Happy Halloween! I love this holiday, despite my horror of horror films (and tendency to get freaked out when staying in the tower rooms of Victorian bed-and-breakfasts). It's an excuse to dress up and become someone imaginary (a thrill for a lover of the magical in literature), and a time to turn everything upside down: our version of the Carnival that provides a safe space for our strangest and silliest impulses. Whether or not you're planning on doing anything scary, eerie or carnivalesque today, it's a good time to get into the spirit of the macabre, if only as a break from your utterly reasonable interests the rest of the year. Here are a couple of suggestions.
Chas Addams, the New Yorker cartoonist and creator of the Addams Family, is the subject of a new bio by Linda Davis that looks pretty great. Check out this excerpt and some cartoons on the NPR website.
It's a great day to check out And Now The Screaming Starts, a blog dedicated to all things strange and scary (though it's more delightfully odd than actually frightening). Book reviews of WORLD WAR Z and Lives and Loves of Daisy and Violet Hilton: A True Story of Conjoined Twins are just the beginning. Check out the links at right for more goofy horror blogs.
And if you're on your way to the Manhattan Halloween Parade, stop by McNally Robinson Booksellers after 5 for our own bit of spooky weirdness: the funerary violin stylings of Rohan Kriwaczek, author of AN INCOMPLETE HISTORY OF THE ART OF FUNERARY VIOLIN. Check out the NPR piece for the backstory on this enigmatic work, and Rohan's website for his own presentation of the matter. I'm looking forward to some dressing up, eating candy, and listening to some appropriately eerie music for the dead on this day of appreciation for the literary weird.