Through the Mirrorform, Part 7: Saturday



First, just a blanket note: all of forward Saturday (Saturn) is overlaid with a backward Wednesday (Odin). Also, the next two days, Saturday and Monday (Moon Day) come from the Latin of ancient Rome, so we’re (in the forward motion) breaking from the Norse tradition for the next ten minutes and ten seconds.

Saturn (for whom Saturday is named) was the god of wealth, abundance, agriculture and time. He was also associated with role-reversals (something The Masque of the Red Death is also interested in); hence the festival of Saturnalia being named for him. So I wonder if that’s what’s being underscored for this section.

That said, the film is so rife with role-reversals it’s hard to peg it down to any one day or deity. In this section, Wendy will call for help, and Danny will meet the Grady twins for the last time. In the mirrorverse, Jack will be seduced by Grady, Tony will reveal his control of Danny to Wendy, and Jack will approach the radio for killing purposes. These all represent shifts in character, but they also all have precedents.

As for Ullman’s office, there’s been a few, minor changes. A red-spined book on his shelf has shimmied down the row for reasons I don’t understand, and the eagle on his window has shimmied similarly.

And his nameplate now reflects in the tabletop, turning the gold and silver tones of the plate to opposite tones in the reflection, giving a sense of their being an inverse Ullman. That last one at least speaks to the Saturnalia bit.

Adding to the agriculture and time aspects of Saturn, backward Jack here passes Thunderbird’s The Great Earth Mother painting, and the four seasonal Overlook photos. Unlike the other two sequences showing passage through this area, we now only see the winter and spring photos of the hotel. The festival of Saturnalia ran from December 17-23, which movie Jack won’t live to see (he dies on the 13th, most likely).

We also get a raging fire in the forward timeline (seen 23 seconds after the last one), flanked by large piles of chopped wood, which might speak to the idea of abundance.

The seasonal photos are also overlaying with the Navajo mural, which shows the blue corn harvest and the figures carrying the sheaves, and also bears a direct symbolic relationship to the four compass directions. The Great Earth Mother is overlaying the natural light flowing in the windows (and the spot where the CAMERA WALK standee should be).

It’s worth noting too (because it’s about to happen again) that there are two paintings behind Jack here which repeat elsewhere in the hotel, one of which repeats in the very area we’re looking at here. Both are out of our view, but it’s of some kind of fowl (I suspect a ruddy duck) standing on a patch of ice beneath some icy reeds.

Also, the ranger calling on the radio here (“This is KDK 1 calling KDK 12”) is from the US Forest Service, a part of the Department of Agriculture. So, it’s almost like Saturday saves the Forest Service. In just a moment, Wendy will be reaching out to them.

I just have to point out the thing pinned to the board in the first radio room that says EYE SCREAM. I have a few thoughts on this, most of which I’ve stated already, if you’ve been reading since the beginning.

First of all, eye scream is homophonious with “ice cream”, which is what Hallorann offers Dan in their one verbal shine, the only verbal shine (depending on how you look at the hotel’s hauntings) in the film. Here, as Jack passes the lobby, the cashiers’ windows both have an eye-shape wrought into the construction, giving the impression of two eyes looking out. Of course, this effect is repeated all over the hotel, and in the overlay here, the board that EYE SCREAM is pinned to has almost identically-shaped eye-shapes (similar to the cashier windows) in the pattern (see below). The cashier eye-shapes will look upon the very time and place where Jack murders Hallorann, and Danny will give himself away in that moment with a loud scream, because he’s shining Hallorann’s death. Jack, hearing Danny’s scream, will perform a long, curving walk through the lobby to look down the hall where he thinks he heard Danny, and the EYE SCREAM notice is near the zenith of this curve.

In fact, as Wendy leaves the radio room, she’ll perform the same curve, inverted, as she marches to the other radio room, in Ullman’s office.

