The Unseen and the Unnamed, with Meredith Michael

Episode 118 · March 16th, 2022 · 1 hr 16 mins

About this Episode

In this episode, Phil and JF are joined by music scholar and Weird Studies assistant Meredith Michael to discuss two strange and unsettling short stories: J.G. Ballard's "The Gioconda of the Twilight Noon" (1964) and Ursula K. Le Guin's "She Unnames Them" (1985). Their plan was to talk about three stories, but they never got to Phil's pick, which will be the focus of episode 119. The reason is that Le Guin and Ballard's stories share surprising resonances that merited close discussion. From opposite perspectives, both tales put words to a region of reality that resists discursive description, a borderland where that which is named reveals its unnamed facet, and that which must remain unseen reveals itself to the inner eye.

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J. G. Ballard, “The Giaconda of the Twilight Noon,” from The Complete Stories of J. G. Ballard
Ursula K. Le Guin, "She Unnames Them," from The Real and the Uneal
Alfred Hitchcock (dir.), The Birds
Jung's concept of the collective unconscious
Walter Pater, The Renaissance
Ursula K. Le Guin, “She Unnames Them” in The Real and the Unreal
Henri Bergson, Creative Evolution
M. C .Richards, Centering
Weird Studies, Episode 35 on Centering
Weird Studies, Episode 81 on The Course of the Heart
Weird Studies, Episode 84 on the Empress
Linguistically deprived children
Walter Ong, Orality and Literacy
Samuel Taylor Coleridge's thoughts on on imagination and fancy can be found in Biographia Literaria