Saturday, May 19, 2012

Good Night, Haunted Lantern

After bouncing a few different ideas in my head all day, no interlocking parts snapped into place and formed a good idea. It happens. However, I can show you what drinking did. Perhaps you’re a more upstanding, more put-together and more clicked-into-place type of person and you won’t relate, but it occasionally happens that my nights ends boozily, with me aimlessly clicking around the internet. That happened last night, which meant that this morning was an archeological expedition into what my drunk mind is like. But I can’t for the life of me remember what led me here or why it was decided that it should be the last thing I looked at before I dinosaur walked off to bed. Oh wine, you old rascal.

Here is the image:


Isn’t that disturbing? It’s by Hokusai, who, it turned out, didn’t just draw pretty Japanese landscapes. My reaction is… complex. It’s horrifying, sure, but the immediate association I made with this painting is summer — a warm summer night. Isn’t that strange? It makes me think of Hausu, too, what with its angry ghost ladies and unhappy-to-be-animate furniture.

The story behind the illustration, per Wikipedia: It’s what it looks like. It’s an evil spirit taking over — or coming out of — a paper lantern. The specific spirit belongs Oiwa, a woman who was deformed as a result of a cursed facial cream sent to her by a rival. (No, really.) She’s too ugly to bear, so her husband leaves her, but her ghost ultimately comes back and prevents her former husband from finding any measure of happiness or peace.

So there you go. May you sleep as well as I did last night.

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