Thursday, February 16, 2012
In a recent issue of THE NEW YORKER, in a review of a new collection of M.R. James' stories, Anthony Lane quotes Virginia Woolf as saying, "it is pleasant to to be afraid when we are conscious that we are in no kind of danger." This was a quote from a longer essay by Woolf entitled " The Supernatural in Fiction."
This quote explains to me why some people are able to read and watch ghost or horror stories without feeling threatened. Part of their brain tells them that they are safe. They have a certain detachment from the goings on.
It is not like this for me. If the story is well done, I cannot tell myself that because my entire brain believes I am in danger like the people in the story.
How is it for you? Are you able to step outside the story? Can you watch or read it without feeling threatened?