(Un)common Horrors

No. 2 - Year 12 - 06/2022

University of Zadar | ISSN 1847-7755 | SIC.JOURNAL.CONTACT@GMAIL.COM


A theoretical and practical introduction to the topic of horror genre, and its popularity and persistence as an art form, can tentatively be summarized through Stephen King’s famous statement about horror movies, where King argues that if regular movies are the dreams of the mass culture, then horror movies are its nightmares. An analytical unraveling of this premise surpasses the addressed media and contexts, while simultaneously fragmenting into a multitude of discourses, ranging between scholarly readings of a particular storyline, the evaluation of social and cultural implications these plots bring with them, the narrative improvements, regardless of the media/platforms articulating the genre, as well as many other critical approaches that the phenomenon allows for. It is within this extremely wide range of possibilities that this issue of [sic] seeks to position itself, and in doing so, open a debate concerning at least some of the problems relating to the common or uncommon nature of the genre. The aim of this issue is therefore not focused on what could be observed as a customary and specialized approach to the genre, where a particularity or a phenomenon is being addressed through a myriad of methodologies, but it instead wants to target the unexplored and uncustomary readings of new or already analyzed topics. ...

Literary Translation
Patricia Esteban Erlés and Gordana Matić:

Probudila nas je vatra. Sestra i ja užasnute smo ugledale bakinu kuću lutaka kako gori u kutu naše sobe. Nekako smo jastucima uspjele ugušiti požar pa poput dvaju uznemirenih divova provirile unutra. Plamenovi su zacrnjeli šarene tapete, a ostaci namještaja stršili su kao kostur pougljenjene ptice. Kašljale smo sve do stuba. Prazne oči ogledala zrcalile su samo trag od pepela koji je lebdio u zraku, pa smo malim prstom razvalile vrata spavaonica na drugom katu, strepeći od onog najgoreg. Usamljena porculanska stanarka, udovica otkad joj je suprug sestri nespretno ispao iz ruku, visjela je s lustera svoje spavaonice. *Češljat ću te kad god me to budeš tražila, govorila je ružna blizanka lijepoj, prihvaćajući ulogu služavke osuđene na sjenu. Lijepa je blizanka voljela slušati pseći dah svoje sestre, znati da je budna u olujnim noćima i da bdije nad njezinim mirnim snom. Zabranjujem ti da spavaš, govorila bi joj, ne smiješ zaspati prije mene, a ako dođe čudovište, neka prvo pojede tebe, i...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.12.lt.2
Literary Translation
Mazen Maarouf and Jan Ruk:

Kuću u kojoj privremeno boravim, u Alpama, čuva gotovo slijep pas. Na lijevom oku ima tumor ružičastocrvene boje. Tumor visi, poput divovske suze, i vidi se kako vene pulsiraju u njemu. Zahvaća mu oba oka, a ukloniti ga kirurškim zahvatom bilo bi beskorisno. Pas će potpuno izgubiti vid. Pitanje je dana. Osim toga, star je. Kad mu priđeš jedva može ustati. Ipak, trudi se. Zaista se uvijek jako trudi. Uspijeva ustati tek nakon što si ga već iz sažaljenja pomilovao, odšetao i stigao do ulaznih vrata kuće. Kad zatvarajući vrata zirneš prema njemu, pogled kao da mu govori „ne ostavljaj me ovdje” ili „povedi me sa sobom u kuću” ili „sakrij me u svoju sobu”. Radi se o pogledu koji ima više od jednog značenja. Ne možeš odrediti što točno znači, kao i s pogledima svih drugih pasa. Mislim pritom na pse koji dobro vide, koji skaču i laju i igraju se s djecom. Međutim, ovdje nema djece. Ja sam najmlađi stanar, mlađi čak i od psa. Ponaša se prema meni kao da sam dijete. Umorno maše repom i pretvara...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.12.lt.4
Literature and Culture
Brontë Schiltz, independent researcher, UK:

In one of the numerous negative reviews, Michael Hann described singer-songwriter Morrissey’s debut novella, List of the Lost (2015), as “an unpolished turd of a book, the stale excrement of Morrissey’s imagination,” yet from a queer perspective, it is pioneering. This article explores Morrissey’s innovative engagement with Gothic horror, building on his explorations of the mode during his musical career. Throughout the novella, Morrissey subverts numerous Gothic staples, from curative maternity and reproductive futurity to monstrously fragmented subjectivity to condemnations of Catholicism – the latter of which he retains, though to entirely different ends to his Protestant literary ancestors. Through such devices, Morrissey participates in Teresa Goddu’s concept of ‘haunting back,’ turning hostile Gothic tropes on their head to carve out a new space for queer experience within the mode – historically conservative as often as it is transgressive – and reveals the true specter of socie...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.12.lc.2
Literature and Culture
Carina Stopenski, Chatham University, USA:

This paper discusses affect and body horror through the lens of abjection, specifically how we react to viscera and extremes of the body. Body horror’s usage of female protagonists creates a dichotomous space of both feminism and anti-feminism, agency and oppression. In this paper, the character archetype of the female mutilator is proposed as a foil to the final girl trope, one who takes back her power through explicit gore and violence. Using three key filmic texts (Nicholas Pesce’s The Eyes of My Mother, Richard Bates Jr.’s Excision, and Lucky McKee’s May), this paper approaches the concepts of abjection and the monstrous feminine as they converge at the feminine grotesque in order for the female mutilator to actualize her identity. Keywords: affect, abjection, horror studies, film studies, body genresAs a generic entity, horror forces us to evaluate the way terror impacts our bodies. The subgenres of horror propose a variety of emotional responses: unease, shock, disgust, anxiety. ...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.12.lc.1
Literature and Culture
Scott Pearce, Deakin University, Australia:

This paper examines the role of narrativization as a form of improvised trauma treatment in the first six seasons of AMC’s The Walking Dead. The Walking Dead explores a modern America that has been decimated by a traumatic event. This event, a zombie apocalypse, results in the permanent loss of infrastructure and social services. What remains in this unpredictable landscape for survivors is a reliance on Christian narratives, expressed through pious characters and burial rituals that strive to provide meaning and purpose in the new world. Survivors perform burial rituals to preserve a connection to the pre-apocalyptic world and to narrativize trauma, both personal and collective. This paper contends that The Walking Dead uses the context of cultural trauma not to reflect on or critique nationalist agendas and ideologies but to identify the past as a robust repository for the future.Keywords: The Walking Dead, trauma, narrative, emplotment, Christianity, burial

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.12.lc.4
Literary Translation
Želimir Periš and Marina Veverec:

Radovan Carves a Coffer Hail arm, thou art highly favored / you are the body’s sole savior if a man’s right arm turns traitor/ left must handle the shock labor From the dark streets of Vienna, we travel back to our sunlit lands, telling the tale of Radovan’s right arm. Among other things, its very palm will touch Gila, so even the reader will get to feel the young healer’s white hair and the delicate pallor of her cheeks. Radovan’s right arm woke up in pain. A ripping sensation started in the area around the elbow and radiated up the arm to the shoulder. It both tingled and prickled, migrating from shoulder to elbow, elbow to hand, coiling around the forearm, then stung the shoulder and sank into the blade bone. Worse yet, no matter what position it tried, nothing helped relive the pain. Clenching, stretching, lifting up or resting by the side, the pain was just as intensive and relentless. Even as the time passed nothing changed, it wouldn’t go away, wouldn’t fade, wouldn’t age, persi...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.12.lt.3