Monday 17, October 2003. Tunnel at Fort Vechten.
Perhaps the most disturbing story ever: Sartre's The Wall.
As a writer Robert Coover isn't known for his horror. But I find his short story The Marker truly horrific (not so much for the degradation of the corpse but for the spatial and temporal lapses).
(Sometimes I even scare myself with the uncanniness by which I find things that I already have.)
Apropos Coover's 'The Marker' mentioned yesterday. Walking towards his wife in bed Jason is walking in a straight line (Borges -- according to Deleuze -- once wrote: "a more frightening labyrinth than a circular labyrinth is one in a straight line").
Searching for background on the two versions of Fuseli's Nightmare (Detroit and Frankfurt) I stumble across this page connected to some interesting research on Sleep Paralysis at the University of Waterloo.
From the Sleep Paralysis page discussing western and non-western myths:
Dig We Must
As I delve deeper into the world of Lovecraft and other writers of the 19th and early 20th century I'm becoming more and more impressed by the role of the mythos -- the fact that various authors set their works in "shared worlds" referencing the same names for gods, locations, and artificts. I can't help but think that such intellectual promiscuity does the work good -- so why don't we see more of it amongst contemporary writers? Sure there are examples -- Saramago's The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis springs to mind -- but why do they appear to be rare?
I've just finished reading The Yellow Sign by Robert Chambers.
Simplier than the Chulhu mythos the 'King in Yellow' mythos is based upon a single piece of pseudobiblia, a fictious play published as a fictious book (entitled 'The King in Yellow'). This artifact appears in a number of Chambers' stories and is evil for whoever reads it goes mad.
There have been a number of recent attempts to reconstruct The King in Yellow. I like this one for its Jacobean flavor (though I wonder - given its current existence -- if it is still correct to use the term pseudobiblia?)
Philosophy of Horror
Three titles which look promising:
Noël Carroll, The Philosophy of Horror or Paradoxes of the Heart
Cynthia A. Freeland, The Naked and the Undead
Ken Gelder (Editor), The Horror Reader
It seems impossible (unbelievable considering how you can find almost everything online these days) to find facsimiles of the Rorschach/Exner inkblots online. The closest I've come is this page (debunking the test) which provides outlines of the 10 figures and the following index (showing all 10 plates).
No blots but on the other hand it is amazing what you do find: Probing Linus Pauling's Personality with the Rorschach Ink Blot Test.
The Prodigious Sentence
Has a longer (or more labyrinthine) sentence ever been written?
After looking at it for years I finally broke down and ordered myself a couple of boxes of what is known as the betamax of construction sets: Fischertechnik. Made in Germany. The Construction Toys website calls it "the most technically advanced building toy there is" (and they sell Lego). There is an industrial line of kits for modelling factory robots and assembly lines. I'm not that interested in building robots -- I'm much more interested in building a mechanical theater and time pieces.
Last night N. and I watched a video and film program of 4 pieces put together by Florian Wüst including Bruce Connor's Report (1963-1967) and a rarely seen Godard, Ici et ailleurs (1974). Excellent stuff but what really knocked me out was the John Smith film which Florian screened two weeks ago: The Girl Chewing Gum (1976). As a study of will (in the big sense as in: 'I am willing everything that happens before me at this moment.') it is not to be missed.
Schizophrenia Mea Culpa
20.12.03: Mask in window (Groningen)
The Sound of Horror
A recording of one of Stanley Milgram's obedience tests.
Rod Dickinson's Milgram Re-enactment.
My Fischertechnik kits were delivered Saturday while I was in Groningen. Yesterday I spent the whole day sorting pieces. Today I began building and became so engrossed with the task that I spent the entire day offline. This in itself is a good thing.
Two Hungarian names which I've heard just enough about to make me want to know more:
Csath is dead (committed suicide at 31). Not sure about Sassy.
Mechanical wonder: The South Pointing Chariot.
Real candles in Christmas trees!
The Psychopathology of the Double
Rossetti: How They Met Themselves
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