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Reality Sandwich has posted a nice little discussion between two of my favourite authors, Erik Davis and Jeff Kripal, in which Erik interviews Jeff about his research and writing on comparitive religion, mysticism and the superhero within all of us:

ED: Sure, the paranormal is good subject matter for fictions, which is how most people who produce and consume popular culture think of it. In what way does the paranormal trace in popular culture point to something more than a good yarn?

JK: The paranormal is such a popular subject because it is real, that is, because people actually have these sorts of experiences all the time. It is not simply a good yarn, as you say. This is not to say that paranormal events are entirely objective or simply measurable. They are not. They in fact work a lot like stories. The fact is usually woven right into the fiction, and vice versa. It’s a both-and, not an either-or. A paranormal event is a real yarn.

Jeff’s recent book Mutants and Mystics: Science Fiction, Superhero Comics and the Paranormal (Amazon US/UK) is a fascinating read, I highly recommend it.

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