Supernatural fiction

Supernatural fiction

Supernatural fiction is a classification of literature used to describe fiction exploiting or requiring as plot devices or themes some contradictions of the commonplace natural world and materialist assumptions about it. It includes the traditional ghost story, and was propelled to prominence in Europe by the eighteenth century explosion of popular Gothic fiction.Fact|date=August 2008

Most but not all supernatural fiction would be taken to be genre fiction;Fact|date=August 2008 "The Turn of the Screw" by Henry James is an example of a work of literary fiction that is also largely concerned with supernatural fiction elements, making play of the possibility that they are psychological at root, but requiring the option that they are not for effect.

A great deal of supernatural fiction was written in the century up to 1950Fact|date=August 2008, then lost popularity.Fact|date=August 2008 The newer genres of horror fiction and fantasy fiction, growing out of some of the basic propositions and generic conventions, to a certain extent replaced it.

Some examples of the genre include:

*Shirley Jackson's "The Haunting of Hill House"
*Richard Matheson's "Hell House"
*Stephen King's "Bag of Bones" and "The Shining"
*M. R. James's "Ghost Stories of an Antiquary"
*Sheridan Le Fanu's "In a Glass Darkly"

Supernatural fiction continues to be a staple of comic book and graphic novel writing, and the basis for film.


Further reading

*"The Supernatural in Fiction" (1952) Peter Penzoldt

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