Last weekend we had our seventy-fifth session at Write Club, and Soumya R (like all Tamilians she likes using a single letter for her last name) introduced us to Gothic literature. There was some confusion regarding what makes a piece of writing Gothic, and this was borne out by the fact that almost everyone who read out their writing began with: “I don’t know if this is Gothic, but…” and Soumya, being the gracious host, assured us that no matter what we wrote about, we couldn’t help but write something with a Gothic element in it.
Some of the writing that came out was top notch. What sticks in my mind is Bopanna’s story of the obsessive compulsive husband who finds a new use for his washing machine. Also memorable was Bala’s little vignette of the quaint old lady who secretly hopes that her husband would hurry up and die. The themes were varied, but there was an underlying sameness to it all. All of them brought forth the darkness within the human spirit, and perhaps at the end of the day that is what Gothic really means.