The Redness of the Blood

Posted by @ 7:05 pm on June 18th, 2010

In the vampire movie Daughters of Darkness, scenes will often fade not to black, but to red. In The Beyond, blood bubbles up and spurts out of a women’s face, and chases a little red-haired girl across a room:

A woman has blood poured on her in Satan Bouche Un Coin, a devilish, culty art film from 1968:


We can think about the whiteness of the whale in the ways Melville asks us to. But it was once suggested to me that I consider the whiteness of the whale as a metaphor for writer before a blank page—a daunting taskmaster to be defeated.

The redness of the could be the red ink of the editing pen. Marks on the page, slashes in the flesh of a work of prose or poetry. Spilling points. Wounds to the text.

But as whiteness enhances beauty in the natural world, so can redness. Blood in the cheeks, the heat of the blush, the pinkness to redness of lips or nipples. Sometimes the taste of blood in the mouth makes me hungry, even if it is from my own bitten lip. Or someone else’s bitten lip.

Some people even enjoy nosebleeds:


Perhaps its best to understand when the cuts and bruises of edits to your writing are the work of vampires or the work of those who just find wounds and cuts and bruises beautiful. Who find charm in the scars the cuts leave behind. (Because an edited sentence is, in some ways, a scared sentence. But the scare might be much more attractive.

I don’t need no make-up/I got real scars/I got hair on my chest/I look good without a shirt.

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