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The Monster as War Machine By Mabel Moraña

Chapter 1:  Introduction
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The Monster as War Machine

Chapter 1

Introduction

Teratological Preface: Thinking the Monster

For many reasons, thinking the monster has a liberating effect; it opens doors, it connects with specific zones of the social and with broad swathes of critical thought. Perhaps because we unconsciously situate within this historical, thematic, ideological, and aesthetic labyrinth a series of contents that seem to be unreachable in other archives of rationality and memory, thinking the monster is an exercise that is both defiant and polemic, and it certainly abounds with more questions and ambiguities than the topic suggests at first glance.

In The Monster as War Machine, I am interested more in theoretical reflection than in teratological classification. I recognize the inescapable fascination inherent to the investigation per se of literary works or visual images in which monsters appear in the clear light of day or in the shadows, between lines, hidden behind metaphors, hyperboles, and allegories, testing the limits of language and figurative devices from different eras, media, and cultures.1 However, I have taken the time to reflect on these materials when they were essential to the advancement of my hypothesis, recalling that, throughout literature, film, and art