The witch is history’s most recurrent scapegoat. Whenever there is unexplained misfortune, it is commonly followed by accusations of witchcraft. In the West, we tend to dismiss this as a superstition of the past. But belief in witches — which occurs ‘in every inhabited continent of the world’ and in…

According to the Encyclopaedia of Science Fiction, ‘in the iconography of horror, the zombie stands for the exploited worker’. It is ‘inarticulate, dangerous, deprived, wishing only to feed on those who are better off’. It is, in short, a metaphor for the blighted masses.

Werewolf mythology is all about repression and restraint. On nights of a full moon, the werewolf pre-empts their transformation by chaining themselves up. They wake up the next morning unable (or unwilling) to remember any of the events of the previous night. The transformation into beast is repressed because it…

In the fictional and non-fictional ‘vamp-lit’, there are several theories concerning the natural origin of the vampire. One of the most compelling (and ‘most frequently cited’) is the rabies-vampire link. As Mark C. Jenkins writes in his book, Vampire Forensics:

In 1998, […] Spanish neurologist Dr. Juan Gomez-Alonso made a…

Illustration by Edward Sorel

In his landmark text, The Anxiety of Influence (1973), Harold Bloom argues that all poetry is beset by its precursors. The poet, he writes, ‘is condemned to learn his profoundest yearnings through an awareness of other selves’:

The poem is within him, yet he experiences the shame and splendor of…

In his new book, The Status Game, Will Storr discusses many of the topics mentioned in ‘Rules of Seeming: Love Island’; including the idea that there are implicit rules to social interactions that ‘are neither clearly defined nor ever really even discussed’. According to Storr,

LIFE IS A game. There’s…

Attention is a drug; one that we were all weaned on as infants. From the moment we were born, we were doted on. Attentively watched over. During this time, our needs were prioritised and attended to with an urgency befitting a tyrant. This is the source of Freud’s image of…

In light of the Conservatives’ recent tax increase — a decidedly anti-conservative action — I am reminded of a similar circumstance in which New Labour, despite its very non-labourlike activity, continued to be regarded by certain Leftists as such. Despite this tax increase, we will continue to regard the Tories…

Good posture is not just about aesthetics or back-pain prevention. There is also a ‘numinous’ aspect to it. The upright bi-pedal posture is an act of transcendence. Physically, it is what distinguishes us from “the other animals”. Metaphysically, it is an ascension; the primary metaphor for apotheosis.

Although they are…

If there is a theme throughout Nicole Krauss’ short-story collection, To Be a Man, it is related to the title. The collection is named after its last story, in which, it is asked, amid ‘generational confusion’, how a boy becomes a man? Implicit in this question is the idea that…

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