The Curse of the Werewolf: Fantasy, Horror and the Beast Within

The Curse of the Werewolf: Fantasy, Horror and the Beast Within

Chantal Bourgault du Coudray

Language: English

Pages: 224

ISBN: 1845111583

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The Curse of the Werewolf: Fantasy, Horror and the Beast Within

Chantal Bourgault du Coudray

Language: English

Pages: 224

ISBN: 1845111583

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Looking at the how the werewolf has been interpreted by anthropologists, psychologists and criminologists, the author explores the werewolf's appearance across a number of popular forms, from film to graphic novels. The author looks at the roots of the myth and at its appearance in Gothic horror, at ideas of ""the beast within"" and Freud's ""wolf-man"" to representations of criminality, wolf imagery in Nazism, the ""body horror"" films of the 1980s and finally, to the werewolf's revival in contemporary fantasy.

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usually intent upon the seduction and destruction of men, they were also constructed as unnatural mothers. Marryat’s Christina savages two of her new stepchildren and later desecrates their graves. Campbell’s Ravina shows an intense interest in Paul’s offspring and attempts to devour the girl, who is saved at the last moment by a faithful peasant with a crucifix. Housman made much of White Fell’s liking for children; after befriending a little boy with a cut hand, her face ‘lighted up with a most

combination with hypnosis, and Daughter of Dr Jekyll (1957, USA) featured yet another scientifically synthesized werewolf. All of these films also featured mad scientists, a pattern which pervaded the horror films of the post-war period. The positioning of scientists as the threat in the horror films of the 1950s reflected fears generated largely by the development of the hydrogen bomb; rational science had now produced a menace more hazardous than any evil of the pre-modern or supernatural world. The

well as the traditions of romanticism. Fantasy writing is frequently concerned to communicate such an experience, characteristically undermining the centrality of the subject by evoking worlds in which the individual is an integral component of a greater whole, or positioned within a more panoramic or epic context. 68 Further, protagonists are often subjected to a spiritualized experience whereby they lose a sense of the boundaries between themselves, others and the natural world; in other words,

One Stubbe Peeter (original trial manuscript) (London, 1590). 26. See, for example, Joannes Fridericus Wolfeshusius, De Lycanthropis: an verè illi, ut fama est, luporum and aliarum bestiarum formis induantur, Problema Philosophicum. Pro sententia Joan. Bodini Iurecos. Galli… adversus dissentaneas aliquorum opiniones noviter assertum (Leipzig, 1591); Conrad Ziegrae, Disputatio contra Opliantriam, Lycanthropiam, et Metempsychosim (Wittenburg, 1650); Michael Mei, De Lycanthropia (Wittenburg, 1654);

separates the fiction (‘our tale’) from an earlier period in which superstitious beliefs were powerful enough to induce humans to believe they could be transformed into wolves. Here, history serves the romantic appetite for superstitious material by facilitating an engagement with its substance while maintaining a sense of safe temporal distance from its seductions. In drawing upon historical sources as inspiration for his fiction, Maturin was following the example of his contemporary Walter Scott,

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