The Great and Secret Show. Barker continued: "But I'm terrified of two things. One is the general condition of being flesh and blood. Of minds to madness and flesh to wounding. The other is banality. My characters are constantly escaping from banality." That quote struck me back then and it still strikes me today. The great thing about Barker is that he's so in tune to his own wavelength; he knows just what and why he's writing and what he wants his readers to experience, and he's eager to talk about it too.
And that's just what Clive Barker's Shadows in Eden (Underwood-Miller, Oct 1991) gives us. An anthology of interviews, discussions, reviews, quotes, and endless illustrations, it's a beautifully produced hardcover. At 450+ pages, this is Barker unadulterated, talking at length about his art, his influences, and anything else he might want to expound upon. Shadows covers the gamut of his early career: his plays (and minor forays into stage acting), stories, novels, movies, and comics. I can hardly overstate its importance for the Barker fan. I bought this lovely title from the specialty-press Underwood-Miller as soon as it was published, and have happily revisited it for 25 years.
"I was very aware that if I was going to rise I was going to have to be a proselytizer for my work. I'm aware that many writers are actively reluctant to do that. They don't like to do public readings, they don't like to do television and so on... I have, no pun intended, something of the carnival barker in me."
Books of Blood. I'm still not sure what a Balaclava is and now I don't even want to find out, I enjoy the tantalizing mystery of it.
exactly right, but ah well, the point is made.)
Night Visions III, contributes this wonderful piece in which she and Clive discuss Cabal and all manner of horror and art. "Whenever Clive and I have met to discuss horror, writing, fantasy and similar topics—whether on a public platform, or in private—I've always enjoyed it. More than enjoyed it: found it exhilarating. There's an intellectual rapport, so that even though we don't agree about everything, we're on the same wavelengths, shortcuts can be taken, intuitive leaps made; we spark responses in each other. I find what he has to say invariably interesting, and often illuminating, not only about his work, but about my own, as well as about art and life in general."
Not so but ah well, the point is made.) Of Barker King says: "And, oh my God, can the man write. No matter how gruesome the material, you are witched into the story, hooked, and then propelled onward."
My goodness what a perfect image for Barker's work. Jesus wept.