Engleby quote (Ideas to be explored – Home as the cosmos, Self as evolutionary illusion)

 Had a entire post and some thoughts to accompany re: A pseudo-nerd screenplay + scenes that I’ve decided to scrap for several reasons. Instead here’s something that I want to explore further. Perhaps in prose… I know it’s a controversial epigraph/idea lynch pin for numerous reasons. Not trying to be exclusionary at all, but those that have read Engleby will understand why; also contentions exists regarding philosophy of mind, evolutionary neuroscience and all that…

Well, I’ll be quiet now.


‘Scientists now believe that my sense of self is an illusion generated by the chemical activity of the brain; that there is no such thing as ‘mind’, that there is only matter, but that over the successful Homo sapiens years the idea of self has become a ‘necessary fiction’.  We think that some small grey bits of the brain, following a inaccuracy in cell duplication many years ago, began in one individual and his offspring to generate an illustrate of mind; and that, in history, the chance mutation that allowed them this chimera had side effects so helpful to the species that its possessors, to the extent that we are all now descended from them – mutants every one of us, whose key mutation is a fib. 

If that current thinking is right and consequently there is no self, then my consciousness is so biochemically similar to that of the small boy in the supermarket as to be functionally indistinguishable. Therefore ‘I’m since I am not an individual entity, cannot cease to be, but am doomed to exist for ever- until or unless some new freak mutation finds favour with the powers of natural selection, and human consciousness, like the bat’s blind eye, falls back into disuse, deselected, along with the other hopeful monsters- back into the welcoming void whence it came.’

Engleby, Page 323/4


Gothic? You haven’t seen anything yet… THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE MACABRE!


After rediscovering and viewing Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow three times in three days it’s a certified, wonderful example of “fun” horror i.e. a macabre and escapist romp with some gratuitous blood, suspense and Burtonesque black humour (which Hollow is littered with) included. Subsequently, I was inspired to write a poem/song hybrid sonnet-thing (I have no idea what I’m doing either, this is a first attempt).

I simply don’t understand some of  the criticism levelled at Sleepy Hollow during it’s initial release, the duality of science vs supernatural conflict is a fantastic thematic backbone (amidst the context of puritanical 1799 America) consuming faithless Ichabond Crane (Johnny Depp) his scars originate from a childhood incident (no spoilers here, go and see it if you haven’t already) centring around the villainy of religion as a “mask of virtue” and his “tyrant” of a father. This succinct snippet speaks sheadloads about the film thematically. Young Masbath is an adolescent orphaned by the recent  “headless” murders in the small village of Sleepy Hollow.
Young Masbath: You are bewitched by reason!
Ichabond Crane: I am beaten by it!

This dichotomy of the supernatural contrasted against reason and rational deduction is personified by Katrina Von Tassel (Ricci) and Crane (Depp) respectively and the relationship that manifest, grows and blossoms throughout the duration of the film:

Katrina Von Tassel: Are you so sure of everything?

Ichabond Crane: Are you?

As we approach Halloween 2011, the following poem is certainly pretty apt. Read on and I hope you enjoy…

The Wonderful World of the Macabre

The Wonderful World of the Macabre!


It’s time to slay,

(never pray)


To detect and reject notions

of Ghouls and Goblins

Pixies and potions

Isn’t it?


No it’s time to retreat inside our mind

To bind and combine

Form a resistance against the things that slice thrice in the night

(And slice back)


Of Might and Right

Of bewitching mavens and irritating ravens

Bring all your kin and flaming pumpkins

For it’s time to say your “Nevermore” nevermore


Crows perched upon tombstones in a labyrinthine of rows

(Allen Poe: So-so)

Eying the evil eye, imminent villainy is imminently nearby


Halloween is upon us

Attempting the rationalise the irrational: The Wonderful world of the Macabre!

Black, red and gray…