Extras - The Path

The Path

I have a minor obsession with the idea of the doppelganger – the supernatural double, sometimes seen as being a portent of one’s death. Edgar Allan Poe’s William Wilson is a story I have reread at various times and it never loses its unsettling power.

The notion of the strange pursuing figure has links with M.R. James’ Whistle and I’ll Come to You and also A Warning to the Curious. Too often, certainly in films, the pursuing creature shuffles along at such a pathetic speed that they would never catch their victim had they not had the misfortune to turn down a cul-de-sac, happen across a locked door or trip over. I wanted to have a ghoul from which there was no escape.

I was certainly thinking of the Coleridge quote from the Ancient Mariner that I put at the end of the book and of Coleridge himself who lived in the Lakes for a while and was much taken with twilight fell-walking. I also perhaps had in mind the scene in Frankenstein where Victor is wandering in the Alps and comes face to face with his creation once again …

I had a couple of particular paths in mind here, both in the Lake District. Matthew is basically walking through Hartsop in Patterdale at the beginning of the tale and is heading towards Angle Tarn. I was also thinking of a narrow track I once took to avoid a clamber over a crag I did not like the look of (see Climb Not again) and a winter walk I did once when a sudden blizzard made me glad I was at the foot of the fells and not at the top. You may be wondering why I go fell-walking if I have such a fear of heights. Well, apart from narrow paths on the edge of the crags, the fear seems to turn to exhilaration on a hilltop.
Or maybe I just like scaring myself.

The Path

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