Abandoned Spaces, Fiction, Mythology

The Wild Lot in Schulz’s Pan

With our early posts on Wild Lot, we thought we could attempt to illustrate our personal interest in the topics we hope to explore on this blog, namely, the role natural setting plays in forming and inspiring creative writers, and how our favorite authors, in recognition that we, through our fragile civilization, are only one small and superficial step removed from being wild ourselves, often use nature as an apt symbol for humanity. So, in the spirit of this, my first post will be a bit autobiographical…


credit: wikipedia

credit: wikipedia

I was in a creative writing class my first semester at the University of Pittsburgh, early 2000s. We each had to bring in a short story that was important to us as fledgling writers. I don’t remember what I brought in. But one student (Jared, I think?) brought in a photocopied excerpt of Polish author, Bruno Schulz’s Street of Crocodiles/Cinnamon Shops entitled “Pan.”

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Fiction, Mythology, The Sublime

Hear us, great Pan!: Valentine’s Day, Lupercalia, and Picnic at Hanging Rock

When I first saw Peter Weir’s  Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975), I must have been somewhere between 17 and 21 years old, living in rural Southwest Ohio, where I was born and raised and which was, like Weir’s 1900 south Australia, an ostensibly free yet inwardly straightjacketed province. I recall being excited by the subtext that Sara’s affection for Miranda, and then Mademoiselle de Poitier’s appreciation of Miranda’s beauty, suggested, not to mention the visuals of the key scenes that I get into here shortly. Above this visceral impact, though, something haunting embedded in the film has made me ever since consider Hanging Rock part of my personal worldview, across multiple phases of my life, despite having seen it only once or twice.

The film is subversive, defiant, and wild, which is probably why I like it, and what makes it even more appealing to me now is that the veinery circulating these impressions is the god Pan (Catania).

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