Death Becomes Her, Mourning Clothing Exhibit Opening at New York’s “Met” — and a Side Trip to Gothdom; Video Interview of Me on HWA Blog

Widows, [curator Harold] Koda points out, were “a destabilizing force in pre–World War I society, because they’re sexually knowing, and they’re out on the market.”

Saturday was the day of my writers group’s monthly meeting in which my story up for critique was a spinoff from my “Casket Girls,” published in DAILY SCIENCE FICTION last April (cf. April 17, 10, et al.).  The heroine, as it were, is a young-looking New Orleanian named “Lo,” recently widowed — because the women of her persuasion don’t age or die (or, more properly speaking, may have done the latter already), while their husbands do and eventually will (at which point the women may find an excuse to return to France, only to be “replaced” by a younger cousin or niecjaysMourningClothese or alleged daughter who had been sent overseas as a young girl for her education, and has now returned).  So, speaking of widows. . . .

Well, by pure coincidence, courtesy of Scott M. Goriscak via The Horror Society on Facebook, here is a piece on a just-opened exhibit at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, “The Met’s New Exhibit, ‘Death Becomes Her,’ will Thrill Your Inner Goth” by Véronique Hyland.  And, yes, while there is a gothy element to all this, the fashions, accessories, customs, and expectations are real for the period from 1815 to 1915, including the note I’ve quoted above, more on which can be found here.

Looking at the styles on display, the crossover with contemporary goth and gothic Lolita style was obvious.  When asked about the continuing appeal of this style of dress, Koda became pensive.  “I have a personal theory.  I think we’re a generation where death is at such a remove, not for all of us, but the young people who embrace it, there’s a kind of ability to fantasize about what death means.”

So that’s for the inner goth, but while on the subject of fashion, what of the “outer goth” as well?  For a humorous and interesting treatment of (more-or-less) here-and-now goth “types” by Megan Balanck, press here.

Then one curious addition, re. my previous post, that while I may have no offering this year in the Horror Writers Association “Halloween Haunts” page itself, my presence is not entirely missing.  Well, maybe I’ve commented on some of the other entries there too, but if you were to go to the main HWA blog site and look to the left, in the column with headings like “HWA News,” then scroll down just a bit, you will find a button for my video interview conducted in Portland at last May’s World Horror Convention (see also, July 24).  This is the one that says I’m a sculptor, though really I’m not — in the interview itself I was actually talking about two characters in THE TEARS OF ISIS.  But see for yourself by pressing here.


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