Bridging the Gothic (October 2017 Literary Meeting)

Welcome to the October 2017 Literary Meeting!

The most recent literary theme was an attempt to discover what it is about the Gothic that bridges works that so little resemble each other under the same heading of “Gothic.”

As always, I’ve made informal references in text, with full references listed at the end.

Aromatic Accompaniment: Midsummer’s Night by Yankee Candle.

It has always struck me that the descriptor “Gothic” is applied almost indiscriminately, yet always seems to be justified. What on earth links 18th century British works based on a philosophy articulated by John and Anna Aikin with a publication like Midwestern Gothic?
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[Book Review] An Unsystematic Articulation of the Weird and the Eerie: A Beautiful, Insightful Collection of Readings by Mark Fisher

 

An Unsystematic Articulation of the Weird and the Eerie: A Beautiful, Insightful Collection of Readings by Mark Fisher

Fisher, Mark. The Weird and the Eerie. Repeater Books, 2017. 134 pages. US $14.95. Includes bibliography but no in-text citations.

In The Weird and the Eerie, Mark Fisher sets out to describe what it is about certain kinds of literature and films that create “a certain kind of disquiet” (9). Toward that end, he argues for two affective categories (which can also be narrative modes)—the weird and the eerie—related to but distinct from the uncanny. After a brief discussion of what constitutes the uncanny—Fisher follows Freud, attributing to the uncanny the “strange within the familiar, the strangely familiar, the familiar as strange” (10, emphasis in original)—Fisher provides an exploratory hypothesis of where the weird and the eerie are located. He writes, “the major cultural examples of the weird and the eerie are to be found at the edges of genres such as horror and science fiction, and these genre associations have obscured what is specific to the weird and the eerie” (8). His project, then, is to re-situate the weird and the eerie as apart from genre, as modes that can attach to anything, and then to articulate what distinguishes those modes, how they operate, and what they can do.
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Antiquarian Horror (January 2017 Literary Meeting)

By James McBryde - https://archive.org/stream/ghoststoriesana00jamegoog#page/n250/mode/2up, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36526517

 

 

 

Welcome to the January 2017 Literary Meeting!

The most recent literary theme is Antiquarian Horror.

As always, I’ve made informal references in text, with full references listed at the end.

Aromatic Accompaniment: Flickering Fireside and Poplar & Pine by WoodWick.
Wine: Alchemist Noir Red Blend (2014) by Winc and Red Diamond Shiraz (2013).

If you were to describe a tale in which a stuffy academic discovers something frightening, chances are most people would assume it was by H.P. Lovecraft, but it was actually M.R. James that made this type of tale famous. James wrote around the turn of the 20th century, but his writing has an archaic quality about it that is as stuffy as its author.

James was an antiquary, which means he studied and collected old things, legends, ruins, and other oddities of the past. James also read his ghost stories to his academic friends every Christmastime, which makes him my personal hero.
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I’m not optimistic about Rings (2016) [AKA The Ring 3]

Rings_(2016_film)_posterAfter the cinematographic disaster that was The Darkness I decided to take a look at the director, producers, and cinematographer of Rings to see if maybe my beloved franchise might be in for something delightfully unexpected.

Basically, no. It’s probably going to be awful.

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The Movements of H.P. Lovecraft (July 2016 Literary Meeting)

the_complete_fiction-lovecraftWelcome to the July 2016 Literary Meeting!

The theme this month was the Literary Movements of H.P. Lovecraft.

As always, I’ve made informal references in text, with full references listed at the end .

Aromatic Accompaniment: Black Birch by Chesapeake Bay Candle. (Sadly, this was the last meeting to be so accompanied, as the candle has finally given up the ghost.)

We’ve covered H.P. Lovecraft before here at the Spooky Society, but we decided that we want to cover H.P. Lovecraft for the majority of the fall, as one of our newer members has never been exposed to Lovecraft and wants to learn everything there is to know.

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