BEYOND THIS POINT ARE MONSTERS

“Deep in this fabulous book someone says ‘i watch to aid her loneliness.’ The many meanings of that phrase suggest the glittering accomplishment, the rare morality of this book. Is it a ‘cure’ or an increase of loneliness one is after? The reading of Beyond This Point Are Monsters was an aid in many ways to many aspects of readerly need. What is helped, after all by going beyond ‘this point’? — it is the need for monsters Roxanne Carter understands, not the avoidance of them. I have never read a more gorgeous novel in which the beauty is all in the mystery, not in any solution.” — Bin Ramke

“The interior of the interior of the interior, precise movements in a haunted house: Here is a revelatory territory, dimly lit, curtained. In gorgeous sentences, Roxanne Carter translates the uncanny paradoxes of intimacy through shadow, ocean, ash. To read Beyond This Point Are Monsters is to wake in a dream, from a dream, and realize you are in a room illuminated by darkness. Its enchantments are both important and a pleasure.” — Selah Saterstrom

Beyond This Point Are Monsters is a creative work which establishes a fluid, unstable space between the mediated image and the written word. It addresses issues of repetition and difference in the TV melodrama and the inscribed surface of the house in the Gothic novel, performing the romantic and sensational tropes of the Gothic formula in order to subvert them. The project investigates and inhabits the soap opera Dark Shadows which aired daily on ABC from 1966 to 1971, and examines the manner in which the show defies its own genre conventions. I chose Dark Shadows as the foundational source for my text because it is a program which incessantly crosses its own boundaries. Conventionally, soap opera is a form of fictional realism, but the digressive concerns of Dark Shadows stray far from the everyday, while its necessarily fast production pace lacerates the program with constant failure and mistakes.Dark Shadows is flawed, but in a way which troubles the rules of genre and the viewer’s relationship to the screen. My investigation is manifested in the form of fictional writings which borrow the conceptual metaphors and visual gestures of the show. Each “episode” of Beyond This Point Are Monsters mirrors a plot that is anterior to the show’s own official plot, leaking language and images that are withheld and effaced in the original.

REVIEWS
BOMB issue 125 | Fall 2013 / by Alexandra Gauss
HTML Giant / by Lyndsey Ellis

HONORS
Les Figues Press NOS* Contest | Finalist | 2011
Starcherone Press Prize for Innovative Fiction | Finalist | 2011