as a kid I thought every door had a potential into opening up into other worlds

I’ve been thinking lately about books that are basically an adult version of the Wonderland/Oz/etc variety. Like, The Hellbound Heart, PalimpsestThe Course of the Heart, The Magicians/Magician King. I guess you could call them portal fantasies, though for me those usually lead to a medieval fantasy world, and it’s basically a fantasy novel, but with people our world inside of it. I’m more thinking of ones that tend to lean towards the more strange and surreal, in the ways that Wonderland/Oz/etc did.

I’m not thinking about short stories right now. I’ve read millions of ones that feel the same, that evoke the same oddness of the world, transcending beyond it, etc. So…here are some thoughts-

  • Three of the four sex is a major part of the transformation, or transportation, into that other world.
  • Two our of the Three have the word Heart in their title, and deal directly with relationships. And the relationships (and problems of the relationships) somehow effect this other world
  • All of them have elements of horror in them
  • All of them mention a yearning towards other worlds, other places. Being haunted by them. Seeking the out.
  • Another connecting tissue for two of the novels was the search for childhood, or maybe a connection to childhood, and how this connects to the other world.
  • Three of the books deal with how our world changes after we travel to this other place.
  • Three of these books have the characters tainted by the world they travel to. And upon return to our world carry pieces of that other world with them. This can either be good or bad, depending.
  • All of them have people who die because of their interaction with this other world. Is this a price paid?
  • Four of them have sex acts that are frightening and are part of/what drives them to/opens the gateway. Is this also part of sacrifice?
  • Two of them deal with impotency when concerned with magic. And a yearning for more sexual experience to awaken something, to overcome this impotency.
  • Those two books are both written by men from England.
  • Only one was written by a woman.
  • Two of them reference books that don’t exist in our world, and involve travelling to some fantasy landscape. One of them has a Narnia bent. The other is more like a cross between Alice in Wonderland and the Blue Fairy Book.
  • Only one of them deals with grief in a way that’s realistic.
  • Two of the books are all about longing, and desire, and what we want out of this world. And about emptiness, and searching out the answer to emptiness. How to see our world in a way that doesn’t feel drained.
  • These two are perhaps about middle age, about the world not living up to want we were promised.
  • Three of them are all about the Middle Class and upper Middle Class and nothing else. They act almost as if moving through the gateway is an act of privilege
  • When I was a kid I thought every door had a potential into opening up into other worlds
  • The basement in my childhood home felt like another world. It was in a hill. The door leading out from the basement was on the side of the hill.
  • There was also a pine forest by my great-grandparents house. It felt otherworldly. I still dream about it.
  • At times I would explore everywhere. The city. The woods nearby. Parks. I would find places that felt like they were from other places. I loved exploring for that reasons.
  • I would find ruins in the woods of houses that burned down. Or rusted out old oil rigs.
  • I found that if you followed the creek you would go into tunnels under houses and bridges.
  • There was a beach and up on the hill were stone pillars
  • I still feel that way. I still explore. Everything feels like its from another world. I would see glimpses of chains dangling in a hidden porch. I would find clothes of a child caught in the branches of a tree.
  • Maybe the only thing separating us from other realities is this perception. This lack of seeing.
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