So when Hallorann says, “How’d you like some ice cream, doc?” he’s almost asking three questions. First, the literal. Second, he’s foreshadowing his sacrifice to save Danny. And third, I think there’s a deliberate connection between this notion of eye scream and the kind of focus and attention it takes to save ourselves from the labyrinths of life. It’s a bit like what happens to Alex in Clockwork Orange, with his eyes peeled back, forced to witness and ingest a vast array of visual information, as the doctors’ way of trying to harness his mind. I think Kubrick’s making the point here that shining is a bit like a voluntary eye scream. And the complexity of the film he’s made forces anyone capable of peeling back these layers to pour through an insane amount of media (as I’ve had to do) in order to suss out what the likely connections are. So, as we see ourselves in Danny, we ask ourselves if we too would like some EYE SCREAM. It is what saves him…

Here’s a crazy mash-up. The backward image is transitioning between Jack’s stalk to kill the radio and Wendy cradling Tony/Danny is despair. The forward image is plainly Wendy’s first failed radio attempt.

So, first off, Jack’s stalk is taking him directly past the room where Wendy is making the call, so there’s an overlay of Wendy not being able to reach an operator, and the US Forest Service calling out “KDK1 calling KDK12”. When Wendy gives up on this avenue, she’ll retrace Jack’s path to the other room, where she’ll find a radio that works. Returning to the Saturn theme, the inverting nature of Saturn was connected to the idea of rebirth and renewal (one of his other names was Sterculius, which derives from stercus, meaning manure—death bringing life), so it’s a bit like the radio has been un-murdered, and now Wendy can go use it.

Second off, backward Wendy is cradling Tony/Danny who is acting like a service disrupter for her being able to reach Danny proper. So her offline radio is like her offline son.

Also, note the two paintings hanging hilariously out of view behind the radio directory, and you’ll remember that these paintings later make their way to Suite 3, where they’ll be watching backward Wendy pace back and forth, smoking, debating what to do next in a moment (she’ll even say that she should call the forest rangers in that scene). So, the effect is almost like a “the eyes seem to follow you around the room” kind of thing. Only in this case, one of the eyes belongs to great Caesar’s ghost!

Another interesting art connection here is Tom Thomson’s Northern River, which we see behind Jack’s stalk here, and as the black bar extending down from Wendy’s forehead here. This is one of the only moments in the film when the same painting appears in both shots, and it’s right at the 1/3 mark. What’s more, it’s the first artwork in forward Jack’s eye-line as he walks into the hotel at the beginning, over the shoulder of the receptionist. So this moment is invoking the film’s genesis, it seems (like the postcards and the black and white faces). One last bit of possible apocrypha: it’s been said that Northern River was based on a moment in the Canadian wilderness that doesn’t exist. Some fellow naturalist said, I believe, that the river didn’t seem based on any existing river. And since Kubrick seemed keenly aware of the very real places being depicted in many of the other paintings, I wonder if this “fantasy” river is a comment of the illusory nature of the hotel. I don’t think you could go as far as to say the hotel doesn’t exist at all (or else the rest of the movie stops making any sense), but it certainly has a metaphysical physicality.

Here we see the poster of Dr. Julius Erving overlaying Danny “Doc” Torrance.

This also harkens back to Danny’s first scene, where he wore a shirt featuring a b-balling Bugs Bunny. Here, both men are wearing mostly red. And if you still haven’t read my analysis of the Alois Arnegger piece here, I’d check it out. Just cuz it’s cool, really.

There’s a German game show playing apparently to no one in the lobby as Wendy passes between radios. This show was called Dalli Dalli!, which means, “hurry hurry!” or “pronto pronto!” And I like how that pairs with Wendy’s distress over Tony/Danny’s sluggishness.

Backward Wendy is telling Danny to “Wake up! C’mon! Right now!” Consider the parallel this draws to her discovery of Jack having his nightmare. Jack’s nightmare is what draws (or allows?) Wendy back into the Colorado lounge for the first time since Jack cast her out. So here, it’s like she’s trying to replay that scenario, perhaps because that scenario seemed to be leading toward Jack allowing her back into his life. Danny’s conscience, however, is untroubled by inward acrimony, unlike Jack. Danny’s not looking for a way out of blaming himself for what happened.

