The plunge into this pit I had avoided by the merest of accidents, I knew that surprise, or entrapment into torment, formed an important portion of all the grotesquerie
of these dungeon deaths.
"If now, in addition to all these things, you have properly reflected upon the odd disorder of the chamber, we have gone so far as to combine the ideas of an agility astounding, a strength superhuman, a ferocity brutal, a butchery without motive, a grotesquerie
in horror absolutely alien from humanity, and a voice foreign in tone to the ears of men of many nations, and devoid of all distinct or intelligible syllabification.
The protagonists, none too likable, can be hard to take, but they "shine amid a constant barrage of wonders and grotesqueries
, eking out depth and redemption" as the world around them closes in (NPR).
True, we've witnessed plenty of grotesqueries
that have wracked our part of the world in recent years (Daesh, the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, for example, may be out of sight, but is not out of mind).
What we get is an X-rated selection of Burroughs against suitably off-the-wall musical settings which create a sound picture completely in keeping with the super-real and surreal grotesqueries
and depravities which Burroughs turned into sometimes beautiful art.
The critic points out that 'while eschewing the extreme grotesqueries
of Khavn dela Cruz's 'Mondomanila,' Diokno's visions are equally scary.'
(I'm also reminded that she grew up looking at Diego Rivera's murals in Detroit.) But rather than encountering the lonely pathos that sneaked into many earlier works (her Swimming, Smoking, Crying from 2009 comes to mind), we fall in and out of stages of embodiment--if embodiment means locating the self under conditions of containment--whether catapulted into nightmares and cartoon grotesqueries
, or observing a figure caught midsleepwalk, her hands smushed up against the painting's foreground as if she were trying to escape its bounds.
And yet, there is a problem with the billionaire class and the grotesqueries
With their cast of humans acting like animals, animals acting and looking like humans, and all manner of stages between the two, the Caprichos transform the social grotesqueries
of greed, hypocrisy and vanity directly into formal and visual grotesque.
The self-stylized descendants of the Brothers Grimm and Neil Gaiman (whose "Coraline'' they adapted for their first of three features), Laika seems to yearn for a little more darkness, a touch of Gothic in our children's films -- a laudable and very welcome impulse that makes one inclined to celebrate their fanciful grotesqueries
on intentions alone.
I mention these grotesqueries
because they would seem to me part of the point of this exercise: one almost wishes the world would end, if it meant you could avoid dying of a tonsil infection, or take the rest of humankind down with you.
Gulliver's Travels (1726) by Jonathan Swift (Penguin Classics, 5.99[pounds sterling]) Imaginary travels among the grotesqueries
of human psychology, more relevant than ever