Sticky Whore. Gothic novels and the woman’s body

Presentation by Susan Yi Sencindiver

2017.08.31 | Kim Fallesen

Date Tue 21 Mar
Time 14:00 16:00
Location 21.03.2017, room 249

Presentation and discussion of Susan Sencindiver’s new article "Lively Matter and New Materialism in Arthur Machen’s The Great God Pan"

Drawing on the analytical purchase of new materialist thought to explore the matter in and of literary Horror, this study enlists Arthur Machen’s The Great God Pan (1890) as a paradigmatic example in instantiating sign, flesh, and nature as entangled phenomena. I address the ways in which the sensuous dimensions and visceral immediacy of literary language may elicit the affective sensibilities of horror, and comparatively, how Machen’s literary work unsettles any neat partition between discourse and matter by opening sensuous relations to its performatively generated reality through its portraits of a sentient landscape, liminal bodies, and living matter. Shifting the conventional interpretive focus from how fearful matter in literary horror is passively contoured, irreversibly overwritten, and colored by a discursive optic, the study maintains that Machen’s story subtly challenges an anthropocentric purview instrumentalizing and in command of its manipulable inert objects. It does so, I claim, by accommodating the agentic thrust of nonhuman materialities in sculpting the events of the narrative, that is, by affirming the living matter and dynamic physiological processes of the body and natural environment, featuring a self-organizing life and impetus of their own.

Further reading: 

Machen's Great God Pan

New member: 

We welcome Karen Westphal Eriksen, post. doc. at Københavns Universitet, who joins the group.

Seminar