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Writing the Subterranean March 27, 2011

Posted by The Typist in books, New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street.

Got sidetracked last night and tonight I must do laundry, but I promise to get back and finish off these posts from my notes shortly.

The panel Johnnys in the Basement: Writing the Subterranean could have gone in any number of/directions but moderator Miles Harvey  and his panel took a hard turn into the macabre. Authors who have tackled the ugliest nooks of the American psyche tried to answer the question of our modern fascination with serial killings, abductions and all the dark crimes that spawn not only endless segments of cable news but a dark genre of fiction.

I’m back to telegraphically thumbing the Druid so a few choice quotes will have to do for now:

“The trope for a long time was the human being with the monster trying to get out. Tony Soprano is a monster with the human being trying to get out,” Scott Blanchard said. He focuses on the vulnerabilities of his dark characters.

Amanda Boyden said, “it can be a daunting task to inhabit the head space of characters but its the ultimate escape.” She said her fascination with such characters focused on the “gradiations” between the mundane  and the murderous. “The notion of redemption and forgiveness enters into it; that tiny, little bit of hope.”

Thomas Beller said he was interested in the different ideations of love including “the love that fucks you up and makes you insane, a state of love that leaves you wrapped up in anxiety.”   He suggested no one word summary like Blackwood’s “vulnerabilities” or Boyden’s” gradiations” so I asked him afterwards for one and he suggested” the act of self immolation.”

Dark stuff indeed and completely fascinating. More later


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