Grotesque  book cover
1st Edition


ISBN 9780415519106
Published July 10, 2013 by Routledge
176 Pages

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Book Description

Grotesque provides an invaluable and accessible guide to the use (and abuse) of this complex literary term. Justin D. Edwards and Rune Graulund explore the influence of the grotesque on cultural forms throughout history, with particular focus on its representation in literature, visual art and film.

The book:

  • presents a history of the literary grotesque from Classical writing to the present
  • examines theoretical debates around the term in their historical and cultural contexts
  • introduce readers to key writers and artists of the grotesque, from Homer to Rabelais, Shakespeare, Carson McCullers and David Cronenberg
  • analyses key terms such as disharmony, deformed and distorted bodies, misfits and freaks
  • explores the grotesque in relation to queer theory, post-colonialism and the carnivalesque.

Grotesque presents readers with an original and distinctive overview of this vital genre and is an essential guide for students of literature, art history and film studies.

Table of Contents

1. Grotesquerie  2. Groteskology; or, Grotesque in Theory  3. Monstrous and Grotesque  4. Grotesque Bodies  5. Disharmony and Transgression  6. Attraction/Repulsion  7. Laughter and Grotesque  8. Queerly Grotesque  9. Postcolonial Grotesque  Conclusion: Global Grotesque

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Justin D. Edwards is Research Professor of English at University of Surrey. He has taught at the universities of Copenhagen, Quebec and Montreal, and he has held research fellowships at Churchill College, Cambridge (2005-6) and Cambridge University’s Centre for Research in Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) in 2010.

Rune Graulund is a Lecturer in English at University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. He has taught literature and cultural studies at the University of Copenhagen and the University of London.