"WHEN THE CANNOT BECOMES THE SHOULD-NOT": DASHIELL HAMMETT'S 1931 ANTHOLOGY OF WEIRD HORROR, CREEPS BY NIGHT, FEATURING FAULKNER, LOVECRAFT AND OTHERS
HAMMETT, Dashiell, editor. (FAULKNER, William; LOVECRAFT, H.P., et al.). Creeps by Night. Chills and Thrills Selected by Dashiell Hammett. New York: John Day, 1931. Octavo, original black cloth, original dust jacket. $2500.
First edition of this anthology of weird horror, selected by Dashiell Hammett, including first book appearances of "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner and "The Music of Erich Zann" by H.P. Lovecraft.
"This business of making the reader feel that what cannot happen can and should not is a tremendously difficult one for the author… Usually all the most skilled author can hope for are some shivers of apprehension as his reader feels himself led towards the thing that cannot happen and the culminant shudder as he feels that the cannot has become the should-not. This shudder is almost always momentary, almost never duplicated" (Hammett's Introduction). This anthology of 20 tales—"none of which has ever before appeared in book form"—includes William Faulkner's classic horror story, "A Rose for Emily" and "The Music of Erich Zann" by the master of weird horror, H.P. Lovecraft. Also includes tales by Donald Wandrei (friend and protégé of Lovecraft, co-founder of the prestigious fantasy/horror publishing company Arkham House), Frank Belknap Long (another friend of Lovecraft, he went on to contribute stories set in the Cthulhu mythos), Ian Fleming's older brother Peter, prolific thriller writer Philip MacDonald, German horror pioneer Hanns Heinz Ewers' classic "The Spider," occultist—and cannibal—William Seabrook's tale "The Witch's Vengeance," S. Fowler Wright's "The Rat," Conrad Aiken's "Mr. Arcularis," and Stephen Vincent Benét's oft-anthologized "The King of the Cats"—anthologized here for the first time.
Book near-fine, scarce original dust jacket some chipping and edge-wear, including a large chip to rear panel, very good.