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Horror Film and Psychoanalysis
Freud's Worst Nightmare


Part of Cambridge Studies in Film

Robin Wood, Steven Jay Schneider, Cosimo Urbano, Michael Levine, Andrew Tudor, Malcolm Turvey, Cynthia Freeland, Harvey Roy Greenberg, Jonathan L. Crane, William Paul, Michael Grant, Barbara Creed, Matt Hills, Linda Badley, Stephen Prince, Noël Carroll
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  • Date Published: January 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521107853

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About the Authors
  • Psychoanalytic theory has been the subject of attacks from philosophers, cultural critics and scientists who have questioned the cogency of its reasoning as well as the soundness of its premises. Nevertheless, when used to shed light on horror cinema, psychoanalysis in its various forms has proven to be a fruitful and provocative interpretative tool. This volume seeks to find the proper place of psychoanalytic thought in critical discussion of cinema in a series of essays that debate its legitimacy, utility and validity as applied to the horror genre. It distinguishes itself from previous work in this area through the self-consciousness with which psychoanalytic concepts are employed and the theorization that coexists with interpretations of particular horror films and subgenres.

    • Latest research and thinking in the application of psychoanalytic theory to the horror film
    • Brings together scholars from different disciplines within the humanities and social sciences who have often-conflicting views on the subject
    • Sophisticated, yet accessible treatment of horror cinema through the lens of psychoanalysis
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: 'Who can resist a volume which, apropos the most popular movie genre - horror, stages the debate between the main orientations of contemporary psychoanalytic film theory? And why should we resist a unique combination of top theory and fascinating topic? Everyone in cinema and cultural studies should just grab this collection, sit down and learn!' Slavoj Zizek , Ljubljana, University of Slovenia

    Review of the hardback: 'This superb collection offers its readers a roller-coaster ride through contemporary film theory and the question of horror. Psychoanalysis is the central issue for many contributors, with essays exploring not only its place in relation to the Gothic Imagination at the heart of horror but also its consequent role in both forming and analysing the horror film. Sparks fly across the pages as the philosophical and epistemological premises of theories of horror are themselves subjected to analysis and evaluation as well as, in some cases, rejection. All the while the horror film, in all its gory glory, both uncanny and irrepressible, remains centre stage throughout the wide-ranging discussions and analyses of films from Nosferatu to Scream. The essays in The Horror Film and Psychoanalysis: Freud's Worst Nightmares are exemplary philosophical and aesthetic discussions, their complex and subtle arguments are both challenging and thought-provoking.' Elizabeth Cowie, University of Kent, Canterbury

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521107853
    • length: 320 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.47kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Preface: what lies beneath? Robin Wood
    Introduction: Psychoanalysis in/and/of the horror film Steven Jay Schneider
    Part I. The Question of Horror-Pleasure:
    1. 'What's the matter with Melanie?': reflections on the merits of psychoanalytic approaches to modern horror cinema Cosimo Urbano
    2. A fun night out: horror and other pleasures of the cinema Michael Levine
    3. Excerpt from 'Why Horror? The New Pleasures of a Popular Genre' (with a new afterword by the author) Andrew Tudor
    4. Philosophical problems concerning the concept of pleasure for future psychoanalytical theories of (the horror) film Malcolm Turvey
    Part II. Theorizing the Uncanny:
    5. Explaining the uncanny in The Double Life of Véronique Cynthia Freeland
    6. Manifestations of the literary double in modern horror cinema Steven Jay Schneider
    7. Heimlich maneuvers: on a certain tendency of horror and speculative cinema Harvey Roy Greenberg
    8. 'It was a dark and stormy night …': horror films and the problem of irony Jonathan L. Crane
    Part III. Representing Psychoanalysis:
    9. 'What does Dr. Judd want?': transformation, transference and divided selves in Cat People William Paul
    10. 'Ultimate formlessness': cinema, horror, and the limits of meaning Michael Grant
    11. Freud's worst nightmare: dining with Dr Hannibal Lecter Barbara Creed
    Part IV. New Directions:
    12. Doing things with theory: from Freud's worst nightmares to (disciplinary) dreams of horror's cultural value Matt Hills
    13. The darker side of genius: the (horror) auteur meets Freud's theory Linda Badley
    14. Violence and psychophysiology in horror cinema Stephen Prince
    Afterword: psychoanalysis and the horror film Noël Carroll.

  • Editor

    Steven Jay Schneider, New York University and Harvard University, Massachusetts


    Robin Wood, Steven Jay Schneider, Cosimo Urbano, Michael Levine, Andrew Tudor, Malcolm Turvey, Cynthia Freeland, Harvey Roy Greenberg, Jonathan L. Crane, William Paul, Michael Grant, Barbara Creed, Matt Hills, Linda Badley, Stephen Prince, Noël Carroll

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