I was bitching on Facebook about a particularly boring and difficult work for me in my British Literature class, Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse. I have never been able to get to far into anything by Woolf, but I wondered if there was something wrong with me because almost everybody else seems to like her, they find her work profound, or some shit like that.
Instead of just letting me complain, my undergrad sociology professor hit me up and started asking questions that I had difficulty answering, and came to the point where I didn’t want to answer any more questions because I suddenly realized how much I don’t know and that I had no idea what I was even going on about. Which is actually part of what makes learning so amazing. Once I start to ask questions, I get to a place of confusion, and once that confusion lifts, I am left with some usually deep and meaningful (at least to me) insights.
One of the questions he asked me was about my approach to literature, which I hadn’t thought about much. Sure, I had studied structuralism and psychoanalytic theory and Marxism and feminist theory, but none of that really fit. But as I sat and truly thought about my approach, it was blatantly obvious that I take a mythological/archetypal approach to literature. It’s part of what attracted me to Tarot, it’s part of what brought me back to my beloved Episcopal Church, because this mythological/archetypal shit is actually the kind of stuff I thrive on in real life. It makes sense to me, and I connect deeply with it. I know that doesn’t sound very academic of me, that’s my creative side coming out.
This is probably what feeds my fascination with monsters and the macabre and vampires in particular. I connect so deeply with these things because they speak to my own experience and they help me to understand the world and they help me process my own trauma. I suppose that makes me very selfish reader, but reading and writing have been my only coping skills for a good portion of my life. I can honestly say that I would not even be alive today were it not for these two things.