With that in mind, consider that Jack’s final resting place is floating inside her head as she says this stuff. In fact, when she wakes Jack from his terrible dream, there’s an 18-value and a 3-value photo floating over his head, as if he knows where he’ll end up.

When Tony says “Danny’s gone away Mrs. Torrance” the reverse shot is showing the spot where Trapper’s Camp was in Ullman’s for the first time since that scene. The first time we see it, Danny and Wendy are escaping in the snowcat. And of course, every time we see it in one of Danny’s visions, he’s “gone away” into such a vision. The time Wendy passes it in the BJ well, is as Danny’s on the other side having his first major vision. The third and final time we see Ullman’s empty chair, the reverse shot is of the SATURDAY placard, which I believe is a day for opposites, so that could follow. 

Note too that the STUART ULLMAN name plate is also missing from the desk.

Also, and just for the record, when Wendy passes through Susie’s office, we only see the four seasonal photos fly behind her head, not The Great Earth Mother that we saw beside Jack coming for the kill. Around this point in the novel (pg. 193-197), Danny is laying in bed, clutching his Pooh bear doll and fretting about old cartoon images that ask the viewer CAN YOU SEE THE INDIANS IN THIS PICTURE? He feels terror knowing that sometimes “the thing you took at first glance to be a cactus was really a brave with a knife between his teeth”. Wendy is here wearing a coat with cactus and tipi designs on it. Does she see “the indians”? Well, she didn’t “see” the Morrisseau paintings in Susie’s office…

Also, note how, as Wendy reacts to this impossible concept, Ullman’s impossible window floods her head. Ullman’s eagle statue seems to perch on atop her nose, as it points southward (in the Ullman scene it points northward).

Speaking of impossible windows, note that the one behind Wendy and Danny there is also impossible. Suite 3 is not a corner apartment, but part of the long, flat front face of the building.

Note how there’s a county on the Cram’s Superior Map here that seems outlined in ghostly white lines. This is Routt county, a name that comes from the word “red”, meaning “ruddy”. And wasn’t it nine REDRUMs that drew Wendy in here?

Wendy tells Tony/Danny he’s just having a “bad dream” and that “everything’s going to be okay”, echoing her nightmare talk with Jack. This speaks to the nature of how this conversation relieves her forward self some. Also, in that scene, the backward action is Dick talking to the Grumpy ranger.

Again, note the two postcards, between the flag and the 7ups, one of which was in the other radio room. As for the 7ups, we see two of them here, which I’ve often thought was a foreshadow to what’s about to happen with forward Danny, triking into the twinhall. But since they, the two postcards and the flag with its reflection all appear overlapped with Tony/Danny’s head here, I wonder if this isn’t all referring to the twinness of Tony.

Although, the case of 7up that was visible during the news/fruit salad scene on TUESDAY overlays with Wendy all through that scene while she and Tony/Danny are having the second of their two conversations. So perhaps the larger amount of 7up switching to her in that scene says something about her growing awareness of what needs to be done. Here it’s twins, there it’s a crate. Later it’ll be towers of crates, six stacks high (7×6 = 42?), that Jack will pass when he’s scattering steel rings around, and that Wendy will pass before finding Dick’s corpse.

The lady here with her brown vest is overlaying Wendy with her brown overalls.

Her green top may also be echoing the older man’s green uniform. In any event, Wendy only starts wearing this outfit once we see her fully taking over Jack’s tasks, making her a working woman, which, it should probably be said, was still a contentious issue back in the 70s. You know, because now it’s so much better.

You might recall from an earlier bit about the Grumpy ranger that there’s a pink sheet of paper on the pin board beside the two postcards. You’ll see it in the next section, but here you can see that it was white in this only wide shot of the office we ever get. Danny’s tricycle was white, you might recall, in the shot of it sitting with the Torrance luggage on CLOSING DAY, but it’s red in every other scene. So maybe this scene coming right before Danny meeting the twins for the last time speaks to how the white trike was on screen during the MURDER realization (see below – Jack blocks the white trike with his torso when MURDER is on screen).

