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Limits of HorrorTechnology, Bodies, Gothic$
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Fred Botting

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780719077548

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719077548.001.0001

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Dark bodies

Dark bodies

(p.138) 3 Dark bodies
Limits of Horror

Fred Botting

Manchester University Press

Horror arises when boundaries are crossed and the secure relation of inside and outside is disturbed: ‘there is suddenly, no inside and no outside. There is an emptying out of the object. It is the moment, a horrifying moment of the birth of a new space which ruins habitual space’. Rather than filling the new space with recognisable aesthetic images, the gaping hole comes shockingly to the fore: ‘an unfillable gap opens at the moment that the face is lifted’. Against the aestheticisation of horror and abjection stand more pervasive and persistent horrors of social, political and economic existence. Unbearable horror finds an object that turns it into terror. As Gothic images pervade a contemporary culture composed of rapidly oscillating and disturbing flows of anxious expenditures, a culture in which they are as much the norm as images of sex and violence, they manifest the generalisation of horror accompanying the vast economic and technological expansion into – and, phantasmatically, beyond – the black hole of post-modernity.

Keywords:   horror, abjection, aestheticisation, terror, violence, black hole, post-modernity, sex

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