Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters

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9780822316633: Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters

In this examination of the monster as cultural object, Judith Halberstam offers a rereading of the monstrous that revises our view of the Gothic. Moving from the nineteenth century and the works of Shelley, Stevenson, Stoker, and Wilde to contemporary horror film exemplified by such movies as Silence of the Lambs, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Candyman, Skin Shows understands the Gothic as a versatile technology, a means of producing monsters that is constantly being rewritten by historically and culturally conditioned fears generated by a shared sense of otherness and difference.
Deploying feminist and queer approaches to the monstrous body, Halberstam views the Gothic as a broad-based cultural phenomenon that supports and sustains the economic, social, and sexual hierarchies of the time. She resists familiar psychoanalytic critiques and cautions against any interpretive attempt to reduce the affective power of the monstrous to a single factor. The nineteenth-century monster is shown, for example, as configuring otherness as an amalgam of race, class, gender, and sexuality. Invoking Foucault, Halberstam describes the history of monsters in terms of its shifting relation to the body and its representations. As a result, her readings of familiar texts are radically new. She locates psychoanalysis itself within the gothic tradition and sees sexuality as a beast created in nineteenth century literature. Excessive interpretability, Halberstam argues, whether in film, literature, or in the culture at large, is the actual hallmark of monstrosity.

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Review:

In this academic work of film and literary criticism, Judith Halberstam examines the monster as cultural object. She discusses classic gothic texts such as Frankenstein and Dracula, and then looks at the impact of changing technology (horror movies with special effects) for depicting monsters. Her argument is that the gothic in its more lurid, unabashedly violent, and perverse forms may be more empowering to the reader/viewer than in its carefully articulated, understated, and sublimated forms. H-Net Reviews calls Skin Shows an "intelligent, well-informed, and provocative piece of writing" and writes that its "greatest strength ... is that it allows for other critics of the Gothic to proceed more self-consciously about the presuppositions that particularly psychoanalysis has introduced into the academic discussion." One caveat, though: the language is somewhat turgid, with awkward verbs such as "gothicize" and "metaphorize."

From the Back Cover:

"Halberstam's argument is elegant in its simplicity, but far-reaching in its implications. Providing a strikingly original account of the Gothic, she proposes through her work a cultural history of fear and prejudice and, thus, paves the way for a new scholarly enterprise."--Ann Cvetkovich, University of Texas, Austin

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Judith Halberstam
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Judith Halberstam
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Descrizione libro Duke University Press, United States, 1995. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this examination of the monster as cultural object, Judith Halberstam offers a rereading of the monstrous that revises our view of the Gothic. Moving from the nineteenth century and the works of Shelley, Stevenson, Stoker, and Wilde to contemporary horror film exemplified by such movies as Silence of the Lambs, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Candyman, Skin Shows understands the Gothic as a versatile technology, a means of producing monsters that is constantly being rewritten by historically and culturally conditioned fears generated by a shared sense of otherness and difference.Deploying feminist and queer approaches to the monstrous body, Halberstam views the Gothic as a broad-based cultural phenomenon that supports and sustains the economic, social, and sexual hierarchies of the time. She resists familiar psychoanalytic critiques and cautions against any interpretive attempt to reduce the affective power of the monstrous to a single factor. The nineteenth-century monster is shown, for example, as configuring otherness as an amalgam of race, class, gender, and sexuality. Invoking Foucault, Halberstam describes the history of monsters in terms of its shifting relation to the body and its representations. As a result, her readings of familiar texts are radically new. She locates psychoanalysis itself within the gothic tradition and sees sexuality as a beast created in nineteenth century literature. Excessive interpretability, Halberstam argues, whether in film, literature, or in the culture at large, is the actual hallmark of monstrosity. Codice libro della libreria AAJ9780822316633

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Judith Halberstam
Editore: Duke University Press, United States (1995)
ISBN 10: 0822316633 ISBN 13: 9780822316633
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Descrizione libro Duke University Press, United States, 1995. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this examination of the monster as cultural object, Judith Halberstam offers a rereading of the monstrous that revises our view of the Gothic. Moving from the nineteenth century and the works of Shelley, Stevenson, Stoker, and Wilde to contemporary horror film exemplified by such movies as Silence of the Lambs, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Candyman, Skin Shows understands the Gothic as a versatile technology, a means of producing monsters that is constantly being rewritten by historically and culturally conditioned fears generated by a shared sense of otherness and difference.Deploying feminist and queer approaches to the monstrous body, Halberstam views the Gothic as a broad-based cultural phenomenon that supports and sustains the economic, social, and sexual hierarchies of the time. She resists familiar psychoanalytic critiques and cautions against any interpretive attempt to reduce the affective power of the monstrous to a single factor. The nineteenth-century monster is shown, for example, as configuring otherness as an amalgam of race, class, gender, and sexuality. Invoking Foucault, Halberstam describes the history of monsters in terms of its shifting relation to the body and its representations. As a result, her readings of familiar texts are radically new. She locates psychoanalysis itself within the gothic tradition and sees sexuality as a beast created in nineteenth century literature. Excessive interpretability, Halberstam argues, whether in film, literature, or in the culture at large, is the actual hallmark of monstrosity. Codice libro della libreria AAJ9780822316633

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Descrizione libro Duke University Press 1995-06-01, 1995. Condizione libro: New. Brand new book, sourced directly from publisher. Dispatch time is 24-48 hours from our warehouse. Book will be sent in robust, secure packaging to ensure it reaches you securely. Codice libro della libreria NU-MAR-00040692

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Descrizione libro Duke University Press, 1995. Condizione libro: New. Num Pages: 232 pages, 6 black and white photographs. BIC Classification: APF; JFC. Category: (G) General (US: Trade); (UU) Undergraduate. Dimension: 164 x 231 x 17. Weight in Grams: 378. . 1995. 1st Edition. Paperback. . . . . . Codice libro della libreria V9780822316633

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