – Everything is One Big Christmas Tree Sia – Santa’s Coming for Us New Order – Rocking Carol The Regrettes – Marshmallow World James Brown – Santa Claus go Straight to the Ghetto Justine Skye – Eyes for You Satan’s Pilgrims – Feliz Navidad Livingmore – Show me Light and Love Jagged Jaw – Pink Xmas Tree Beach Boys – Little Saint Nick (Alternate Version) Tralala – Holiday Hearts Cocteau Twins – Winter Wonderland Redtenbacher’s Funkestra – Deck the Halls The Duke Spirit – Melt by the Morning The Grip Weeds – God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen The Silhouettes – Under the Mistletoe The Oh Hellos – Every Bell on Earth Will Ring
"The Empty House" is a famous ghost story by the British author Algernon Blackwood. The short story was first collected in the 1906 anthology The Empty House and Other Stories.
In the story, a man accompanies his adventurous aunt to a notorious house where, a century ago, a servant was murdered by her jealous suitor. As the two visitors spend the night exploring the dark, empty rooms, it becomes more and more apparent that the house has not forgotten the old tragedy.
A popular, classic haunted-house story, "The Empty House" can be found in many anthologies.
In the wilderness north of Rat Portage in Northwestern Ontario, two Scotsmen – divinity student
Simpson and his uncle, Dr. Cathcart, an author of a book on collective hallucination – are on a moose-hunting trip with guides Hank Davis and the wilderness-loving French "Canuck", Joseph Défago.
While their Indian cook, Punk, stays to tend the main camp, the others split up into two hunting-parties; Dr. Cathcart goes with Hank, while Défago guides Simpson in a canoe down the river to explore the vast territory beyond.
Simpson and Défago make camp, and it soon becomes clear that Défago senses – or at least thinks he senses – some strange and fearful odour on the wind. That night, Simpson wakes to find Défago cowering in terror from something outside the tent. Later Défago runs off into the night, forcing Simpson to go and look for him. He follows his footprints in the snow for many miles, realising that Défago’s are not the only set of tracks. The larger set of footprints are not human, and gradually it seems that Défago’s own tracks have metamorphosed into smaller versions of the larger set. Eventually, both sets of tracks vanish, and Simpson believes he hears Défago’s distant voice calling out from somewhere in the sky above:
Oh! oh! This fiery height! Oh, my feet of fire! My burning feet of fire …!
Simpson finally manages to make his way back to the main camp, where he is reunited with the others. Dr. Cathcart and Hank go back with him to search for Défago, and when camping once more out in the wilderness, Défago – or some hideous parody of Défago – appears before them before vanishing once again into the night.
Conflicted and disturbed about what they have witnessed, they return to the main camp to find that Défago – the real Défago this time – has made his own way back, suffering from delirium, exposure, and frostbite. The poor guide dies soon after, and the three men are left in a state of bafflement and uncertainty about what has occurred. Punk alone could have explained it to them, but he fled home as soon as he caught the terrible odour that Défago carried with him. As an Indian, he instantly understood that Défago had seen the Wendigo.
"The Wood of the Dead" is a short story by British author, Algernon Blackwood, included in the collection "The Empty House and Other Ghost Stories".
He slowly turned bewildered, heavy eyes upon the desolate mountains, stared dizzily about him, tried to rise. At first his muscles would not act; a numbing, aching pain possessed him. He uttered a long, thin cry for help, and heard its faintness swallowed by the wind. And then he understood vaguely why he was only warm-not dead. For this very wind that took his cry had built up a sheltering mound of driven snow against his body while he slept. Like a curving wave it ran beside him. It was the breaking of its over-toppling edge that caused the crash, and the coldness of the mass against his neck that woke him.
A narrator attempts to convince the reader to burn the book they’re currently reading, but eventually reluctantly agrees to tell his story, and introduces himself as a lesser demon named Jakabok Botch, who lived a traumatised childhood in Hell, especially due to his brutish, physically abusive demon of a father. To prevent himself from losing his mind, Jakabok decides to write violent, hate-filled papers in which he commits torture and patricide.
After Jakabok accidentally and severely burns himself, his father finds out about the journal and threatens to kill Jakabok, who flees until he is captured by a magical fishing net, which hauls him into the human world. Jakabok finds himself in 14th century Europe, where he has a series of often comical adventures, sometimes as a lone traveler and sometimes in partnership with a more experienced and powerful demon he befriends.
Jakabok reveals the means by which he became imprisoned in the book. Finding Heaven and Hell locked in combat over Johaannes Gutenberg’s first printing press, he then discovers them secretly meeting to determine how Heaven and Hell will divide the rights to various forms of publication. Discovering Jakabok eavesdropping, they use the press to turn him into the book.
Throughout the story, Jakabok repeatedly tries to get the reader to burn the book, first by asking, then by pleading, then bribery, and finally by threatening. After realizing that the reader is heartless and cold, he gives up on asking, and reveals that doing so would have set him free to kill the reader. He ends the book by suggesting that the reader give the book to someone they hate, and warns them to be cautious, as they now know the secret Heaven and Hell sought to keep by imprisoning him.
Profundity wedded to supreme style characterizes the dazzling philosophical essays of E. M. Cioran. The Fall into Time is the second of this Rumanian-born writer’s books to be translated into English, and it cannot but enhance his growing reputation in the English-speaking world as a modern philosophical writer of the first rank.
Who other than E. M. Cioran could write: "Whatever his merits, a man in good health is always disappointing." Or: "Nature has been generous to none but those she has dispensed from thinking about death." Or again: "If each of us were to confess his most secret desire, the one that inspires all his plans, all his actions, he would say: ’ I want to be praised.’ "
Cioran has been variously described as a skeptic, a pessimist, an existentialist. But none of these labels quite fits. Cioran’s is a unique voice, one that comes - elegantly, ironically, pointedly - out of the void to describe the modern predicament with an almost excruciating sharpness. "Our determination," he writes, "to banish the irregular, the unexpected, and the misshapen from the human landscape verges on indecency; that certain tribesmen still choose to devour their surplus elders is doubtless deplorable, but I cannot conclude that such picturesque sybarites must be exterminated; after all, cannibalism is a model closed economy, as well as a practice likely to appeal, some day, to an overpopulated planet."
Susan Sontag has declared E. M. Cioran to be "the most distinguished figure writing today in the tradition of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Wittgenstein." St.-John Perse, the Nobel prize-winning poet, has hailed him as "one of the greatest French writers to honor our language since the death of Paul Valery."
The Fall into Time brilliantly continues what Cioran himself has called an "autobiography” in the form of his thoughts. The book has been translated by Richard Howard, winner of the 1970 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry.
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