The Christian Humanist Podcast, Episode #16.1

Another Gilmour-less episode. It may be until tomorrow before it gets added to iTunes, etc. I’m sure you’ll recognize the theme music.

General Introduction
– No Nathan
– What’s on the blog?

Our Emotionally Scarring Experiences
The Shining haunts Michial’s dreams
– Slasher movies
Beetlejuice and a man in a yellow wolf suit
– Toy monkeys
– Why dolls are so scary
– FREDDY KREUGER!!!!

Ancient Horror
– What Nathan was going to talk about
– Monsters vs. monster-slayers
– Were these supposed to be scary?
– Lilith
– Scandinavian sagas
– Skipping Renaissance drama

English Gothic
– Horace Walpole
– A list of gothic conventions

American Gothic
– Charles Brockden Brown
– Ditching the castle
– Why Wieland is a failure
– Pseudo-science in Poe and Hawthorne
– The difference between Hawthorne and Poe
– “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and the folk legend

Frankenstein and Dracula
– David clarifies
– Scientific anxiety
– Does Frankenstein still resonate with us?
Dracula and the Victorian nightmare of devolution
– Why Dracula is cooler than Edward Cullen
– Vampiric sexuality

20th-Century Horror and “Weird Fiction”
– Kafka as pseudo-horror
– Crazy worlds and paranoia
– H.P. Lovecraft
– Existential horror
– “Dover Beach” as horror poem

Movies and Television
– What film does that literature can’t do
– The amorphous and the concrete
The Twilight Zone
The X-Files and its real-world grounding
Jaws as Enuma Elish
– Michial gets very graphic

Why Do We Love Horror?
– Katharsis
– Making anxiety into fear
– Facing your fear
– Corruption of childhood

The Christian Response
– A spirit of fear?
– Didactic purposes
– The Christian and torture porn
– Analyzing the Pig People

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Aristotle. Poetics. Trans. Malcolm Heath. New York: Penguin, 1997.

Arnold, Matthew. “Dover Beach.” The Poems of Matthew Arnold. Boston: Adamant Media, 2005.

Beowulf: A New Verse Translation. Trans. Seamus Heaney. New York: Norton, 2001.

Brown, Charles Brockden. Edgar Huntly; or, Memoirs of a Sleep-Walker. Kent, Oh.: Kent State UP, 1987.

—. Wieland; or, the Transformation, Together with Memoirs of Carwin the Biloquist. San Diego: Harcourt Brace, 1926.

Eirik the Red and Other Icelandic Sagas. Trans. Gwyn Jones. New York: Oxford UP, 2009.

The Epic of Gilgamesh: A New Translation. Trans. Andrew George. New York: Penguin, 1999.

Enuma Elish: The Seven Tablets of the History of Creation. Trans. L.W. King. New York: FQ Classics, 2007.

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. “The Birthmark.” Hawthorne’s Short Stories. Ed. Newton Arvin. New York: Knopf, 1946. 147-164.

—. The Blithedale Romance. New York: Norton, 1978.

—. “Rappacini’s Daughter.” Hawthorne’s Short Stories. Ed. Newton Arvin. New York: Knopf, 1946. 179-209.

Irving, Washington. “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” New York: Signet, 1981. 329-360.

Kafka, Franz. The Castle. Trans. Anthea Bell. New York: Oxford UP, 2009.

—. “In the Penal Colony.” Trans. Willa and Edwin Muir. The Complete Stories. Ed. Nahum N. Glazer. New York: Schocken, 1971. 140-167.

—. “The Metamorphosis.” Trans. Willa and Edwin Muir. The Complete Stories. Ed. Nahum N. Glazer. New York: Schocken, 1971. 89-139.

King, Stephen. The Shining. New York: Pocket, 2002.

Lovecraft, H.P. Tales. New York: Library of America, 2005.

Meyer, Stephanie. Twilight. New York: Little, Brown, 2006.

Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Black Cat.” Poetry, Tales, and Selected Essays. Ed. Patrick F. Quinn. New York: Library of America, 1996. 597-606.

—. “The Imp of the Perverse.” Poetry, Tales, and Selected Essays. Ed. Patrick F. Quinn. New York: Library of America, 1996. 826-832.

—. “The Tell-Tale Heart.” Poetry, Tales, and Selected Essays. Ed. Patrick F. Quinn. New York: Library of America, 1996. 555-559.

Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. New York: Penguin, 2003.

Walpole, Horace. The Castle of Otranto: A Gothic Story. New York: Oxford UP, 2009.

12 thoughts on “The Christian Humanist Podcast, Episode #16.1

  1. I apologize in advance to any listeners I may have offended with my analysis of “Jaws.” I tried to use cold, academic language, but looking back, I may have been too graphic. All apologies.

  2. Yeah, there’s not really any way to cushion those blows, Michial. Any euphemistic terminology either misleads or imports other connotations. I wouldn’t sweat it!

  3. Yes, indeed. I really enjoyed the conversation, but there was definitely a Gilmour-shaped hole in it. Looking forward to great books ‘n’ theory next week!

  4. I share many of the same sentiments of horror. I’m not a big fan. I’ve never seen any of the Elmstreet series after hearing the synopsis from neighborhood children.

    No apologies needed for the sexual components of horror. It seems to be the nature of the film genre. For example, Halloween was quite an education for me as a teenager.

    I find vampire stories the scariest. It is terrible to think that someone you know & love can be turned into a villainous creature. Salem’s Lot really creeped me out.
    I find it helps take the fear out by identifying the metaphor or analogy present. Buffy the Vampire Slayer finally made sense when I noticed a parallel between the vamps and drug/gang culture. (Remember this was during the 90’s war on drugs era.) As one of you suggested, horror appears a way of coping with our real-world fears.

    You guys have a great sense of humor. Keep up the good work.

  5. I’m not the biggest fan of horror either–although I do enjoy some here and there, but I feel like the ones that scare me the most are the more sort of dystopian/apocolyptic movies (maybe that’s another genre all on it’s own). I’m not sure why, but it’s those movies that keep me awake in fear at night.

    Well, that and vampires that glitter. 🙂

  6. Arnold: A well-done vampire tale that keeps them as monsters, not heroes, can be very effective. I agree w/ Salem’s Lot, even the more recent version with Rutger Hauer and that guy from Wings. Also in that vein (ha!), though not with a vampire exactly, is Stephen King’s Storm of the Century: that one consistently unnerves me, because it offers no satisfying explanations, only disturbing encounters with a supernatural menace that seems to possess coherent motives about which we know nothing.

    Tim: My anticipation of a happy apocalypse helps offset my fear of apocalyptic movies. I’m with you on dystopias, though, because such things are real. Contra Jack Van Impe, et al., their reality isn’t a sign of the imminent eschaton, which means if one comes up, we just have to slog through it. That’s scary.

  7. “Home” is my favorite episode of The X-Files. It’s so creepy and awesome, and its slant on Americana, while a bit hamfisted, is something that has stayed with me since I first saw it. It’s also directed by the incredibly talented Kim Manners, may he rest in piece. He did the good seasons of that show, before it be came the Mulder/Scully Will They Or Won’t They Hour.

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