By Stephen T. Asma
Hailed as "a dinner party" (Washington Post) and "a modern day bestiary" (The New Yorker), Stephen Asma's On Monsters is a wide-ranging cultural and conceptual background of monsters--how they've got developed over the years, what features they've got served for us, and what shapes they're more likely to soak up the longer term. starting on the time of Alexander the good, the monsters come quick and furious--Behemoth and Leviathan, Gog and Magog, devil and his demons, Grendel and Frankenstein, circus freaks and headless youngsters, correct as much as the serial killers and terrorists of at the present time and the post-human cyborgs of the next day to come. Monsters embrace our inner most anxieties and vulnerabilities, Asma argues, yet in addition they characterize the mysterious and incoherent territory past the secure enclosures of rational suggestion. Exploring resources as different as philosophical treatises, medical notebooks, and novels, Asma unravels conventional monster tales for the clues they give concerning the internal common sense of an era's fears and fascinations. In doing so, he illuminates the various methods monsters became repositories for these human characteristics that has to be repudiated, externalized, and defeated.