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:iconprojecteducate:

Project Educate: A Brief History of Horror:





No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear. -EDMUND BURKE

Real life, historical life, has given us a pretty good indication of what frightens us as a collective. We have expounded on the elements of horror from wars, psychological experimentation and illness, serial killers, superstitions and folklore, etc.

Before there was a way to express horrific events in still frame, we had literature, and word of mouth. Eventually, literature was adapted to movies, and with movies came photography. Without all of those elements, we would never have a horror genre. Without a built in want to be scared, or shocked, it never would have grown to the proportions it has over the last 150 years!

We seem to enjoy being scared, and it was a natural step from reading about it to being able to visually see it, and then capture it using makeup, special effects and a camera.

Without the aspects of literature, and movies, horror photography would probably not be where it is today!




Horror in Literature:

(Sources cited from Wikipedia.com)

H.P. Lovecraft was a pioneer in the horror literature genre. He was a tourtured soul who brought us enticing, terrifying creatures - he was dubbed a writer of 'cosmic horror'. His outlook on life was caustic and he died quite young, and those who read him while he was alive were far and few. But as the years passed after his death, he became known as one of the most influential horror writers of the 20th century, and has passed down to us an interesting look of not only how terror was interpreted in the early 1900's, but a fine look in to the writing style that he developed and perfected.

Love me some Lovecraft by ElectricSixx


“I know always that I am an outsider; a stranger in this century and among those who are still men.”


― H.P. Lovecraft, The Outsider


Mary Shelley was an English writer, best known, perhaps, for her work of fiction "Frankenstein."

She came up with the idea one summer in Geneva, Switzerland, and she assumed it would only become a short story. But the book took shape, and we are now left with a legacy which was probably beyond her own reckoning. She allowed us to visualize (and later with the help of film technology, actually see) a man being pieced together, and brought back to life with the power of her own mind. While it is not a big deal any longer for a woman to write horror fiction, way back when this was quite an accomplishment. She spent most of the rest of her life trying to get this work, and pieces of her husbands work, published. Thankfully for us, eventually it was, and we can now all enjoy her vision.

Frankenstein gets Busted by Mr-Mordacious

"I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life, and stir with an uneasy, half vital motion. Frightful must it be; for supremely frightful would be the effect of any human endeavour to mock the stupendous mechanism of the Creator of the world."

- Mary Shelley




Horror literature eventually went from words to the cinema. The earliest horror films were based on characters from early folklore, such as vampires, werewolves and monsters. This was a trend that actually continued right up till the 1970's, when the more infamous gory slasher pics finally took over the genre.






As the years progressed, and our technology increased (and is still growing steadily forward) our visions of horror and macabre take on different shapes, become their own entities. Fear is a powerful emotion; it can enable or debilitate us, but thankfully for those who enjoy the tingling, tense feeling of being scared, there are outlets for us to delve in to. From spooky, spine tingling words, to gritty, gory movies, to delicious and devilish photographs, there are so many ways others before us have expressed themselves, and so many ways for us to follow in their footsteps!





October 29th - November 5th, 2012 Project Educate Horror/Macabre Photography Week:

Welcome to Horror/Macabre Photography Week!




:iconprojecteducate:


Horror/Macabre Photography Week for Project Educate: A Brief History of Horror.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconanathema-photography:
Anathema-Photography Nov 1, 2012  Professional Photographer
Wicked article :D
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:iconarichy:
Arichy Oct 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
awesome! :la:
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:iconkaz-d:
Kaz-D Oct 30, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Fantastic article!
Reply
:iconpullingcandy:
pullingcandy Oct 30, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you :o!!! :D
Reply
:iconpennyhorrible:
PennyHorrible Oct 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
BTW, Shelley has an extra "e" :)
Reply
:iconpullingcandy:
pullingcandy Oct 29, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
You saw nothing >.>!
Reply
:iconpennyhorrible:
PennyHorrible Oct 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Great article! I am a grad student/ professor of literature and my focus is gothic lit. The critical consensus is that the genre began with Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto; the first use of the word gothic as applied to literature appeared in a revised edition where js called it a gothic novel referring to the ruins of the Germanic architecture. The gothic revival took place at the turn of the 19th century in fin de siecle novels by Stevenson, Stoker, and Wilde.
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:iconpullingcandy:
pullingcandy Oct 29, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
That is some fascinating information!
I wish I could have covered a fair bit more, but I couldn't make it too long, so I chose some familiar names to use and gave a bit of information about them.

I'm going to have to check out The Castle of Oranto, too.
Reply
:iconpennyhorrible:
PennyHorrible Oct 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
For sure! Gothic has quite a history! I've read dozens and dozens of books on just the history subject and I don't think I've read it all yet! If it is a subject you (or anyone else reading) is interested in, The Cambridge Companion to Gothic Literature edited by Hogle is an excellent introduction that offers a brief overview of the genre and some extended discussion on its appeal, perseverance, common tropes, and evolutions. The neo-gothic, or revival, is perhaps best identified by its shift in locality. The original novels, Otranto, Vathek, The Mysteries of Udolpho, are all set in decaying gothic castles. The fin-de-siecle novels (even dating a little further back to Shelley in 1818) are set in more urban settings. The reason, in part, is because of the anxieties about the changing modern world.

The Gothic genre has always allowed us an escape and is generally most popular in times of social and economic turbulence. Dracula (1931), for example, may have resonated with audiences because of fears of capitalist foreigners (blood-suckers) during the time of the Great Depression. Many scholars believe this is why the Universal Monster franchise was so successful. Other critics note that Dracula also reflects anti-semitic feelings. Fast forward to 1968 with George A. Romero's masterpiece. The war in Vietnam, the decay of family values, etc., are all perhaps represented by the fear of a breakdown in boundaries and control. What is more transgressive than the dead walking the earth?

I could go on and on, lol, but I will spare you! I love this genre so, so, so much!

Also, just an interesting little factoid since you are discussing the genre at large to include art and film. The first bio-pic ever made was about Edgar Allan Poe by filmmaker D.W. Griffiths. Griffiths misspelled his name though, lol! Perhaps we have him to blame for this common mistake!
Reply
:iconpullingcandy:
pullingcandy Oct 30, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Żou're more than welcome to go on and on, trust me. It's a topic that interests me greatly :D
Thank you for all you've mentioned above, too.
Reply
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