Sunday, January 2, 2011


The "lurkers" of the title are the same as the three categories of phenomena for which the blog is named: the ATYPICAL, the UNCANNY, and the MARVELOUS. The two "thresholds" are the interstitial areas between "atypical" and "uncanny," and between "uncanny" and "marvelous." The interrelationship of the three is as linear as time's winged arrow; if there's a way the line can turn into a circle, I don't see it.

I first outlined the particular of "the AUM formula" on my companion blog THE ARCHETYPAL ARCHIVE. Anyone interested in the finer theoretical points can check out all the essays filed under that subject. On this blog I'm concerned with explicating the theory in terms of particular works, mostly (if not exclusively) movies.

Few if any works in other media make for better illustrations of a theory than a movie does. Novels (graphic or otherwise), serial comic books and strips, serial television-- all of these require much more time-commitment than your average two-hour movie, which in most cases is the equivalent of a novella projected on what Bruce Kawin called the "dream screen" of the human consciousness.

My attempts to label works as either atypical, uncanny or marvelous stem from my long-held opinion that there ought to be a good phenomenological basis for labelling a work as "fantastic" or not. In brief, the three categories break down thusly:

MARVELOUS-- those works that break with causality and rational phenomena in some way, be it in a major or minor manifestation of "metaphenomena"
UNCANNY-- those works that acknowledge causality in a cognitive manner but edge into the world of the metaphenomenal in an affective sense
ATYPICAL-- those works that conform to causality and rationality in both cognitive and affective departments

More often than not the category of the marvelous will be pretty self-evident, though there are a few times where its separation from the category of the uncanny is debateable. The more problematic threshhold lies between "A" and "U," because they share elements of "realistic content" (to extrapolate from C.S. Lewis) that can have "realistic presentation" in the case of the Atypical, but "irrealistic presentation" in the case of the Uncanny.

These elements, in turn, I have categorized into ten archetypal arrangements. I won't detail those ten here, but will explain each, over time, by particular example.

These ten "biphenomenal-curious archetypes" would make a worthy subject for an academic book. Since I've no interest in the academic world as such, the only way such a book *might* see print would be if this blog somehow attained some incredible, and perhaps unholy, popularity. The chances of that being infinitesimal, the main purpose of the blog is for me to sort out my thoughts on these matters.

Two other concerns of literary morphology will be mentioned in my short analyses of films: the concept of *mythicity* and the concept of *the Fryean mythos.* The theoretical underpinnings of these concepts will also be found on THE ARCHIVE. Sometimes these concepts may be heavily referenced; sometimes they may be noted in passing.

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