Posts Tagged: horror

Literature Tricks or Political Threats?

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So familiar have the aesthetic conventions of horror become that it is increasingly difficult to distinguish “real” Halloween movies from parodies. Something similar has occurred in our political life.

At the New York Review of Books, Christopher Benfey shares a brief history of collisions between humor and horror in Western literature (and American politics).

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New Scares

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Happy day after Halloween! For the New York Times, Terrence Rafferty reviews a variety of chilling fiction, and delves deep into why these are exceptional:

The short story is the ideal form for horror because it can convey a quick, vivid impression of fear, without having to extend the action past the breaking point of the reader’s credulity… For longer works like “The Graveyard Apartment,” there’s really only one basic plot available: A person (or a group of people) struggles to escape an impossible situation.

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The Perfect Eerie Piano Scale

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In honor of Halloween, Consequence of Sound has collected what they deem the “10 Essential Horror Movie Scores.” Following Scorsese’s argument that music and film are intrinsically tied, “[b]ecause there’s a kind of intrinsic musicality to the way moving images work when they’re put together,” the piece celebrates how horror perhaps above all genres uses music to generate the cringing effect of its best scenes.

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Visible: Women Writers of Color #4: Jaquira Díaz

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Jaquira Díaz discusses the challenge of writing about family members, her greatest joy as a writer, and her literary role models. ...more

Tara Laskowski

The Saturday Rumpus Interview: Tara Laskowski

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I realized that I’m interested in how people change when something terrible happens to someone else. ...more

Victor in Key West

The Rumpus Interview with Victor LaValle

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Victor LaValle discusses his latest book, The Ballad of Black Tom, patience, H.P. Lovecraft, and reinvention. ...more

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The Rumpus Interview with Keith Lee Morris

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Keith Lee Morris discusses his latest book Traveler’s Rest, Lewis and Clark, and how writing a novel about dreams requires much more than sleep. ...more

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The Rumpus Review of The Witch

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The most interesting part of The Witch is that the family is so convinced of humanity’s fallen, sinful nature that it never occurs to them to even look for an aggressor from without. ...more

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The Rumpus Interview with Dean Koontz

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Dean Koontz talks about his newest novel, Ashley Bell, overcoming self-doubt, and “what this incredibly beautiful language of ours allows you to do.” ...more

“Performing” Toxic Masculinity

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Genevieve Valentine explores the performance of toxic masculinity for Strange Horizons. Valentine uses the horror movie The Guest to deconstruct both the camp and the too-real danger of toxic masculinity:

The film’s most suspense-generating disconnect is between the degree to which toxic masculinity viewed from afar is hilarious, and the degree to which toxic masculinity viewed close up will literally kill you.

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The Saturday Rumpus Essay: Kill Bob

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Kill Bill is revolutionary because it disrupts both content and genre, beautifully showcasing what these superhero-action stories so consistently overlook, while embodying the success of what the genre could achieve. ...more

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The Saturday Rumpus Review of It Follows

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It Follows interrogates its patriarchal ancestry and forges a unique and clever film in the process. ...more

The Idiot Follows

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Scary movie of the hour It Follows is peppered with intertextual references to Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot. Ben Apatoff looks for the connection (if there is one):

If anything, The Idiot enhances It Follows more than it represents it, augmenting the film’s foreboding atmosphere with quotes from a writer who could create anxiety and suspense as artfully as any of the Russian greats.

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Been Here Before

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After years of anxious separation, people are finally relaxing about the literary/genre fiction divide. Over at Electric Literature, Tobias Carroll asks: now what?

We’re now well into a period where literary writers are able to balance their love for horror (or science fiction, or fantasy) with their craft, and fewer and fewer bat an eye…But now that we’ve gotten past that, there’s another question raised by fiction that falls into the realm of, for lack of a more graceful term, literary horror: how does it deal with our expectations of both of its literary forebears?

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Dark Life Begets Dark Tales

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The Airship Daily examines the life of Horacio Quiroga.

In his work, Quiroga shows a morbid obsession with death and violence (see: “The Decapitated Chicken”), and a large part of this undoubtedly stems from his own life. The opening salvo came before he had even completed his first year of life: In 1879, his father, an official at the Argentine Consulate, was killed in a hunting accident.

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Scary Stories for a New Generation

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We haven’t stopped creating fairy tales and folklore—we just do it online now.

For Aeon magazine, Will Wiles has a splendid longread about “creepypasta,” the phenomenon of writing and disseminating scary stories on the Internet.

Their subject matter—horrific lost episodes of TV shows, malicious computer code that causes seizures—reveal how the loci of our anxieties have shifted to more technological horrors.

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Margaret Atwood’s Brilliant Book Riot Guest Post

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Did you see that guest-poster over at Book Riot?

She’s some young upstart named Margaret Atwood with some crazy ideas about horror, terror, genre fiction, and literary fiction.

To add to that, the complete Edgar Allan Poe was in the primary school library – those were the days in which only the presence or absence of Sex determined what was suitable for children – so I was no stranger to tell-tale hearts, teeth ripped out of semi-corpses, dead women coming back to life through other dead women, and so forth.

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