Horror as optimism

I knew what books she liked … – gloomy horror stories, Gothic novels with crumpled covers featuring a drawing of a Bat. Perverted monks, severed hands that murder people, coffins flushed out of graveyards by floods. Evidently reading this sort of thing confirmed her in the conviction that we are not living in the worst of worlds, and taught her optimism.

I asked her what kind of books she wrote, and she replied horror stories. That pleased me … Anyone who’s capable of writing things like that must be a courageous Person.

‘And does evil always have to be punished at the end?’ I asked.

‘I don’t care about that. I’m not concerned with punishment. I just like to write about frightening things. … It does me good.’

Drive your plow over the bones of the dead, Olga Tokarczuk

Really enjoying this book.


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