I’ve recently been made aware of the concept of working in smaller chunks of time or in small chunks of project with little rewards at the end of small chunks. This is meant to ease that feeling of becoming overwhelmed and counter-productively not finishing anything. It is a bit of difficult task with it being much easier said than done (next personal struggle to tackle is the fact that not everything has to be perfect the first time around).
But anywho, I ordered Emily Carroll’s newest graphic novel When I Arrived at the Castle as a little treat for myself while finishing up this extended project that I have been the one unhappily extending.
Description via Goodreads:
Like many before her that have never come back, she’s made it to the Countess’ castle determined to snuff out the horror, but she could never be prepared for what hides within its turrets; what unfurls under its fluttering flags. Emily Carroll has fashioned a rich gothic horror charged with eroticism that doesn’t just make your skin crawl, it crawls into it.
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The British Library offers a taster article by scholar Ruth Richardson about Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and the influence in Shelley’s day of grave robbing. It’s a light intro that many readers probably know in regards to Shelley’s life and the origin of Frankenstein (a game played in Geneva for all participants to come up with a suitable ghost story), but the article also frames the era of grave robbing and mass bodysnatching. Her own mother dying soon after childbirth, this could have been an illicit activity that Mary Shelley constantly thought over:
Frankenstein: graveyards, scientific experiments and bodysnatchers by Ruth Richardson, 15/5/2014 at The British Library website
She may indeed have lived for years with the fear that despite the willows her father had planted there, her mother’s body might have been stolen and dismembered.
Last week included a visited to the Vault Festival to experience the twenty minute uncanny audio experience SÉANCE. I recommend for those in London or looking to visit in the next few weeks. It is an interesting audio immersion art experiment for all those who dig the Gothic, suspense, eerie and the premise of Victorian spiritualism.
A bit of light fare looking at common Victorian era quackery used to prevent being buried alive. The author of this piece also mentions Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and other short nods to Gothic interests over at History Collection.
Look at those pretty ladies! I am very excited to get cracking on these three as the days become darker and shorter. I’m finishing up some other reads currently (secrets, ghosts, lost loves), but hopefully my eyes can turn to my new acquisitions as I shockingly have never read these titles.
As the founding editor of the literary magazine, The Wild Hunt, I’m super excited for our first theme issue: What Is On the Very Edge of the Wood? Once you’re done carving pumpkins and filling up on too many sweets, send us your fiction! The deadline is the 1st of November 2018. Anything spooky, weird, Gothic, dark, etc. is welcome as long as it interprets the theme to some degree. If you have questions, feel free to drop me a note in the comments.
More info here.
Only today did I hear of the term “Tasmanian Gothic” to describe the blend of European Gothic traditions with the wild and remote island of Tasmanian. How I have lived my life not realizing this?!
While reading the Wikipedia page, I saw that I have already encountered a few of these works, but never knew of their own distinction. Hopefully, some free time this weekend will allow me to explore more of this and update my notes.
The post arrived this week with a new copy of The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg (Vintage). It is a personal favourite and I’m delighted to be part of an edition slated for next year. I have to get cracking as I’m writing an introduction to a new American edition. I’ve already started digging through the catalogue at the British Library and after months of my absence from the stacks, this is a perfect reason to dust off my Readers card.
Justified Sinner is an 1824 novel by Scottish Writer James Hogg. It’s wicked and mysterious and of course an example of early Gothic literature. It will be a big project–and of course I’m already busy with loads of other things–but happy to be back to writing literary interest essays for public consumption.
I’m sure I’ll be posting more snippets of my notes while researching and writing this project.