Counter Esperanto Podcast: Tangents About Twin Peaks: The Return Part 5

This episode marks the last in a series of five episodes following our re-watch of Twin Peaks: The Return, which feature guests each of whom bring a unique and thorough perspective to the puzzling, beautiful, haunting, heartbreaking, harrowing and frustrating text that is Twin Peaks. Karl and I would love to offer our deepest thanks to John Thorne, Rob King, John Bernardy, Lindsay Stamhuis, and of course, this episode’s guest Adam Stewart. We hope to talk to each of them again, someday soon.

Our last guest in this series, Adam Stewart of Diane Podcast takes us into a broad view of Twin Peaks: the space of “post-theory” Twin Peaks. To get there, we need to talk about hauntings. We start with the classic author of ghost stories M.R. James, what made his work so special at the time, and why his work resonates now, and why it also resonates with our beloved show.

We talk about John Thorne’s new book, Ominous Whoosh and question whether Twin Peaks theory doesn’t get any better, or comprehensive, and if so, now what?

From there, things get “hauntological,” (a term coined by Jacques Derrida, and popularized in the modern era by media critics such as Mark Fisher, a podcast favorite for Diane as well as us), and we see how the past haunts the present in the real world, in the world of the show, in media at large, and how all of these realms interplay and comment on each other. 

For a deeper view, we discuss the concept of “late style” in art, and how David Lynch’s late style comes to bear as he revisited the world of Twin Peaks all these years later.

Ep. No. 24: The 17th Secret or “A Question and Some Answers”

“I have a question for you. Apologies, it’s a bit of a long one, but I think I’m going to need to unpack it a bit.

Okay. So you love Mark Fisher’s The Weird and the Eerie. I want to talk a little bit more about the Eerie, because you so often talk about the Weird. Here is a nutshell quote from Fisher ‘the Eerie is constituted by a failure of absence or by a failure of presence. There is something where there should be nothing or there is nothing where there should be something’. Now season 3 is riven with eerie absences. First and foremost, or at least the most obvious being Dale Cooper and Laura Palmer’s absenteeism. There are more fundamental absences: absences of story progression and structure, absences of narrative and temporal cohesion. Absences of place. We spend very little time in Twin Peaks as a location, and next to no time in a Twin Peaks that is recognizable to us as fans of the original show.

By venerating Laura, part 8 highlights and helps to foster a yearning for something that is fundamentally lacking. Even the music that underscores the scene in the fireman’s Palace reinforces this View. This lack can also be found in the way the season continuously defers, confounds and obscures its meanings, a quality which finds focus in elements that imply a hidden order, such as the recurrent instances of mysterious, seemingly metaphysically significant numbers.

All this absence generates a feeling that there’s a radical outside to this tale. A place where these structuring elements reside just behind a curtain that the fans attempt to glimpse behind through theories and readings. Perhaps if we are to talk about encounters with the weird in season 3, an incursion of something beyond the edges of the known, we need to talk about the way this vast sense of eerie absence bears down on the story and the characters. On us.

Naturally I have ideas about what this absence is. What this outside is. But this isn’t my podcast.

So what do you make of it?”

–Adam from Diane podcast. You can tweet at him (and the other Dianes) at: @DianePodcast and you should, because they are smarter than us.


The Struggle is Real: