The True Literary Legacy of Bierce

The True Literary Legacy of Bierce



I do not think that Ambrose Bierce is given his proper due for the contribution he has made to the American literary psyche. You might say that he was the first American to scout that special landscape that has come to be known in our times as ‘The Twilight Zone’ or ‘The Outer Limits’. He certainly captured the essence of this thing I call the ‘Empire of the Wheel’.
Though the point of much of this book is to explore a literal association of the legendary author to the San Bernardino mystery milieu, it is the literary trail of Ambrose Bierce along which we find the essence of this territory to where I myself have repeatedly returned. To understand the San Bernardino Valley’s hidden dimension is to understand Carcosa.

Weird Fiction

The history of weird fiction dates back into ancient times, from mythological sagas to medieval fairy tales. The term only became popular relative to early 20th Century pulp literature but weird fiction has been with us since Perseus ventured into Medusa’s chamber and Odysseus went into the Underworld. However, we are concerned with the 19th Century figure, Ambrose Bierce.
Lovecraft wrote: “A certain atmosphere of breathless and unexplainable dread of outer, unknown forces must be present; and there must be a hint, expressed with seriousness and portentousness becoming its subject of that most terrible conception of the human brain—a malign and particular suspension or defeat of those fixed laws of nature which are our only safeguard against the assaults of chaos and the daemons of unplumbed space.”
This well describes the state of emotion in which he who travels through the mystery of San Bernardino finds himself. Indeed, Lovecraft may have captured this Inland Empire valley itself in those words. He certainly bottled the essence of a journey through Carcosa.
What is this ‘Carcosa’?
To any writer of strange tales, true or imaginative, Carcosa is the measure of all things. It is deeper into the twilight than even Rod Serling ventured. It is the frontier never tamed and Ambrose Bierce was the first in American literary ranks to give it a name. We will return to Carcosa as concept again but for now let’s stay on the present track.
An “Inhabitant of Carcosa” was written by Ambrose Bierce and first published on Christmas Day of 1886 in the San Francisco News Letter, the paper founded by Frederick Marriott, the airship builder. Essentially, it is the story of a man who awakes from a deep slumber induced by an illness to find himself in an odd and unknown landscape. As the man encounters an owl, a lynx and then another man carrying a torch, he adjusts to the reality that he can see everything as though it were daytime yet it is indeed night. With a nod to Dickens, the man finds an abandoned burial ground and there lies his own grave, beyond which lie the ruins of a lost and ancient city – his homeland Carcosa. In the end, we are told that this sojourn was related psychically by a spirit medium named Bayrolles, via the ghost of one ‘Hoseib Alar Robardin’.

A simple enough tale that seems familiar, and certainly must have to readers of the 19th Century classic A Christmas Carol. However, there is more than meets the eye to the Bierce variation. Let’s dissect the elements and see what we find.

Here She Comes…

Interested in more??? Get your copy of Secret Missions 3: Destination Carcosa by Walter Bosley today!!

2 thoughts on “The True Literary Legacy of Bierce

  1. Clare Kuehn says:

    Walter, I’m the person who recommended regarding Grail and North America and Samuel de Champlain. I can resend, but I am contacting you re. Mulvey Point USA massive platforms at top of canyon, under topsoil edges falling into canyon. New discovery. Trying to find a way to contact you. Here is the link. I wrote to everyone major on topic and it’s so wild (like Bosnian pyramids you recently covered and Antarctica pyramids pictures), that no one could face it or got back to me.

    Please also share with Dr Osmanagich.

    Feel free to write to me. I can’t find you on Twitter and searching on your Website, here, found no Contact page.

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