Wondrous and Strange: The Matter of Twin Peaks

  • Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock


A fish in a percolator. An ominous swaying traffic light. A sublime vista of neatly stacked doughnuts. A log that conveys secrets. A Dictaphone (possibly named Diane). Not one but two diaries. A human chess piece. A man who reminds another of a lapdog. Much of the strangeness of the world of David Lynch and Mark Frost’s Twin Peaks, its glorious and disorienting off-kilterness, inheres in its uncanny representation of matter—things out of place, things saturated with affect, defamiliarized things, inspirited things. It is not just the owls in Twin Peaks that are not what they seem-neither are people and ceiling fans, drape runners and cave pictographs, wood ticks and creamed corn. Judge Sternwood (Royal Dano) tells Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) in episode 12 to keep his eye on the woods, which are “wondrous here but strange”-and indeed they are, enfolding within them the entrance to the Waiting Room to the spirit world and triangulating messages for Cooper via SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). But equally strange is the Great Northern, crouching on the edge of a waterfall like a gothic castle, complete with secret passages; and the Roadhouse, where the strange (Julee Cruise singing at a biker bar?) is replaced by the even stranger (the Giant [Carel Struycken] who appears there three times); and the Palmer house, where surreal visions of horses and spreading blood are glimpsed by the gifted and the damned and where BOB (Frank Silva) leers back at Leland (Ray Wise) from the mirror, the skipping record player emblematic of the replay of the killing of Laura (Sheryl Lee) in the form of her doppelganger, Maddy (Sheryl Lee).


Traffic Light Golf Ball Spirit World Twin Peak White Horse 
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© Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock 2016

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  • Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock

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