Here Be Dragons (and Vampires, and Zombies): The Politics of Monstrous Communities

In: Monstrosity from the Inside Out
Jack Fennell
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In recent years, it has been increasingly common to depict monsters (by which I mean the bestial kind, rather than supposedly monstrous humans) as having spaces of their own within our world. Monster lairs have changed down through the centuries, from the cave in the woods to the suburban house. Traditional monsters were lonely pariahs; the monsters of today are members of vibrant communities, with spaces for recreation (as seen in Constantine and The Monster Club) and commerce (the Goblin Market in Hellboy II: The Golden Army, for example). Interestingly, these spaces are, in a sense, multicultural: different varieties of monster associate within these spaces. In this chapter, I wish to examine the political significance of both this re-zoning of the monster lair and the expansion of monstrous space to include places of recreation, commerce, and worship. However, I must briefly give a caveat that this chapter will focus on monsters in the folklore and popular culture of the West, and my arguments are not intended to be universal.

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