More words I wished I’d written

was paging through a few-months-old notebook and stumbled on this, which I’d copied down from Antonia Quirke’s bfi book on JAWS. brilliant, brilliant stuff:

There are two types of monsters. The first is our incarnation of fear. King Kong, Dracula, Godzilla. The other, of which the first sharkless hour of Jaws is a supreme example, is the inflection of the whole landscape with fear. Virus horrors, the Maryland woods of the Blair Witch, Hanging Rock. In the first type the monster is an irruption of the unnatural into the world. But the second type inverts this. The unnatural presence is us. Incarnated monsters usually punish a specific fault. Inflected landscapes make being human the fault. We’re the guilty ones and fear any punishment is justified. (p.44)

a smart, smart monograph, testament, critical work, investigation, whatever you want to call it. a couple more from it:

Girls in swimsuits have always had the violence they enact on the male ego dreamed back on them by men. (p.19)

But doesn’t excess leisure just aggravate the pressure human beings feel to justify their life? To have a point? (p.20)

Think I’ve ready every last one of those bfi books. Quirke’s really stands out, though. check it out: