Haunted by Rabbits: the Southern Reach and Authority–What’s the Big Idea?

Jeff VanderMeer • May 8th, 2014 @ 8:12 am • Writing Tips

Authority--Southern Reach

Over at John Scalzi’s blog, I’ve got a Big Idea post talking about how you haunt a novel. Apparently, it involves Stanley Kubrick, thousands of white rabbits, and you. You can also eyeball a great original piece commissioned for the feature: a bunny experiment diagram by Jeremy Zerfoss of Wonderbook fame.

The conspiracy theorists in Room 237 so firmly believed their version of the truth that I began to think at times that their ideas might have merit. But my own personal obsession with the documentary mostly concerned perception and technique. For example, in Kubrick’s slow fades as he cuts away to the next scene you often see characters and places coming into contact for a brief moment…hauntings created by juxtaposition. There’s also a scene in the movie with a television playing in the middle of a room…but the television has no cord, impossible for the time period. Watching The Shining, you may not consciously notice the lack of a cord, but your subconscious goes on red alert. Something is wrong, even if you can’t put your finger on it.

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