13 February 2018

Lore

It's been a long while since I talked about podcasts here, so it's about time I told you about a favourite of mine: Lore.

In my early teens, I was obsessed with strange and unexplained phenomena: apparitions, disappearances, sightings of unidentified animals, etc. I never missed an episode of "Unsolved Mysteries" on television, and read every book I could find on the Bermuda Triangle. I'm not sure of the reason behind this fascination; while I didn't believe in the truth of these accounts, there was room in my mind to entertain the possibility that a fragment of truth might lie underneath it all.

For some unknown reason, this interest slowly faded over time... only to flare into life once more when I followed a BookTuber's recommendation (thanks Simon!) and downloaded an episode of Lore. Then I downloaded all of the back catalogue — there are close to 80 episodes now — and listened to them compulsively, one after the other, over and over again, each time throwing new details into focus, triggering fresh lines of thought and waves of emotion.

Host, writer and producer Aaron Mahnke is a masterful storyteller (he's also the author of supernatural novels, which I intend to read soon). His tone is never sensationalistic — nothing irritates me more than a "DUDE, LOOK HOW WEIRD THIS IS!" attitude — but always empathic towards the people whose circumstances he describes. For me, his ability to imagine himself in their position plays a vital part in the show's appeal.

What also contributes to making Lore so compelling is that it takes an anthropological approach to the phenomena it examines, with a view to exploring what lies beneath the surface, what they reveal about us as humans. It addresses each topic from a variety of angles in order to explain how folk tales, singular events, myths and legends, stories both old and modern, reflect who we are. The music, especially that by Chad Lawson, serves to enhance the deliciously creepy atmosphere.

Although I'm aware that this will sound morbid, this podcast helped to keep me sane over the three months when my mother's life was slowly ebbing away... It reminded me that we're all of us mortal, and that grief — universally, historically — is one of the most powerful emotions we can face. I can't quite explain why, but this knowledge comforts me.

Episodes are released fortnightly on Mondays and can be accessed from a multitude of sources. (Episode #2, "The Bloody Pit," which probes our fear of the dark, remains my favourite thus far.) Lore is also a TV show (on Amazon Prime) and a series of books. To receive the latest news, you can do as I did and subscribe to the newsletter called The Epitaph.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments are welcome, in English or en français!