Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Hearn, Lafcadio

(1850-1904) Greek-born US translator and writer who lived in Japan from 1891, and whose work – almost all Supernatural Fiction – can generate a feeling of fantasy through the sense it conveys that Ghosts in Japan and China are inherently part of the literal Landscape. LH's early work, which tends to melancholic prose poetry, appears in Fantastics (coll 1914 US), a posthumous assemblage, and in Some Chinese Ghosts (coll 1887). His most mature work, composed with a delicate sinewy spareness, was assembled in Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things (coll 1904 US); some of the tales included, like "The Dream of Akinosuk" (1904), in which a man enters a kind of Time in Faerie after drinking some wine, is fantasy of very strong interest. Much of LH's work constitutes Twice-Told versions of Japanese Folktales; four of these Ghost Stories were filmed as Kwaidan (1964). [JC]

other works: In Ghostly Japan (coll 1899 US); Shadowings (coll 1900 US); A Japanese Miscellany (coll 1901 US); The Romance of the Milky Way and Other Studies and Stories (coll 1905 US); Karma and Other Stories (coll 1921 UK); The Selected Writings of Lafcadio Hearn (coll 1949 US), which is very thorough.

Patricio Lafcadio Tessima Carlos Hearn


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.