By engaging and questioning existing definitions and ideas, all of the essays in this volume represent the idea of a ‘monstrous reflection’ in one way or another. Monsters can serve as a means to explore the cultural anxieties they embody and the reasons for these anxieties. Thus monsters act as mirrors highlighting the causes for the creation of categories. A reflection can also be a comment or statement applicable in that the monstrous or the word ‘monster’ becomes a label of otherness and exclusion. This label is sometimes a construction, a discursive and rhetorical trope, which only serves to other those deemed different or undesirable, suggesting that the monster might not always be monstrous. This volume is about the ones gazing into the mirror and the ‘things’ staring back at humanity along with the uncomfortable truths that are revealed in the process.
Edited by Petra Rehling and Elsa Bouet
Format: eBook (PDF)
This volume engages ideas, explores cultural anxieties and discusses constructions of the monstrous in a number of disciplines and spaces.
Categories: Culture, Evil, Horror & Monsters.
Tags: abjection, culture, gender, Ideology, Inhumanity, Language, literature, monster, otherness, philosophy, politics, power, race, Social Science, space.
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Elsa Bouet and Petra Rehling
Part I Political Monstrosity
Monstrosity in Italian Politics
Fanatics and Absolutists: Communist Monsters in John le Carre’s Cold War Fiction
Removing the Blindfold: Power, Truth and Testimony
Monstrous Embodiments of Post-Modern Capitalism and Corporatism in the Cinema of the ‘New French Extremity’
Part II Creating the Monster
Beautiful Lepers, Monstrous Humans: The Impossibility of Utopia in the Strugatskys’ The Ugly Swans
The Name of the Beast: Monstrosity and the Subhuman in Michael Gira and Nietzsche
Michael T. Miller
‘I Can’t even Hate Bates’: Sufferance, Guilt and Strategies of Victimization in Psycho
Language and Monstrosity in the Works of Tommaso Landolfi
Part III Locating the Monster
The Evil City: Geographical Space in George Orwell’s 1984 and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World
The Human and the Inhuman in Shohei Imamura’s The Ballad of Narayama
Beyond the Crisis: Turn of the Tide for the Monstrous Duality of Hong Kong Cinema
Monster as a Figure of Memory
Part IV Bodily Monstrosity
Jeepers Creepers: Queer Bogeyman
Sergio Fernando Juárez
Caliban and Aaron: Monstrous Bodies and Monstrous Language
Making Yellow Monstrous: Frankenstein to Fu Manchu
Inherent Monstrosity in Narrative: The Witchy Writer and Liquid Identity
Part V Gender Monstrosities
Revenge as a Means to Preserve Individual Sovereignty: Monstrous Women in French Literature
‘Ugly as a Foetus’: Female Bodies and Abject Sacredness in Patrick White’s Riders in the Chariot
Racial and Sexual Fantasies in the Allegoric Orgies of Venus Noir and Black Swan
‘She’s No Hag’: New Visions and Narratives of Grendel’s Mother in Zemeckis’ Beowulf
Petra Rehling is a scholar, sinologist, freelance journalist and artist. She has previously worked as Associate Professor at a Taiwanese University and is currently working at an Institute in Spain. Her publications include a book on Hong Kong cinema and articles on Wong Kar-wai, science fiction, wuxia, cyberculture and the Harry Potter phenomenon.
Elsa Bouet received her PhD from the University of Edinburgh in English Literature in 2013. Her thesis focused on depictions of ideological barriers in Cold war dystopian fiction. She is currently working on the representation of cityscapes in contemporary dystopian literature and science fiction and researching on monsters and the monstrous in relation to ideology and utopia.