L’horror ci parla di noi

Il genere horror ci accompagna dall’età della pietra. Perché? In sostanza perché parla dell’oscurità che aleggia sulla condizione umana. Ma è diventato vera arte solo in quest’epoca contrassegnata dalla paura dell’altro.

Horror is what anthropologists call biocultural. It is about fears we carry because we are primates with a certain evolved biology: the corruption of the flesh, the loss of our offspring. It is also about fears unique to our sociocultural moment: the potential danger of genetically modifying plants. The first type of fear is universal; the second is more flexible and contextual. Their cold currents meet where all great art does its work, down among the bottomless caves on the seabed of consciousness. Lurking here, a vision of myself paralysed in the dirt, invisible to those I love.

Horror has always been with us. Prehistoric cave paintings are rife with the animal-human hybrids that remain a motif of horror to this day. Every folktale tradition on Earth contains tales of malevolent creatures, petrifying ghosts and graphic violence. The classics are frequently horrifying: in Homer’s Odyssey, when the Cyclops encounters Odysseus’ men, the monster eats them, ‘entrails, flesh and the marrowy bones alike’.

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As any historian of the genre will tell you, horror has had previous golden ages. Perhaps ours is just a random quirk of popular taste. But perhaps not. Perhaps we are intoxicated by horror today because the genre is serving a function that others aren’t. Can’t. Horror’s roots run deep, but they twist themselves into forms very modern. The imagination’s conversion of fear into art offers a dark and piercing mirror.

Ecco un articolo molto interessante sul tema.