Monster Theory: Culture, Monstrousness and Ourselves

“As I searched for reading materials related to the fantastic to add to my wishlist the description of Monster Theory: Reading Culture (University of Minnesota Press, 1996) struck me as intriguing: ‘Explores concepts of monstrosity in Western civilization from Beowulf to Jurassic Park.’We live in a time of monsters. Monsters provide a key to understanding the culture that spawned them. So argue the essays in this wide-ranging and fascinating collection that asks the question, What happens when critical theorists take the study of monsters seriously as a means of examining our culture?

‘In viewing the monstrous body as a metaphor for the cultural body, the contributors to Monster Theory consider beasts, demons, freaks, and fiends as symbolic expressions of cultural unease that pervade a society and shape its collective behavior. Through a historical sampling of monsters, these essays argue that our fascination for the monstrous testifies to our continued desire to explore difference and prohibition.’

Monster Theory is edited by Jeffrey J. Cohen who is associate professor of English and human sciences at George Washington University. Dr. Cohen agreed to discuss the collection of essays that make up this book, and in particular his contribution to the volume.”

(via TheoFantastique)

1 Comment

  1. Not unlike the theories of Anton LaVey, except 40 years later. True then, true now.

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