Sunday, April 1, 2012

An Empty Page (Easy Writer)

"Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness." (Samuel Beckett)

In Labyrinth, Sarah was just a young girl--she created Jareth to be her animus figure; to be her Demiurge. But this was really a case of arrested development--in order to truly grow up and take charge of her Child, she had to overthrow him.

"Leader of the Pack": Mary Weiss is Shangri-La, the Garden of Paradise. As Ain-Soph (the Candy Store) she creates Jimmy, the Demiurge; he's a bad dad but he writes ("rides") for her.
Kabbalah shows us how to see beneath the surface and discover deeper meaning — in the Torah and in our lives. Kabbalah jolts us out of our religious habits and makes us confront new possibilities. For example, the Zohar (the masterpiece of Kabbalah) reads the opening verse of the Torah not as “In the beginning God created”… but rather: “With beginning, [the Unnamable One] created God.” This sounds shocking or heretical. But the point is that our usual understanding of God is pretty childish. What we think of as God is only one limited aspect of the infinite divine reality, which transcends and explodes all names.

Something may have gone wrong.
“Remember what Mr. Hallorann said. It's just like pictures in a book, Danny. It isn't real.” You might want to think about this from that last quote; at what point did “pictures in a book” and visions that aren’t “real” change and become something that can supernaturally unlocked a pantry door or strangle Danny? In the novel Dick Hallorann’s important line to Danny is, “I don't think there's anything here that can hurt you. So just be cool, okay?" (page 60) and he never says, “It isn't real.” In the novel he isn't sure about whether Danny can be hurt by anything inside the hotel, and this is important. He simply doesn't know. Stanley Kubrick came up with the line, “It isn't real.” on his own. He's telling us that the visions in the film are different and he makes Dick Hallorann's statement quite definite, they aren’t “real”. A pure evil psycho possesses a very powerful supernatural ability, and he’s also going completely mad. The “ghosts” everyone thinks are haunting the Overlook are not real - it's Jack and his supernatural ability to “Shine” that's creating these visions for himself and the others. (Jonny53)

The Shine

In 2001: A Space Odyssey, the astronaut Dave Bowman made a journey through the so-called “stargate” which took him out of the two dimensional cinematic universe and into the 3-D universe of his own audience. At several points in the story we were offered subliminal indicators that we were watching a film within a film . . . The same technique is used in The Shining, but this time several scenes are presented as a film within a book … and the book in question is Jack’s manuscript. (Rob Ager)

The Great Architects (Pen and Page)

Cobb: You got the basic layout. Bookstore, cafe, almost everything else is here too.
Ariadne: Who are the people?
Cobb: Projections of my subconscious.
Ariadne: Yours?
Cobb: Yes. Remember, you are the dreamer, you build this world. I am the subject, my mind populates it. You can literally talk to my subconscious. That's one of the ways we extract information from the subject.

The Page

Black, White, and Red

(Who's the writer?)

The producers are almost always male: Max Martin, Dr. Luke, David Guetta, Tricky Stewart, the Matrix, Timbaland, the Neptunes, Stargate. The top-liners are often, although not always, women: Makeba Riddick, Bonnie McKee, and Skylar Grey are among Dean’s peers. The producer runs the session and serves as creative director of the song, but the top-liner supplies the crucial spark that will determine whether the song is a smash. (When I asked Tricky Stewart to define “smash,” he said, “A hit is just a hit; a smash is a life changer.”) As Eric Beall, an A. & R. executive with Shapiro, Bernstein & Co., a music publisher, puts it, “The top-line writer is the one who has to face a blank page.” (The New Yorker)

Seduced by the Nazi: "Your life, little girl, is an empty Page, that men will want to write on . . ."

"I need an architect who's as good as I was."

Ariadne's Labyrinth


"Close the veil; the great blasphemy hath been uttered; the face of my Mother is scarred by the nails of the devil."

"FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper is called in to investigate. Cooper's initial examination of Laura's body reveals a tiny typed letter "R" inserted under her fingernail."


"It came from the heart of the earth. A Stone so rare, men will do anything to possess it."

"She it was to whom ads were dedicated: the ideal consumer, the subject and object of every foul poster."

The read, white, and blue

A puppet of the projectionist

"The duck’s position on the window ledge, backed by false light, also suggests that it is Jack, the domineering husband, 'pulling Wendy’s strings' so to speak."


Kubrick was renowned for not allowing visitors during a shoot, but in the documentary we see James Mason and his family visiting the Torrance apartment set. . . . Why did Kubrick break his code of on-set secrecy and why did he show this meeting in the documentary? It’s actually quite simple. He was creating a parallel between Jack Torrance and the main character of Kubrick’s earlier film Lolita. In Lolita, Mason played Humbert Humbert, a man who has a sexual relationship with his underage stepdaughter. . . . Both Jack and Humbert are writers. Both of them keep their personal writings hidden from their wives. Both of them secretly despise their wives. And both of them have sexual relations with a minor within their own family unit. [?!?] (Rob Ager)

(Leaders of the Pack)

"Well, they got this here - see - uh - scissor-happy 'Beautify America' thing goin' on around here."

