Morbid Curiosity, or Everyone Loves a Good Train Wreck: Why We Can’t Look Away

An Illustrated Lecture and Book Signing with author Eric G. Wilson
Date: Thursday, June 6
Time: 8:00
Admission: $5
Produced by Morbid Anatomy

“Why can’t we look away? Whether we admit it or not, we’re fascinated by evil. Dark fantasies, morbid curiosities, Schadenfreude: As conventional wisdom has it, these are the symptoms of our wicked side, and we succumb to them at our own peril. But we’re still compelled to look whenever we pass a grisly accident on the highway, and there’s no slaking our thirst for gory entertainments like horror movies and police procedurals. What makes these spectacles so irresistible? Author Eric G. Wilson attempts to discover the source of our morbid fascinations, drawing on the findings of biologists, sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists, philosophers, theologians, and artists. A professor of English with a penchant for Poe as well as a lifelong student of the macabre, Wilson believes there’s something nourishing in darkness. He believes that to repress death is to lose the feeling of life, and that a closeness to death discloses our most fertile energies.

Eric G Wilson is Thomas H. Pritchard Professor of English at Wake Forest University and author of several books that explore the power of life’s darker sides, including Everyone Loves a Good Train Wreck: Why We Can’t Look Away; Against Happiness: In Praise of Melancholy; and The Mercy of Eternity: A Memoir of Depression and Grace. 

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