Within a Forest Dark: Some Howlings for the Loup-garou + Divine Outsider

There is a famous topological experiment known as the eversion of a sphere. [3] The question that engaged topologists was: is it possible by means of a continuous deformation to evert a sphere, such that what was once the inside of the sphere becomes the outside, without breaking the continuity of the deformation? In other words, if we were to take a squash ball, could we turn it inside out without tearing the ball apart?

Quite counter-intuitively, it turns out that such a continuous transformation is certainly possible, both in terms of topology and the mathematical proof. Yet I am still puzzled: at what point do we recognise that the inside has irrevocably become the outside? How far away do you have to be before you can look back and know that you are no longer inside? What sort of transformation has to occur before one irretrievably becomes outside?

[3] See, for example, ‘Sphere Eversion’, Wikipedia, wikipedia.org/wiki/Sphere_eversion; accessed 13 August 2019.



The final sequence of Luis Buñuel’s 1930 film L’Age d’Or begins with an intertitle informing the viewer that there have been brutal orgies at the Chateau de Selliny for 120 days and that the survivors are now leaving. Cut to a shot of the castle door opening, and the figure of the Duc de Blangis emerges into the light. In a composition reminiscent of popular paintings of Jesus Christ, the Duc stands at the threshold between the castle and the outside world. His eyes glance skyward, then, as he steps onto the drawbridge, he opens his arms before him, adopting a posture akin to that associated with images of Christ preaching. He leads his fellow libertines from the chateau; each looks exhausted and drained, their debaucheries having taken toll upon their bodies. The scene is accompanied by a soundtrack of the drums of Calanda.




Loup-garou (werewolf), 19th century
Artist unknown
Mansell Collection, London
Image: Wikimedia Commons

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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).


Jack Sargeant is the author of numerous books on underground cinema and art. He is also a curator of film, moving image, photography and fine artworks.

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