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The Monstrous-Feminine: Film, Feminism, Psychoanalysis (Popular Fictions Series) [Paperback]

Barbara Creed
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

9 Sep 1993 0415052599 978-0415052597
In almost all critical writings on the horror film, woman is conceptualised only as victim. In The Monstrous-Feminine Barbara Creed challenges this patriarchal view by arguing that the prototype of all definitions of the monstrous is the female reproductive body.
With close reference to a number of classic horror films including the Alien trilogy, The Exorcist and Psycho, Creed analyses the seven `faces' of the monstrous-feminine: archaic mother, monstrous womb, vampire, witch, possessed body, monstrous mother and castrator. Her argument that man fears woman as castrator, rather than as castrated, questions not only Freudian theories of sexual difference but existing theories of spectatorship and fetishism, providing a provocative re-reading of classical and contemporary film and theoretical texts.

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The Monstrous-Feminine: Film, Feminism, Psychoanalysis (Popular Fictions Series) + Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection (European Perspectives)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (9 Sep 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415052599
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415052597
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 15.7 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 186,903 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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."
-Sneja Gunew

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The honor film is populated by female monsters, many of which seem to have evolved from images that haunted the dreams, myths and artistic practices of our forebears many centuries ago. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A new look at the horror movie 27 Oct 2003
Creed's book draws on Freudian psychoanalysis to examine the horror film. She performs close textual analysis of key horror films including Carrie, The Exorcist, Psycho and Alien.
This book is sometimes hard to read, and the concepts of psychoanlaysis that she draws on are often dubious. However, some of her arguments regarding the construction of the monstrous feminine in horror in relation to women as mothers, witches, vampires and so on is certainly interesting.
One word of warning to potential readers is that the book, being a decade old, does not consider more recent horror films. Other than that though, this is an indispensable read for anyone interested in the horror genre, or in film studies in general.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting perspectives on popular culture 24 Aug 2013
By Margaret A Smith - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The arguments are underpinned with sound feminist theory and semiotics..very interesting to see a different perspective on well known films; it encourages more in depth critical readings of popular texts, and certainly stimulates discussion. I found the discussions of both Alien and Psycho especially, of interest.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading 31 May 2013
By Amanda - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Anyone interested in horror films and/or feminist theory MUST read this book. It is surprisingly accessible and enjoyable to read. Lower level undergrads without a cursory knowledge of feminist critiques of psychoanalysis might benefit from buying Elizabeth Wright'a Feminism and Psychoanalysis: A Critical Dictionary.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind blowing research 6 April 2013
By Elizabeth - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Extremely well researched work about the monstrous feminine. A great read! Loved it from start to finish. Great book! Yes
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing look at horror film 4 April 2000
By "nobodydances" - Published on
Those who dislike psychoanalytic interpretations beware! This book is full of them (even one about Little Red Riding Hood!) I don't necessarily agree with them, but I do find them exceptionally fascinating. The readings of Psycho and Carrie are particularly enlightening, as well as that of Jaws (very heavy on the Freudian castration anxiety angle... but now when I watch the film I can't abide by any other interpretation).
5.0 out of 5 stars It is a must! 24 Mar 2014
By Doly Mallet Flores - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are interested in Horror Movies, you will never see them the same again after you read this. Not just movies, but Freud's theories. It will give you a completely different view, you will have a lot of "ahas!" moments and insights. It is funn, it is well written, you read it very quickly and Creed manages to explain Julia Kristeva and Jacques Lacan in a very easy interesting way. She also explains the movies easily and fast so you get the idea if you haven't seen them. Creed really vcreates a new theory, breaks tabus about Oedipal and Castration Anxieties, and talks about the Vagina Dentata, the woman as tha castrator, not the men. She really explores the topic and gives a profound deep explanation on it. Totally worths it if you are in feminism and psychoanalysis.
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