“And to this hour the image of Carmilla returns to memory with ambiguous alternations […] often from a reverie I have started, fancying I heard the light step of Carmilla at the drawing room door.”
It’s pretty surreal how the novella ends with Laura daydreaming of hearing Carmilla at her door, and the webseries begins with Carmilla at her door, almost as if by travelling through the door she had crossed into an alternate universe.
Anne-Louis Girodet (1767-1824)
“The Burial of Atala” (1808)
“Atala, ou Les Amours de deux sauvages dans le desert” is an early novella by François-René de Chateaubriand, first published on 2 April 1801. The work, inspired by his travels in North America, had an immense impact on early Romanticism, and went through five editions in its first year.
The National Book Foundation is headed to Washington, D.C. for #AWP17 . Here are some of the National Book Award Winners, Finalists, Longlist and 5 Under 35 honorees who you can catch during the conference. We’ll see you there!
Thursday, February 9, 2017
Jacqueline Woodson, National Book Award Winner and Finalist
Sanity is a subject I’ve grown increasingly interested in as I’ve gotten older. I used to see it as a black and white matter. Some people are sane, others insane. Easy as that.
This was a cozy idea of mine as a child at least. I kept far away from the black sheep of my family - an ancient great aunt with a lifetime’s wake of miserable holiday antics due to her undiagnosed narcissism - and I got used to what I perceived was textbook sanity. Although I do remember once in middle school miserably wishing I could be as smart as Nietzsche, as I felt too sane to ever be genius. But eventually, after those comfortable years not considering it much more, I left home. I met people comfortable with routines I could never imagine for myself, and with backgrounds equally contrasting. Not only did I question my own quirks, I feared my roots. I had grown accustomed to my Father wearing literally the same outfit every single day (à la Steve Jobs) because “it’s comfortable,” and to a Mother who collected rocks and scrap metals (to build a scarecrow for the backyard of course). But also around that time, humans generally became a lot more interesting to me.
This perhaps isn’t an accurate personal introduction to The Alienist, as it crosses into other ideas and plots - but I kept going back to this subject. Maybe I’m ready for something that addresses the topic without satire (I’m always welcome to suggestions!) for The Alienist is equally hilarious as it is perceptive and ahead of it’s time. I'm definitely ready for more Machado de Assis.