Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Affinity #2

This is an affinity based on two novels and one short story. But they've made their mark on me, and, while this post is technically a further example of padding, it will help lead to something I'm going to post more about this weekend.


"No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone."

- Shirley Jackson

The Haunting of Hill House

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"My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had. I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita phalloides, the death cap mushroom. Everyone else in my family is dead."

-Shirley Jackson

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

6 comments:

Rick Olson said...

"a further example of padding"

I like padding, and need all the examples I can get.

And I always LOVED that first quote by Jackson, she could really write. The second,I'm not familiar with, but it is equally chilling. If this is an example of your padding, I like.

bill r. said...

She sure could write, Rick. I'd even say she could write up a storm!

I think these are just about as close to perfect as opening paragraphs can get. If I had to pick a favorite, I'd go with the beginning of We Have Always Lived in the Castle, although The Haunting of Hill House is the better novel, in my opinion. I think that novel is among the top two or three horror novels ever written, and I fear we'll not see it's like again! Which is where I'm eventually going to be heading with this. Sort of. Shit, I haven't planned anything.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Bring on the padding! So are you going to do a book/film comparison like I did with The Shining and Clockwork Orange? That would be great especially since you want to cover both books and film here.

I await anxiously. You BETTER have something planned!

bill r. said...

I actually was planning to do some book/film comparisons down the line, for titles that are better known as films, and the books are virtually forgotten (like Planet of the Apes and Cool Hand Luke), but no, in this case I'm thinking about a massive "state of Horror" post, using one particular film as my launching pad (though books will enter into it, too). I'm a little scared of this post, to be honest, but I have a lot more horror related stuff coming in October, and a post like the one I have planned will help set the stage.

Jonathan Lapper said...

The Planet of the Apes book/film comparison would be great. I've never read the book but I've read of it, it's plot line, how little the movie sticks to the details and so on. I shouldn't judge without reading the book but at least from what I've read about it, the Rod Serling screenplay seems a lot better to me than the book.

bill r. said...

Well, you know, I haven't read the book either. But I have a copy, and it's short, so re-watching the film and reading the book in preparation for a post about it shouldn't take very long. Same with Cool Hand Luke and The Hustler.

But what I know of Pierre Boulle's novel Monkey Planet leads me to believe that, yes, Serling's script is better. We'll see, though.

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