By Esther Peeren, Maria del Pilar Blanco
Haunting has lengthy been a compelling aspect in pop culture, and has turn into an influential class in educational engagements with politics, economics, and aesthetics. whereas contemporary scholarship has used psychoanalysis and the Gothic as frameworks with which to review haunting, this quantity seeks to situate ghosts within the cultural mind's eye. The chapters in Popular Ghosts are united by means of the impulse to theorize the cultural paintings that ghosts do in the trans-historical contexts that contain our knowing of daily life. those authors research the theoretical and aesthetic genealogies of the spectral, whereas additionally commenting at the a number of daily areas that this class occupies. instead of trying to a unmarried culture or medium, the essays in Popular Ghosts discover movie, novels, images, tv, tune, social practices, and political buildings from diverse cultures to reopen the questions that encompass our haunted experience of the everyday.
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Additional info for Popular Ghosts: The Haunted Spaces of Everyday Culture
Faint light in room. Whence unknown. None from window. No. Next to none. No such thing as none. Gropes to window and stares out. Stands there staring out. Stock still staring out. Nothing stirring in the black vast. Gropes back in the end to where the lamp is standing. Was standing. When last went out. Loose matches in right-hand pocket. Strikes one on his buttock the way his father taught him. Takes off milk white globe and sets it down. Match goes out. Strikes a second as before. Takes off chimney.
If we recall Marshall McLuhan’s formulation, media are extensions of the self. Small wonder, then, that we talk with ghosts via media: the medium speaks with that thing, the ghost, that exists only in its extensions. So, to revise: ghosts especially require media. The bodiless need extensions to speak. 12 The locus classicus is probably not as familiar as it once was: The electric light is pure information. It is a medium without a message, as it were, unless it is used to spell out some verbal ad or name.
Nothing stirring,” “beyond”: these, too, are refrains in the brief text. That reiterated “ghost,” then, marks a difference. Suddenly, it seems, the ghost can modify anything and everything: nights, light, rooms, graves, loved ones. In a text that includes a refutation of totality to rival Adorno’s lapidary epigram, “The whole is the false”14 – “No such thing as whole” (3:456) – it seems that these ghosts may aspire almost to universality. 15 A Piece of Monologue is a play about ghosts and memory, and about theater as a privileged site for meditation on ghosts and memory.