In today’s article we will discuss various forms of art which are all interconnected in that way that they deal with the macabre. For centuries, art has not been all flowers and pots that stand pretty on amazing crochet tablecloths, nor about cute children, horses or naked women (even though, there are some naked women in macabre art as well).
Macabre art is about the dark side of the human soul and it deals with the things people do not feel comfortable discussing, thinking about or talking about. The shocking part is not that these thoughts exist within every human being, but the part where they are exposed to other members of society. Surely, in the modern day and age, creating something shocking is not so shocking as it may have been in the centuries before this, still these examples of famous macabre, dark art have managed to attract audience ever since they have been created.
Edgar Allan Poe
Certainly one of the most famous American authors whose works are still widely read today is Edgar Allan Poe. The macabre, dark art of Edgar Allan Poe has touched hearts of many, namely through short stories filled with ghosts and terror, as well as some very dark poetry. Poe is best known for his interest in mysteries and macabre, and he surely made certain that his work is riddled with these topics.
Robert Louis Stevenson
This Scottish novelist, poet and travel writer wrote some of the darkest pieces of literature and thus he had left his mark in English literature. His most famous works include Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, which you are certainly familiar of. The dark topics of what lies behind a calm and educated man, have certainly penetrated through the popular literature and culture. It is a concept that has since been used in many popular culture pieces and certainly a concept that has intrigued many people around the world and across the centuries.
Dickens has lived in England in perhaps the most gruesome era where the poverty and sickness consumed London. Dickens gave his contribution as a writer and a social critic and depicted a society which was quite dark and far from perfect of idealistic. The Victorian era inspired Dickens to write about some really dark topics that have unfortunately been present in his everyday life. His characters are not idealized, but they are rather gruesomely realistic as they try to navigate their way in this difficult era.
Hardy was just like Poe quite fascinated with ghosts and spirits, he depicted this in his work. He considered himself primarily a poet, even though his novels gave him the most fame. Unfortunately, during his lifetime his poetry was not very well received, but it had an impact on Movement poets in the second half of the 20th century, such as Philip Larkin. If you are interested in his macabre poetry my suggestion is to read Thomas Hardy’s poems.