De Quincey and the dragon.


While Confessions follows an established narrative arc, Suspiria is wild, untamed (in part because of editing disagreements between De Quincey and his Blackwood’s editor), sprawling and hallucinatory, where De Quincey describes his vision of Levana, the goddess of the nursery, and the Three Graces: The Lady of Tears (“She it is that night and day raves and moans, calling for vanished faces.”), the Lady of Sighs (“And her eyes, if they were ever seen, would be neither sweet nor subtle; no man could read their story; they would be found filled with perishing dreams, and with wrecks of forgotten delirium.”), and a third, unnamed sister (“She is the defier of God. She also is the mother of lunacies, and the suggestress of suicides… she can approach only those in whom a profound nature has been upheaved by central convulsions; in whom the heart trembles and the brain rocks under conspiracies of tempest from without and tempest from within.”).

Source: Lapham’s Quarterly.


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