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The English Eerie (slight return)

By Paul Watson on .

Detail of one of the author's Badb Catha photographs

The discussion of the Eerie continues to grow, mainly on Twitter and blogs, but also in the real world.

In Oxford next month there’s Spectral Landscapes: Explorations of the English Eerie which is an evening of:

…film and discussion showcasing the recent work of Adam Scovell, whose collaborative projects with Robert Macfarlane (among others) explore the representation of landscape—specifically the “English Eerie”—in film, music, and art.

Unfortunately I can’t make it to this event, which is a shame because it sounds great. But it got me thinking again about this whole English Eerie zeitgeist and how it seems to be the intersection of the “New Nature Writing” of Deakin, Macfarlane & co. and the “New Weird” of Miéville, VanderMeer, & co., liberally seasoned with psychogeography, ecology, archaeology, mythology, and hauntology (to taste).

One of the interesting things is that everyone seems to have a different take on it - for some it’s all about nature and landscape combined with archaeology, for others it’s mythology and folklore combined with horror, and other parties have yet more different combinations of priorities. And this lack of a single definition is refreshing and liberating - it’s a broad church of related interests which have some clear areas of overlap, but also enough space and freedom to not be constricting.

I’d love to hear other people’s takes on this whole thing.

Myth and Masks bookNote: A version of this blog post has since been published, along with others on the subject of myth and the “English Eerie” and pieces of my artwork, in my 2016 hardback book of art and writings Myth and Masks, available exclusively from our online shop.