Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Television-handed Ghostesses

When I was a small child, definitely under five, there were often ghosts floating up from grills and vents, goblins coming through cracks in walls, and witches roaming. I don't remember how or why, but even then I knew the naming rituals, I knew these apparitions as entitities and manifestations called ghosts, goblins, witches.

That's what I'm reminded of when diving into Amos Tutuola's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (1954). It's weird, but seems dead-on as channeled through a child's Gestalt: rationalized as dreams, hallucinations, nightmares and imaginings to the reflective adult, what is real and what is surreal?   

To give some idea of the contents, here are some chapter titles: 

A Cola Saved Me
At a Ghost Mother's Birthday Function
My First Wedding Day in the Bush of Ghosts
On my Way to the 9th Town of Ghosts
Barbing Day in the Town of Short Ghosts 
I meet my Dead Cousin in the 10th Town of Ghosts
Hard to say "No" and Hard to say "Yes"  

About halfway through My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, I fell asleep and when I was awakened several hours later, there was an eerie hush in the air. 

As a child, did you encounter ghosts, goblins, witches or something else entirely?  

Today's Rune: Flow.

Grove Press 1984 edition of The Palm-Wine Drinkard and My Life in the Bush of Ghosts by Amos Tutuola.


Anonymous said...

Участник = Hozyain

Terri Light said...

Oh, you know my penchant for ghostly encounters both good and bad. I do believe in the spirits lingering (whether or not they want to). It is both the Southerner and the Irish heritage, you know?

Anonymous said...

". . . I totally enjoyed this book for its craziness. A craziness which was surreal and beautiful. I like the fact that many rules of writing were broken and I adore writers who reinvent the wheel and hate crowd mentality. This book is surely one I would read over and over again." -- Agbonmire Ifeh
The Palm-Wine Drinkard and his dead Palm-Wine Tapster in the Deads' Town.

Lana Gramlich said...

The book sounds really cool. As a child I had an "imaginary friend" who was quite real to me. She told me all about England & when I relayed her tales to my parents, they couldn't figure out where I'd learned about Big Ben & such.

Charles Gramlich said...

I really like some of those titles.

t said...

Haven't read Tutuola at all...someday soon. Finishing The God of Small Things today. Child-eye-view too, though these children know too much?
One day I imagined fairies in the grass, natural after enjoying those little Enid Blyton books. I mean, the mystic stuff is there, but there has usually been a source - superstition, religion, movies, all of which are/havebeen strong in my life

Erik Donald France said...

Thanks for the comments! I'll catch up with y'all "right soon."


Johnny Yen said...

I've never had any ghostly encounters, but my son may have when he was a baby. I recounted it in this post: