The Monster In Me
I am about to mix up sources taking them out of context. This is problematic given the arguments surrounding this subject in ethnology and history.
In Scotland the difficulty has been that ethnology has generally taken a deep historical approach which has a tendency to present the subject as static, history takes a contextual approach looking at the subject in a specific space and time with a tendency to deny the subject a history beyond that .
I prefer the contextual approach of history. I don’t however think that means rejecting the textual history completely. A 16th century historian looking at the subject of the last post may make the conjecture that the subject may be influenced by elite perspectives regarding demons particularly the succubus. Examining the tale over the long term I find myself far more interested in the relationship between the supernatural and the natural world and in the way this sexual motif is associated with man like apes. A processes already long underway that will explode in the 17th century.
I have a sense of the tales past and know it has a future beyond the 16th century.
What comes out of the contextual detail is a reminder of the way these phenomena were experienced. They were living things and a part of peoples lives.
They were seen, they could be felt and touched and had a very direct emotional impact on those who experienced such things.
Lived experience rather than a medieval repetition.