Body Gothic

Corporeal Transgression in Contemporary Literature and Horror Film

Author(s) Xavier Aldana Reyes

Language: English

Genre(s): Literary Criticism

Series: Gothic Literary Studies

  • October 2014 · 272 pages ·216x138mm

  • · Hardback - 9781783160921
  • · Ebook - pdf - 9781783160938
  • · Ebook - epub - 9781783160945

About The Book

The gothic, particularly in its contemporary incarnations, is often constructed around largely disembodied concepts such as spectrality or the haunted. Body Gothic offers a counter-narrative that reinstates the importance of viscerality to the gothic mode. It argues that contemporary discourses surrounding our bodies are crucial to our understanding of the social messages in fictional mutilation and of the pleasures we may derive from it. This book considers a number of literary and cinematic movements that have, over the past three decades, purposely turned the body into a meaningful gothic topos. Each chapter in Body Gothic is dedicated to a different corporeal subgenre: splatterpunk, body horror, the new avant-pulp, the slaughterhouse novel, torture porn and surgical horror are all covered in its pages. Close readings of key texts by Clive Barker, Richard Laymon, Joseph D'Lacey, Matthew Stokoe, Tony White or Stanley Manly are provided alongside in-depth analyses of landmark films such as Re-Animator (1985), The Fly (1986), Saw (2004), Hostel (2005), The Human Centipede (2011) and American Mary (2012).ContentsIntroduction: From Gothic Bodies to Body GothicChapter 1 – SplatterpunkChapter 2 – Body HorrorChapter 3 – The New Avant-PulpChapter 4 – The Slaughterhouse NovelChapter 5 – Torture PornChapter 6 – Surgical HorrorConclusion: The Gothic and the BodyNotesWorks CitedFilmography


‘Aldana Reyes’ groundbreaking study of a wide range of critically neglected literary and filmic texts from the last thirty years focuses on the significance of the body to the gothic tradition, particularly in its more bloody and gruesome manifestations. It is an utterly essential read for those with an interest in gothic subjectivity, the nature and limits of the corporeal, the transgressive imperative and the affective function of the visceral.’
–Dr Linnie Blake, Director of the Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies


Introduction: From Gothic Bodies to Body Gothic Chapter 1 - Splatterpunk Chapter 2 - Body Horror Chapter 3 - The New Avant-Pulp Chapter 4 - The Slaughterhouse Novel Chapter 5 - Torture Porn Chapter 6 - Surgical Horror Conclusion: The Gothic and the Body Notes Works Cited Filmography

About the Author(s)

Author(s): Xavier Aldana Reyes

Dr Xavier Aldana Reyes is Reader in English Literature and Film at Manchester Metropolitan University and a member of the Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies. He is the author and editor of various book in Gothic and Horror Studies, including Spanish Gothic (2017), Horror: A Literary History (2016), Horror Film and Affect (2016) and Body Gothic (2014).

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