“It’s Alive!” New Materialism and Literary Horror

  • Susan Yi Sencindiver


Pivoting on the primacy of matter as an underexplored question, both new materialist thought and literary horror’s predilection for probing lurid materialities provide ample purchase for rethinking the matter of matter. Drawing on new materialism to explore the matter in and of primarily nineteenth-century literary horror, this study, on the one hand, addresses the ways in which the sensuous dimensions and visceral immediacy of literary language may elicit the affective sensibilities of horror and, on the other hand, how horror subtly challenges an anthropocentric purview. It does so by accommodating the agentic thrust of nonhuman materialities in sculpting the events of the narrative, that is, by affirming the material agency of the body and natural environment, featuring a self-organizing life and impetus of their own.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan Yi Sencindiver
    • 1
  1. 1.Aarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark

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