Sunday, October 5, 2008

Why Lusus Naturae is the Antithesis of Everything Good In the World

Since I wrote about the story I found most compelling last week, and since admittedly I have not as of yet read any of the assignments for this week, I guess I have to write about another one of the short stories we read last week. I did not like “Lusus Naturae.”

I guess I could not suspend my disbelief; while many of the tales we’ve read have had unnatural tendencies to them (how many people immure enemies?) none of them have crossed over into the ‘supernatural’ realm. That is, all of them have been possible even if they were not plausible.

“Lusus Naturae” is most definitely not plausible because the ‘disease’ or ‘curse’ is (to the very best of my admittedly limited scientific knowledge) impossible. People just don’t turn into vampire like creatures. I’m no expert on vampire culture, but from what I know there are two ways to become a vampire: 1. you are born with it or 2) there is some type of catalyst that brings on your status. – a bite perhaps, or some type of science experiment ‘gone horribly wrong.’

I think this is best classified along the same lines of B-list horror films that have no good background. It’s kind of like the author comes up with this awesome idea of how a quasi-human experiences the world, and has no way of getting the character to the quasi-human part.

Maybe I’m by myself on this. If one embraces the fact that she just became the way she became, the story isn’t half bad. It becomes about a social recluse, a hermit that experiences humanity primarily through reading Keats or Byron. The moment that she sees interpersonal intimacy for the first time also is a watershed moment – she doesn’t completely understand what she sees, but reacts to it in an almost instinctual way. If one can get over the idiotic transformation she undergoes, then the story is quite good.

But I can’t.


Barry said...

it's just a parable, man, try substituting vampire freak with, say, a thalidomide kid or something bizarre from ripley's believe it or not. anyway, your last paragraph seemed like you understood the point of the story, but just let go of that vampire image that the author decided to utilize! my point is that it could have been any other type of freak and it still would have worked.

Adam Becerra said...

I completely agreee with your last paragraph. You must get over the fact that she is a vampire, no matter how ridiculous it might be, and find the deeper meaning. The social recluse and agony the little girl goes through with every task. You can see the way she can't love when she bites the guy, but she sacrifices her love so her sister can love. She does everything she can for other even when she is completely smothered by lonliness.