Again, a great podcast, this time about a likewise great story by Algernon blackwood (and thanks to the podcast the first I read of him).
I want to comment on the podcast and the story, in connection with the influences on Blackwood that are visible in the story and moreover in the character of Jones.
Jones' delusions (if delusion it is - but I think so), I think, are influenced by his 'knowledge' of platonism (dualistic world view), theology (devil-snake, justice, revenge), spiritism (which he rejects, although he doesn't rejects the idea of reincarnation) and the Spanish inquisition (torture) - like it is said in the podcast.
Outside of the character, Blackwood winks in a satirical, upside-down way at A Christmas Carol (the good ghosts turns into a corrupting bad one), and clearly is influenced by Poe. The inquisition's torture may reflect the torture in The Pit and the Pendulum, but I also thought about The Cask of Amontillado, in which the main character is driven insane by envying his friend (like Jones envies) and immures his imagined enemy alive.
The merit of Blackwood is, I think, to show us this Poesque insanity from within the character on a very realistic way. At the end the narrative point of view turns 180 degrees, and we see the psychopath that the victim sees. It gives rise to the idea that Blackwood was a very good psychologist, and it also gives rise to the question: was Jones accountable or just mentally ill?
What I want to know is this: was Blackwood ahead of his time as a sort of avant-garde psychiatrist, or was he influenced on this aspect too by some knowledge or figure of his time? And are there more influences on Blackwood and especially this story to point out?