Twisted Tales; Unvarnished Truths…

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The short stories written by Daphne Du Maurier when she was in her twenties – apparently rejected by the editors then – are now available for the reader.

‘Stunning’, is too feeble a word for her percipient writing! One can see the origins of  her eponymous heroine ‘Rebecca’  in a story ‘ The Doll.’ Now, that is a  truly breath taking story: apt material for any literature student who wants to research on gender, power play, and openly subversive writing.

Also, it is worth to explore the similarities of character in the two Rebeccas. The play of emotions, the hatred, the loathing, the desire, the love, the mystery and the jealousy. The heroine asks whether one can love someone to such an extent that it becomes pleasurable to hurt that person! The hero wonders whether he could strangle her to her death. The ending is….unspeakable! Ah,  definitely the twisted tale of Manderlay,  first stirred to life in that story…I  could only hum ‘ Yeh nayan dare dare…’

It was not that song which I hummed when I read  the story, ‘And his letters grew colder.’ How perfectly  the young Daphne Du Maurier analysed the mind of the player! The hunting, the chasing and the cold hearted abandonment. The callousness of the casual trickster has been dissected with needle sharp cynicism and ruthlessness by a master writer!

Any day, any century, any era, a woman can benefit by reading that story! Poor Mrs.B, or A : how you fell for the hunter at large! It is a tale which will hold true in the age of tinder and instant messaging; and probably save a few lives from unwarranted suicides too.  Apparently,  from reading reviews of that story , a lot of women across the world agree on that particular chronology of Daphne’s surreptitiously sly narrative.

The perfect song to hum is Kelly Clarkson’s of course.. ‘Baby you don’t know me..what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…’

 

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http://lereis.blogspot.in/2007/05/and-his-letters-grew-colder.html

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2011/apr/30/the-doll-daphne-du-maurier

P.S. For all who love Conan Doyle. He could write some real creepy stuff too! Check out ‘ The case of Lady Sannox.’  Now that is another story which can fit in this particular genre. Du Maurier would have applauded.

http://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/19/tales-of-terror-and-mystery/75/the-case-of-lady-sannox/

 

 

And He Said, Speaking Low and Nervously…

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So I told my daughter, ‘Read M.R.James. You will be surprised and delighted with that horror genre! Besides, you can enjoy the BBC versions of every story!’

As a beautiful eyebrow was raised-the owner contemplating on the utility of reading a Cambridge  don exposit on the supernatural and the impalpable in exquisite English -I rushed in: ‘ Start with ‘The treasure of Abbot Thomas’! Bet it can enchant you as much as the twistor theory..’.

This time, she laughed indulgently. She knows me well. It is better to humour me , when I am on a pulpit preaching the virtues of reading classics.

‘ What of it?’ She asks, with a smile.

‘ There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy…’

‘ Ha!’

‘ Ciphers! Zacchariea 3:9  Super latinum unum occuli sunt!’

‘ Eh? Latin?’

‘ Upon one stone are seven eyes…’ And that is from Zachariah! More from Job and  Johannes…!’

‘ Eeeks!’

And a warning. In French! Gare a qui la touché!’

‘ What?’

‘ Beware, whoever touches it!’

‘ Ugho!’

‘ Yup! There was a Guardian! Depositum Custodi! Keep that which is committed to Thee!’

‘ And you want me to read it before going to bed, Amma?’

I laugh in a theatrical manner!

‘Do tell me if you enjoy the imagination of a brilliant Cambridge don!  He was a genius. Your generation probably has not appreciated him enough. He used to read  out his horror stories by candle light in the Cambridge Chit Chat Club!’

‘ What an ideal life!’

This time we laugh together.

My teenager promises that she will meander from her safe Physics turf into some intriguing classic horror genre.

I grin happily. I know that once she starts with the wicked Abbot’s tale,  ‘The Ash Tree’ and ‘ Casting the Runes’ will be  consumed soon enough. After all, no one can stop with eating just one chocolate, can they?

And as for me, The Tractate Middoth awaits! And the warm afternoon sun is so delightful in accompaniment!

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