Thursday, 2 January 2014

Summoning of demons: an inappropriate response to criticism

Life sometimes gets in the way of blogging, so I haven't written anything here for a while.  The last entry (by Mary Anne Kennan) discussed the assumptions that underpin research methodologies.  The group discussion that followed its publication touched on some of the problems that arise when such assumptions are not properly examined.  One example that I proffered was the issue of research undertaken according to one methodology being assessed by reviewers following a different methodology.

A few months ago I published a blog entry in which I included some reviews of a paper that was subsequently published. The research being reported on was interpretivist, but it was reviewed as though it were positivist.  Consequently, the reviews were hostile.

Amongst the things that have got in the way of blogging recently has been Christmas, with its abundance of distractions.  One of the smaller distractions was Mark Gatiss' production of the M.R. James story "The Tractate Middoth".  Much of it took place in a library, and the vital clue to a missing will was an accession number.

As a child, I read quite a few M.R. James stories but did not remember this one.  I set out to discover and rediscover some.  One that I discovered was James' story, Casting of the Runes, which the inspiration for a 1950s horror film called Night of the Demon (renamed 'Curse of the Demon' in the USA).  In the film, the leader of a Satanic cult uses his knowledge of the occult to summon up demons to destroy his enemies.  I had seen the film but not read the story.  I did so and found that, in the original, the occult powers were used in response to bad reviews of the author's work. 

No comments:

Post a Comment