Defining J-Horror: The erotic, grotesque ‘nonsense’ of Edogawa Rampo


By Eugene Thacker

In Japanese literature, there is a type of horror story that centers on an individual’s obsession with a single idea. It arises from the most innocent and everyday circumstances, but gradually this single idea becomes all-consuming, blurring the line between sanity and madness. In some cases, the transformations are not just psychological but physical, mutating a human being into something grotesque and unhuman.

Let’s say I’m a furniture designer who take great pride in their work. Nothing compares to the feeling of building a well-designed chair and then sitting in it for the first time. One day, I let my body slowly sink into a newly built chair, caressing the arm rests. The chair not only provides comfort and support, it seems to envelop me, to embrace me. Lost in my thoughts, my mind drifts and I stumble on a peculiar idea: I imagine myself accompanying the chair wherever it goes, experiencing what it experiences. I laugh to myself at such a ridiculous notion and dismiss it — but the idea keeps coming back. Read more

Source: The Japan Times

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