Communication and Construction of Monstrous Embodiment
June 15-16, 2012

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, "Giants"

Julius Koch, Le Geant Constantin
Image courtesy of
As you can probably imagine, we are looking forward to the forthcoming Ashgate Encyclopedia of Literary and Cinematic Monsters, ed. Jeffrey Weinstock, with great anticipation (it's hardly a stretch of the imagination to say that if you're reading this blog, you are too, and if you weren't before, you most definitely are now. Or at least you should be). To be totally honest, we simply cannot wait for it to be published.

Time travel was attempted (and subsequently abandoned), things were learned that cannot be unlearned, and our respective psyches were threatened with total destruction. As a result, we had no choice but to resign ourselves to the doleful realisation that, like mere mortals, we would have to wait.

But that wait has been made less torturous by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen (who, just a small reminder, will be flying all the way from Washington D.C. to Edinburgh, Scotland to be a keynote at our conference along with Peter Hutchings and Margrit Shildrick). On the In the Middle blog, he was ever so kind last month to post a draft of his entry on giants, to which we now direct your attention:
The giant pervades every level of society, from popular culture and folklore to self-consciously artistic literature and scholarly discourse. With some notable exceptions, the giant is strongly gendered male. He often figures the masculine body out of control, demarcating a cultural boundary not to be traversed. The giant is foundational. The world may have been created from the body of a giant, as in Norse fable; or the body of the earth may spawn giants, as in classical tradition. He is so elemental that humanity cannot escape his abiding presence.
Keep an eye out for the encyclopaedia itself - definitely going to be a good book to have on the shelf. 

1 comment:

  1. I would like to purchase this book. I think most people should purchase this book. It will work well at smacking monsters or holding doors open. In extremis, it can even be read. It comes with a set of Ginsu knives (Ginsu knives not included). It will undoubtedly make you more attractive and the envy of friends and neighbors. (No monsters were hurt in the making of this advertisement.)