Becoming Anomalous and the Body-Without-Organs

Anna Powell

in Deleuze and Horror Film

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780748617470
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651061 | DOI:
Becoming Anomalous and the Body-Without-Organs

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This chapter explores the process of becoming across such hybrids as becoming-animal, becoming-woman and becoming-monster. A radical re-working of the subject/object binary is central to Deleuzian aesthetics. Sensation and affect subsume the subject and connect it to the external world in a molecular meld. In the analysis of horror films, the processual condition of becomings or ‘desubjectified affects’ is used to explore fantasies of transmutation such as the shape-shifting of the feline woman in Cat People. Becomings are incongruous, bizarre and repulsive, like the genetic hybrid of man and insect, ‘Brundlefly’, in David Cronenberg's The Fly, produced when a housefly is accidentally trapped in a teleporter. Gilles Deleuze's work with the fiction of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch reconsiders subjective loss and the potential for becoming it unleashes. As a context and justification for such a move, the chapter briefly recaps some of the key uses to which psychoanalysis has been put in studies of body horror. It then locates becoming via the body-without-organs, which mobilises a new interpretation of body horror.

Keywords: Gilles Deleuze; horror films; The Fly; von Sacher-Masoch; becoming; body horror; body-without-organs; psychoanalysis; Cat People

Chapter.  20030 words. 

Subjects: Film

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