04.19.12

Does our culture need better monsters?

Desiree Brown sat down with author Brian McGreevy to talk about his new novel Hemlock Grove, a modern twist on the vampire and werewolf genre. What ensues is a rather strange conversation about the nature of fear and the modern occult, but he does offer a twist on what a monster or a villain could or should be:

 I think there’s an honor to darkness, if I’m being frank. I think we live in a universe where the creative principle is as strong as the destructive principle. You can decide you’re not going to pay attention to this one thing at the expense of the other thing but then you’re half lying. Like, every baby that’s born has to die one day and I would say that’s fine. That’s actually kind of great. It’s a beautiful world that we’re a part of. The first has no value if you remove the other side of this equation. So you’ll say, you’re being really dark, but to me, the book also is a celebration of love.

The entire interview is worth a read, but McGreevy's reflections on how we should be thinking about evil has ramifications for us as game players. Too often, evil feels banal -- space aliens! again! -- and undercuts the things that actually are terrifying to us as humans. McGreevy points to the Gothic tradition (something Josiah Harrist wrote about for us): "The Gothic tradition isn’t darkness per se, it’s looking at this polarity. How light is the light and how dark is the dark?"

[Via The Awl]