Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Happy goths

My interview with Dave McKean is now live, to accompany my review of Mirrormask.

Enjoyed Nimbos blogging our trip to the goth wossname at Tate Britain last week (well done with the title there, fella).

The Dr particularly like Fuseli's "Brunhild Watching Gunther Suspended from The Ceiling on their Wedding Night" (1807), in which some German bird ties up her new husband so that she can sleep unmolested. Bit bothered that this one's her favourite.

In fact, a lot of the stuff is about immasculated blokes, conquered by women or nature. I dared suggest this was showing the awfulness ensuing when the proper order of things is undone.

Definitions of goth are about as myriad, and useless, as definitions of science fiction. But it struck me, gawping at the pictures and the other vamps who'd come to see them, that the late eighteenth century was also the time of enlightenment, of experiment and proveable fact. Fact which, in building a scientific model for the world around us, underminded folk tales and myth.

So, I'd venture, gothicism is a conscious denial of the rational in favour of "dressing up" in the superstitious and strange. It's playing with monsters and nightmares when we know better; in the best possible terms, it's an affectation.

Yes, other defintions of goth are available, and I'm sure people will write in.

Whatever the case, goth is never the most subtle of art-forms, and the drawings on offer here are full of struggling and straining women whose clothes have fallen off, and naked, beef-cakey chaps with small winkies.

"And some quite big ones," said my friend C. as we headed to the pub down the road. Poor girl.

The pub was fun too, with a quiet upstairs done out in slightly tatty victoriana - which was just the Dr's thing. I chatted with a mate of S.'s about how writing and fighting are the same. No, really: there are those who just talk about it, and those who just get on with doing it. And it's most effective to keep your moves simple and to the point.


Anonymous said...

Here via liadnan's link pimpage. I enjoyed both the review and the interview a great deal.

Just to let you know, your interview link currently points to Gaiman's journal.

0tralala said...

Whoopsie. Have corrected it, thanks.