Monday, December 13, 2010
Early Influences I
As a child, I enjoyed sitting quietly in a corner of the living room, carefully examining the wonderfully lurid cover art of the books on the shelves. Certain imagery drew me back again and again. A black and white plate illustration in The Hunchback of Notre Dame depicted a cowed Esmeralda dressed in a long white shift, a rope about her neck, holding a candle. Agatha Christie's Appointment with Death, a typically lurid 1960s paperback, with a sinister looking Arab brandishing a hypodermic syringe and a helpless blonde in a tight red dress stifling a terrified scream. Did these pictures flip some switch in my impressionable young mind or was I simply drawn to them because of an existing predilection? Ritualistic submission and humiliation. Depersonalisation - a fondness for mannequins and masks. The objectification of the damsel in distress. All food for my psyche and, much later, for my erotic prose.