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    Kitsch, Schlock and Camp

    Leslie, Esther (2022) Kitsch, Schlock and Camp. In: Shapiro, S. and Storey, M. (eds.) The Cambridge Companion to American Horror. Cambridge Companions to Literature 300. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, pp. 91-104. ISBN 9781009071550.

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    Schlock horror is excessive, gore-filled, aiming for great effects and intense emotions. It might harbor pretentions to deadly seriousness, but cannot achieve its aim. It usually fails, because something rings untrue, too silly, be it the acting, the scriptwriting, the sets, the too-bright red blood. Schlocky horror has long been a part of the genre, but its presence waxes and wanes across time, according to technological demands within the culture industry or vagaries of fashion. Reversals occur. Artworks that were designed more or less earnestly might come to be seen as schlocky, while artworks designed to become cult objects of bad taste might find themselves elevated into the zone of high art. Any consideration of schlock benefits from an assessment of the longer history of its associated (anti)-aesthetic terms: kitsch and camp – in order to discern how various cultural critics have derived social and political and other meaning from what are often disdained productions.


    Item Type: Book Section
    Additional Information: This version is free to view and download for personal use only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. © Cambridge University Press
    School: School of Arts > English, Theatre and Creative Writing
    Depositing User: Esther Leslie
    Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2022 12:48
    Last Modified: 30 Sep 2022 14:53


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