Horror and Philosophy

Essays on Their Intersection in Film, Television and Literature


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About the Book

Horror, no matter the medium, has always retained some influence of philosophy. Horror literature, cinema, comic books and television expose audiences to an “alien” reality, playing with the logical mind and challenging “known” concepts such as normality, reality, family and animals. Both making strange what was previously familiar, philosophy and horror feed each other.
This edited collection investigates the intersections of horror and philosophical thinking, spanning across media including literature, cinema and television. Topics covered include the cinema of David Lynch; Scream and Alien: Resurrection; the relationships between Jorge Luis Borges and H. P. Lovecraft; horror authors Blake Crouch and Paul Tremblay; Indian film; the television series Atlanta; and the horror comic book Dylan Dog. Philosophers discussed include Julia Kristeva, George Berkeley, Michel Foucault, and the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit. Using philosophies like posthumanism, Afro-Pessimism and others, it explores connections between nightmare allegories, postmodern fragmentation, the ahuman sublime and much more.

About the Author(s)

Subashish Bhattacharjee is an assistant professor of English at the University of North Bengal, India. He edits the interdisciplinary online journal The Apollonian, and is an editor for the journal Muse India.

Fernando Gabriel Pagnoni Berns is a professor at the Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA)—Facultad de Filosofía y Letras (Argentina), where he teaches courses on international horror film.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Subashish Bhattacharjee and Fernando Gabriel Pagnoni Berns
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 283
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8760-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4949-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Fernando Gabriel Pagnoni Berns and Subashish Bhattacharjee 1
Part 1: Postmodernist Storytelling
The Rhetoric of Contemplative Horror: Inquiry, Discovery, and Optimism
Gavin F. Hurley 9
Nightmare Allegory: Darren Aronofsky’s Mother!
Brian Brems 25
Inland Empire and Reconciling Postmodern Fragmentation
Dennin Ellis 36
“It’s all a movie”: Postmodern Parody, Media, and Violence in Scream
Douglas Rasmussen 49
Part 2: Literary Horrors, Philosophical Inquiries
The Disembodied Voice and Its Digital Dreaming: CCRU as Philosopher(s?) and Author
Sara Powell 67
Borges’s Defense of Berkeley’s Idealism in “There Are More Things”
Andrés Torres-Scott 83
Horror of ­Decision-Making: Aspects of Peter Zapffe’s Existential Pessimism in Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter
Maria Lehtimäki 96
Epistemologies of Horror and Narrative Construction: Paul Tremblay’s A Head Full of Ghosts, Scott Thomas’s Kill Creek, and Clay McLeod Chapman’s The Remaking
Alissa Burger 110
Part 3: Subhuman, Animality, Colonialism—The Horrors of the Other
The Horror of X: Speculative Virontology and the Ahuman Sublime in Todd Verow’s Bottom
Andrija Filipović 126
Four Men Before the Imminent: Death and Heroism in Bone Tomahawk
Emiliano Aguilar 140
Greed Is NOT Good: A Historical Materialist Reading of Two Indian Films: Rahi Anil Barve’s Tumbbad and Satyajit Ray’s Monihara
Joe Varghese Yeldho, Amarjeet Nayak, and Mehboobun Nahar Milky 151
The Lure of Folk Horror: Ari Aster’s Midsommar
Priyanka Kapoor 165
Entering the Ecosystem: Human Identity, Biology, and Horror
Octavia Cade 177
Posthumanism, Sexism: Animalizing Ripley in Alien: Resurrection
Fernando Gabriel Pagnoni Berns 189
Part 4: Seriality—Comics, Television, Shorts
The Black Universes of Donald Glover and Hiro Murai: Woke Horror Cinema, Existential Pessimisms, and the Shadowy Speculations of Blackness in “This Is America” and Atlanta
David John Boyd 203
Moral Relativism and the Horror of Self in Season 2 of AMC’s The Walking Dead
Scott Pearce 220
The Horror Versus L’Indagatore dell’Incubo: The Dionysian Irrational, and Absurd in Dylan Dog’s Narrative
Marco Favaro 237
Body Horror Behind the Wheel: Mapping the Aesthetics of the Driving Safety Gore Film in Horror
Michael Stock 250
About the Contributors 267
Index 271