This week, Will and Mike don their academic tweeds, gather their notes and ascend to the podium to bring you their conference report on MR James and the Modern Ghost Story. Join us for 45 minutes of (un)learned comment, digressions and wild speculation – plus more expert commentary from author Helen Grant (@helengrantsays), comics writer John Reppion (@johnreppion) and horror expert Prof Darryl Jones, as well as conference organisers Jane Mainley-Piddock (@jmainpidd) and Jim Mussell (@jimmussell).
This week Will and Mike explore the borders between psychedelia and twee when they crack open The Five Jars, Monty’s only novel. Prepare yourself for enigmatic springs, helpful trees and cantankerous cats – and two very confused podcasters.
Parents beware – Will drops his guard and utters a foul-mouthed profanity at 12:48. Chapter one was a real struggle at times.
Readings for this episode are taken from Curious Creatures, Robert Lloyd Parry’s excellent audiobook which features a selection of lesser-heard M.R. James stories. Many thanks to Robert for giving us permission to use them! The full CD can (and should) be purchased from nunkie.co.uk
Thanks to Alisdair Wood who provided the awesome artwork that accompanies this episode. Head over to woodi.co.uk for more M.R. James inspired artwork for sale.
The Malice of Inanimate Objects by M.R. James (Ghosts and Scholars)
This story can be read in full online at the Ghosts and Scholars website. See the notes at the bottom for links to the varioustranslations of the Brothers Grimm’s story about the unfortunate, or very wicked, Squire Korbes.
The Malice of Inanimate Objects short film (Youtube)
Want to see a man crack an egg on his own face, and worse? This M.R. James short by Youtuber Alan OW Barnes takes it’s inspiration from M.R. James and the tale of Squire Korbes mentioned in this story.
Death Bed: The Bed that Eats (Youtube)
Cited as ‘a strong contender for worst movie ever made’, this 70′s horror movie caught Mike’s eye as example of the inanimate object idea being taken to places it probably shouldn’t. Warning: contains bad acting.