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So excited to welcome postmodern horror writer Brian Evenson to the show. A true honor. And the first fiction writer on the show! Brian is one of my favorite authors, and his stories are violent, unsettling, and profound.
We talk about horror fiction, the occult, David Lynch, metaphors, the horror of relationships extending into our lives, the concept of doubles, the meaninglessness or meaning of suffering, and revising everything we know. I also ask Brian how a character could get out of one of his stories unscathed.
Brian also reads the beginning of his story, "The Intricacies of Post-Shooting Etiquette" from his collection, The Wavering Knife.
Oh, and also, I ask about if Brian's stories all stem from boner shame.
To get Brian's book with Paul Tremblay, Another Way To Fall, go to Concord Free Press.
• Lungfish is my favorite band. Here are the lyrics from their song, "The Words" from Necrophones.
A gown conceals a fist at rest
The fist emits a straight soundbeam
The beam supports a dome of flesh
The flesh is a flag trampled and worn
The flag suffers an emblem of waste
The emblem embroidered by embryo fins
The fins of the king wound in gauze
The king is a costume worn by the queen
The queen is a room without ceiling or floor
The room is Infested with microphones
The microphones wilt in a silent wave
A wave of bliss driven by fear
The fear is the hair on the skin of the soul
The soul is a portion of wandering time
The time espies a dormant gland
The inert gland welcomes extinction
The extinct the elect the chosen the true
The truth regarding this sequence of words
The wards the words the words the words
The word is a gavel prowling the sea
The sea greets the sewer with a perfect kiss
The kiss embalmed for state display
The state as defined by broken minds
The mind a concentric mirror maze
The mirror swirling begins to drain
A drain sucking at its own remains
There remains an echo migrating through space
The echo draped in a bridal gown
The gown reveals a fist of vapor
The vapor fractures into alphabets
The alphabets align to form the words
The words the words the words the words
• Brian mentions a great band called SUNN O))) and you can check them out here.
• Regarding metaphor, Arututo Rosenblueth said, “The price of metaphor is eternal vigilance.”
• You've seen Candyman, right? If not, watch it. Seriously.
• Brian's novel, Last Days, is about a voluntary amputation cult.
• If you're interested in a breakdown of the psychoanalytic diagnoses process, you should check out Bruce Fink's excellent book, A Clinical Introduction to Lacanian Psychoanalysis: Theory and Technique
• There's a bit about reincarnation, karma, and the body by Rudolf Steiner here.
• I can't believe Brian brought up the Steve Martin/Lily Tomlin comedy, All of Me, but there you go.
• Interested in the phantom hand thing? Here's the article in Nature: "Perceptual drifts of real and artificial limbs in the rubber hand illusion."
• Annie Dillard has a fantastic essay on seeing called...wait for it..."Seeing" Read it online here.
• Related to Brian's story about the bird that was a bag and what we notice, we can see The gorilla on the basketball court has been tested a bunch of times, but most exhaustively, I think, by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons.
• Clive Barker's terrifying and amazing story, "The Body Politic" is found in his Books of Blood series. All the stories in these collections are worth reading, but particularly this one.
• The horror movie as a symptom of spiritual repression is something that comes up again and again for me, and I'll be writing about it and speaking about it at length.
• Here's the book Brian mentions about Mormonism and magic, by D. Michael Quinn, Early Mormonism and the Magic World View. I've never read it, but it looks so good! So it's on my list now.
• To get Brian's book with Paul Tremblay, Another Way To Fall, go to Concord Free Press.
• Big thanks to James Osborne, who set up the show with me! James is a fiction writer with his own publishing company, and you can follow him on twitter!