Saturday, 6 April 2013

The Horrid Looking Glass

Peter Mario Kreuter and Paul L. Yoder edited The Horrid Looking Glass: Reflections on Monstrosity (Inter-Disciplinary Press, £19.99) back in 2011. It compiles a number of papers on monsters and monstrosity. Among the papers are The Eternal Changeling: Dracula’s Transformations through the 1970s by Sorcha Ní Fhlainn, and The Nymph and the Witch: Female Magical Figures in the Works of Paracelsus by Kreuter.

'From the fictional world of vampires, zombies, and invaders from other worlds, to the very real world of revolutionary France and in between, the nature of the monster encompasses the very quality that makes them so believable – that which we perceive as ‘other’. While there is a commonality in this otherness, the monster lurking in the shadows, concealed in darkness or conjured with a few lines from a horror novel suggests the monster as one onto which we are free to project the most distorted and un-human features. In each chapter of this volume, you will discover that the way in which we project what is monstrous is not a singular other but is in fact a part of our own self-identity. The greatest horror of the monster is not that it stands apart, but that once we pull it from the shadow of our own projected imagination; we discover that that the monster we fear is also bound to our own mirror image. To look at the monster, to name that which must never be named, is to look upon a reflection and embrace a part of our nature we do not wish to see.

As the fourth gathering of scholars to bring light to this darkened world of Monsters and the Monstrous, the goal is not to turn away in fear, but to confront, explore, and ask questions of them. Within the pages of this volume are the results of the conversations that took place among them.'

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