Evan Calder Williams

All the Colours of the Dark, Except Black

A chat, with examples (Zola, Hope Hodgson, H. P. Lovecraft and probably some Hammer Horror), about blackness and the sheer stupid thickness of what has no profundity whatsoever.

Who

Socialism and/ or Barbarism is a blog run by Evan Calder Williams, who you could perhaps describe as Mute and Film Quarterly’s correspondent on ornament, dialectics, melodrama, and the communist politics of (horror) films of the 1970’s.

 

He is also the author of Combined and Uneven Apocalypse, the jacket of which summarizes thus: From salvagepunk’s rubble to undead hordes, from waste zones to plagued cities, Combined and Uneven Apocalypse grapples with the apocalyptic fantasies of our collapsing era. China Miéville quite liked it. 1

 

What

A chat, with examples (Zola, Hope Hodgson, H. P. Lovecraft and probably some Hammer horror), about blackness and the sheer stupid thickness of what has no profundity whatsoever.

 

Why

Horror, especially the horror of darkness, is commonly figured as a confrontation with a depth or void that lurks under the surface of our banal, repetitive lives.  What if this were entirely mistaken?  After all, such a conception can make almost no sense of how such darkness is presented or hinted at: the inane patterns, styles, and repetitions that struggle to make the unseen present.  What, then, if the shock of darkness is the fact of coming face to face with a total lack of depth?  Just wallpaper all the way down, just layers and layers of surface and ornament...  What if what we mean by dark is, in fact, merely and horribly grey, a blinding fog that accords nothing so comforting as sheer absence or imagined profundity?

  • 1. “Yes, another book about zombies and the end of the world. But this is not just another book about zombies and the end of the world. Like one of the junk-suturing recusants whose philosophy he has been central to constructing, Evan Calder Williams builds something rageful and compelling and quite new out of all this fucking wreckage.”
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    • CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

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