Because really, what could be more romantic?
Okay, begin ridiculously long Artist Comments, because I know an explanation is in order.
First of all, this was written for
’s “Taboos & Transgressions”contest
. The taboo I decided to explore is necrophilia. Also mental illness and the supernatural, though the supernatural has never been a taboo for me, even if it is for some people.
I feel the need to point out that the reason this is not more explicit is NOT because I couldn't bring myself to write it or anything - I would have preferred to have maybe made it a bit more overt, actually, but technically, dA policy prohibits any
depiction of intercourse, so I can't bring myself to risk getting banned. I would be heartbroken. If you want to read more about the policy, here it is. But be warned - it's graphic. FAQ #565: You prohibit the submission of 'pornographic imagery'; what do you consider this to be?
I likely chose this subject because several months ago I was searching online for a copy of Edgar Allen Poe’s poem Annabel Lee
and ran across a scholarly paper on it, which said that the poem contains “shades of necrophilia”. My first thought upon reading that was that “Shades of Necrophilia” would make an awesome name for an indie goth band; my second thought was “Huh. Really? I never noticed that”. I’m no Poe scholar, but I suppose that interpretation is valid, to an extent. Certainly not the point of the poem, but I can definitely see how a reader could get that impression.
Then I was browsing dA for Wuthering Heights
fan art (there really isn’t enough) and came across a lovely drawing (which I would totally link to, but I think the artist might not appreciate that) which included in the artist comments the following words: “It must be nice, to have that sort of companionship. Except for the fact that, you know, your significant other is a vengeful maniac who spend his time digging up your grave and gazing lovingly into your coffin.”
to which I replied “Oh come on, who doesn’t want their significant other to gaze lovingly into their coffin?” I was only half-joking. There is something oddly romantic about it.
Then of course there are the multitude of songs that skirt around this issue - "Even In Death"
and "Like You"
by Evanescence come to mind. So clearly there’s a lot of loving-coffin-gazing going on in art, but it always stays behind a certain line. So…I crossed the line.
The real issue at heart here though is the idea of "true love". In certain ways, we are encouraged to love deeply, desperately, eternally. And yet, those of us who actually do
love that deeply are often viewed as strange, obsessive and even crazy. The young widow or widower who never again marries. The shunned high school sweetheart who never truly loves again. The lover who returns again and again to the partner who inevitably takes them for granted and breaks their heart. I'm firmly in the love should be forever camp (though I don't think the narrator is going about it in the best way), and I find this societal duality sad, yet interesting to explore.
It’s first and foremost a love poem, though I tried to make it equal parts romantic, tragic, and creepy. How did I do with that? I know it’s very dramatic, especially toward the end, but I was taking inspiration from the Gothic Romantic writers, who were heavy on the drama. And besides, you’d kind of have
to be dramatic to go to the lengths of digging up your beloved’s corpse. And even though I didn’t have this in mind while I was writing it, reading it over I can conceivably see Heathcliff doing something like this. (Emily Bronte please don’t haunt me!) Actually do. That would be all kinds of awesome. Poe, too. It’ll be a party.
Okay, none of that is helping my case for sanity so I guess I’ll stop here. PLEASE tell me what you think.
I’m desperately curious.
Thanks for reading.
Submitted to the
prompt: Death-In-life Experience
Entered into the Darkness contest.
Submitted to the
. Inspiration was the poem Annabel Lee
by Edgar Allen Poe and the amazing novel Wuthering Heights
by Emily Bronte. Written in the tradition of these and other great gothic writers.
Entered into the
Horror Love contest.