Jack Eidt talks with Silver Webb on his surreal trip to the Underworld story “City of Illumination,” published by Borda Books in Delirium Corridor, A Dark Anthology, curated by Max Talley. It includes fifteen tales of psychological suspense, altered states, noir crime, and the surreal.
Featuring authors Zane Andrea, John Reed, Shelly Lowenkopf, Sacha Wamsteker, Jesse Krenzel, Genna Rivieccio, Jack Eidt, Trey Dowell, M.M. De Voe, Stephen Vessels, Fred Williams, Silver Webb & Max Talley. Available for purchase here.
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Silver Webb on Santa Barbara Literary Journal: “Jack Eidt is master of the tsunami. One of those prose waves that starts at your ankles and builds slowly, not via twenty-foot wall of water, but an inexorable flow of words, so descriptive, immersive, wry, and serious, that before you know it, you are picked up off your feet, there is no other option but to let the current take you.
And thusly, Jack has taken me into acid trips in the desert, cliff-climbing to find the sun, into the sewers of Los Angeles to face the dark goddess of the underworld, through the sights and sounds and stink of political unrest and brothels and hostels in South America. Quite literally, there have been moments when I’ve read his work and felt like I was losing my breath. It is that good. And that challenging.”
Silver: Your land of the dead is an incredibly strange, surreal party under the sewers of L.A. It features a goddess figure at the center of it. Who is she and what does she represent?
Jack: Well, there’s this society of the Owl of Minerva, a sort of blending of urban legends in Los Angeles and the culture I’ve experienced there underground. In my younger days, when I first came to Los Angeles as a graduate student at UCLA, I spent a lot of time at these underground type parties.
But I blended that in this story with some mythological currents. It also still sticks with the Day of the Dead theme. It was really an anteroom to the land of the dead and I was blending in something I experienced in Guatemala, when I traveled to an area in the creation myth of the Mayan people, where there is an incredible network of caves, so I went through these caves.
I remember there was this one cave where we went further and deeper down, in complete darkness. My guides went in with candles. It was slippery, extremely dangerous at times. We came to a body of water, a kind of lake. And all we heard were these voices laughing, it sounded like sisters laughing. We had to turn back there. This underground scene was a similar thing to “City of Illumination.” Finding a way out of that underground world was important.
Silver: When the women start laughing, Jack, it’s time to back it up and get out of the cave.
Updated 1 March 2023