M is for Mistress (from A-Z of Horror)

Well, it may be the end of life as we know it, but could it be the gateway to just more fun and games? It's certainly not the end of the road for several notable Barker characters, where death seems more akin to transformation to another state or level of being... It's impossible to separate death from life and Clive celebrates both to the full.

"Although I'm not a member of any church, I am religious. I believe that the afterlife is a whole other journey. But I think humans are innately religious as a species, so you don't need a specific excuse for examining the perversely unholy."

It's Alive

By John Hind, Blitz, No.80, August 1989

"I'm interested in the places where sex reminds me of death, where sex and love and passions bring one closeto thinking about death. It may be my own problem, but sex reminds me of death very regularly. Anything which transforms one's life, as the sex act does, for half an hour or half a day, makes one look at oneself afresh.
"The post-orgasmic sense of loss, or indeed the sense of escape or expulsion, seems to tie up very strongly with the preoccupations of horror, which are, very often, about the transformation of the body, which are about getting close to death but maybe avoiding it, which are about being out of control of one's self and one's feelings.
"Sex is about a little madness - how often is horror about madness? Sex is about a little death - how often is horror about death? It's about the body - how often is horror about the body?"

Give Me B-Movies or Give Me Death!

By Douglas E. Winter, Faces of Fear, 1987

"I'm a great dog fanatic... My own dog died a little while ago and I take it very personally when things die - it's a major offense."

Transcript of talk at UCLA 25 February 1987

Clive Barker's Shadows in Eden

"At best you can hold death at bay, you can pretend it isn't there; but to deny it totally is a sickness. And I think that horror fiction is one of the ways to approach these problems, and, perversely perhaps, to enjoy a vicarious confrontation with them."

Slime Time

By Nigel Floyd, Time Out, 2nd-9th Septmber 1987

"It seems to me that to want to look at images of death should not be associated with a pejorative like voyeurism. We simply want to look at a process which is actually withheld from us in our society. The system is there from the age of four onwards; as soon as you get into school, to stop you thinking about images that will subvert your sense of reality."

Terror Tactics

By John Brosnan, Time Out, 16th-28th March 1988

"I've been with dying people, quite a bit in the past few years. There were a few occasions when those people passed away when I was holding their hand. The central mystery of how this person can be here one minute and not be here the next is so massive. Their personalities, even in a dying person who might be on medication or whatever, create the sense of this person being right here one moment and literally not in the next and that is so unthinkable to us. When you are a kid there are some things you bother yourself with when you are going to bed; a clever physics teacher telling you that the universe may never have a beginning or the idea of infinity for example. I can't get my head around that Doug Winter will not be here someday. Maybe that's my personality conscript constantly refusing the idea of another personality conscript evaporating because I have my own. I don't have any great sentimental attachment to the idea of personality. I am with Freud who says, 'It's a necessary neurosis and necessary defense for being in the world.' We construct a very fragile set of parameters for activity and the limits of that activity become our personality. The personality is where you won't go as much as where you will go; your limits. Do I mind the idea that this series of limits that is Barker will disappear off the planet and out of history and out of being? No, it's fucking wonderful. Yet I can't get my head around that I was sitting with my friend Joe one minute and then I wasn't sitting with my friend Joe. It's very mysterious but not in the sense that mystery opens up the possibilities, it's not mysterious in a useful way. I don't find the idea of Life after death a terribly useful, important thing to think about while being alive. I wish I didn't think about it. I think huge numbers are comforted massively by the idea that their loss will be revisited. I suppose I'm comforted by that but I think it's sort of a sentimental level. I think I believe in life after death, but I don't think it's extremely important to do so."

Confessions - An Artistic Escape

By Stephen Dressler, transcript of a interview by Douglas E. Winter at DragonCon, Atlanta, 29 June 1997, Lost Souls, Issue 8, July 1997

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