Tuesday 17 October 2023

Humour and Horror

Chelsea Davis, 'Kelly Link Makes Fairy Tales Even Weirder Than You Remember' [An Interview with Kelly Link], Electronic Literature, 29-March-2023:

KL: Horror and fairy tales are two of my favorite forms of narrative, and those are both genres where rules loom large. Don’t smell wolfsbane. Be kind to animals. Don’t invite strangers over the threshold. Don’t step on a crack. Don’t be greedy, don’t say thank you to fairies, but do listen to birds, but don’t blow on a whistle that you find on the beach, but always be polite to old ladies. I love rules that feel nonsensical and fraught with weight at the same time. I love when rules are inverted. The introduction of a rule tells the reader that story is going to follow, and hopefully the consequences will in some way be surprising or fresh.


KL: Humor and horror are both doors into story for me—and inside a story, they’re paths to understanding or rearranging situations in which otherwise I (and perhaps the reader) might be overwhelmed in the most uninteresting ways. I reach for humor consciously because I have to reach for most things consciously when I write. And now I’m wondering if that might be an interesting rule to set for myself—to set aside even small bits of comedy. Argh.

Link here.