An Angela Carter Halloween

Here are seven ways to celebrate Halloween with Angela Carter:

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  1. Angela Carter’s ‘The Lady of the House of Love’

“Wearing an antique bridal gown, the beautiful queen of the vampires sits all alone in her dark, high house under the eyes of the portraits of her demented and atrocious ancestors, each one of whom, through her, projects a baleful posthumous existence”.

 

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2. Rebecca Munford’s Decadent Daughters and Monstrous Mothers: Angela Carter and European Gothic

“Carter’s ironic restaging of the monstrous muse in ‘The Cabinet of Edgar Allan Poe’ and ‘Black Venus’ engenders a process of re-composition – an exhumation of the muse that Poe wants to bury and Baudelaire wants to debase. Carter acts here as a decadent daughter, exchanging the maternal muse for a paternal muse that is at once apostrophised and subordinated in the aesthetic process. Poe and Baudelaire respectively dematerialise into dust and ashes. De-composed, the male artist/muse disappears back in the Gothic mirror.”

 

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3. Christopher Frayling’s Inside the Bloody Chamber: On Angela Carter, the Gothic, and Other Weird Tales

“Angela and I went to see F.W. Murnau’s 1922 silent film Nosferatu. It wasn’t a particularly good quality print […] but the film included one of the most beautiful intertitles of the whole silent era. It comes when the young hero Hutter is first met by the coach and horses from Castle Dracula: ‘And when he crossed over the bridge, the phantoms came to meet him.’ Angela wrote this phrase twice in her private journal and included it in her radio play Vampirella. It was her first written reference to vampires.”

 

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4. James Gracey’s The Company of Wolves (Devil’s Advocates)

The Company of Wolves is an atypical werewolf film as it uses the figure of the lycanthrope to explore notions of adult sexuality from a distinctly feminine vantage point: from within the dreams of an adolescent girl. Throughout the film werewolves are not only sexualised, but feminised. Monsters sinister and sensual, they provoke feelings of terror, fascination and desire within Rosaleen.”

 

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5. Angela Topping’s Focus On: The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories

“[In] ‘Wolf-Alice’ […] Carter blurs the line between man and monster, and shows that these qualities are within humans, that we are all part human and part beast. The transformative power of love is shown in many of these stories.”

 

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6. Angela Carter’s ‘The Cabinet of Edgar Allan Poe’

“When she summoned him, the spectral horseman came. Edgar looked out of the window and saw him. The soundless hooves of black-plumed horses struck sparks from the stones in the road outside. ‘Father!’ said Edgar; he thought their father must have reconstituted himself at this last extremity in order to transport them all to a better place but, when he looked more closely, by the light of a gibbous moon, he saw the sockets of the coachman’s eyes were full of worms.”

 

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7. Neil Jordan and Angela Carter’s The Company of Wolves (1984)

“Granny: Never stray from the path, never eat a windfall apple and never trust a man whose eyebrows meet in the middle.”


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