The Glamour of Snow by Algernon Blackwood
Tuesday’s Tale of Terror March 1, 2016
Is it still winter? Are glittery snowflakes falling outside your window? Softy passing, softly gathering. Let’s say you believe in snow beings and witchery. Let’s say you fall for the intoxicating world of silent snow and moonlight. What would you find?
Come meet Hibbert, a lonely writer who takes a few weeks in the Valais Alps, near Lake Geneva, to write his book.
In the mind of Hibbert, he recognizes three worlds: the tourists’ existence full of social life; the peasants’ village life of simple joys, and the mysterious spells of Nature. One night he goes skating alone on a beautiful pond, iced white like enamel. The wind is bitter clean. The sky is heavenly …
‘And then, midway in the delight of rushing movement, he saw a figure gliding behind the wire netting, watching him … But her face he never properly saw.’
The figure vanishes of course. She remains a haunting in his mind. Until Hibbert returns to the snow-crusted forests.
‘And then he saw her. She stood there waiting in a little clear space of shining snow, dressed all in white, part of the moonlight and the glistening background, her slender figure just discernible.
“I waited, for I knew you would come,” the silvery little voice of windy beauty floated down to him. “You _had_ to come.”
“I’m ready,” he answered, “I knew it too.” ‘
Do you believe in snow beings and witchery? Believe with Hibbert and enter into a deep reality of the weight of snow, ice, all that magical white powering Nature.
You can read this story online at ReadBookOnline.net.
Listen to the audio version on YouTube.com.
Algernon Blackwood is one of the most prolific ghost writers. Born in Kent, England, during a winter’s March of 1869, he died in December 1951. I can’t help notice how winter acted as bookends during his life span, especially since so many of his stories are about cold rural and wild locations. This is what he says about the supernatural:
“My fundamental interest, I suppose, is signs and proofs of other powers that lie hidden in us all; the extension, in other words, of human faculty. So many of my stories, therefore, deal with extension of consciousness; speculative and imaginative treatment of possibilities outside our normal range of consciousness. … Also, all that happens in our universe is natural; under Law; but an extension of our so limited normal consciousness can reveal new, extra-ordinary powers etc., and the word “supernatural” seems the best word for treating these in fiction. I believe it possible for our consciousness to change and grow, and that with this change we may become aware of a new universe.” (Peter Penzoldt’s The Supernatural in Fiction (1952)
Visit Algernon Blackwood’s web site at AlgernonBlackwood.org.
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Rob Around Books The Story Reading Ape Blog
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6 responses to “Snow Beings and Witchery”
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One of my favorite Blackwood Stories from one of my fave authors! 🙂
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Agree! Blackwood beats the best of them. I like his thought that in the supernatural we may “become aware of a new universe.”
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To date I’ve only read three of Blackwood’s stories (including The Willows and The Wendigo) but this one sounds like one I’d like. It would be perfect wintertime reading too, if one’s soul is brave enough…
Great quotation of his view on the supernatural too.
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Loved The Willows. Blackwood never disappoints me. I’m not sure why but I literally sink into his fiction. What a writer! Thanks for your comment, Jay.