Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Shirley Jackson a dark and delicate genius of gothic fiction.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shirley_Jackson




It bothers me a lot that she is primarily known for 'The Lottery'. Her work is so much more then that. Her novel 'We have always lived in the Castle' is a masterpiece of gothic themes; family secrets, repressed sexuality, obsession, alienation all told from the perspective of a sweet natured psychopath. I read it for the first time when I was only 10 and it impressed upon me at an early age what really good writing is. Jacksons novel 'The Haunting of Hill House' was given a wonderful film adaptation in 'The Haunting' by Robert Wise in 1963. (forget the 1999 version)Julie Harris captures the Jacksonian heroine perfectly a lonely tortured soul longing to be a part of something. I imagine Jackson was a kindred spirit of other great souls of her time like Dorothy Parker and Sylvia Plath whose pristine minds were too pure for this world.

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