The Short Fiction of Aleister Crowley

“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.”

The interesting thing about Aleister Crowley is that he really believed this. We don’t consider him a fiction writer (at least not primarily), but he went and did it for a while, because he could do whatever and whenever. So he wrote fiction, but only between 1908 and 1922, that’s merely fifteen years from his prolific and incredibly versatile mind. This was an era when he approached the literary world as a critic and writer, although at first quite reluctantly (“I had an instinctive feeling against prose; I had not appreciated its possibilities,”  he wrote, later admitting that“the short story is one of the most delicate and powerful forms of expression”). He wasn’t only a writer, but he still made sure that his legacy includes a large collection of miscellaneous prose, now presented in a prestigious (and affordable) Wordsworth edition, titled The Drug and Other Stories.

In here, we can almost forget about his persona, despite the obvious fact that most of these stories are clearly written by an occultist ceremonial magician – but that’s not the point of this collection. His beliefs don’t interfere with his fiction, at least not in a way that it obscures his effort to present various stories, sometimes quite innocent, naive, humorous, other times obtusely esoteric, sure, and sometimes evocative and uncomfortable. Continue reading “The Short Fiction of Aleister Crowley”

Simulation Fatigue in Black Mirror

Black Mirror needs to reinvent itself. The sooner, the better.

Don’t get me wrong. The fourth season has cleverly written, beautifully directed episodes throughout, as usual. It’s still the prime science-fiction anthology, and one of the most relevant TV series, even if contemporary science-fiction writers and futurologists already explored most of its ideas. The problem is, the new season didn’t have any new ideas, at all.

At this point, most episodes of Black Mirror boil down to the same two premises:

  • Invasive technology will destroy our privacy
  • Our digital copies will live in existential nightmare

Five out of six episodes are variations of these themes, and both have been done before, with more subtlety. In this regard, I’m quite disappointed. Continue reading “Simulation Fatigue in Black Mirror”

The Comedy in Get Out

Last year Get Out was nominated for a Golden Globe in the category of Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. Many consider Get Out one of the best horror films of 2017. I was intrigued for months, but I rarely watch movies nowadays, but I decided to see Get Out for myself and see whether it’s a comedy or a horror. Well, I found out it’s neither, but can be interpreted as both, and it’s really fascinating to see why.
Get Out is… interesting. It certainly plays with horror tropes, probably taking inspiration from works such as The Wicker Man and The Stepford Wives (and their derivatives), but it’s also very clear from the first minute that this story is a statement about representation of black people, highlighting causal (and perhaps unintentional) racist behavior. Continue reading “The Comedy in Get Out”

Family Dynamics in Resident Evil 7

Sometimes I find the concept of family perplexing. It is something that we take for granted, something that we think of as natural, but give it a second thought, and you’ll find that people living together solely on the basis of blood… can be kind of disturbing.

There’s a chance I’m thinking this way because I come from a broken home, but I can also recall how unnatural our family reunions are. Some of these people are essentially strangers, yet still talking to each other once a year. You can tell that they have nothing in common, sometimes even turning on each other, arguing about politics, inheritance or worse. And they eventually reconcile over food.

You can live your own life, be your own master, but once in a while, there comes a day when you have to sit at a dinner table with people you secretly despise, or even fear. Only because it is expected. Enforced by nature and society. That’s something you can’t control. Continue reading “Family Dynamics in Resident Evil 7”

Introduction

I guess this would be a good time to introduce myself, although for some reason, it makes me a bit uncomfortable. I’ll try to keep things brief.

I’m a Hungarian writer, mostly interested in the macabre and the weird.

This year I turned thirty, and I decided to take a step towards writing for an international audience. Horror and weird fiction are niche genres, especially in a small country, so it made sense to me to at least try to extend my reach.

My non-fiction writings in Hungarian are varied in subject. Similarly, my short stories are varied in genres and styles. So far I’ve published a novel, a short story collection, numerous articles and essays, but if you look at this ouvre, you’ll notice that it’s very unfocused. It doesn’t make a commitment to a subject or a genre.

This blog will serve as a remedy for that, as I will dedicate the site solely to dark and weird subjects. Expect my occasional translations of short stories to follow that pattern as well.

So… let’s get started.