Horror Haul

Saturday, 17 September 2016

As mentioned in my previous post, I'm going to be taking a few classes this year that delve into horror. Naturally, over the past few weeks I've been buying some pretty scary, perhaps horrific, in preparation for my upcoming studies. The following books are for a class on modern horror, with the exception of Dracula, which is actually on a separate course looking at monsters across literature. Either way, I think I'm in for a bit of a spook. 


The Bad Seed - William March

Most of the books on my modern horror reading list are texts that inspired many famous film adaptations. In many cases, the film went on to outshine, even outlive, the source text (some of the other books we're going to read are Psycho, The Silence of the Lambs, Let the Right One In, and so on) - which is why you might notice that this book, The Bad Seed, is published by Vintage Movie Classics. It's really interesting to see how the source text can become dependent on its adaptation. The branding of this novel is entirely reliant on the film - it lists the starring actors, depicts one of them, and its publishing house and tagline explicitly reference and place emphasis on the films, not the books. 

I really like stories that are not for but about children, so I'm really intrigued to try this one!


American Psycho - Bret Easton Ellis

I've been coveting this particular edition for a while now. They have it stocked in Hodges Figgis, who I should probably just get around to setting up a direct debit with, and it's been tempting me in there for a while now. It just took seeing it on my reading list for me to finally bite the bullet. 

This edition of American Psycho is so simple and so clever - the clinical-ness of the negative space combined with the bloody fingerprint. It really seems to embody the book - or, at least, the film, which I first saw a number of years ago. I’m really eager to read the book and to examine the differences between each one - across different media and different genders (the author of the book is a man, while the director of the film is a woman, Mary Harron). 


Sharp Objects - Gillian Flynn

I have, of course, read and loved Gone Girl, and have been harbouring a latent but very keen interest in reading more by Gillian Flynn ever since. I know virtually nothing about this novel - but when I got an email notifying me that the reading list had been updated for my modern horror class, I was thrilled to see that it was one of the added texts. 

If Gone Girl is anything to go by, Sharp Objects is bound to be horrific in more ways than one. 


Dracula - Bram Stoker

As soon as I found this gorgeous edition, I knew I had to have it. It's my first Roads publication, and hopefully not my last. Roads is a really inspiring Dublin-based publishing house with a huge variety of classics in this stunning design template. 

Somehow, I know very little about the story of Dracula. I obviously haven't read it yet, and despite having many a famous adaptation, I have never seen a film version either. I have, however, visited the Dracula Museum in Clontarf, where Bram Stoker was from. The first time I went I was too scared to go through with it - it’s more of a scare-experience than a museum - but the second time I was able to endure the entire thing (read: sprint through it). It’s probably nothing more than a fog machine and a creepy music playlist, but it really does get to you! Hopefully the book is just as eerie. 

Back to School: The Last First Day

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

As my fourth and final year of university approaches, I found myself scrolling through my instagram (@krnlry if you're so inclined) and reminiscing over the various pictures I have chosen to document my college life. Predictably, I seem to mostly take pictures as I walk through Trinity on my way to the bus/train back home. That, and coffee. I've been brewing a Gilmore Girls level obsession with coffee for quite some time now. 

I typically approach returns to academia with dread, so in some ways, I'm very happy to be returning to college for the last time. I don't think I'll be pursuing any kind of postgraduate study. I haven't been at my happiest over these past three years, and while that has more to do with me than it has to do with college, I would like to try something else.

That said, I'm really looking forward to my classes this year. There are no more compulsory modules for senior sophisters. It's all up to us. And there's a clear reason why Trinity's English department is so highly rated - the course choices are extremely vast. Being me, I basically chose a split between children's literature and horror. One of the audiobooks I reviewed in my last post (The Girl with All the Gifts) is actually one of my upcoming course books for my modern horror class. Reading set texts ahead of time (or, um, reading them at all) is extremely unusual for me, so hopefully I'm setting a new precedent for myself. New academic year, new me. 


It will be strange not studying French anymore. That's another new thing - fourth years only study one of their previous two subjects. A part of me is happy that I no longer have to study le subjonctif or read En Attendant Godot for the fifth time, but I know that, like college itself, there are things that I will miss. (Yes, even the awkward pauses in oral classes.)

It also means that I'll really need to put more independent effort into keeping up my standard of French. If anyone reading this happens to have any recommendations of French films/books/etc, don't hesitate to let me know!

Trinity doesn't start back for another few weeks, but with everyone else going back, it's hard not to think about it, and how not-ready I am to be a final year student. But then I remember that I've already read some course texts, and I've drawn my timetable into my bullet journal, and I've just bought a new satchel - so maybe I am ready after all.