by Stefan Grabinski
'...reading The Dark Domain by Stephan Grabinski is such a revelatory experience. Because here is a writer for whom supernatural horror is manifest precisely in modernity - in electricity, fire-stations, trains:the uncanny as the bad conscience of today. Sometimes Grabinski is known as the Polish Poe but this is misleading. Where Poe's horror is agonised, a kind of extended shriek, Grabinski's is cerebral, investigative. His protagonists are tortured and aghast, but not because they suffer at the caprice of Lovecraftian blind idiot gods: Grabinski's universe is strange and its principles are perhaps not what we expect, but they are principles - rules- and it is in their exploration that the mystery lies. This is horror as rigour.'
"Poland's strong Catholic faith engendered in its literature a lively awareness of the Devil and a love of the supernatural and the fantastic. These stories are explorations of the extreme in human behaviour, where the bizarre chills the spine, and few authors can match Grabinski's depiction of seething sexual frenzy. The Dark Domain will introduce to English readers one of Europe's most important authors of literary fantasy."
"Dedalus have unearthed a series of aptly decadent titles where elements erotic and grotesque combine. The Dark Domain is a collection of psycho-fantasies, doom-saturated tales of lonely men lost in hostile terrain, but the East European melancholy lifts to provide wonderful odd scenes, like the watchmaker whose death stops all the town clocks and the phantom train that always turns up unannounced, surprising the station staff."