Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Horror, Evolution and Spirituality (30 July 2013)

“He thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts.”
- Bill Denbrough, IT (1985)

I know this line from Stephen King’s novel IT, but recently I found it referenced in King’s book Danse Macabre (1981) as being from a story called Donovan’s Brain, where the main character resists the power of Donovan’s will (emanating from his brain in a vat) by reciting the line that Bill D later recites to resist the horror of his own childhood memories as they return to him in force after the reemergence of their nemesis Pennywise in Derry.  It was a very effective line in his own novel, and I was pleased to find it was a reference to an earlier story by another author.  King’s work is filled with such references, if you read carefully.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Lovecraft and Spiritual Horror (5 July 2013)

"Serious weird stories are either made realistically intense by close consistency and perfect fidelity to Nature except in the one supernatural direction which the author allows himself, or else cast altogether in the realm of phantasy, with atmosphere cunningly adapted to the visualization of a delicately exotic world of unreality beyond space and time, in which almost anything may happen if it but happen in true accord with certain types of imagination and illusion normal to the sensitive human brain.” (87)
-          H. P. Lovecraft  Supernatural Horror in Literature  
(1973; 1945)

I’ve always loved a good horror story.  I read widely in the genre when I was younger, and have continued seeking out interesting stories that manifest the gothic and spooky quality that has always fascinated me.  Looking back, I think that perhaps horror tales and ghost stories were my first taste of the ‘mystical’ dimension of reality; that quality of the mysterious that embraces, thrills and often awakens us to deeper dimensions of the ‘real.’  Though tainted with the veneer_ if not the substance_ of supernaturalism, horror tales and ghost stories invoke a sense of wonder that may help jumpstart a more genuine mysticism as one matures and grows into an awareness of Earth & Cosmos and one’s place in it.