The book explores crucial questions concerning human social existence and its animal substrate, and the intersection between the human and the wolfishly bestial. The collection connects together innovative research on the cultural significance of wolves, wild children and werewolves from a variety of perspectives. We begin with the wolf itself as it has been interpreted as a cultural symbol and how it figures in contemporary debates about human existence, wilderness and nature. Alongside this, we consider eighteenth-century debates about wild children – often thought to have been raised by wolves and other animals – and their role in key questions about the origins of language and society. The collection continues with analyses of the modern werewolf and its cultural connotations in texts from nineteenth-century Gothic through early cinema to present-day television and Young Adult fiction, concluding with the transitions between animal and human in contemporary art, poetry and fashion.
representing slippages between them’.
In this respect the werewolf can be read as what Marjorie Garber, in the context of transvestism, has called a ‘third term’. For Garber, women dressed as men and vice versa are usually subsumed to one sex or the other by critical discourse, when in fact they operate as a third category in their own right. She explains:
The ‘third’ is that which questions binary thinking and
Patricia Duncker’s The Deadly Space Between and The Civil Partnership Act
structures of identity and relationships. David Punter argues that
vestment and the ceremonial characterize Gothic narratives. 11 The novel takes this
Gothic vestism one step further by developing a narrative transvestism
whereby in his narrative performance Toby dons on and off the different
accounts of the Oedipal myth that were produced throughout history.
Spectacles of desire and performances of kinship are enhanced through
Angela Carter’s werewolves in historical perspective
Willem de Blécourt
contes de Perrault (Paris: Imago, 2004).
On Perrault and transvestism, see Orenstein,
Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked , 198–200.
See Walter Scherf, Das
Märchenlexikon (Munich: Beck, 1995), 687–689;
Bacchilega, Postmodern Fairy Tales
pirate ship, and went under false colours”’ ( NC 32).
Identified as a suffragette, ‘a one for “Votes for
Women”’ ( NC 38), Nelson is also a crossdresser. In an
act of ‘authorial transvestism’ (Sage, 1992 : 173) that echoes the various citational travesties that
constitute The Passion of New Eve , Ma Nelson borrows the words of
Apollinaire to celebrate Fevvers as ‘the pure child of the
‘Tale of the
Spaniard’ Alonzo di Monçada in Charles Maturin’s
Melmoth the Wanderer (1820). Alonzo is relating to
John Melmoth, in painstaking detail, the story of his escape from the
monastery into which he had been coerced by his parents. While Alonzo
and his accomplice, the parricide, are concealed in an underground
vault, the latter recites a story of transvestism, cross-dressing and
Ann Radcliffe’s The Italian and Charlotte Dacre’s Zofloya: Or, The Moor
characters’ open identification with these roles occurs conversationally
in the Monastery garden where Twelfth Night rewrites itself,
Rosario/Matilda closely echoing Viola’s ‘worm in the bud’ speech to
Osario, a device that at once excites, and cleverly stills, suspicions
of homosexuality and transvestism. Ambrosio claims ‘never did a Parent
watch over a Child more fondly. . . . From the moment in which I first
). Accoutrements – created textures themselves –
create appearances; create gendered subjects: a sketch of the
dynamics of the text/ures of dress. That gothic form should be
‘stripped’ in this way precisely in the 1980s is
suggestive: in a context perceived as post-feminist, gender borders
have become debatable; cross-dressing and other forms of
transvestism start to develop into the