I am nocturnal by habit and happily so. It must be the fox genes. So it made beautiful sense to me when someone in my writing crit group distinguished the idea of night logic and day logic in writing styles. It’s like when I first ‘discovered’ magic realism. I was already writing it, I just didn’t know it had a name. Nor a complex cultural history, emerging between old folklore and contemporary writing styles like a shadow with its own mind and its own experiential narrative running through inky hand-drawn veins.
Night logic loves ambiguity, the fantastical, the subconscious seeping like goblin juice through the fine line between reality and the imaginary hinterland. I could easily slip here into a dense debate of whether there even exists such a thing as objective reality, but frankly I’ve not had enough whisky for that sort of talk.
I don’t dislike day logic. It was a mixed diet of both Ken Loach and David Lynch that turned my teenage self into a cinephile, after all. But in terms of both acute inspiration and self-expression, magic realism and night logic are my default setting. From Maurice Sendak, to Jorge Luis Borges, to Gunter Grass, to Richard Farina – my eclectic voyages into the human soul, into why we are what we are, start and end with the subconscious, with night logic.
All characters written, read or experienced are first and foremost a mystery. A mystery unravelling to themselves and the figurative reader. We show the most about ourselves in what we subdue, in quiet moments, in the black box recorder buried somewhere amongst our vital organs. Some stories just can’t be told with straightforward chronology, with clinical terms. We must wage battle with abstract nouns, mythical struggles and the restless song of the night-time breeze which refuses to explain what that strange sound was, or why our eyes forever play tricks in the dark.
This blog is written as a part of the Magic Realism blog hop organised by Zoe Brooks. For more on the magic realism hop here plus an ebook giveaway.