I don't really get horror, I think.
I like horror video games, sure, but when I sit down and read horror there's this distressing tendency to put the story down, look at the wall and go 'what the hell was that all about?'.
Okay, not always.
I did enjoy The Shining, and when I pick it back up, I'm sure I'll greatly enjoy Dracula, but in the instances of the two horror short stories I've read as an adult, I'm just confused.
For example, I read The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allen Poe and was left staring at the wall in confusion. I mentioned as much in the post containing my Taphophobia drabble.
Some dude buries his sister alive and then his house collapses?
I'm clearly missing something here, but I just can't tell you what.
I get that there's some connection between the literal house and these two last representatives of the family house, but so what?
I'm left in a very 'nice story, Poe, now go make me a sandwich' kind of mood.
When I was reading the Shining, I bought the kindle edition of Shirley Jackson's The Lottery and other short stories because it had been mentioned. (This is what happened with A Rebours, so I do this a fair amount.)
I've been in a reading mood, so I decided to start reading it just now and the first story, The Intoxicated has just left me in the same mood.
I gather that the story is meant to be unsettling, but it just isn't.
So what? Some teenage girl is anticipating the downfall of society because her parent's generation cocked it up?
Isn't that what teenagers do and have always done? Wanted a blank slate to recreate the world as they see it and not to have to live with the mistakes of the past? Think that the way their parent's generation is ruining the world?
... Am I just jaded?
Was this actually a thing people weren't used to or aware of in the nineteen forties?
Because, wooo boy, that's what the world is like now.
It's a good thing Jackson died in 'sixty five, because what the baby boomers have done since would have made her damn head explode.
I'd suggest that maybe we're meant to be unsettled by the fact that she's very clear on the end of the world coming, and seems convinced that it's coming soon, but every adult around her is so dismissive of that.
In the face of baby boomers, this is all just so quaint.
I actually looked up analysis for this story because I didn't get it. I got Doug to read it, and he didn't really see what it was trying to get at either.
Eh, maybe all this stuff is an acquired taste.