(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. ...

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
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
Literary Translation
Senko Karuza and Tomislav Kuzmanović:

It’s summer and the beer keeps flowing down our throats, the music echoes from a club and every now and then we walk out on the terrace to catch a breath of air free of smoke, to meet someone and start something new, and if it doesn’t happen, we go back inside and shake at the dance floor, at the bar. And when we get bored, we walk out again and look from someone.We give up before the end, before sunrise, because we cannot stand the dawn that will reveal our impotence, we stumble and laugh along as if we’ve won a trip to the heavens in which no one lives, we give everything we’ve got to remain in this good trance, we imagine what we’d do if she weren’t such a cow that got hooked on that good-for-nothing, and, after all, don’t you think good girls always end up with the likes of him, we’ll never understand it. Comfort is good, but not good enough to put an end to this night, to peacefully collapse into our bed next to the open window and fall asleep as if love exists, and tonight we jus...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.12.lt.6
Literature and Culture
Marko Lukić and Irena Jurković:

Analiza horor žanra ukazuje prije svega na njegovu fluidnost, ekstremnost i nepresušnu inovativnost, kao i na posebnost ovog žanra da usmjeri pažnju na različite kulturne fenomene i društvene anksioznosti, pritom kritizirajući i dekonstruirajući dominantne ideološke konstrukte i paradigme. Unutar ovako široko postavljenog konteksta zanimljivo je promatrati moguću razlikovnost između ideje „uobičajenog” i „neuobičajenog” užasa, odnosno sklonosti pojedinih autora prema problematiziranju elemenata svakodnevice pojedinog društva te posljedično formiranju određenog kritičkog diskurza, naspram onih autora čiji je fokus usmjeren isključivo na imaginarno. Predložena analiza stoga pristupa promatranju kinematografije dvaju autora – Davida Lyncha i Jordana Peelea, čiji osebujni filmski izričaj žanrovskim jezikom horora artikulira spektar međusobno isprepletenih subjektivnih i društvenih traumi. Vodeći se klasičnim psihoanalitičkim čitanjima Sigmunda Freuda, zajedno sa suvremenim teorijskim propi...

DOI: 10.15291/sic/2.12.lc.5
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