Tuesday, July 11, 2006

more dead girls

I've been thinking a bit more about this. Exactly as everyone says in the comments discussion, these are rampant archetypes in culture and poetry. A couple month back I even wrote a poem called "dead girl's love song"(playing off the Plath), which is still in revision, but brings that element even into the sideshow poems. I'm thinking this trope might surface in my critical thesis, or well, what I've been thinking about in regard to my thesis. The idea of Gothicism and broken-ness, fragmentation. Funny that in the comments Michelle and Jeannine should both mention Philomel since it surfaces at least once in feign, and is an underlying thread in the novel-in-verse project, which is all about two sisters and one of them murdered. And Little Red Riding Hood--the whole Book of Red project a while back. And we all have these poems, don't we? I'm very intrigued as to the why. Perhaps it's not the most "poetic subject in the world," as someone referred to it in regard to Poe, but certainly an often explored one. Just Sunday, I met another poet, Kathleen Kirk, who has a couple of Lavinia poems. Certainly the most bloody of Shakespeare's plays and women. I saw Titus Andronicus produced a few years ago and it fast became one of my favorites among the tragedies…I mean, the only props in the whole production were myriad body parts. It was terrible, and horrifying, and WONDERFUL.

And what scares me. Now I'm pretty jaded when it comes to horror movie violence and gore, but when I was five or six, I mistakenly sat down to watch the movie Ghost Story with my dad. Now mind you, I had no issues watching slasher movies, The Exorcist, the Omen, any number of things. But THAT movie, which featured as it's startle image, several times, a rotted woman's face, scared the freakin bejesus out of me. Twice. That is, before I ran to my bedroom and vowed never to watch it again. I have since, of course, but always with my eyes covered. The actress who plays the woman, and who I've seen in other movies since, is just sooo, even without the rotting flesh, damned creepy. And again, you have a woman "accidently" killed and her body dumped in a car in a lake. Besides creepy evil children and bugs, this is probably what scares me most in films. That's why The Ring did a total number on me. (Not to mention it's a well shot and very smart film.) I still can't look at the blank tv set in the dark without thinking of it, though, and certainly won't watch it alone. Ghostly hitchhikers, drowned women. Why I still won't play Bloody Mary. Too scary.

And while scary, fascinating.


Doodlebug said...

I find this a MOST interesting post indeed.

I think that my writing also uses this woman but after she has risen. Pissed off, as they call me. But I believe that I, and all of you, and all of those like us, are not just doing something so simple (it's not simple but hear me) as exploring a much explored archetype.

How about what Simone said about giving voice to the silenced? Because shit apparently you can even have snakes for hair and still get your head lopped off.

Now here's the scary feminist in me stomping my boots, proudly - if there were nothing to fear, you/we wouldn't be writing about it. And it goes beyond the movies, although that certainly does fit into it; I personally write the way I do, in the cadence, tone, and words I do, because I lived through that violence and I was the walking dead. And it sucked. And there will always be these girls in me - as I was saying to you Kristy on Sunday - the girl who was raped, the girl who was abused 6 ways to Sunday before that, the girl who ________________.

I've been a lot of girls. I know a lot of living dead girls, to unintentionally quote Rob Zombie.

Is it un-feminist to write about dead girls? Not when you have, as you put it Kristy, created an army of them. Voices, all of them, marching.

I know some women who read very graphic, horrific woman-gets-stabbed-ain't-it-hot stories and THOSE are anti-feminist. Those are pure crap.


Michelle Detorie said...

Lavinia was actually based on philomel, right? She is able to "tell" her sister what happened by showing her the story of Philomel. She had to do that b/c both her tongue and her hands were cut off.

Also, all those saints' legends...decapited adolescent girls -- murded for "speaking" and thus transformed into martyrs. The martyr thing seems like a real connection here. Joan of Arc, et al.

Also interesting that "women's songs" were also grief/death songs. Like the geatish woman at the end of beowulf.

Also, the kid the exorcist was based on was a boy. They changed the gender for the movie. I guess that had to get in that masturbating with the crucifix scene. And Caroline was the main channel to the world of the dead in Poltergeist. And that whole closet/passage to the ghost world becomes very womb-like. And then when she comes out with her mother (who was the one she called for) they're both covered in this weird afterbirth stuff. And the ring -- in both "The Ring" and "lord of the rings" -- seems totally vaginal.

sorry to go on...this is just so fascinating!

Doodlebug said...

...don't forget American Haunting. I won't blow the ending if anyone hasn't seen it yet.

We women, and our former incarnation of teenage girls, hold some massive power.

I love mythology and legend.