Anyway, I was reminded of the Imp of the Perverse, both the concept and the Poe story, by my recent excursion to London. Basically, whenever I’m on a tube platform, I get really nervous, because I can always see myself jumping onto the rails. I just imagine it, or throwing someone nearby onto them. Or something totally wrong and dangerous (deadly even).I always have to walk slowly, and far away from the edge. I get the same with cliffs, but I don’t see them often, plus I’m scared of heights so there’s an added fear of petrification and keeling over, which is different.
But yeah, am I mad to get that? I mean, psychopathic.
Every time I’m on the platform I imagine myself jumping onto that third rail, electrocution, and then being smashed to tiny pieces by an oncoming train, or maybe even the other way round, depending on my timing.
It’s not a suicidal thing, that’s incredibly rare for me, I don’t want to die. I can just imagine myself doing it. I feel an urge to do the totally wrong and dangerous.
It’s my imp of the perverse.
It’s a great little story, so go read it.
Anyhow, in order to bulk up this rather brief post, find after the jump, one of my uni essays. It was unassessed, so it’s very ramshackle and vague and wandering. I could rewrite it, but I can’t be arsed. Read the story first, or it’ll ruin it. You may also want to read up on Freud’s Uncanny too. Though the wiki is a bit lacking in the literary dissection. Try the original if you don’t mind a bit of circuitous bafflement.
If you want to read more about this stuff, I can completely arrogantly recommend my own dissertation, elsewhere on the blog. I’m quite proud of the number of people who end up seeing it because they are looking for large penises. The fools. I also think there’s some great ideas in there. If it was done for anything other than school work, I would’ve ended up writing a book. As it is, the educative imperative just bled my enthusiasm dry.