Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Darker, The Better

Ooooh, lately I have noticed that my tastes in Literature are changing and as it was pointed out by my 'not-so-better-half' taking a turn towards the occult. Er, hello! This is where I have been all along, you chose to look the other way.

Anyway, the thing is, I just cannot get enough of seedy, dark, erotic and at times extremely frightening stories. The darker, the better. I love nothing more than sitting down and indulging in disturbing Literature, it gives me a kick and I swear, the somewhere deep inside me there is an evil demon waiting to submerge to the surface and cause havoc on this plant, or maybe it was in my past life.

Alright, I know that the above statement sounds kooky, but come on. Who of us wants to spend every waking moment of our lives being mindless, boring people, stuck in mundane rituals of schedules in plain old Boringsville? Hmm, well I certainly don't. I want to use my mind to imagine the craziest stuff around. Now I am not saying I am going to act on anything, well, unless it involves a certain Chester Bennington, but that's another story. No, I want to use my creativity to allow people to escape from the rituals of daily life. Why not. We all need escapism and as a victim of bullies as a child, I can tell you right now, books and stories saved my life.

I was living a complete nightmare and I hated the thought of getting up in the morning, and every day for over five years I contemplated just ending it all. This is a depressing statement, but an honest one. I admit it, I was a very unhappy child. I may have looked like every other young girl in the classroom, at the dinner table or in church on a Sunday, but inside I was dying. I hated looking in the mirror, I hated going outside and more than anything, I hated myself.

So, I found myself lost in books. Anything from King, through to Shakespeare [a personal Idol]. I remember ready Dante's Divine Comedy and thinking, 'wow, this dude says it all' and from that moment on I promised myself I would write something these guys would be proud off, and if not,I'd die trying.

Now, changing the subject, just a tad. I recently found myself reading 'We Need To Talk About Kevin' by Lionel Shriver, and I have to say this book has kept me awake at night. This book covers a very difficult situation most parents dread and being a mother myself, I can tell you,I would die if my son ended up like Kevin. The book takes the form of exquisitely crafted letters written by Eva Khatchadourian to her former husband, Franklin, who leaves her just before her worst nightmare comes to life. Three days short of his 16th birthday, Eva's son, Kevin, shoots seven of his fellow students in the school gym and watches with grim satisfaction as they bleed to death.In her letters, Eva attempts to discover why Kevin became a killer by examining her domestic life. Pretty frightening don't you think.

Why has this kept me up at night? Because it is so real. It is all to easy to read your typical horror book of spine-tinglers, but this book hits home very hard and God forbid any parent has to question themselves because of something their child does. I highly recommend reading this book to anyone who is in need of a decent read.

Now onto something that I love more than disturbing books, Gothicism. Yeah, yeah, yeah I hear you groan, but come on step over to the Dark side for a mere moment and see things my way.

You see, I am convinced there is this crazy assed Goth inside, screaming to get out, but could you imagine the faces of the other parents at the school gates would think. lol, yeah, it would freak them out and I don't normally succumb to pressure, but I think it would be damaging to my children's popularity and I will not have them hate me. So instead, I live it secretly in my mind.

Did you know the first use of the word Gothicism was in 1710 and that some definitions of the word are:

1 - barbarous lack of taste or elegance

2- conformity to or practice of Gothic style

Hmm, terrible, just terrible. What do these people know.

Gothic Literature as defined by Francis Russell Hart as “fiction evocative of a sublime and picturesque landscape … depict(ing) a world in ruins,” the gothic novel presents readers with an opportunity to vicariously experience horrifying realities. By creating worlds where tragedy and repressed behaviors come to the forefront, gothic writers explore the psychology of human existence on several unique levels, notes critic Elizabeth M. Kerr. Common elements of the gothic novel include explorations of the subconscious through dreams, a good versus evil polarity in the characters, and the use of setting and atmosphere to evoke a vivid emotional response in the reader. While English Gothicism closely paralleled the Romantic movement in literature, frequently focusing on issues of love, sexuality, and the place of reason in human existence, Southern Gothic fiction focuses largely on themes of terror, death, and social interaction.

And yes, I know I have a tendency to ramble on about a million different things at once, but isn't it just wonderful that I can cover so many insignificant things in a short space of time.

So why not delve into the worlds of Northanger Abbey or Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, or if you really want to go darker and deeper, why not read The Castles of Wolfenbach or The Midnight Bell, all worth a read.

So until next time. Stay safe, read well and feed your mind. Ciao


  1. Hmm...I'm going to take that advice and get myself a copy of The Midnight Bell :) I've been wanting to expand my reading tastes. I tend to read more romance since that's what I write. But it's always nice to change it up a bit. Nice post! Thanks for the reccomendations!

  2. Thank you. It is a great read and one that can be re-read anytime. Enjoy.

    ps. Thanks for stopping by. :)