“You don’t know if you’re creating a monster.” On Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives and Phantoms of Nabua, Camille Roy, Jacques Derrida, xenia, domestication and writing, being possessed.

I am someone who has long been a host or playmate for monsters and ghosts. My maternal grandmother had to spread chicken blood around my house as an offering to the ghosts who were befriending me and thereby killing me. These friendships were thought to be the source of my early (and enduring) frailty and sickness.

(And not, for example, the great quantity of immunosuppressive and antibiotic drugs of which I had regularly been the recipient. But this essay is not about the trials of children of medical professionals, of which there are many, all with varying levels of hilarity and cutting.)

The idea of “Being friends with ghosts diminishes your health” is similar to: “Whom the gods love, die young.”

Camille Roy, “Monstrous”: “For me writing grinds itself into what’s familiar yet unbearable.”

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