Thursday, March 31, 2011

Paradoxes of Horror

'With respect to horror, these paradoxes can be summed up in the following two questions: 1) how can anyone be frightened by what they know does not exist, and 2) why would anyone ever be interested in horror, since being horrified is so unpleasant?'

-Noel Carroll, The Philosophy of Horror or Paradoxes of the Heart, p. 8

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

An Account of Horror in Virtue of the Emotional Effects it is Designed to Cause in Audiences

'Taking Aristotle to propose a paradigm of what the philosophy of an artistic genre might be, I will offer an account of horror in virtue of the emotional effects it is designed to cause in audiences. This will involve both the characterization of the nature of that emotional effect and a review and an analysis of the recurring figures and plot structures employed by the genre to raise the emotional effects that are appropriate to it. That is, in the spirit of Aristotle, I will presume that the genre is designed to produce an emotional effect; I will attempt to isolate that effect; and I will attempt to show how the characteristic structures, imagery, and figures in the genre are arranged to cause the emotion that I will call art-horror. (Though I do not expect to be as authoritative as Aristotle, it is my intention to try to do for the horror genre what Aristotle did for tragedy.)'

-Noel Carroll (1990), The Philosophy of Horror or Paradoxes of the Heart, Routledge, New York, p.8