REVIEW: End of Month Reviews #49 - January 2008 [spoilers]
eagle at eyrie.org
Mon Mar 3 14:40:32 PST 2008
tem2 <gfishbone at gmail.com> writes:
> Are you saying that horror and terror are distinct genres or that horror
> and terror as story elements tend to be erroneously conflated? Or is
> there a spectrum from pure terror to pure horror with most stories
> falling somewhere in the middle? Or should they be plotted with horror
> on the x-axis and terror on the y-axis on a grid divided into quadrants?
There was a fascinating article by David Swanger in the January 2008 New
York Review of Science Fiction on exactly this topic. His basic argument
is that the horror genre as currently marketed is really a compound genre
defined by emotional reaction to the story, and the emotion evoked can be
terror (more extentential fear of the unknown or strange, often evoked
when the expected laws of physics stop working), disgust (rotting corpses,
body envelope violation), or a mix of both.
One interesting example is vampires, who range from disgust (ravening
horrors often called nosferatu) to terror (the Dracula-style well-dressed
predator of beautiful women) to a mix (Dracula-style vampires who suddenly
do something that evokes disgust, like eating infants).
I recommend ordering that issue if you have a few dollars to spare and are
interested in this particular debate (and in general, I recommend NYRSF;
it's not quite as good as Locus, but it's a lot cheaper and it sometimes
covers things that wouldn't appear in Locus).
Eagle (eagle at eyrie.org) Windrider of Crossroads
<http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/> rec.arts.comics.creative moderator
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