Weird Windows, Mirror Metaphors

Honestly, I planned for this blog entry to be about windows only, but sometimes found myself searching for things like “mirror mystery” instead of “window mystery” and not even realizing it at first. Maybe it’s just me, but I think, at some level, our brains see mirrors as windows, so I decided to go with it. My interest in the use of windows and mirrors in the genres of mystery and weird fiction quickly grew to include film, art, and everything else under the light of the sun.

There’s a Nancy Drew books called The Hidden Window Mystery (Grosset & Dunlap, 1957) by Carolyn Keen, and Poe’s short story, The House of Usher, in which the windows of a mansion resemble eyes.

Check outthe great illustration on The Haunted Museum site of stage magician John Henry Pepper used mirrors to make “spirits” appear.

I am especially happy to have found this “work in progress” by H. J. Krysmanski, Ingrid Lohmann, and Colin MacCabe called Windows: History of a Metaphor. For one thing, it is a very thorough look at mirrors from different angles (pun intended). For another thing, it bears out my idea that a mirror can be seen as a type of window, as evidenced by Chapter Seven of the book, Through the Looking Glass: Virtual Reality in Victorian England.” I enjoyed not only that chapter, but the entire Windows: History of a Metaphor.

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