The Metonymy of Monstrosity

So often, monsters are figured as metaphors. Jeffrey Jerome Cohen offers a fascinating example of this when he writes, in “Monster Culture (Seven Theses),” that “the monster’s body is a cultural body” (4), suggesting that our monsters are a reflection of culture, abstracted and hideous analogs for real human problems. Cohen writes further that “Monsters are our children. They can be pushed to the farthest margins of geography and discourse, hidden away at the edges of the world and in the forbidden recesses of our mind, but they always return…” (20). Monsters are offspring sent off into the world, detached and disfigured copies that return home to roost.

Posted at 12:19 PM on September 11, 2011 | 3 comments | Filed Under: Film, Horror | Continue reading

Dust and Guts

The last words of Thacker’s prologue suggest that his work will turn this somewhat tiresome argument on its head, moving it in a materialist direction, in which thought becomes matter, wild, amorphous matter: “mists, ooze, blobs, slime, clouds, and muck. Or, as Plato once put it, ‘hair, mud, and dirt'” (9), which makes me want less thought, more guts.

Posted at 7:14 PM on August 25, 2011 | 1 comment | Filed Under: Analysis, Horror, Scholarship | Continue reading


“Pity Poor Flesh” by Jesse James Stommel.  This blog is part of the online component of my book manuscript, about the evolution and erosion of flesh in the postmodern era.  I’m also using it to post more generally about film, digital media, pedagogy, and scholarship.  You can find out more about me and my work at  If you’ve come across this blog on WordPress, you can visit the full site with the blog embedded at  Also, feel free to send me an e-mail at:

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