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Ian Aitken

posthumous publication of Toward the Ontology of Social Being (1971–73) (hereafter referred to as the Ontology ). The other took the form of a more practically oriented exertion to both demoralise the raison d’être of orthodox communist ideology, and replace that rationale with one associated with forms of ‘humanist socialist Marxism’ (Shafai, 1996 : 1). This latter objective, which

in Lukácsian film theory and cinema
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Found Footage Cinema and the Horror of the Real
Neil McRobert

This article examines the post-millennial popularity of the found footage movie, in particular its engagement with the representational codes of non-fiction media. Whilst the majority of critical writings on found footage identify the 11 September attacks on the World Trade Centre as a key visual referent, they too often dwell on the literal re-enactment of the event. This article instead suggests that these films evoke fear by mimicking the aesthetic and formal properties of both mainstream news coverage and amateur recording. As such they create both ontological and epistemological confusion as to the reality of the events depicted. Rather than merely replicating the imagery of terror/ism, these films achieve their terrifying effects by mimicking the audiences media spectatorship of such crisis.

Gothic Studies
Evil, Privation and the Absent Logos in Richard Marsh‘s The Beetle
Simon Marsden

This essay explores the influence of the theological tradition of privation theory upon Richard Marsh‘s novel The Beetle (1897). Focusing on images of ontological nothingness, corruption and uncreation, it argues that the novel employs the concept of privation both in its depiction of the supernatural Other and in its parallel interrogation of its contemporary modernity. Imagery of privation in the novel is associated not only with the Beetle itself, but with the modern urban environment and weapons of mass destruction. The essay concludes by examining the corruption of language and absence of a creative logos able to respond adequately to the privations of the modern city and industrial economy.

Gothic Studies
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The Entropic Gothic of American Horror Story
Dawn Keetley

FX’s American Horror Story: Murder House (the series’ first season) is an important addition to the Gothic canon, manifesting every conceivable Gothic convention, its narrative overwhelmed by a claustrophobic sense of enclosure in space and repetition,in time. Indeed, the series manifests what I call the entropic Gothic: its trajectory is relentlessly toward exhaustion and stasis, toward dissipation and death. Symptomatic of this entropic Gothic of American Horror Story is its focus on twins - markers, in the series, of an abiding cultural entropy. The first half of this essay is grounded in the more literal association of twins with reproductive technologies and aging mothers. Twins thus stand in for a series of literal anxieties about interwoven children and homes - about the future of the ‘American,Dream’ - that have plagued the United States in particular since the beginning of the recession (2007 through at least the end of 2012). The second half of the essay takes up the more metaphorical meanings associated with twins. American Horror Story’s reiterations of the same, its proliferation of mimetic semblables, mark the entropic drift of the series toward undifferentiation and extinction. Twins metonymically gesture to what the ‘Murder House’ itself represents - a realm of involutionary regression, of reality become virtual reality. The series tracks a fundamental entropic regression of the human to a spent, useless state, in which it is preserved only as what Jean Baudrillard called ‘a kind of ontological “attraction”’.

Gothic Studies
Criminal Female Sexuality in Bram Stoker‘s Dracula
Beth Shane

This essay considers how Bram Stoker‘s Dracula (1901) engages both contemporary medical models and common-sense conceptions of female criminality and sexuality. From Dracula, the figure of Lucy Westenra emerges as a quintessential femme fatale. Lucys neck bears the characteristic marking of the vampire, but we never witness the bite; as a result, ambiguity surrounds the causal relationship in the process of becoming a vampire. The novel produces this ontological ambiguity to perpetuate and to exacerbate contemporary views regarding the radical instability of female nature. Under this logic, Lucys encounter with the vampire brings only latent impulses to the surface. Stokers narrative exploits this physiological uncertainty to perpetuate the sensational terror that all female sexuality is monstrous, threatening to render the British man a debased specimen of his former glory. By tracking the various logical ellipses and rhetorical slippages which give shape to Stokers female vampires, I demonstrate how Stokers novels enact the same anxious rhetoric that likewise informs the portrait of female sexuality in nineteenth-century sexology.

Gothic Studies
The short films (2010–11)
Deborah Martin

shared concern with fluid ontologies and becom­ ings, where the formlessness of water is suggestive of an opposition to established forms, recalling the meanings often assigned to water in myth.1 In Cinema 2, Deleuze observes the ‘liquid quality which […] marks the visual image in Marguerite Duras’, a quality which he sees in ‘the tropical Indian humidity which rises from the river, but which spreads out on the beach and in the sea as well [in India Song]’ and in ‘the dampness of Normandy which already drew Le camion from the Beauce to the sea […]’ (1989, 248). Such

in The cinema of Lucrecia Martel
The Prisoner, authorship and allegory
Mark Bould

and Robert Coover – to whose works, I contend, The Prisoner should be added. Roughly contemporary, they all exhibit a hesitation between the literal and the allegorical as the ontological levels in their fictional structures collide with each other. McHale traces this kind of allegory back to James Joyce, Samuel Beckett and Franz Kafka, whose texts (like Herman Hesse’s novel The Glass Bead Game (1943), from which McGoohan derived the ‘Joseph Serf’ pseudonym under which he wrote and/or directed several Prisoner episodes) ‘seem to promise allegorical meaning

in Popular television drama
Derek Schilling

mentor’s ‘first principle’: ‘Le cinéma apparaît comme l’achèvement dans le temps de l’objectivité photographique’ (Cinema appears as the completion in time of photographic objectivity) (Rohmer 1984 : 153/ 1989 : 97). This thesis of film’s mechanical, objective character, which Bazin first proposed in a landmark essay of 1945 on the ‘ontology’ of the photographic image, heralded in Rohmer’s view a Copernican revolution, for

in Eric Rohmer
Richard Rushton

undeniably real, and, granted the time and space provided by depth of field and the long take, reality will be free to yield its beauty and mystery.19 Most film scholars seem quite content to dispense with Bazin along such lines. For example, Robert Stam and Sandy FlittermanLewis infer that the kind of realist ontology pursued by Bazin was overcome by a critique of the mimetic basis of that ontology. ‘Film theory’, they argue, ‘gradually transformed itself from a meditation on the film object as the reproduction of pro-filmic phenomena into a critique of the very idea of

in The reality of film
Boom! (1968), Secret Ceremony (1968) and Figures in a Landscape (1970)
Colin Gardner

confine his protagonists within hermetically sealed environments so that serious ontological issues of life, death and sex are divorced from all social and political (i.e. class) relevance. This has led critics such as Jean-Pierre Coursodon to question whether Losey had any legitimate Brechtian credentials in the first place: Losey, no matter what many critics and he himself

in Joseph Losey