The House of Usher Never Fell: Impossible Escapes and the Dark (K)night of the Soul
AbstractAmong the abundance of possible readings of Poe’s short story, one of the most intriguing is its treatment as an escape fantasy - the image of the unnamed narrator delirious, flight from the collapsing structure at his back seems almost too fortuitous, and invites questions as to the sole survivor’s relation to “the house of Usher”. As the structure’s suspected sentience could be seen to relegate its occupants to the position of psychological forces and manifest thought-content, the house is transformed into a combination of physical and mental spaces, akin to the twin “prisons” of body and mind which the narrator fantasizes about being freed from. The article examines the (im)possibility of Poe’s narrator’s escape, using Grant Morrison and Dave McKean’s graphic novel Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth as a companion text. Read alongside each other, the two narratives “construct” their “houses” by a superimposition of their characters’ mental landscapes onto the skeleton of physical (textual) space, in order to perform the fantasy of escape from psychological conflict, whether by tearing down the house as in Poe’s tale, or by restoring the externalized order as in the Batman novel.
|Journal series||Kultura Popularna, ISSN 1644-8340, e-ISSN 2391-6788, (B 10 pkt)|
|Publication size in sheets||0.5|
|Keywords in English||E.A.Poe, Batman, degeneration, mental space, escape, fantasy dream|
* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.