Book Review: The Philosophy of Horror

The Philosophy of Horror (2010) makes me wonder if it’s not horror criticism that’s in a bit of a crisis.

With the release of American Horror: the genre at the turn of the millennium and The Philosophy of Horror in late 2010, there was a sudden onslaught of essays that promised fresh perspectives on the horror genre. While American Horror certainly delivered in introducing some of the first texts on horror film produced in the last decade, The Philosophy of Horror (edited Thomas Fahy) regurgitates many of the old philosophies to a seemingly non-horror audience (i.e. it’s very basic). This sameness isn’t productive and it isn’t really re-productive, it’s actually non-productive. A good comparison is the analysis of Land of the Dead seen in both books; Craig Bernardini’s Cronenburg, Romero, Twilight of American Horror Auteur proposed new readings of the evolved zombie in a contemporary context while John Lutz’s Zombies of the World offered an extremely didactic examination.

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Simon Clark – The Freudian Zombie

 

Simon Clark is an artist/writer/musician living and working in London. He is currently working on a practice-based PhD at Goldsmiths College. The provisional title is The Kiss of the Dead; Towards an Undead Sublimation of Melancholia.