So, we’ve just wrapped up talking about communication. I’ve been spending most of today adding in roughly 400 (!) more pieces of information to the documents. Most of them come from my big 100 book Blinkist binge, which covered a pretty big host of topics. For our next deep dive, I’m thinking either writing or entrepreneurship… but I’m not sure yet. What are your thoughts?
Also, some updates on monetization: I’m about ready now, so I think we’ll do the rest of May as freebies and then start premium in June. These intermissions won’t be the free episodes; these will be premium only, mostly because they serve literally as intermissions in between core content.
Finally, I’m thinking the format for these posts will be three pieces of art, two pieces of writing, and one quote. That is subject to change. A big issue with this is that I have a total of 300 art images on my MEGA and… exactly 0 sources. So a lot of reverse image searching is going to be involved. And if it turns out finding sources is a lot harder than it seems, we may need to pivot to something else. But we’ll see.
Witches Flight, Francisco de Goya
Alright, we’ll start with one I actually know the source of, to save me the trouble. This is part of de Goya’s Witches series, which is in a lot of ways the inspiration for witch-themed horror you see from guys like del Toro and Eggers. The use of black, empty space is really good on this piece (this is actually a cropped version — the original has a much more expanded emptiness to it). The cowering man on the ground, as well as the screaming person being lifted above, makes you understand something very wrong is happening, even though you don’t know exactly what’s going on.
So this image actually crashes Google Images if you try to look it up. I didn’t even know that was possible. I do vaguely remember this comes from a Japanese horror artist who used to post stuff on Tumblr back in the early/mid 2010s, but that’s about as far as I can get. Hopefully you will have better luck than I on finding the source.
Staying with our spooky theme, I think this is another image that does a good job of developing a vague sense of anxiety. Perhaps this piece is less subtle — or more subtle? — than the de Goya when it comes to pure unease factor. I once wanted to make a game based on this artist’s work, having players go across a surreal organic station leading to nowhere, with no other soul but these strange geometric creatures.
Untitled, Guy Billout
This is one of my favorite paintings, and I think in a personal way it relates back to the unease of the first two pieces. It’s not as on the nose as, “Oh, it’s a ghost in the pool” or some other silly nonsense. Rather, I think the unease comes more from the background than the foreground. There is nothing here. Nothing but an empty plane. A man, whose goal we don’t understand. And himself, looking back, saluting with a small smile.
We always imagine eternity as something beyond our conception, something vast, vast! But why must it be vast? Instead of all that, what if it's one little room, like a bath house in the country, black and grimy and spiders in every corner, and that's all eternity is? I sometimes fancy it like that.
Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment
Gabriel felt humiliated by the failure of his irony and by the evocation of this figure from the dead, a boy in the gasworks. While he had been full of memories of their secret life together, full of tenderness and joy and desire, she had been comparing him in her mind with another. A shameful consciousness of his own person assailed him. He saw himself as a ludicrous figure, acting as pennyboy for his aunts, a nervous, well-meaning sentimentalist, orating to vulgarians and idealising his own clownish lusts, the pitiable fatuous fellow he had caught a glimpse of in the mirror.
James Joyce, The Dead
“Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”