Monsters From The Id
Monsters From The Id
"Monsters from the Id is a tour de force of cultural analysis because of Jones's ability to integrate history, politics and moral philosophy with the interpretation of texts and films. It is also an urgent and a sad book because, as he writes in commenting on Last House on the Left, "children are vulnerable precisely because the authority figures in their lives espouse Enlightenment morals" (266). This was the story of the Godwin-Shelley households, the story of Frankenstein and the story in millions of American homes today. Most of these people would like to do the right thing but are hindered by bad ideas that corrupt their habits (if not their hearts) against their own best impulses. Part of the remedy is education for its essential purpose, to form character that is free to know and govern itself. The hidden history of Modernism, the history of thought control must be exposed, taught and taken to heart. One hopes that the thesis of this text, and its constituent chapters make their way into textbooks, classrooms and souls so that the next generation may get out of the uncanny house of contemporary culture and back into the clear sweet light of simple and disciplined human pleasures."
Tales of horror, so popular in modern literature and film, originated in the sexual decadence unleashed by the French Revolution. In a compelling new study of horror from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein to modern Hollywood, one of America's most original critics shows that the moral order, when suppressed, reasserts itself as an avenging monster in the midst of the chaos and suffering of cultural revolution.
As the Age of Reason gave way to the Terror, not only in Paris but in Mary Shelley's own life, the first monster of the modern imagination was born. Like much of the English literary class, Shelley's family-including her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, and her husband, Percy-had embraced the French Enlightenment, throwing off old restraints on sexuality. The result of their ruinous dissipation was Frankenstein, in which Shelley's monster rises in repudiation of the very rationalism that produced it.
The next monster to appear as moral decay spread from revolutionary France was the vampire, Frankenstein's rationalist fascination with electricity giving way to the romantic myth of blood. Jones follows the progress of horror from Victorian England and Bram Stoker's Dracula to Weimar Germany and Murnau's classic film Nosferatu. Bringing his account to the end of the twentieth century, he shows how the Western imagination has responded to the explosive force of the sexual revolution with horror of unprecedented intensity. In the Alien series and other contemporary horror films, the culture of abortion and pornography has unwittingly spawned a new and terrifying breed of avenging monster.
... strikingly original and insightful ... Jones’ message is encouraging: this book gives you proof after proof that the eternal truths conservatives defend today can never be wholly or successfully discarded. For Jones explains that desire for repentance — however inchoate — underlies all horror literature and movies. He shows how in his eye-opening and fascinating analyses ..." National Review Book Service.
"E. Michael Jones advances a fascinating thesis. Horror fiction, he argues, grew out of the sexual decadence of the Enlightenment. ... The warning of these films is that "sex disconnected from the moral order is horrifying," Jones writes. This Halloween, when your kids want to rent a horror film, don’t let them. Instead, sit down with them—and with the neighbor’s kids, as well—and explain where horror films really come from and why they are perverse. It’s a great way to expose the cultural lies that are at the root of our society’s celebration of horror." Charles Colson, CBN, Breakpoint Online.
"Another excellent work from one of America's leading Revisionist historians. Jones ... has convincingly traced the Enlightenment ideology in Western Europe from promises of freedom to the agony of unrestrained passions. For Jones, this agony is most vividly represented in American culture in the horror genre, which is unmistakably the unique product of modern Western ideology." M. Raphael Johnson, The Barnes Review.
"Jones' thesis shouldn't be all that surprising. Scholars and critics have acknowledged that horror is an artistic representation of our fears and anxieties. Jones' contribution is to tell readers that we are afraid and anxious because we know that our morality not only doesn't work, but it's also the source of evil and suffering. Since, like Mary Shelley, we can't or won't acknowledge that fact, the monster will be hear to stay, and investigating strange noises will remain a bad idea." Roberto Rivera, belief net.
"Jones makes astute observations, as when he links Bram Stoker's Dracula to the 19th-century fear of syphilis ... ." Publishers Weekly.
"... a fresh and deeply compelling look not only at the horror genre itself but the culture that has spawned it as well. Author E. Michael Jones (PhD) succeeds in defining what truly lays at the heart of horror’s appeal: the innate and primal enjoyment of reading or viewing the violation of eternal truths and the consequences suffered by innocent and guilty alike for those transgressions – until balance is restored to a moral universe once again. Or in short, evil running amok until it is vanquished in the last chapter (or final reel). ... bracingly provocative ... certainly a departure from the endless p.c. bogus subtexts readers are regularly subjected to when reading studies of the horror genre. ... Dr. Jones brings us back on track: the transgressions of Science with respect to Life, the consequences of Enlightenment hubris, the dismissal of the Sacred and the abandonment of God created a reaction in the world of literature (and later film) that we now call the 'Horror' genre. These are the true subtexts to be found in any serious critique. And why are they always there? Because ever since the Enlightenment when Man replaced God’s morality with his own, he has suffered the consequences of it. Our ‘rational’ control of nature has set free 'Monsters from the Id' and these stories appeal to the latently ingrained moral compass written on every man’s heart. ... this book offers a welcome respite from the navel-gazing silliness so often encountered by those writers who seem to lack a grounded historical perspective." David Yuers, Cult Movies magazine.
"... consistently provocative and informative ... " Douglas Wilson, Credenda.
" ... offers a refreshing counterpoint to other self-proclaimed experts in the horror genre with their own agendas. ... Jones has a clear view of the issues at hand. ... brass-balled temerity ... " Greg Goodsell, The Blackboard.
"Did you know that horror arose in the sexual decadence which followed the French Revolution? This context leads Michael Jones to argue that horror is a product of a guilty conscience that will not own up to its wrongdoing. In short, Jones argues that the Enlightenment sought to destroy religion and morality only to see them return in the form of monsters and evil. The antidote, according to Jones, is a fresh acknowledgement of the demands of an objective moral order. … Jones is also the author of the highly acclaimed trilogy on modernity: Degenerate Moderns, Dionysos Rising, and Living Machines." Reformation & Revival Journal.
"Frankenstein, Dracula, and other horror stories have something valuable to tell us about the consequences of breaking taboos." Nick Eicher, Behind the Headlines.
"... Buffy[, The Vampire Slayer] is a horror show, albeit a quirky, postmodern kind of horror show. In his new book, Monsters From The Id: The Rise of Horror in Fiction and Film, cultural critic E. Michael Jones writes that horror is both "a sign that we don’t know what is bothering us" and "a sign that we don’t want to know to know what is bothering us." By "what is bothering us," Jones is referring to a sense that the worldview and accompanying morality that supplanted the Judeo-Christian worldview and morality not only violates the laws that govern the universe, but is also the source of much suffering and evil. Jones traces the rise of modern horror to the Enlightenment’s "[tearing down] of those institutions that has regulated human behavior." In their place, the Enlightenment substituted human reason — a reason that, as Jones writes, "could do nothing to prevent [itself] from disintegrating into and justifying pure desire, even destructive desire." In other words, without Christianity, there was nothing to keep Western man from acting on his worst impulses, and what’s more, rationalizing those impulses. Thus, as Jones contends, personal liberation, among the notables of the Enlightenment, was understood in largely sexual terms." Roberto Rivera, Boundless Webzine.
" ... provocative ..." Steven D. Greydanus, National Catholic Register.