may also generate religious-type representations and provide knowledge for reasoning about these concepts (Barrett, 2008; Boyer & Barrett, 2005; Keil, 1979, 1989; Spelke & Kinzler, 2007). One good example of a religious representation that is pan-culturally recurrent is the supernatural agent concept
Although the supernatural is usually an essential component of the gothic, there is significant variety in the way gothic texts employ supernatural elements. While some gothic narratives treat the supernatural as an unquestionable part of their fictional worlds, others evoke scepticism concerning the reality status of the uncanny events introduced. In such texts, the scepticism experienced by the characters and/or the readers is either resolved at some point in the narrative or played out until the very end, in which case the gothic text attains the status of ‘the fantastic’ as formulated by Tzvetan Todorov. Informed by the argument that such varying treatments of the supernatural create significantly different effects, this paper explores the role of the supernatural in two well-known gothic short stories by Daphne du Maurier: ‘The Birds’ (1952) and ‘Don’t Look Now’ (1971), which have enjoyed popularity especially as film adaptations by Alfred Hitchcock and Nicolas Roeg respectively. The paper aims to demonstrate that there is an essential difference between the way the two narratives approach the preternatural, the former involving an unquestioning acceptance and the latter a persistent scepticism concerning the existence of the unusual events. It also aims to demonstrate how this difference allows these two gothic texts to function in entirely different ways. While the unquestioning tone of ‘The Birds’ evokes a sense of doom or apocalypse, the endless scepticism in ‘Don’t Look Now’ creates a much different effect, emphasizing struggle in the face of the unknown and raising questions concerning the nature of reality. It is hoped that this comparative analysis will shed further light on the relationship between the gothic and the supernatural, emphasizing the widely varying functions gothic texts may attain through the way they approach the supernatural.
Artemis Fowl, written at the dawn of the twenty-first century by Eoin Colfer, hails a new era of cyberculture, one so immersed in technology that even a book for young adults is hardly understandable without the knowledge of a specialized jargon. Part of the success of Colfer’s series lies in his striking combination of supernatural and technical elements. He forces us to take a new vantage point, which no longer allows for the ordinary division of the ‘technical’ from the ‘magical.’ In the age of cyberculture, yesterday’s magic is today’s technology. The twentieth century was a time of rapid technological advancement. Even at its start, one could read in Sir James Frazer’s The Golden Bough how technology had replaced the magical, the supernatural, and the fantastic. More than a century later, however, we cannot confirm his description. The two spheres co-exist and merge, being indispensable for humans. The ‘Supernatural’, the ‘magical’, and the ‘fantastic’ become separated, which is clearly visible in Artemis Fowl. All of these, traditionally considered together, come to interact with a highly technical world: fairies deprived of natural wings use their artificial counterparts; dwarves are practically walking machines; invisibility is achieved by ‘shielding’; and Artemis uses ‘human magic’ to heal a fairy, but must rack his brain to escape ‘fairy technology’. The convergence point comes at the search for a Booke of Magick and at a failed ritual performance. This chapter intends to examine the consequences of the meeting of these two worlds. Apparently, the supernatural has not been swallowed up by technology, and is vital to human life. It is, rather, our approach to it that has changed; and this needs to be discussed. In the face of scientific progress, we have to redefine our stance and combine ‘fairy’ with ‘technology’.
The collective term, supernaturalism, designates a number of theological trends of the late 18th and the first half of the 19th century, which strove to defend against Naturalism and Rationalism the supernatural character of revelation and its special importance as a source of knowledge which was
Films and television programs that are based on, or inspired by, comic book properties and supernatural themes continue to be successful and are increasing in number. These films and programs are dominated by white characters who in turn continue to promote the myth of white superiority and dominance. While these productions feature largely white casts, there is an ever increasing number of black characters that either star in or are major characters in these films. However, these black characters are often white-washed and robbed of any semblance of a black identity or reflect various stereotypes that have been historically associated with black people. This in turn further strengthens the idea of white supremacy. The purpose of this presentation will be to describe the various ways that black characters have been stripped of their identities, reflect stereotypes and enforce the myth of white supremacy. The author will identify various stereotypes such as, the Magical Negro and uncivilized savage. This chapter will further demonstrate the means by which the black characters are stripped of their black identity (or the race of the character is completely ignored) during the course of the film(s) or television programs. This stripping or dismissal of identity allows the white characters (and audience) to be comfortable in their whiteness and not have to confront the impact or consequences of racism.
This illustrated chapter explores the capacity of the manipulated photograph to represent scenes of mythology and the supernatural. Can a photograph, which is said to be an index of the real, render a mythical realm into a believable scene? Practices such as double exposures and combination printing have historically been used to create famous faked images of the supernatural, such as the Cottingley Fairies images and the ‘Surgeon’s photograph’ of the Loch Ness monster. Photography has a causal link with reality and as such a carefully manipulated image has the power to deceive or persuade the viewer. In her photography project ‘Realm’ Carolyn Lefley explores this apparent truth-telling phenomenon by constructing double exposure photographs that create a layering of realities. A familiar domestic interior and a potentially mythological landscape combine to create scenes of make-believe, which reference texts such as Alice in Wonderland and The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. Down the rabbit hole, through the looking glass and into the wardrobe, all of these paths lead from the realm of the real, into the realm of myth. The kingdom of Narnia is entered through an ordinary wardrobe. The photograph of a homely interior (the real) becomes a portal into a mythical realm (the unseen). The photographs in ‘Realm’ depict new image-worlds that occupy a liminal space between reality and mythology. Digital post-production techniques have been utilised to achieve these multi-layered images. The chapter will conclude with a consideration of the next era in photography, that of computer simulated reality.
discussed water’s current failure to flood the earth at some length, often even attributing the dry land’s continued existence to the preternatural or to a supernatural act of God.
This study explores the many different categorizations of water’s behavior from the third day of creation, which commentators
Hell-bent for Heaven in Tateyama mandara treats the history, religious practice, and visual culture that developed around the mountain Tateyama in Toyama prefecture. Caroline Hirasawa traces the formation of institutions to worship
kami and Buddhist divinities in the area, examines how two towns in the foothills fiercely fought over religious rights, and demonstrates how this contributed to the creation
of paintings called
The images depict pilgrims, monks, animals, and supernatural beings occupying the mountain’s landscape, thought to contain both hell and paradise. Sermons employing these paintings taught that people were doomed to hell in the alpine landscape without cult intervention—and promoted rites of salvation. Women were particular
targets of cult campaigns. Hirasawa concludes with an analysis of spatial practices at the mountain and in the images that reveals what the cult provided to female and male constituents.
Drawing on methodologies from historical, art historical, and religious studies, this book untangles the complex premises and mechanisms operating in these pictorializations of the mountain’s mysteries and furthers our understanding of the rich complexity of pre-modern Japanese religion.