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               State University of New York at Stony Brook
                       Stony Brook, NY 11794
 
                                            Krin Gabbard
                                            Chair
                                            Comparative Studies
                                            516 632-7460
                                            07-Nov-1996 10:03pm EST
FROM:  KGABBARD
TO:    Remote Addressee                     ( [log in to unmask] )
 
Subject: Re: Sexuality in Horror Films
 
I have found James B. Twitchell, _Dreadful Pleasures: An Anatomy of Modern
Horror_ (Oxford UP, 1985) to be a successful explanation of horror stories in
terms of basic sexual obsessions.  Some critics have found the book to be a bit
reductive, but my students have always reacted positively to Twitchell's
applications of psychoanalysis to Frankenstein, Dracula, and the
Jekyll/Hyde/Wolfman cycle.  All of these stories are a kind of pornography for
children, appealing to the child's most extreme fantasies about birth, sexual
intercourse, and sexual maturation. For reasons that Twitchell does in fact
interrogate, our culture is more than happy to let children have easy access to
all of these stories with their slightly displaced sexual content AND with
their highly didactic statements about what must be forbidden.
 
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