By Alexa Wright

ISBN-10: 1780763352

ISBN-13: 9781780763354

From the 'Monster of Ravenna' to the 'Elephant Man', Myra Hindley and Ted Bundy, the visualization of 'real', human monsters has continuously performed an element in how society sees itself. yet what's the functionality of a monster? Why will we have to include and symbolize what's huge? This e-book investigates the looks of the human monster in Western tradition, either traditionally and in our modern society. It argues that photos of actual (rather than fictional) human monsters aid us either to spot and to interrogate what constitutes normality; we build what's applicable in humanity through depicting what's no longer fairly applicable. by way of exploring theories and examples of abnormality, freakishness, insanity, otherness and identity, Alexa Wright demonstrates how monstrosity and the monster are social and cultural constructs. in spite of the fact that, it quickly turns into transparent that the social functionality of the monster - even if altered a sort it takes - continues to be consistent; it's societal self-defense permitting us to maintain perceived monstrosity at a distance.Through enticing with the paintings of Michel Foucault, Julia Kristeva and Canguilhem (to identify yet a number of) Wright scrutinizes and opinions the historical past of a style of pondering. She reassesses and explodes traditional ideas of identification, obscuring the limits among what's 'normal' and what's now not.

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Extra info for Monstrosity: The Human Monster in Visual Culture

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But a junior doctor, Jean Marc Gaspard Itard, thought differently. Itard worked with Victor intensively over a five-year period to try to socialize him. 47 Itard’s project was, however, only partially successful as Victor’s behaviour apparently remained wild and uncontrollable, and he never learned to speak. 49 Second is the ‘free’ wild child who, without a name and of unknown origin, lives entirely ‘in the wild’. This type, which is clearly the most romanticized of all, is understood to be extremely rare.

Indd 25 | monstrous strangers at the edge of the world The term ‘myth’ is often used to indicate what is imaginary or fictitious. It is associated with something that is not ‘real’. In the sense it is used here, a myth is a narrative that assigns meaning to a particular body or action.  . 46 So mythical human monsters are not necessarily ‘unreal’. They are figures around which narratives have been constructed in order to help explain a newly experienced aspect of, or idea about, human being. As mythical figures, the Monstrous Races are imaginative (as opposed to imaginary) creatures that combine elements of observed material reality with signifying features in order to explain something.

The origins of this enigmatic figure may be traced back to ancient myths such as that of Romulus and Remus, the abandoned twins suckled by a wolf, who, according to legend, founded the city of Rome. Whilst it is impossible to know whether mythical characters such as these were based on any actual events, since antiquity there have been many reports of children who have survived for long periods of time outside society with no experience of human care and no exposure to human language. In his book Wolf Children, the French writer Lucien Malson lists fifty-three known cases, dating from the mid-fourteenth century to the mid-twentieth century.

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Monstrosity: The Human Monster in Visual Culture by Alexa Wright

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