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HORROR d'OEUVRE

December 09, 1990

I am becoming increasingly annoyed with the Book Review's attitude toward horror and supernatural literature. As of this writing, Stephen King's "Four Past Midnight" has yet to be reviewed. Dean Koontz's last novel was allotted only a capsule summary. The work of most horror writers is not granted any space at all.

The Book Review editors seem to be operating on the outdated assumption that horror fiction possesses no literary merit, perpetuating the anti-intellectual belief that artistic excellence can be predetermined by subject matter. The smug pretentiousness of this illiterate attitude denies many of today's most challenging writers the attention they deserve and denies the Times' readers access to intelligent commentary on horror literature.

If you are too intellectually insecure to allow full reviews of major works in the horror genre, if you so fear the opinion of academia that you are unwilling to go out on a limb and feature criticism of supernatural fiction, at least let horror coexist with mysteries in your "Bloody Sunday" column.

Don't continue to ignore such an important aspect of the contemporary book scene.

BENTLEY LITTLE

FULLERTON

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