Saturday, May 25, 2013


About this blog:

The major subject of this blog is the Philosophy of Horror and related genres (Noir, Dark Sci Fi, Tragedy, etc.). Obviously, this blog takes its name from the title of Nietzsche's first book, Die Geburt der Tragödie aus dem Geiste der Musik. Though a flawed book, this blog seeks to put forth an aesthetic  program based upon that book, and related works of aesthetics from SchopenhauerWagnerCamille Paglia and ETA Hoffman. Other major influences here include Noel CarrollHitchcockDavid SkalLovecraftBritish Miserablism, Archetypal Psychology, Hauntology and feminist film criticism applied to the horror genre.

As examples, some of the criticism on this blog might stem forth from the theses that:

  1. Horror requires a unique type of Schopenhauerian metaphysics that renders most current conceptions of Diegesis in Cinema useless. This has several implications. Firstly, 
  2. the need, in many cases, to prioritize the Cinesonic over the Cinematic. Secondly,
  3. this means that the psycho-metaphysical/theo-noumenal bares a relationship to the phenomenological/empirically-observable world which I will call "Romantic Dualism". More on this later.
  4. Tangential to the above point is that it is far more common for said Schopenhauerian metaphysics to be bluntly stated in horror literature than in horror film. Notable instances of this include both Algernon Blackwood and the above mentioned Lovecraft.   
  5. Horror represents for our society what attic tragedy represented to the Greeks. Therefore, it is important to delineate and understand the different Horror-Myth-Structures as they relate to Tragic Myth Structure. 
  6. Hate, xenophobia, Otherness, ontological sadomasochism and pyscho-phenomenological projection play crucial, intensely interconnected, and highly specific roles in horror and related genres cinematic genres. This notion will be examined here through the specific lenses of the tendency in horror cinema toward misogyny, normatism, cissexism, voyeurism, ageism, technophobia, fetishism, Christianism, eurocentricity and anti-intellectualism.  There are other examples, but those listed in the preceding sentence are either,  
  7. the most deeply tied to the very nature of what horror is as a genre, or 
  8. critical to mainstream, Hollywood horror cinema's narrative function as part of the American Ideological State Apparatus. This is why they will be the central focal of the cultural criticism/identity politics portions of this blog. Furthermore, 
  9. this mode of analysis is crucial to removing the authoritarian aspects of the above mentioned metaphysics.
  10. In general, the anglophile British horror literature has been far superior to North American horror literature, because of its focus on social realism.
  11. Romanticism leads to fascism. (This is important, because the horror generation has it's roots in German Dark romanticism).
  12. The monster is defined by what Noel Carroll called category jamming.  That said,
  13. Carroll's theory of horror, though good, is incomplete because, in asserting that the psychological state of the protagonist(s) and the audience are uniquely united through the emotion of revulsion, Carroll fails to account for Hitchcock's assertion that suspense is created via the epistemological privilege given to the audience over the characters.  And finally, if I'm not taking about any of that stuff, you'll probably see,
  14. a post that consists of nothing but a humorous, off-topic anecdote. Hey, I gotta' lighten the mood up around here every once in a while, don't I?
In general, I will also be engaging Derrida and Carroll a lot, so if you don't like them, you're SOL.  
(Note: This blog entry is a work in progress. I have several other points in this program, which I will come back and edit into this entry later. Stay tuned!)

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