Liquid Darkness

'O dark dark dark. They all go into the dark,
The vacant interstellar spaces, the vacant into the vacant …’ T.S. Eliot, East Coker

To his own dark designs
When I was a child I had a recurring nightmare that had me frantically struggling out of sleep in a wild panic. In the nightmare, I was in a house that was somewhat like my family home but also unaccountably different—a textbook definition of Sigmund Freud’s unheimlich, really. There were frightening dark corners in the room where I found myself, so I ran to the light switch on the wall opposite and flicked the switch to illuminate the scene. Rather than filling the room with light, the switch immediately did the reverse: the room quickly began to fill with darkness. As the darkness welled in the room, I recoiled in abject terror, running from room to room desperately flicking each light switch, only to have the same ghastly phenomenon occur, again and again

Leon Marvell is widely published in the area of aesthetics, philosophy, European esotericism and film. His recent books include The Physics of Transfigured Light: The Imaginal Realm and the Hermetic Foundations of Science (2016) and Endangering Science Fiction Film (2015).