The Popular Uncanny by Michael A. Arnzen

Posted by Dale Townshend on August 24, 2009 in News tagged with

Michael A. Arnzen is a horror writer born in N.Y. He has received the Bram Stoker Award twice; first for his novel Grave Markings, and also for his newsletter, The Goreletter where he writes reviews and comments on different topics related to horror. Currently, he works at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. His new publication, The Popular Uncanny is coming soon. Chapter two in this book contains a deep research on the image of dismembered hands that "act on their own accord" reminding Freud’s words, he traces back the origins of  this trope to the works of  classical authors like Guy de Maupassant, as well as its use in silent cinema The following is the publisher’s description:

In The Popular Uncanny, award-winning horror author Michael Arnzen critically examines how the aesthetic of the uncanny has circulated in mass culture since Freud’s breakthrough essay. After an insightful introduction to the theory and its legacy in 20th century criticism, Arnzen takes us on a cultural exploration of the key icons of the uncanny in several media. A chapter on the doppelgänger (or "the Double") in advertising analyzes the interesting history of the Doublemint Twins, revealing how uncanny images are packaged for the mass market and what their "double pleasures" have to show us about our cultural anxieties. Arnzen’s look at the "dismembered hand that acts on its own accord" provides a critical account of that horror icon as it has appeared in art and cinema history and uncovers its ideological functions along the way. Turning to bestselling genre fiction, Arnzen analyzes the metafictional uncanny in Stephen King’s novel Misery, exposing how the revelation of "all that ought to have remained secret" (as Freud famously put it) points to uncertainties regarding genre, gender, and authorship. The Popular Uncanny concludes with an enlightening survey of the uncanny media of the World Wide Web; here we learn how the icon of the haunted house and other elements of the uncanny offer a fruitful way of reading what is unspoken about "home" pages and other online technologies.

This fresh take on the uncanny in popular culture provides ways of understanding the arousal of dread in a manner that points us not only toward what we fear as a culture, but also toward a doorway that often leads to progressive cultural change.

There is still no info about when exactly this publication will be available, but you might be checking the following link to know:



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