Friday, November 30, 2018

When the Books Read You and the Doors Unlock the Keys

I read the new Sirenia Digest to-day, which featured the above very appropriate image from Frederic Leighton and a Caitlin R. Kiernan story from 2009. Not new but I hadn't read it; "The Key to the Castleblakeney Key". A very good story; in addition to the usual influence of H.P. Lovecraft I also felt there was something of Mark Z Danielewski's House of Leaves. Caitlin's story, like that novel, uses the language of analysis and correspondence to weave a tale consisting of reviews and letters revolving around a mysterious object, an apparently mummified hand. And like Danielewski's book, I love how it picks up on the story that exists within analysis, the narrative made up of the personalities people assert over the supposed subject seemingly without realising it.

I've heard a deconstructionist dismiss the idea that the consciously asserted agenda of theory is intended to assert a dominant narrative over the original story but I think we can say for sure now that's not true. We just need to look at Natalie Portman expressing retrospective horror that she participated in Garden State because it featured her as a "Manic Pixie Dream Girl". I've never seen Garden State but I'd ask her, if the concept was so bad, what drew her to it in the first place?

Anyway, this stuff is ripe for ghost stories of haunted heads--such stories were rare because such analysis always seemed so fringe. But now it seems to be mainstream, at least in some version of reality crafted by the internet, so maybe subversions of it can gain some prominence, too. "The Key to the Castleblakeney Key" is also a bittersweet story of two of the people corresponding, or failing to correspond, and features a beautifully eerie dream sequence that's simultaneously a nice reference to Lovecraft and the mythos Caitlin created for her novels.

Twitter Sonnet #1180

A single bean was spotted 'mongst the waves.
A mind compared to blending drops afloat.
The smiling boat's discerning whom it saves.
The sinking screen was far from couch remote.
A fifty cherry system sated none.
For lunch a scavenged fruit availed the serf.
A grid of candied thread adorned the bun.
Your waitress, Venus, waits within the surf.
The citrus core ignites the flooded thought.
In time for ads the rushing candy stuck.
For bursting bites, the stars were cheaply bought.
The fillings fell for gum and taffy muck.
The days were counted seventeen and two.
Subtraction brought the sun to rise for you.

No comments:

Post a Comment