I've been reading George Meredith's 1855 oriental fantasy novel, The Shaving of Shagpat, tonight. Found myself thinking that it'd be interesting to see what other books are as strange and as "magical" as this one. Or if there are dark, twisted works that rival those of Horace Walpole, Ann Radcliffe, "Monk" Lewis, or even more recent writers like Clark Ashton Smith or H.P. Lovecraft.
What sorts of works do you know of that would be good, strange, excellent imaginative fictions? They don't all have to be obscure, older works, but perhaps it might be best to avoid naming generic post-Tolkien epic fantasies here. Please share!
I've been going through that list in the seven months since then and there are quite a few gems there. Just hoping a reposting might get even more books of the imagination (especially those of a darker, more surrealist or "weird" bent) listed. In most cases, the original language won't matter, as I can read English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and French (in order of reading fluency) with little need for a parallel translation or dictionary to consult and my German has improved somewhat in the past four months, if not quite back to the level it was in 1997 when I was reading it with little need for translations or dictionaries. I will be very grateful for any titles listed (be sure to check the link to make sure there aren't many redundancies) and might review some of these here in the coming months.
Final note: Am nearly 150 pages into Michel Tournier's Le Roi des Aulnes and this is verging on brilliant. More like this, please!