“There was a time when I thought you wouldn’t come back,” my mom told me one day, years after a series of major psychotic episodes that I had in my twenties. “I started to believe that you would probably just never be the same again,” she said. I think I cringed when I heard this. I can’t tell you exactly why I hate these conversations, but I do, and I have ever since I (mostly) regained my sanity. My college years were bumpy, but according to my personal timeline, I went completely mad for the first time toward the end of my second year of teaching, when I was 24 years old. I am 38, now.
Occasionally, I stumble on an idea that really excites me. This would be a fortuitous occurrence to combat mid-day lethargy, but for better or worse, I’ve become perhaps irrevocably nocturnal. As such, it’s two in the morning, and re-reading sections of Paradise Lost for the upcoming candidacy exam has yielded a level of excitement about pondering the nature of evil – indeed, writing an essay completely committed to the topic of evil, which seems appropriate for a horror blog. And the excitement is difficult to contain. Really, I’m not exaggerating. I even thought maybe dissecting literary depictions of evil would be good fodder for a doctoral dissertation, which brought further almost uncomfortable fervor. So, I started pacing around frantically, then I decided to settle on the couch for a ten-minute meditation, to calm down and focus. I have learned, especially under the right circumstances, that I am a person who feels very strong emotions. In any case, the idea tonight is to harness those emotions into a writing product, one of my atypical miscellaneous essays for this blog, a piece of writing not tied to one particular work of art. Who knows – such meanderings may even help me shape the dissertation I need to start writing in about two years. As usual, then, I’m using whoever might be misguided enough to read my thoughts for my own academic purposes. To that end, thanks for your time. Continue reading “3 A.M. Thoughts on Evil”
Any semi-regular reader of my blog will be unsurprised by my title, which is, as usual, adequately cheesy. (I just love an obnoxious title). But there is at least a scintilla of truth to the title, if you’re at all inclined to relish in life’s darker corners. Yes, The Disappointments Room is sufficiently scary, and not exactly what I expected it to be. But it is dark. If you’re looking for a classic haunted house story, you’ll probably like the film. But if you’re looking to be disturbed and depressed (because that’s everyone’s goal, right?) then you should definitely see it. I was in a delightful mood when I entered the theater. After the film was over, I wasn’t quite certain how I felt; I was lingering in an uncomfortable emotional limbo for a bit. To be sure, life seemed a little darker and more contingent. But, perhaps that’s the marker of an effective film; it changed my mood. And the darkness wore off, leaving me with the memory of a genuinely jarring cinematic experience (as in, I was rigid with discomfort throughout most of the movie). The Disappointments Room, then, is well worth the time investment. It borrows from genre elements without falling into the “tiresomely cliché” trap.