A Few Questions

  1. Why are you writing this story?
  2. Is there any connection between the character named Jinx, Marilyn Manson, and your DJ name (also "Jinx")?
  3. Why do people have such silly "uber-goth" names?
  4. Where did you get the God and Goddess' names from?
  5. Where did you get the races' names from?
  6. What happened to all that complicated stuff about "Spheres" you had in previous versions of the story?
  7. Why did you add the teenaged girl as one of the main characters?
  8. What is the deal with the colored "music selections" part of each character's profile?
  9. Is it just me or are the sexual intrigues in this story unusually complicated?
  10. Are you making a purposeful effort to make this story "politically correct"?
  11. What is "the Myspace project"?
  12. I want to read this story. When will you finish it?
  13. Aren't you that weird teacher who teaches "the goth course" at MRU?
Why are you writing this story?
This story is largely inspired by three formative issues I experienced in my late teens: 1) goths being mocked or excluded on the basis of their appearance; 2) goths judging and excluding other goths for being Marilyn Manson fans, on the assumption that said fandom made one an ignorant sheep who knew nothing about what goth was "really" about; 3) my conviction, despite 1 & 2, that there is some kind of spiritual significance to subcultural participation, at least for myself if not others.
The story arose primarily from these elements, but several other aspects of my life also influenced the shape which it took. Foremost amongst these elements are my education in religious studies (specializations in Christian apocalypticism and in religion and social morality), and my own religious/spiritual path (with influences including Satanism, Neopaganism, Chaos Magic, Buddhism, and Qabalah). These influences are probably fairly obvious in the story to those who share these backgrounds.
Is there any connection between the character named Jinx, Marilyn Manson, and your DJ name (also "Jinx")?
The conflict between the Inqusition and Jinx in the story is heavily inspired by the controversy that occurred in the goth scene at the height of Marilyn Manson's popularity. Since that conflict was still fresh when I began DJing, and since I considered myself both a fan of Manson's music and a goth perfectly capable of understanding that Manson's music is "not goth", I adopted the name 'Jinx' to express - if only privately, to myself - my dislike of those who took it upon themselves to judge others simply on the basis of their musical preferences, i.e. the 'Inquisitors' of our scene. That said, it should be noted that I bear those individuals no ill will now, and for the sake of my inspiration am in fact happy to have encountered them.
Why do people have such silly "uber-goth" names?
Necroknosticism is a religion that presents the material world as a harsh place, in which loss and resultant suffering are common experiences. Tenebrae are given "dark" names as an acknowledgement of this reality, and to remind them that accepting the limitations of the material world is the first step toward being able to find fulfillment in it. The names are also a satirical nod to the tendency in the goth scene for people to use "dark" names such as "Raven", "Shadow" or etc.
Where did you get the God and Goddess' names from?
"Enuzir" is an anagram for "Urizen," William Blake's oppressive God. "Anihkesh" is an anagram for "Shekinah," God's female counterpart in mystical Judaism.
Where did you get the races' names from?
The names of the human races are vaguely Latin-based. "Celesti" refers to the heavens, "Solari" to the sun, "Lunae" to the moon and "Tenebrae" to darkness/night.
What happened to all that complicated stuff about "Spheres" you had in previous versions of the story?
In retrospect, I decided that was way too complicated for something that was not essential to the story. Other things have since become more complicated though, so I suspect the overall level of confusion re: certain details of the story world as presented on the website will probably remain about the same.
Why did you add the teenaged girl as one of the main characters?
In the earliest drafts of the story, Sin was awakened near a Celesti city, taken in by Celesti and brainwashed to believe that she was one of them - a delusion that persisted until Jairus invaded her dreams and informed her otherwise. Later changes to the story required that Sin be found near Methakasha, so this detail was dropped. The notion of "race change operations" has been a background detail of the story from the beginning, however, so I had long felt that the story needed a character who actually went through this experience in order for the story to be "complete." I was also dissatisfied with the misadventures of the human characters in previous drafts, and the inclusion of Poisin also presented opportunities to improve upon this aspect.
What is the deal with the colored "music selections" part of each character's profile?
This is just a way of further fleshing out each character:

The gray song was chosen for lyrical elements relevant to the character's general situation.

The red song is something that would suit the character for fight scenes or other rage outbursts.

The purple song reflects something that the character is angsty about, typically something from their past.

The green song is a "danceable" or "club-friendly" song that reminds me of the character.
Is it just me or are the sexual intrigues in this story unusually complicated?
Many of the characters are bisexual. Bisexuality is considered normal in Tenebrae society, as discussed here.
Are you making a purposeful effort to make this story "politically correct"?
In each subsequent draft, I attempt to address problems I saw in previous drafts. For example, in retrospect following the Myspace project, I think there are significant problems re: Sorrow's role in the story and the potential for this to be perceived as transphobic. The potential for certain characters to be read as romanticizing abusive relationship dynamics is also an ongoing struggle I have with the story. These are the sorts of problems I am concerned with addressing. I am comparatively less concerned by "X country sounds like it is based on [real country] and that is somehow racist"-type criticisms. While I acknowledge that there may be problems in this area as well, I think the story fares better in this regard than most fantasy, in that it at least portrays factions and similar complexities within each race, rather than portraying race as a homogenized, essentialistic category.
What is "the Myspace project"?
In 2007, I made a Myspace profile for each of the narrating characters, and wrote a draft version of the whole story via their journal entries. While this was a very useful exercise in actually getting through the story from start to end finally, the resulting product has many of the problems typical of drafts (e.g. self-contradiction, poor foreshadowing), as well as suffering from issues related to the medium, e.g. "this character is probably a bit busy with the whole bleeding-to-death thing to be posting stuff on the Internet." (There are also issues related to the previous question re: "problematic" portrayals.) So while I think it was good that I undertook the Myspace project, and I'm not planning on deleting it off the internet or anything, I'm no longer happy enough with it to be going out of my way to highlight it on this website either.
I want to read this story. When will you finish it?
There has been a long delay in work on the novel due to my having been preoccupied with getting my MA and PhD in religious studies. Now that I have finished the PhD, I plan to work steadily on finishing the novel.
Aren't you that weird teacher who teaches "the goth course" at MRU?
Yes I am. And here is a checklist of gothic literary elements that are addressed both in my novel, and in my class:
  1. Ruins, labyrinths and other settings that evoke the sublime
  2. Damsels in distress (albeit more empowered in this story than in most gothic literature)
  3. Tyrannical males attempting to control the heroine
  4. Characters haunted by their past, manifest in anxiety about whether or not the dead are truly dead
  5. Vampirism
  6. Abuse of power by an aristocratic elite
  7. Abuse of power by a religious elite
  8. Promethean and/or Byronic anti-heroes
  9. Internal division within characters, e.g. secret identities, hidden "dark" side
  10. Transgressive sexuality
  11. Occult themes, especially involving black magic, with attendant risk of insanity
  12. Alternate aesthetic norms and religious interests associated with the goth subculture
If this sounds to you like an interesting range of topics for a university course, you might consider registering for
GNED 1201 - Derynck (sections vary depending on semester) at this university.

Last update: December 31, 2012



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