- Paperback: 216 pages
- Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (Nov. 15 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0415052599
- ISBN-13: 978-0415052597
- Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.2 x 23.4 cm
- Shipping Weight: 318 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #395,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Monstrous-Feminine: Film, Feminism, Psychoanalysis Paperback – Sep 9 1993
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By reinstating the repressed mother and femme castratice in classic Freudian theory, and by extending Julia Kristeva's discussion of horror and abjection to fresh critical objects, Barbara Creed accessibly and convincingly demonstrates the relevance and productivity of psychoanalytic theory for cultural analysis.
Annette Kuhn, University of Glasgow
A substantial contribution to knowledge of the horror film . . . the first study to concentrate specifically on the monstrous-feminine.
E. Ann Kaplan
Witty, succinct, a pleasure to read. The critique of Freudian theory comprises a total re-conceptualization of the status of the feminine within psychoanalytic debate.
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There is probably something to be learned from studying film in conjunction with psychology. As for psychoanalysis, in books like this, one is reminded how much of the work simply wallows in itself. While the insulated core of film 'theorists' sit in universities and philosophize, the subject has stagnated and has functionally moved nowhere. It's a classic academic construct that succeeds mainly in distinguishing the professors. Given that film is such a broad and popular medium (and to study horror films, no less) it's a shame that some of this work can't be qualified or introduced to 'the masses' who watch these films regularly.
Within film studies, there are many who don't delve into theory, and for good reason. It is largely useless. Even when there are valid points to be made, the work settles into ornate language, as if the only way to express obvious assertions and be taken seriously is to dress it up for the academy. Rarely is any useful evidence offered on how your mind reacts to what you're seeing on the screen and how you put together the references conscioulsy or unconsciously. Too much of the work reeks of elite intellectuallism, a competition to ensure the most impressive terms are invented for unproveable assertions about the beloved medium. To sit around and talk about vaginal representations in Alien and Jaws--not to say there isn't something there if you look at these films closely--with no worry about having to actually prove anything takes a lot of training.
What's most troubling in work like this is the application of constructs like Lacanian psychoanalysis (stemming from seminal Laura Mulvey works) and other debunked theories. The social sciences has a habit of distinguishing works that are based on left-behind theories, something hard sciences simply cannot do seriously. Recommended if you really want to delve into this niche market in the field.
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