The Horror Reader edited by Ken Gelder

by
October 2000, no. 225
Buy this book

The Horror Reader edited by Ken Gelder

Routledge $47.30pb, 413pp

The Horror Reader edited by Ken Gelder

by
October 2000, no. 225

Horror. It’s a word you are forced to utter emphatically, almost to expel. On the page, it seems to contain a form of typographical echo – it looks as if it is repeating itself. The term has tactile, physical associations; it once meant roughness or ruggedness, and it also describes a shuddering or a shivering movement. (There’s a wonderful word, horripilation, a synonym for the phenomenon also known as gooseflesh.)

Corporeal sensations, outward and internal – the frisson of creeping flesh, the visceral clutch or contraction of the bowels. Horror is the response and that which causes it, the emotion of disgust or repugnance which provokes a shudder or a shiver. Instinctive, immediate, something that can’t be moderated or regulated. But there is also a dynamic of attraction and repulsion in and around horror: it is both what you cannot bear to contemplate and cannot bear to look away from.

Philippa Hawker reviews 'The Horror Reader' edited by Ken Gelder

The Horror Reader

edited by Ken Gelder

Routledge $47.30pb, 413pp

Buy this book

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