A Gothic Connection

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A break from the promotional hype that’s dominated this blog lately, and back to what I really enjoy: literary matters!  I’ve written, in a few different ways, about this issue before.  I figured, for those reading the complete version of the novel, you must at least be into Chapters 3, 5, and possibly 7, which partially involve Nexus Wyrd’s adventures in the six-story office building of Domino and Wright.  The structure is really a schizophrenic hybrid of the old and new, reflecting the differing personalities, and the layers of the minds, from surface to subterranean, of the two senior partners who built the firm.

And while I can’t claim this novel is in any pure form a Gothic, I did try to pay a little homage to writers like Walpole, Brockden Brown, and Hawthorne in designing the building, with its winding stairways that lead to dead ends, obscure passageways, and especially its disorienting effect on the female protagonist.  This has a subtly frightening effect, because, according to genre convention, the domestic sphere (traditionally woman’s domain) becomes alien and antagonistic.  Any power she had is ripped from her.

In a classic Gothic, the heroine is typically pursued through the labyrinth of the large house owned by a mysterious man: in film, Hitchcock’s adaptation of du Maurier’s novel Rebecca is a fine exemplar.  The house is a symbolic manifestation of his unconscious mind–complete with all the monstrous incarnations of repressed desires and fears: dungeons, torture implements, buried secrets.  How could I update these for the 21st century?  In composing the early part of the novel, then, I asked myself what psychological forces were driving Domino and Wright?  Especially with the latter, I found myself creating a character with the very best intentions, and a strong wish to prove himself worthy of a legacy of honor from the past.  But, as is often the case when desire outstrips the fine points of morality, good intentions become perverted in unpredictable, often unseen ways.

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