Isis / Horus / Osiris

Young America / Old Europe


Virgin Marilyn

Write the Wheel

"In this symbolic interpretation the Overlook Hotel is AMERICA. It was built, just like the Manager says, on the graves of Indians. Even when walking on the floor of the Overlook Hotel, one finds oneself trampling over various Native American symbols."

Easy Writer

Madness stains the pages

Betty & Veronica

"Polanski, then aged 43, became embroiled in a scandal involving 13-year-old Samantha Gailey . . . This took place on 10 March 1977, at the home of actor Jack Nicholson in the Mulholland area of Los Angeles."

Kubrick's Lolita is not Nabokov's Lolita. Kubrick's girl is a blonde and Nabokov's is brown-haired. Nabokov's Humbert tries to remake Lolita into his lost ideal (Annabel Leigh); Kubrick's Lolita is the ideal; there is no reference to any other forebears. The date of its release, 1962, inextricably links it to the world's most famous dead blonde starlet, Marilyn Monroe.

It has been said that Stanley Kubrick's Shining is an inverted reflection of Stephen King's: Wendy in the book is a strong-willed blonde, while in the movie she is a weak-willed brunette. But where have we seen a blonde Kubrick starlet? It is Lolita, and The Shining likewise acts as its mirror opposite--the Veronica to Lolita's Betty. Here, Humbert and his doppelgaenger switch places: Jack is Clare Quilty (the writer), and Wendy is Vivian Darkbloom. Peter Sellers in Lolita copied his speech after Stanley Kubrick (compare this to this)--being trapped in Quilty's Play becomes being trapped in Kubrick's Movie, which in turn becomes being trapped in Jack's Book. 

Jack's labyrinth of words

Twin daughters: Lolita and The Shining?

We’ve already discussed the symbology of Jack Nicholson being introduced to James Mason on set in that they both played sexually abusive father figures in Kubrick films. But also in the same scene Nicholson is introduced to a variety of other people who seem to be friends and relatives of James Mason. Among them are “two little girls about eight and ten” who are introduced as Katie and Liza. Katie, the older of the two, is almost a dead ringer for the twin girls of the film. She has her hair done in the same way with a white head band and she is facially very similar to them as well. We get a very good look at her because she glances straight into the camera for a moment. Her younger sister, Liza, doesn’t look anything like the twins, however her sky blue dress is almost identical to those worn by the twins. . . . Kubrick may have observed these “two little girls about eight and ten” and then based the twin girls’ costumes and appearance upon Katie’s face and hair and Liza’s dress. If this was the case then it’s likely that James Mason was unknowingly being used by Kubrick to play Delbert Grady. (Rob Ager)

In Diana

Lolita is Old Europe debauching Young America. The Shining is her decadent progeny dancing on her grave.

"Bicycle rider, just see what you've done / To the church of the American Indian"

Jack as Osiris is 'chopped into pieces'--Kubrick explains the mystery-myth: the King's Initiation is the full remembrance of the original murder (Susie Salmon et al.) in the Rabbit Hole. These are the ghosts that haunt the Overlook. Jack's death will be an atonement for the original death (a spring clean for the May Queen).

"Isis set out to look for the pieces and she was able to find 13 of the 14 parts . . ."

"Once she has entered it, he rapes and murders her with a knife and dismembers her body, putting her remains in a safe and dumps it in a sinkhole."

Betty & Veronica

"Isis retrieved all of them except one, his penis . . . Supposedly, Isis made a wooden replacement."

Initiation: Dismembering the King's kteis

Jackie & Marilyn

(Betty or Veronica? If this is after August 1962, you may not have a choice.)

President Jack Kennedy (beware Tecumseh's Curse)

President Jack Nicholson

Jack Nichson

The dead blonde

The golden girl in the dark tower

Note the exact inversion:
  • In Lolita, Charlotte (Shelley Winters) is the Dead Mother, and Lolita lives.
  • In The Shining, Lolita (the siren of the waters) is the Dead Daughter, and Wendy (Shelley Duvall) lives.
If Humbert is Jacob, who marries the mother to attain the daughter, Danny is Oedipus, who slays his father and marries his mother.

(Chasing Dolores' haze . . .)