Since this colour shift seems to connect to Danny, I’m wondering if the idea here connects to my theory about the seven characters who help Danny survive reflecting the seven dwarves of Snow White fame. In the case of the rangers, I felt that Bashful reflected this guy best, and Grumpy reflects the other guy best. That made me wonder if they weren’t meant to reflect the two modes that Jack projects throughout the story. When he’s “sane” he’s frequently quite bashful (like when he does this “aw shucks” walk when Wendy dances in the Gold Ballroom on the tour) and when he’s insane, the grumpiness is what gives him away more than anything. These rangers are also the least helpful of the seven helpers, besides maybe the doctor (Doc), whose inability to perceive Danny’s gift ill equips Wendy (Dopey) to deal with her coming challenges. So maybe that’s why Danny and Jack are the two characters who own colour-shifting objects (the trike and the typewriter), because father and son have these dual sides to their characters, sides that very unhelpful to the helpers in both men’s lives.

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This whole overlay of sequences is kind of funny, with Wendy saying, “Oh, we’re doing fine! But our radios are down…” in her chirpy tones, while backward Tony/Danny glares at her, and while she berates him to wake up.

Right here, as the ranger is saying, “Oh yes, quite a few are down due to the storm” backward Tony has turned his gaze back away, and is about to go back into REDRUM mode. This brings to mind the fact that the storms that hit the Torrances are never mentioned between the members of the family. Wendy talks about it to herself and to the ranger; Dick and Durkin talk about it; Dick and the ranger talk about it; and two news programs talk about it. But it never comes up between parent and child or mother and father (Wendy tells Jack that the weather service said it was “gonna snow tonight” but never mentions a storm before he makes her feel like she can’t tell him anything). This is reminiscent of Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death, in which a masque is held by the elites of a (British? Italian?) realm in order to hide out from the effects of a disease sweeping the nation. A figure sneaks into the masque disguised as the Red Death, which leads to Prince Prospero’s collapse and death. Prospero is also the name of the lead figure in Shakespeare’s The Tempest. So the through-line here seems to be horrible natural disasters that the main characters either ignore, or try to pretend isn’t happening. The escape from reality into fantasy. The irony seems to be, in all cases, that our characters want to believe they’re further from nature than they really are, but each of these dramas also include supernatural elements that are meant to be taken by the audience as solid fact. So there’s a dance going on between fantasy and reality, and the fantasy elements work better the more tempered they are.

In this overlay, there’s a dash of fantasy in the reality (the postcards that link the office to the Overlook and the labyrinth, or the colour-shifting piece of paper), and reality in the fantasy (superpowered as Tony seems to be, Danny’s using him the way anyone with PTSD or DID might use their powers of dissociation, so to speak).

When the ranger says, “Oh yes, it’s one of the worst [storms] we’ve had in years” Wendy is just getting into the room with the REDRUMing Tony, which brings to mind Danny’s first abuse by Jack, and how that lead to the invention of Tony.

Also, forward Wendy’s foot here rests exactly where Ullman’s copy of the Hotel and Motel RED BOOK was listing off the edge during the interview. Backward Wendy was summoned in by REDRUM.

And, as discussed in the Meeker massacre section, Wendy is sitting with her back to a Coloradan map, with the highlighted Routt section. And of course there’s Danny’s blaring red sweater. But what’s this all about? Is it about Jack’s murder of the radio? The two earlier “reds” are invisible to Wendy, and the two later “reds” are literally screaming in her face.

(We might understand this even better if we can ever properly ID the two artworks above Tony/Danny’s head here, of a dancing bear and some sort of wilderness scene. The one of the bears overlays the Routt section. Oh, and while I’m on the subject of mysterious art, there’s a piece of two snowbound cabins behind Wendy when she opens the door, that resembles many pieces I’ve seen depicting St. Paul in Quebec, Canada. That piece appears when the ranger asks, “Is there anything else we can do for you, Mrs. Torrance? Over.” after they’ve commiserated about the severity of the storm. So I suspect it speaks to the break down in communication, but also, opposite side Tony/Danny is screaming REDRUM, so I suspect it’ll play into that theme as well somehow.)

