The Monstrous-Feminine: Film, Feminism, Psychoanalysis

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In almost all critical writings on the horror film, woman is conceptualised only as victim. In The Monstrous-Feminine Barbara Creed challenges this patriarchal view by arguing that the prototype of all definitions of the monstrous is the female reproductive body.
With close reference to a number of classic horror films including the Alien trilogy, The Exorcist and Psycho, Creed analyses the seven 'faces' of the monstrous-feminine: archaic mother, monstrous womb, vampire, witch, possessed body, monstrous mother and castrator. Her argument that man fears woman as castrator, rather than as castrated, questions not only Freudian theories of sexual difference but existing theories of spectatorship and fetishism, providing a provocative re-reading of classical and contemporary film and theoretical texts.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415052597
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 11/28/1993
  • Series: Popular Fictions Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 1,391,655
  • Age range: 18 years
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Pt. I Faces of the Monstrous-Feminine: Abjection and the Maternal
Introduction 1
1 Kristeva, Femininity, Abjection 8
2 Horror and the Archaic Mother: Alien 16
3 Woman as Possessed Monster: The Exorcist 31
4 Woman as Monstrous Womb: The Brood 43
5 Woman as Vampire: The Hunger 59
6 Woman as Witch: Carrie 73
Pt. II Medusa's Head: Psychoanalytic Theory and the Femme Castratrice
Preface 87
7 'Little Hans' Reconsidered: or 'The Tale of Mother's Terrifying Widdler' 88
8 Medusa's Head: The Vagina Dentata and Freudian Theory 105
9 The Femme Castratrice: I Spit on Your Grave, Sisters 122
10 The Castrating Mother: Psycho 139
11 The Medusa's Gaze 151
Bibliography 167
Filmography 172
Index 178
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2001

    An Insightful Commentary with a Twist

    Creed provides an excellent analysis of contemporary horror film; focusing on female representation and her role within the genre. Her reworking of Freud's ideas provides an liberating focus for a new look to psychoanalysis; but also is incredibly useful in giving an introduction to important Freudian theories, together with an great synopsis to some of the ideas of Julia Kristeva.An excellent read which should prove invaluable to those studying film, art and the politics of representation.

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