The Sorrows of Young Werewolf (eyeteeth) wrote,
The Sorrows of Young Werewolf

Exquisite dead guy, rotating in his display case

I've been having some feelings recently. Have you been having some feelings? Let's talk about feelings. But not our feelings.

No, let's not talk about our feelings right now. Because I have been writing, which is a thing I do, and the feelings I want to talk about are those of Zeppo's friend Nervous, the necrophiliac. I've been working on a story I wrote a while ago in his voice, which is a tricky voice, because he's not only a necrophiliac, he's also a psychopath. And when you write psychopaths you don't want to talk so much about feelings. So it turned into a kind of Scylla-and-Charybdis situation because fetishes, or paraphilias if you want to be sciencey, kind of automatically have emotional weight. I had never thought of this before I started waxing rhapsodic about dead girls and then realizing that a psychopath would not wax rhapsodic about dead girls, probably. But assuming he likes them, there must be some feelings there, or he'd be content with a reasonable facsimile and wouldn't go to all the trouble involved in acquiring actual dead girls.

There's an extensive literature of necrophilia, which is, and we should all be happy about this, a fairly rare phenomenon in actual life. I haven't read much of it, but from what I can tell necrofictional characters tend to be just bursting with feelings, as in Lorenzo Stecchetti's 1877 poem The Song of Hate, which is about a guy who digs up the woman who rejected him romantically so he can taunt her corpse. (This is going to work because she was so evil that she'll retain her consciousness in the grave, evidently.) I learned about that poem because of a painting it inspired a few years later, the even more tersely titled The Hatred. I think it's possible that real necrophiliacs also tend to be bursting with feelings. Jeff Dahmer claimed that during his adolescence he was tormented every waking moment by unwelcome thoughts about dead guys, which is why he spent every waking moment drinking as much booze as he could get his hands on, but he might have been lying to make himself seem less monstrous. (The thing about the booze seems to have been true, though -- the people who went to high school with him confirm it.)

Also H. P. Lovecraft and a friend of his wrote a story called "The Loved Dead" in 1924, and it contains sentences like this: "Before dawn they will find me and take me to a black cell where I shall languish interminably, while insatiable desires gnaw at my vitals and wither up my heart, till at last I become one with the dead that I love." But you can't go by that, that was how Lovecraft wrote about everything.

I guess I didn't really have a point. This is just something I've been thinking about. How to write a person who's got enough feelings to be a believable necrophiliac, but not so many that he ceases to be a believable psychopath. Also I wasn't writing before and now I am and I'm happy about that, I never feel entirely like myself when I'm not writing. Also I regret that I can't use the term exquisite corpse in my necrofiction because Poppy Z. Brite got to that idea first.
Tags: gruesome historical information, h. p. lovecraft, jews, poetry, stix, writing, zeppo and friends
  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded