Well, today I thought we'd consider some of Shirley Jackson's fiction (although it should be noted she did write other novels besides her most well-known titles, The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived In the Castle, and many short stories besides "The Lottery").
I should probably just open by saying I loved The Haunting of Hill House. I remember finding We Have Always Lived In the Castle interesting, too, but there was something about Hill House that blew me away. Perhaps it was knowing more about Jackson and being in awe of her breadth of writing talent:
"No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute relaity; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more." (p. 5.)
I love the way, BOOM, that drops you right into the story AND the mood. In two sentences. Awesome.
So, two questions today:
1. Why do you think these novels endure as "classics"?
2. If they are not typically "scary," as commenters have pointed out, why are THOHH and WHALITC (and "The Lottery," to an extent) classified as "horror"?