Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

The Other World in novels

I like the bit in 'Jonathan Strange' where she talks about the Other World looming behind the British countryside. As if the flooded plough-ruts which reflect the sky are places where the world has worn away, and you can see through the mirror into the world behind it. Sometimes when I am walking outdoors I feel like this. The hot weather seems to bring it out, but then so does windy weather, snow, thunder...

Other stories locate the route into the Other World indoors: in a wardrobe, in a looking-glass. In 'House of Leaves' the Other World intrudes darkly in the interstices of the house itself.

You don't have to believe in The Other World as a literal place to feel this. Nobody thinks Narnia or Wonderland are real like Australia. But at the same time I don't think it's a completely meaningless concept.

Poll #772497 The Other World

What do you think 'The Other World' means?

something about the nature of existence
7(46.7%)
something about the nature of mind
3(20.0%)
Something about art
2(13.3%)
I understand, but I couldn't say what it means
2(13.3%)
it doesn't mean anything, it's just a story premise
1(6.7%)

Wonderland: indoors or outdoors?

Indoors
0(0.0%)
Outdoors
4(25.0%)
Anywhere
12(75.0%)
Nowhere
0(0.0%)

Wonderland: Good or evil? (tick as many as you like)

Good
0(0.0%)
Evil
0(0.0%)
Neutral
4(25.0%)
Dangerous
1(6.2%)
Safe
0(0.0%)


I have mentioned a few stories. I also think M John Harrison is very good at portraying The Other World as something very much to be avoided. Have you any favourites?
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