Posts tagged “shirley jackson”

  1. Previously: Shirley Jackson's What To Expect When You're Expecting. "Jim and Imelda know that no live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Having already seen two city-center apartments, they're ready to take a chance and look at Hill House, not sane, which has stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it's stood so for eighty…

  2. When it comes to literary daydreaming, I’m not one for those imaginary dinner parties, with artisanally curated assemblages of Great Authors of All Time swapping deft bon mots between courses. Mostly, I’m sure, I’d end up worrying about Emily Dickinson’s food allergies and regretting having brought Nathanael West and Jacqueline Susann into the same room (hey, you choose your Great Authors, I’ll choose mine). Also, I don’t have a lot of chairs. I’m a copy…

  3. With grateful thanks to Toast reader Alicia for the idea. Chapter 1: Before You Conceive

    Conditions Of Absolute Reality Remember To Use Stones • Stand By Yourself Against The Hills • Are You Walking Toward Something You Should Be Running Away From?

    Chapter 2: Just What's Inside Of You?

    God! Whose Hand Were You Holding? Strangers Have So Much To Be Afraid Of • A Pretty Sight, A Lady With A Book • She

  4. 1. Someone you have known and hated for thirty years pays you an unremarkable yet somehow sinister greeting at the only grocery store in town, which you also hate.

    2. You have committed several murders, yet somehow you are also the sanest and most sympathetic person you know.

    3. Every time you see your neighbors, the encounters decrease in friendliness and increase in dark foreboding.

  5. I’ve been reading We Have Always Lived in the Castle, the last novel Shirley Jackson wrote before her death in 1965, and thought I had remembered someone saying her agoraphobia was the thing that inspired her to write so much about creepy houses. (Have you read The Haunting of Hill House? Go read it if you haven’t, preferably late at night and under the covers, with a flashlight.) So I toddled on over to…

  6. We Have Always Stayed At The Sandcastle Inn "I could live there all alone. Behind the winding garden path to the small blue front door with, perfectly, a white cat on the step. No one would ever find me there, either, behind all those roses, and just to make sure I would plant oleanders by the road. I will light a fire in the cool evenings and toast apples at my own hearth. I will…

  7. "The Summer People," Shirley Jackson Available (quite cheaply) at Dramatic Publishing and Amazon. My introduction to Shirley Jackson was the Platonic ideal of the first-time Jackson experience: at the age of sixteen, in the late afternoon, browsing idly through a used bookstore. I found a copy of We Have Always Lived In The Castle and have never quite slept soundly since.

  8. The kind of magic I find myself closest to believing in, particularly on windy days, is the magic of Merricat Blackwood and concealed objects. You remember the magic of concealed objects, don't you? All our land was enriched with my treasures buried in it, thickly inhabited just below the surface with my marbles and my teeth and my colored stones, all perhaps turned to jewels by now, held together under the ground in a…

  9. The cup of stars, The Haunting of Hill House. "Eleanor looked up, surprised; the little girl was sliding back in her chair, sullenly refusing her milk, while her father frowned and her brother giggled and her mother said calmly, 'She wants her cup of stars.' Indeed yes, Eleanor thought; indeed, so do I; a cup of stars, of course. 'Her little cup,' the mother was explaining, smiling apologetically at the waitress, who was thunderstruck at…