A glass, darkly

For the famous soliloquy that Peter Fonda does in the cemetery while tripped on acid, Director Dennis Hopper asked Peter to talk to the statue as if he were talking to his mother, who died a suicide when Peter was 10 years old. Peter didn't want to do it, as he had never confronted his feelings about his mother. But Hopper insisted, which is why you hear Peter call the statue "Mother", and he states that he both loves her and hates her, which expresses his conflicted emotions. (IM DB)

"We blew it." (Captain America, Easy Rider)

"Let us be lovers, we'll marry our fortunes together"

"She said the man in the gabardine suit was a spy"

Ego encountering Self: "Down in the Underground, you'll find someone True"

While July 4th may be known in America as Independence Day, it is also celebrated across the Atlantic as Alice In Wonderland Day. According to C. M. Rubin, in an article from the Huffington Post (What Do July 4th and Alice in Wonderland Have in Common?), July 4th is celebrated as “the day that commemorates Lewis Carroll’s first telling of the famous children’s story to his young inspiration, Alice Liddell. It is the day on which Carroll sent his child friend Alice down a rabbit hole in his far-fetched tale, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. During the course of her journey, Alice finds the courage to overcome the strange, often intimidating characters she meets in the kingdom of Wonderland, realizing they are just ridiculous obstacles in her path.” (Uncommon Nonsense)

Alice is DB

Follow the rabbit

". . . fire of my loins . . ."

Pan's Labyrinth

Another labyrinth of words

(Here's Johnny)

If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now

The babe with the power

It's just a spring clean for the May Queen

Jareth: Everything that you wanted I have done. You asked that the child be taken. I took him. You cowered before me, I was frightening. I have reordered time. I have turned the world upside down, and I have done it all for you! I am exhausted from living up to your expectations. Isn't that generous? 

The Man in the Mirror

(Wendy is a black stone)

Wendy's illumination occurs when she sees the skeletons in the Overlook, a visual symbol that she (having attained the "driver's seat") now walks living among the dead of unenlightened humanity.

"What a peculiar place to have a party."

The Kick

The ash heap of history: "The gods were impressed by the devotion of Isis and resurrected Osiris as the god of the underworld."

"Loser has to keep America clean"--having slain both himself and his doppelgaenger Halloran, Jack becomes the new King of the Wood, the maker of illusions, the Lord of the Underworld--even though he was also the old one. (Stanley Kubrick became a film director.)

Horus triumphant


An empty page

[T]here's Wendy in a white room, in a white bed, in a white gown. . . . Ullman says something along the lines of 'you'll be fine,' and Wendy asks what was found in the hotel. Ullman makes patronizing, and again inappropriate remarks about Wendy imagining the things she saw in the hotel. . . . It had an odd resonance with the scene in 'Lolita' (in the hospital) where Lo tries to convince Humbert he's imagining things . . .


  1. "…there's somebody else who needs taking care of in Washington"

  2. This article was an exercise in Beckettian minimalism, but I finally caved and added some explanatory text.

    (Nice 42 Minutes today!)

    Observe this picture closely: Lolita and The Shining seem to be the two girls that Danny sees--or, the two Philosopher's Stones.

    "Come play with us . . ."

  3. The Yellow Duck in the window is the Devotion to the Great Work, the tip, tip Tiphareth. Wendy looks goofy as she tries to maintain dual existence in a Red and Blue Matrix of both Mars and Jupiter, still holding on to the past and an impossible future. She can't move on, falls into Jack's Abyss and accepts captivity.

    Jack works on creating his fractal microcosm, only to discover there is no escape. He comes face to face with his guilty identity: he is a Loser, an Abuser, and as punishment must keep America clean, a janitor, a Slave.
    Eyes Wide Shut: Bill wakes Alice "I was fucking all these men", Wendy wakes Jack "I cut you into little pieces"=I ruined your lives, I've shattered your souls.

    Wendy's 1/2 Twin of DNA, Danny, knows the way forward, as he is anabolic, building his knowledge in contrast to his catabolic parents, who break down the Walls of repression. Danny understands how to escape, and allows himself to be Chesed, by Choronzon in the Allmaziful Abyss.

  4. The light in the window is the projector light (I think), Kubrick seems to use this symbolism consistently . . . Wendy is another doll in Jack's dollhouse. I like the color identification--Wendy's clothing is always very "American," with red and blue in this scene (Danny adds white), while later she dresses in American Indian colors.

    Jack as Osiris is "chopped into pieces"--Kubrick explains the mythology: the King's Initiation is the full remembrance of the original murder (Susie Salmon et al.) in the Rabbit Hole. Jack's death is an atonement for the original death (a spring clean for the May Queen).

    Loser has to keep America clean--having slain both himself and his doppelgaenger Halloran, Jack becomes the new King of the Wood, the maker of illusions, the Lord of the Underworld--even though he was also the old one. (Jack = Stanley Kubrick became a film director.)

    "All work and no play make Jack adult boy"

    Wendy's illumination occurs when she sees the skeletons in the Overlook, a visual symbol that she (having attained the "driver's seat") now walks living among the dead of unilluminated humanity.


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