The Nature of the Beast

Transformations of the Werewolf from the 1970s to the Twenty-First Century

Author(s) Carys Crossen

Language: English

Genre(s): Literary Criticism

Series: Gothic Literary Studies

  • October 2019 · 304 pages ·216x138mm

  • · Hardback - 9781786834560
  • · eBook - pdf - 9781786834577
  • · eBook - epub - 9781786834584

About The Book

The werewolf in popular fiction has begun to change rapidly. Literary critics have observed this development and its impact on the werewolf in fiction, with theorists arguing that the modern werewolf offers new possibilities about how we view identity and the self. Although this monograph is preoccupied with the same concerns, it represents a departure from other critical works by analysing the werewolf’s subjectivity/identity as a work-in-progress, where the fixed and final form is yet to be arrived at – and may never be fully accomplished. Using the critical theories of Deleuze and Guattari and their concepts of ‘multiplicities’ and ‘becoming’, this work argues that the werewolf is in a state of constant evolution as it develops new modes of being in popular fiction. Following on from this examination of lycanthropic subjectivity, the book goes on to examine the significant developments that have resulted from the advent of the werewolf as subject, few of which have received any sustained critical attention to date.


‘Crossen’s book is a welcome addition to the growing body of criticism on werewolves, that fruitfully explores the multiple facets of the contemporary werewolf-as-subject, drawing attention to a wide range of popular fiction hitherto neglected by academic criticism.’
Professor Catherine Spooner, Lancaster University

‘Crossen’s transformative book leads the pack of recent studies on werewolves. Rejecting the traditional “beast within” paradigm, she makes a persuasive case for the role and importance of these monsters in the contemporary period and positions them as key Gothic characters in cultural negotiations of subjectivity.’
Dr Xavier Aldana Reyes, Manchester Metropolitan University


‘Some Wolves Are Hairy on the Inside’: The Werewolf’s Journey Towards Subjectivity
Do You Enjoy the Company of Wolves? The Lycanthrope, the Werewolf Pack and Human Society
‘Before the Law Therefore, There Cannot Be Monsters . . .’
The Werewolf in the Concrete Jungle
Growing Pains: Lycanthropy in Contemporary Young Adult Fiction

About the Author(s)

Author(s): Carys Crossen

Carys Crossen is an independent scholar and qualified librarian, active as a researcher in Gothic studies, monster theory, gender theory and especially werewolves.

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