presentism revisited

A follow-up to my recent post on a certain variety of chronological snobbery: I see that Louise Doughty has nominated her top 10 ghost stories. Their dates:

  • 1987
  • 1898
  • 2015
  • 2017
  • 2017
  • 2010
  • 2002
  • 2009
  • 1983
  • 2001

So: seven of the ten best ghost stories ever written have appeared in the past 18 years. Amazing! How do we account for the fact that just in this century writers have gotten so good at ghost stories — so much better that people who came before, like Arthur Machen and M. R. James and Charles Dickens? It’s a mystery.