You know, I’ve been asked by a few people during the course of this artistic investigation, as it were, if Kubrick wanted to call out America for its genocides, why go to such extremes to bury it so densely through the film, but a) I don’t think it’s buried very deep, and b) it’s a major theme of the movie. If Danny had said, “Mom. I’m getting visions of blood waterfalls pouring from elevators, a pair of murdered little girls staring blankly at me, and my own face screaming in darkness. I think perhaps we should leave the Overlook, no matter the cost.” It might’ve had as mystifying an effect on Wendy as “Redrum!” did. The effect of learning the secret meanings of The Shining are the same as REDRUM becoming MURDER. Your pre-exposure to something intriguing but secretive, which you didn’t understand (beyond its surface properties) for years, makes the revelation of its true meaning all the more striking and memorable. The richness of its message is already within you. And the potency of that message is in the strength of its Trojan Horse-ness. How many ideas are seeping into you, and how strong are they?

Right as the ranger signs off with Wendy, telling her to keep her radio on “all the time now”, plotting backward Wendy hears her first “Red Rum!” In other words, both Wendys are returning to their sense of isolation.

Also, the painting behind Suite 3 Wendy is the same one of the horse on the snowy hill that was behind the inoperable radio from before. I associate these with the Grady twins (which are not the real girls, but a creation of the hotel – so that jives with the concept that it’s the hotel blocking the communications that it can control).

Just as forward Wendy is signing off with the Forest Service, backward Wendy is just finishing saying, “We can call the forest service, and let em know we’re comin’. In case we don’t make it.”

There’s the copy of Scientific American from March 1978 beside backward Wendy here which includes a few interesting references (forward Wendy seems to have her foot on it – does that connect to the RED BOOK having been there before?). Most relevant, there’s a feature on “The Flow of Energy in a Forest Ecosystem”, which deals with the way that plants control and partition the finite amount of energy they get from the sun’s rays.

Meanwhile, the cover story is about the way that Bruegel the Elder’s 16th century art can be used as a portal to understanding past technologies, using his painting The Tower of Babel. Which backward speaks to Wendy’s coming inability to reach and communicate with her son, and it foreshadows her inability to communicate with the rangers, who she was so easily able to communicate with before. In the mirrorform, I like how this calls our attention to the technology in this film. The radio Wendy’s using was probably state of the art in 1980, and perhaps a bit obscure. But how many filmmakers take the care of a Kubrick, or, say, a Matthew Weiner, to get everything in their project era-correct, to sustain the herstoricity?

The issue also deals with evolutions in telephone technology, which seems apt. And, depressingly, a report about the finite nature of oil, and the coming collapse of the fossil fuel industries. Did the editors choose a Tower of Babel article to underscore the significance of that writing?

Consider the heavy amount of butterfly imagery in Suite 3. We’ve got two paintings here, showing a cluster of them flapping around. There’s the standee on the make-up table. There’s a little eyeliner/tweezer kit, lying open, which has a butterfly shape to it, Wendy’s sweater on the armchair looks like a shedded cocoon, and there’s Crime and Punishment and the works of William Shakespeare on the book case by the washroom. Crime and Punishment is thought by some to be what I call a mirrorform story, where the first half relates to the back half in a mirroring way. And Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Julius Caesar may also be like this (Caesar’s most famous line, his dying words, “Et tu, Brute?” is a sound butterfly—(eh) (tu) (br) (ut) (eh)—and many lines in the play have a mirrorformness to them, like, “Pardon, Caesar. Caesar, pardon.”) Well, here, that’s all overlapping with the Grady twins, who are like a butterfly themselves. Which are generally connected to murder in the film.

