Monday, July 18, 2005

Modern Gothics ~ The Lure of Darkness

-- Dark Romances, Dark Erotica, and Dark Fantasy...

When physical reality, the world we live in, is so very terrible -- and it is, quite terrible, why do we seek out these Dark Gothic Fantasies in Fiction? Why do these shadowed stories hold such fascination for so many?

Because, in truth, Gothics have nothing to do with Physical Reality - and everything to do with the reality of the Human Soul.

If you can't handle the Darkness...
- Get out of the Attic.

Gothic tales are metaphors, proverbs, fables, and fairy tales for Spiritual Reality; the Nature of the Soul, Goodness and Evil in its purest forms, the hidden and buried Nightmare side of the Human Psyche. The parts of our souls we don't want to face.

Ask any 8-year old how big their boogie man can get -- the longer he isn't faced.

EVERYONE has shadows locked behind the secret doors of their mind -- memories of Bad Things that happened to them, or to those they know. And the more one DOESN'T look at the darkness hiding under the bed (sexual issues), or in the attic (violence issues,) or in the basement (physical health issues) or in the closet (family issues) the bigger and badder they get.

Every parent knows, the only way to deal with Fear of the Dark, is to peer into the darkness and face what's there.

Gothics are both a warning of what lurks in the shadows, and a guide through the darkness.

Why Vampires and Werewolves
- and things that go BUMP in the night?

The Paranormal is the perfect vehicle for a GOTHIC because the villain of the piece – the Paranormal character – is a perfect physical representation, a symbol, of a dark Human Issue.

Every Gothic monster you can think of is in actuality, a symbol of a Human Issue from the dark side of the psyche.
Ghosts = Memories that ‘haunt’
Vampires = Manipulative Male Sexuality
Witches =Manipulative Female Sexuality
Sorcerers (Scientists) = Sanity - either total Loss, or Over-Control
Werewolves = Passions that Consume
Urban Faery = Rebellion against the norm. (This is why Urban Faeries tend to have a ‘punk’ look to them.)
(What? So, I read a lot of Carl Jung, Wilhelm Reich, Robert Anton Wilson and Timothy Leary)

DRAMA rather than Gore...

Anything that combines magic and the paranormal (a Dark Human Issue,) and a modern, to futuristic, back-drop, is a Modern Gothic. Anything that deals with “dangerous power” is a Dark Fantasy. 

However, the darkness in a Gothic tale is not expressed and defined by graphically detailed, and gruesome, violence, as it is in a Horror. The Drama of Angst rather than the Action of Violence is the vehicle of the Gothic.

Why must 'Bad Things' happen...? 
To Face a Nightmare - one must Have a Nightmare.

Both Horror and the Gothic tales delve into the painful ‘emotionally traumatic’ secrets so Bad Things, rape, abuse, hate..., Emotional Trauma in all its forms, appear in these stories.

-- And SEX.  

Sex is the most commonly used vehicle -- in both Reality & Fiction -- to deliver both Joy (love) and Despair (rape), so naturally they appear in these stories too.

But these nightmares conclude with either REDEMPTION or DESTRUCTION. The Brave save the day, the Foolish die, and the Guilty are Punished, usually horribly.

"But real life isn't so neatly tied. 
Bad people get away with Bad Things."

True. Real life ISN'T so neatly tied. Bad people DO get away with Bad things. That does not change the fact that - Evil IS Bad -- and the Wicked SHOULD be punished.

Gothics are modern-day, unsanitized, fairy tales filled with the horrific punishments that the original fairy tales held: Punishment for the wicked, Rescue for those locked in the dark, and Redemption to those who have living, breathing shadows, within themselves

GOTHICS -- a Necessary Evil.

Morgan Hawke


  1. Now I know why I always related to the Witch character -- manipulative and sexy, just what the doctor ordered :) really. I love the idea. It is like an image of a woman totally confident in herself, unrestrained in her sexuality, and wielding a secret power. Sigh. So nice.

    And I like werewolves... but to me, the pleasant version of that was like in the movie The Wolf, where for Jack Nicholson's character becoming a werewolf means not being consumed by his own urges that he can't resist, but letting out his inner wildness -- shrugging off the restraints -- not growing enslaved by his own animal instincts, but becoming free of his human limitations. Same is for the heroine, at the end. That's why it's my favorite werewolf film :)

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