Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Terrifying Sincerity of David Lynch

Over break I tore through Dennis Lim's new book, David Lynch: The Man From Another Place, the
strongest single volume on Lynch I have read. Lim's accomplishment — a vivid yet concise study of Lynch's oeuvre, one that reads like a novel — is most impressive against the excess and, I'd say, stagnation of contemporary Lynch studies. You should read it; it's available on Amazon like everything else.

Lim spends some time elucidating Lynch's treatment of 'the uncanny,' as others have before him. I am one of them, I guess, though barely anyone has read the essay I wrote almost two years ago for Cornell's Kitsch Magazine (certainly not Lim) — which is perhaps as it should be, since it's rough in spots and could use a serious trimming. But I gave it another look, upon finishing Lim's book, and I think I contributed something novel, at least interesting in my analysis of how Mulholland Drive presciently invokes terror, specifically 9/11, a date bookended by the film's premiere and NYC release.

That section of the essay bears the subtitle, "an uncanny connection to 9/11," and can be read by scrolling down a few (5) facile opening paragraphs on Kitsch's Wordpress site, which I never before linked to on this blog. Written for the Spring 2014 issue of Kitsch Magazine, "The Terrifying Sincerity of David Lynch" can be read, warts and all, here.

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