A cartoon which appeared a number of years ago in The New Yorker depicts the workshop of a medieval sculptor. In the foreground sits the somewhat tipsy-looking artist chipping away at a monstrous gargoyle, and throughout the shop are other figures of gargoyles, griffins, and chimeras in various stages of completion. Behind the sculptor stands his perplexed patron who is asking: ‘Where do you get your ideas?’ This study has in essence asked that question about a variety of works in twentieth-century fiction. How account for the grotesque as a perennial strain in the human imagination, and how account for its particular prevalence in much of this century’s best fiction, and for the variegated forms it has there assumed?
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- 3.Jakov Lind, Counting My Steps (London: Macmillan, 1969) p. 206. Lind was himself an avid creator of grotesques in his small, very strange body of fiction.Google Scholar