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Tuesday, 20 September 2011


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Emily (Evening All Afternoon)

I am still trying to sort out the relationship between fearing something and being disgusted by it, such an interesting intersection of emotions. I'm not particularly bothered by spiders but I have the kind of visceral aversion you're talking about to certain kinds of centipedes and millipedes. Part of me believes they are going to tunnel into my head through my ears and eat my brain - I can make myself shiver just thinking about them! Logically I know this is ridiculous, but emotionally it persists. The feeling is certainly composed of some part fear and some part disgust, and this imaginary scenario that involves bodily violation and contamination.


Actually, not really by coincidence, I was just thinking about fear/horror and disgust. A few years ago I read a novel I found disgusting in different ways - and which I ultimately decided didn't work because it became so utterly ridiculous in piling on the disgust - although now I think I decided that because I loathed the book so much and wanted to justify my loathing in intellectual terms (and I immediately got rid of the book - fear of contamination for sure as I did not want it in my house!). So I was going to suggest it to you for your project (I hated this book! Do read it!) if you thought it might be interesting, but first I went onto Amazon to see what other people had thought of it and discovered that it was 'supposed' to be a 'horror' novel, that was how others had read it and written of it, and that made me wonder about how fear, horror and disgust blur into each other. Anyway, should you fancy reading it, the book is Gaétan Soucy's 'The Little Girl who was Too Fond of Matches' (La petite fille qui aimait trop les allumettes).

Heh, I completely understand your centipede and millipede nightmare, and I feel for you, it's horrid and much more clearly imagined than my spider aversion!

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