The call of the weird

There’s an interesting essay about the allure of the weird and abominable in the fiction of Lovecraft by Ann M. Pillsworth here at the Tor website. Since my partner’s preparing a Greek squid and potato dish, I’m currently well in the grip of tenticular ravishment.

4 thoughts on “The call of the weird

  1. I sometimes enjoy inventive/surreal/dark works (and am a big fan of octopi) but just don’t get horror fiction, is it supposed to be scary or more like the kind of campy pleasures people get from b-horror/scifi movies?
    The things that really horrify me are so mundane like how here in the US we are subsidizing the very monocrops/foodfactories that are poisoning our bodies and bankrupting our budgets (government and personal).

  2. Really good question. The things that induce fear in me are all too human. Weird fiction is more like a toolbox for generating affects from inhumanity.

  3. I think we agree on the alltoohuman banality of evil, one big clusterfuck assemblage of collected-cog-biases+machines on top of another, could you unpack
    “generating affects from inhumanity” a bit for me (or just point me to a resource or 2), thanks, dirk

  4. Dirk, that’s a very reasonable request. I’m not sure that I can do it very convincingly at the moment. I don’t read much on psychoanalysis these days, but in his book The Freudian Body, Leo Bersani argued that humans have evolved to derive pleasure from disruptive affects. I also think that there is a pretty obvious relationship between the experience of modernity and a need to explore limits. I kind of touched on this in my post on aesthetic excess, but I admit that I haven’t adequately thought it through.

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