Also, note how the one butterfly (painting? knitting?) touches the Nicholas de Grandmaison portrait of Chief Bear Paw. The Bear Paw piece hangs directly above where Jack kills Dick in the floor beneath this one, so I’ve theorized that it represents the hotel’s puppet master quality over Jack. One of the closest things I’ve found that could be the origins for these butterfly pieces is something called “Derwentwater Designs”, a company that manufactured knitting patterns. These art pieces aren’t here when Wendy brings Jack breakfast on A MONTH LATER, but are there on MONDAY, and every scene going forward. So, I’m wondering if the idea is that Wendy made these to pass the time. In the novel, she falls asleep while knitting and pondering the works of Bartók and Bach, just as Danny is entering room 217. If these are designs from “Derwent”, in the novel, the owner of the hotel was once (and might still be) Horace Derwent, who appears to Jack at the ghost ball. So, linking “Derwent” with “Chief Bear Paw” would be clever enough, but it would also suggest the reality behind these twins. They aren’t the spirits of the Grady girls who were murdered, but manifestations of whatever animates the building.

Here, Grady is telling Jack about “correcting” his family, and here we see exactly what that looked like. On a symbolic level, there’s a few interesting hidden elements. The painting beside the twins, covered in blood is Montreal from the Mountain, by William Henry Bartlett. The implications this has for the entire film are very wide-ranging. But how it relates to Grady here is that there’s a network of references to the 1976 Olympics, which were almost held in Denver, but ended up being held in Austria. The Montreal ones were a financial disaster. The institution of the Olympics was founded (in mythological terms) by Hercules, who famously slaughtered his wife and children after being told he was a demigod. So I suspect that’s the thing here. Also, the Bartlett piece was first composed sometime between 1839-1842. If this was a later etching based on the etching made during his trip to Canada, then it’s possible it was from sometime around 1846, the year of the Donner Party, which would bring a sense of cannibalism to this idea of “correction”.

The river in that painting is the St. Lawrence, which is the name we get “Larry” from, as in Larry Durkin, who is only ever seen talking to Hallorann, the man who will be killed beneath Chief Bear Paw.

It’s interesting that Grady has the two pillars of light behind him as his daughters transition from Gemini position to Cancer position.

Jack’s blood-spattered face feels positively on purpose. The gout of blood on the wall behind his right eye almost seems to give him lashes like Alex DeLarge has in A Clockwork Orange – DeLarge who is known as Alex Burgess in the film (the book was written by Anthony Burgess). In fact, that reminds me of something from the novel that I didn’t write about in that analysis. On page 258, Jack recalls that his favourite story he ever sold was called The Monkey is Here, Paul DeLong. He relives the story in his mind (a child molester, Paul “Monkey” DeLong, is released from prison by an overlord named Grimmer) and realizes that he sympathizes in different ways with all the different characters, knowing that that sympathy came from his own lived experiences throughout life. On the next page, he realizes that he’s come to loathe the “goody two-shoes” protagonist of his quasi-autobiographical play, Gary Benson, and is coming to realize that the villain of the play, Mr. Denker, is much more the character he admires, a “Mr. Chips” kind of guy. I think the point here is that Jack was more able to write real characters when he was more able to feel like a real person himself, when his writing reflected real life. Benson and Denker are starting to seem too black-and-white, but perhaps only because he can’t face the growing darkness within himself, and not because these characters aren’t true to life in their mechanics. And, fun fact, there’s a painting just outside room 231 (the room I believe the Overlook swallows Jack’s soul into) called The Battle of Long Point, and at the other side of that hallway is one called A Man of Van Diemen’s Land, which could be referencing a minorly genocidal moment of history involving a guy named Nicholson and a guy named Jack of Cape Grim.

Paul “Monkey” DeLong sounds like “Paul monkeyed along” in English, and I can’t help wondering (given all the other Beatles references) if that’s meant to say “Paul McCartney monkeyed along.” What exactly that implies I’m not sure, but Paul is correlated to Jack in the Abbey Road Tour, the Let It Be analysis, and the Sgt. Pepper analysis. So, that might finally explain how Kubrick knew that Jack Torrance was meant to reflect Paul McCartney.

