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There's a fly circling the room and I'm crushed by the world's lack of answers. I want to talk about writing in an era where the world may be ending…

I see it as a long discussion. Please help keep it from being a one-way transmission. Will it be hard for us to talk about the things we're not supposed to talk about?

Often, in fiction – and, yes, for me, everything is fiction and all fiction is truth – I try to focus on characters. The novel-in-progress has looming catastrophe for the world, but the impending apocalypse gets viewed by the dinged human beings in their haunted commune.

This has to work for me; the narrative's committed to it.

I’m on page 104 or so.

But our planet's existence isn't that way and it's getting to me. Tiny superficial pinpricks may work in stories but not when we're up against global problems in the "real world."

I'm fighting an urge to try to lead with politics, wanting to maintain an air of prettiness – in the same way Livejournal is better without my going on and on about how earth-centric magick can save us all.

Here's a nice place for prattling about harmless things: the people I care about; the importance of literature and bookselling (and being earnest, for the matter); hacking / blowing minds with rambled attempts at high-speed personal growth; pleasant diversions that pretend that we're not getting buried by lies.

So, sure, some of my favorite writers are the Decadents, though my degree in Lit Theory was equally as focused on the Victorians, Gothics and Romantics. I like how those eras connect and dissect each other.

Writers I like include Thomas Ligotti, Brian Evenson, Kelly Link, China Mieville and plenty of people I've friended in the past day. And, yes, I've gone and started this experiment of fiction and darkness because I was compelled to reach out to an email acquaintance who was having a bad day. But I've started to talk, which doesn't always come easily or necessarily bode well for any of us.


And I'm tired, finding it difficult to disconnect my fears for the world from the false ones I create with words. Is dark fiction in trouble because fewer and fewer things are frightening when the world's ripping itself asunder?

Before I give up for now, I pledge to dig out an essay I wrote on the Future of Horror and post it within a few days. I also pledge to shred that award-winning essay, confess how I wrote it for a specific audience and try to go further with some of its ideas.


For fun, I'll try to sum it up in from a completely different angle. On February 24th, 1995, when I saw Marilyn Manson perform, it was fear incarnate. Lean industrial metal, broken glass and self-mutilation. The show was in the Syracuse University's student center and there were less than 300 people. We'd heard the album, but it was bloodier live.

Three years later, a county legislator tried to ban the November 19th show for the Mechanical Animals tour. It didn't work, but it showed how the awareness that someone was ripping up Bibles and screaming F*CK like crazy made it much more controversial. The show was half as violent. It was louder and more rehearsed, but had ballads and costume changes. News crews were there and it felt like Satanic panic.

Now all I have left, in the middle of the night by now and just wishing there was a way to wake the world up and have them smell the fears of their own design…

I’ll say that both of these pictures are terrifying but in diametric ways…


(snarched from German MM fan site)


(snarched from MTV’s site, taken at the Disneyland Pirates II premiere)

…oh, and I'm afraid that the world's falling apart and it's hurting dark literature.

Which is the new big bad, because dark literature might be the only way we can keep the world together.

Love,
Geoffrey

“It was hard to see this young girl die
but not enough to bring a change in lifestyle.”

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readingthedark

May 2009

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