The Abstracts — Femspec 4.1, Vol 4, Issue 1, 2002

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EDITORIAL REMARKS:

Guilty Pleasures: Reading Women's Horror by Gina Wisker
Editor Gina Wisker's Editorial Remarks begin with a contextualization of Horror in general, with an emphasis on horror fiction and film, the academic public and the feminine reader. She then goes on to explain the perverse delights and dangerous pleasures that it presents; it has a potential for enjoyment and for critique, the latter being the main reason why this issue is centered around articles that cover the range of horror representation in television, film, short stories, and novels.  

FICTION:

Evil Thoughts by Suzy McKee Charnas
This short story, told by the perspective of an omniscient narrator, centers around the events surrounding a couple, Fran and Jeffrey; their uncomfortable domesticity, bothersome neighbors, and ever-present friends make for a harried tour through their abnormal life.

The Which Bitch? Project by Louise Shaw
This short story, also by a third person omniscient narrator, partly places the reader in the demented mind of a murderer, Kevin. The demeaning representation of women stems from Kevin's obsession with violent films and the right that he feels this films give him to demean and destroy Cathy, the female object of his dementia and violence.

Spell by Doreen Russell
This poem mixes the genres of fairytale and horror, and as the editor notes, it "captures the threat of the impinging of the fairy world onto ours."

CRITICISM:

Passing Perverts, After All: Vampirism, (In)Visibility, and the Horrors of the Normative in Jewelle Gomez's The Gilda Stories by Sabine Meyer
In this article, Sabine Meyer first theorizes on what she calls "the new vampire" before delving into a study of The Gilda Stories. In her introduction, Meyer first succeeds in contextualizing the vampire myth through a comprehensive review of everything and anything related to this subject. In the body of her discussion, Meyer then successfully delves in all the monstrosity and perversion in Gomez's revisionist re-framing of the horrific.

Lunatics with Lethal Combat Skills: Dark Doubles, Bacchae, and Soulless Women in Xena: Warrior Princess by Frances Tomaszyk
An excellently well researched and written article that studies Xena by discussing the "dark double," madness and horror which are part of the TV show. Tomaszyk, as the title suggests, delves into the depths of horror conventions utilized in the now defunct Xena: Warrior Princess TV series by presenting multiple examples of the dark doubles, bacchae and femme on femme violence (Xena VS Dark Xena and Callisto VS Xena).

The Other in Me: Nancy Collins's Vampire Heroine, Sonja Blue by Sara Martín Alegre
Martín Alegre's study introduces the reader to the concept of the "reluctant vampire"— vampirism imposed onto innocents—in her discussion of Collins's Sonja Blue character. In her study, Martí Alegre not only alludes to previous studies she has published, but also offers insights by Kristeva, Richard Dyer and Nina Auerbach that are a propos the subject of her topic.

Mute and Beautiful: The Representation of the Female in Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire by Lorna Jowett
Jowett's article on Rice's canonized work, centering on the character of Claudia, studies the paradoxical and enigmatic nature of this character. This interesting study should be included in a critical collection dedicated to Anne Rice's reconfiguring of the vampire myth.

True Crime, Medicine, and Corporeal Horror by Anita Biressi
Anita Biressi contributes greatly to the theories of the body and corporeal corrosion by studying films such as Jennifer Chamber Lynch's Boxing Helena and George Romero's Dawn of the Dead. Biressi, in her critical approach to these films and the magazine Real Life Crimes...and How They Were Solved uses critical works by Foucalt, Adorno and Benjamin in order to contextualize the reduction, fragmentation and compartmentalizing of the body as displayed in the artistic works discussed in her essay.

Who Are You Afraid Of?: Young Women as Consumers and Producers of Horror Films by Kathleen Kendall
This article effectively offers the results of a study Kendall conducted in her course on Media Studies. The key conclusion was that young women are prone to enjoy the visual aesthetics of the horror genre, but have their reservations about the way their intelligence may be underestimated by horror films.

Artificial Wombs and Archaic Tombs: Angela Carter's The Passion of New Eve and the Alien Tetralogy by Aline Ferreira
Aline Ferreira, in this article, considers the strong similarities between Angela Carter's post-apocalyptic novel The Passion of New Eve with 20th Century Fox's Alien series, starring the character of Ripley (Sigourney Weaver).

Honey, I'm Home!: Splintering the Fabrication in Domestic Horror by Gina Wisker
The editor of this special issue, Gina Wisker, does a superb job of discussing the foundations of horror and presenting prime examples in literature and film. In her analysis of horror, she alludes to Sigmund Freud, Stephen King, Carter and Julia Kristeva to adequately exemplify points of her discussion.

Biotechnology as Kabbalah: Reconfiguring the Golden Myth in Alien Resurrection and Species by Andrea Greenbaum
Andrea Greenbaum presents in this article an ambitious piece of critical research. Greenbaum's presents the Golem, codes, DNA, and Hebrew literature in connection to the Alien Resurrection and Species films (by 20th Century Fox and MGM respectively).

 

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