By Ken Gelder
Spanning the historical past of horror in literature and movie, from Edgar Allen Poe to The Texas Chainsaw bloodbath, The Horror Reader brings jointly crucial writings in this such a lot excellent and arguable of genres. It covers vintage gothic literature like Frankenstein to lesbian vampire videos and new Asian horror. An creation through Ken Gelder and a preface earlier than each one part prepares the reader for the following subject of debate in this interesting style.
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Robertson: 1885, 1, 163). At last, when the mood of terror and apprehension had been raised to a pitch, the spectre-show itself began. One by one, out of the darkness, mysterious luminous shapes – some seemingly close enough to touch – began to surge and flit over the heads of the spectators. In a ‘Petit Répertoire Fantasmagorique’ Robertson listed some of the complex apparitions he produced on these occasions. Several, we notice, specifically involved a metamorphosis, or one shape rapidly changing into another – an effect easily achieved by doubling two glass slides in the tube of the magic lantern over one another in a quick, deft manner.
For example, the inquisitor, who will arrest Alfonso and threaten him with torture, asks him: ‘Do you know two Tunisian princesses? ’ Alone for several days, Alfonso once again finds the forces of reason returning. He seeks a ‘realistic’ explanation for these incidents. I then recalled the words which had escaped Don Emmanuel de Sa, governor of this city, which made me think that he was not altogether alien to the mysterious existence of the Gomélez creatures. It was the governor who had given me my two valets, Lopez and Moschite.
How to reconcile the image of the Restoration with the egalitarian vision of the Enlightenment? The pages of the fantastic, with their diffuse contours, shadows, and uncertainties, would be traversed precisely by a problem of vision, of recognition. Poe was probably the most significant representative of this period of the fantastic. His production, characterized by a struggle between polarized forces, alternated between different universes, reproducing the signs of confinement and the open streets, mythical settings and contemporary backgrounds.
The Horror Reader by Ken Gelder