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Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters / Edition 1
     

Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters / Edition 1

by Judith Halberstam
 

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ISBN-10: 0822316633

ISBN-13: 9780822316633

Pub. Date: 08/22/1995

Publisher: Duke University Press Books


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

Overview


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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822316633
Publisher:
Duke University Press Books
Publication date:
08/22/1995
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
232
Sales rank:
1,183,047
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 9.18(h) x 0.67(d)

Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgments,
1 Parasites and Perverts: An Introduction to Gothic Monstrosity,
2 Making Monsters: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein,
3 Gothic Surface, Gothic Depth: The Subject of Secrecy in Stevenson and Wilde,
4 Technologies of Monstrosity: Bram Stoker's Dracula,
5 Reading Counterclockwise: Paranoid Gothic or Gothic Paranoia?,
6 Bodies that Splatter: Queers and Chain Saws,
7 Skinflick: Posthuman Gender in Jonathan Demme's the Silence of the Lambs,
8 Conclusion: Serial Killing,
Notes,
Bibliography,
Index,

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