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The Evolution of Horror: A Neo-Lovecraftian Poetics

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Recent advances in the sciences of human nature, such as evolutionary
psychology, the cognitive science of religion, and cognitive and affective
neuroscience, corroborate key aspects of Lovecraft’s poetics of horror as
delineated in Supernatural Horror in Literature, including his claim about a
natural basis for the appeal of horror stories and his claim that people are
biologically susceptible to superstitious fear. Horror and weird stories depend on
ancient, evolved mechanisms in human nature, as Lovecraft claimed, and
because of recent scientific advances, we are now in a position to chart these
mechanisms and explain their evolutionary history as well as their relevance to
the academic study of horror and weird fiction.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Directions in Supernatural Horror Literature : The Critical Influence of H. P. Lovecraft
EditorsSean Moreland
Number of pages17
Place of publicationUK
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication year2018
ISBN (print)978-3-319-95476-9
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-95477-6
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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