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‘Cinema is an abattoir’: Horror film and explanation

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This article is an attempt to move the study of the horror film from the kinds of explanation that typically derive from a certain mode of psychoanalytic interpretation into an area suggested by Wittgenstein’s discussion of seeing aspects. To this end, the article examines various forms of explanation in the literature on horror cinema, and in the case of Psycho (Hitchcock, 1960), for example, argues for the position that it is the film itself that is constitutive of the myth that gives rise to it, and not an externally given system or a set of explanatory paradigms. The argument is taken up with reference to the work of J-L Schefer on cinema, and the thought of Maurice Blanchot on literature.

Keywords: J-L Schefer; Wittgenstein; aspect seeing; the fantastic; the uncanny

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Kent

Publication date: 2012-09-26

More about this publication?
  • Horror Studies intends to serve the international academic community in the humanities and specifically those scholars interested in horror. Exclusively examining horror, this journal will provide interested professionals with an opportunity to read outstanding scholarship from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including work conceived as interdisciplinary. By expanding the conversation to include specialists concerned with diverse historical periods, varied geography, and a wide variety of expressive media, this journal will inform and stimulate anyone interested in a wider and deeper understanding of horror
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