Banquet speaker, Eric G. Wilson
Magna intern, Joseph Bender interviewed Eric G. Wilson for an article in our June issue of Pomp & Circumstantial Evidence.
Here's the beginning of the article. Read the entire article here:
This year we are pleased to welcome Dr. Eric G. Wilson, a lifelong student of the macabre, as Magna cum Murder's banquet speaker. He is The Thomas H. Pritchard Professor of English at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina where he currently teaches British and American Romanticism, creative nonfiction, and cultural stories.
I recently had an opportunity to speak at length with Dr. Wilson about his writing and academic careers, including, of course his most recent book Everyone Loves a Good Train Wreck: Why We Can't Look Away, which explores the different dimensions of the macabre and our fascination with it. Dr. Wilson uses ideas that we normally find morbid to spark the reader's imagination about life and vitality, rendering a positive feeling unlike anything most of us have experienced. In the book he makes this point: "We are enamored of ruin. The deeper the darkness is, the more dazzling. Our secret and ecstatic wish: Let it all fall down.... (D)eath's perpetual certitude inspires us to imagine more truthful lives."
When we spoke I asked him if there is anything too gruesome that even he, such a serious student of the macabre, couldn't stand to see or think about. "I simply couldn't watch a beheading," he said, explaining further, "I guess I enjoy aesthetic macabre the most. The literature of Shakespeare and text can have just as much an effect to some degree."