As for “Grimmer”, that’s a name that sounds an awful lot like Grimm, as in Grimm Fairy Tales. And 258 (the page that describes all this, remember) is not a main story code for anything, but the closest one to it is 253: The Little Fish Escapes Through the Net. Wendy actually reflects on page 62 that the sun (shining through a distant waterfall on the way to the Overlook) resembles a “golden fish snared in a blue net” right before her first thoughts turn toward the Donner Party. A guy named Alexander Pushkin wrote a similar tale, The Tale of the Fisherman and his Wife, and on page 163 Jack learns that one of the mafia goons who worked for the Overlook was named Carl Prashkin. The opposite page from 163 is 285, whereon Danny compares himself to Patrick McGoohan’s character on Secret Agent in his fights against the KGB nogoodnik, Slobbo, who uses his “Russian antigravity machine”. I can’t find any evidence that there was ever a such a character or machine on the show, but there is an anti-gravity machine in Licenced to Kill, a James Bond parody. Secret Agent was noted for its similarity to the Bond franchise, and Wendy sits next to a copy of the Ted Mark novel Dr. Nyet, which parodies Bond. The Little Fish Escapes Through the NYET! But yes, the reason Danny is comparing himself to McGoohan is because he’s in a concrete playground ring that’s partially buried in snow, where he meets the voice of a child who seems to be buried there too, and wants Danny to play with him forever and forever and forever (pg. 288). In fact, the page opposite Wendy’s “fish” vision is 386, where Dick has driven almost off a cliff before a snow bank caught him. He’s on his way up to the Overlook, same as it was for Wendy. Hallorann is saved by a man named Howard Cottrell, who shares a name with a man from the same era as that Nicholson from Van Diemen’s Land, and who had basically the exact opposite life story as the one from that etching.

I guess what I’m wondering is: is King suggesting that Jack used to understand the mechanics of story, the mechanics of Aarne-Thompson/Grimm storytelling, and how to combine that with his own experiences to make good writing, and now he just wants to use writing to exorcise his demons, and to glorify his lesser nature? That’s what Grady is admonishing him to aspire to in the accompanying scene here.

Sometimes you just gotta “correct” some history, Jack!

Also, note the way the all-consuming redness around backward Jack makes the carnage much more visible. As you watch the REDRUM Edition of The Shining more and more, you realize that the way Kubrick used light and shadow was perfectly done to help bring out and to subdue different elements of different overlays. So while Grady appeared hemmed in with his dead girls, Jack here looks as if he’s under an ocean of blood with them.

Also, given that the girls seem styled after Alice, of Wonderland fame, this overlay evokes the sequences of Alice riding on the dark ocean of her tears.

And note the way the Montreal etching just touches the top of the blood ocean (is that saying something about how the French treated the indigenous peoples here? the Canadian treatment generally?), and the way the fire hose box on the right side fits perfectly into the little wedge in the red. The visibility of this wedge changes between shots, so this is truly stunning.

Right before Danny clasps his eyes, he and Jack overlap for a quick moment. And Jack remains on screen all the while we watch Danny clutch at his face. But just as his eye first peeps out…

…Grady has returned. So there’s a nice little contrast there of what Jack can handle to stare at, and what Danny can’t.

Just as Jack says “It’s his mother…she interferes…” Danny says “Tony…I’m scared…” And right when Jack finishes saying “interferes”, the Tony finger pops up, to interfere, and to remind Danny of what Mr. Hallorann said. “It’s just like pictures in a book, Danny. It isn’t real.” While Danny is hearing that, Jack is hearing Grady say, “Indeed he is, Mr. Torrance. A very willful boy. A rather naughty boy…if I may be so bold, sir.” The implication being that Danny asking for Tony’s help (or “Mr. Hallorann’s”) is naughty. So all throughout the Jack-Grady scene, Grady is demonizing the notion of going outside the hotel, or getting help. The ultimate narcissist technique. Tony is reminding Danny of the value of others, invoking Hallorann’s wisdom.

Another Goofus and Gallant: Imaginary Friend Edition going on there.

Click here to continue on to Through the Mirrorform, Part 8: Monday