Table of Contents
2- Review of Literature
4- Results and Discussions
The oldest and strongest human emotion is fear. It is embedded in people since time began. It was fear that initiated the establishment of faith and religion (Prohaszkova, 2010, p.1). According to Castle (2007, p.172) in an instance horror is an emotion, extreme and shocking and while we might abhor and have aversion to horror, we are also attracted to it. We want read about horrors and some of us want to write. But horror genre in natural or supernatural form should not be at odd with the basic cultural and religious beliefs, as in this case it leads young adults to the excessive imagination and separate them from fact. As it is said in south news (2014, para.8) concept used in this genre causes the defamilarization and use of strange and unusual interpretations and phrase will lead Persian youth in the unreal world and it is because of cultural differences between Iranian culture and European culture. Then some translators say that it should be omitted from young adults' literature. On the other hand some others are disagreeing with omission of this genre. Then in this paper, the researcher analysis the advantages and disadvantages of this genre based on translators opinions and some examples from different books to see whether it should be omitted or presented.
Key words: fear, horror genre, young adults, literature, culture
In an instance “horror is an emotion, extreme and shocking” and “while we might abhor and have an aversion to horror, we are also attracted to it. We want to read about horrors, and some of us want to write horror” (Castle, 2007, p.172).
In his book, “Horror Isn’t a 4-Letter Word” Matthew Warner (2008, p.9) defines the aspect of horror as such: “Horror isn’t just a genre of stories but an outlook on life-one’s that focused on finding the fun in morbidity. Study of horror genre is a bit like exploring an abandoned asylum. At any turn, you never know what awaits you: insanity, death, or the thrill of your life. As you reach the upper levels and see rusted bed frames and empty elevator shafts, you realize that peering into the shadows isn’t just about evoking the emotion of horror. It’s also about learning of the things that scare us. After all, the monster that’s known has less power than the one who’s not. And ultimately, of course, horror is about developing a cheerful acceptance of the fate that awaits us all.
Wisker (2005, p.3) continues to write that horror, nurtured in the fears of pain and death, and in our dark fears of the unknown, is a taste acquired by those with sufficient imagination to see beyond, beneath, and through what we take for granted as normal and familiar, to the sources of their other “’real’”, our imaginations and the ‘”imaginary’” of culture and our psychological, emotional, and intuitive elements of experience.
The concept of horror is often treated with specific aesthetics to depict what causes fear, and speculations are on what causes the sense of horror in an individual. It relates to the Psycho analytical approaches of how the audience will react, how the fear can be defined and in what way these aspects attribute to the genre. The psychology of the horror genre connects to what the reader considers to be scary, dark or evil. The concept of horror, from both a psychoanalytical and socio-cultural perspective, changes through time and varies according to what is expected within a culture (Hills, p.6).
Simon (2010) believes that horror is a genre of literature which has the intention of scaring the reader using horror elements. Horror can be either supernatural or non-supernatural. Supernatural horror is often based on religious traditions (death, afterlife, the devil) or superstitious creatures like witches, vampires, werewolves and ghosts. The horror genre is an important genre, because it’s the only genre that has the intention of invoking our hidden worst fears, the fears we never say out loud. Horror is often told, written or acted in a terrifying and shocking way – and at the same time the genre entertains us.
Sometimes we need a push to do the things we want or need to do, and the horror genre challenges our lust to do what we want and not to think of the consequences. “In the hands of a serious and genuinely imaginative writer the horror story […] explores the limits of what people are capable of doing and experiencing.” – Horror makes us experience feelings and emotions we don’t experience in any other genre; feeling uncomfortable and excited at the same time gives us a thrill that’s (almost) worth all the nightmares that follow (Simon, 2010, p.1).
Horror opens the door to another world; the dark side of life, the forbidden and the strange world. Our worst nightmares are lived out. Horror often deals with people’s everyday problems and their fears; our fear of death, our nightmares, the unknown, our fear of sexuality and loss of identity. By using psychological elements, like a main character who is a schizophrenic, these fears are shown in a realistic and human way (Simon, 2010, p.1).
Therefore, we are given the chance to face our own fears and to overcome them without the realization of them ever occurring in real life. Through horror, we are given a gift of the imagination one in which we can appreciate and finally return to our own lives after experiencing a shocking story or the funhouse at the carnival. We can fully face our own monsters without death, and in the end succeed. “Here is the truth of horror: It does not love death, as some has suggested; it loves life. It does not celebrate deformity by dwelling on deformity, it sings of health and energy. By showing us the miseries of the damned, it helps us to rediscover the smaller (but never petty) joys of our own lives. We make up horror to help us cope with the real ones. With the endless inventiveness of humankind, we grasp the very elements which are so divisive and destructive and try to turn them into tools-to dismantle themselves” (Stephen King states in Danse Macabre, 198, p.26).
In conclusion, horror takes us to a different place and makes us more aware of not only the people around us but inevitably the person that we want to become.
Horror texts and films always have the same kind of horror elements. The setting in old horror films is often different from newer horror films. The setting in a lot of old horror films is gothic. There is big dark house, and it takes place in a deserted area. Most of the newer horror films take place in a big city. A big city seems like a safe environment, because there are always people in the streets, the city never sleeps, and we don’t expect something supernatural or unusual to happen (Simon, 2010, p.1).
Besides the gothic setting, horror films and texts always have a monster that represents evil/our worst fear. Because the horror genre’s intention is to live out our worst fears, the morale often has something to do with an ethical issue or a solution to a personal problem. As society develops the question of what are ethically right changes as well. And that challenges the horror genre and forces it to develop (Simon, 2010. p.2).
Simon (2010, p.2) says that there is no doubt that the horror genre has developed. As time and society change, literature changes as well. We get more modern and start to realize that the old horror effects and the quality of the stunts in the film are not as trustworthy as we first thought. We move from the Victorian Age to Postmodernism. Values and the question of what’s morally correct change, and he think the horror genre often crosses these lines to provoke the audience and to live out our worst fears. In the Victorian Age, the morality was very black and white. Everything was based on Christian ethics, a lot of people had a puritanical attitude to sex and there was a lot of talk about the women question. Horror literature from that era deals with some of these subjects. Newer horror literature from Post modernity is quite different. Meta fiction has been added, and it’s popular to mix comedy and horror – maybe to catch a younger audience. Irony is a big part of lots of horror films, maybe because without the irony, the films can be too boring, because we are not as easily satisfied and manipulated by stunts and supernatural things.
But horror genre in natural or supernatural form should not be at odd with the basic cultural and religious beliefs, as in this case it leads young adults to the excessive imagination and separate them from fact. As it is said in south news (2014, para.8) concept used in this genre causes the defamilarization and use of strange and unusual interpretations and phrase will lead Persian youth in the unreal world and it is because of cultural differences between Iranian culture and European culture. Every nation writes its books based on its own culture. When these books are translated for other country with different culture, readers face some problems. Then some translators say that it should be omitted from young adults' literature. On the other hand some others are disagreeing with omission of this genre because of its advantages. Then in this paper, the researcher analysis the advantages and disadvantages of this genre based on translators opinions and through analyzing two selected books by the name of Vampire Dairies and Welcome to Dead House to see whether it should be omitted or presented.
2- Review of Literature
2-1- History of Horror in Iran
Horror genre has turned to one of the most important parts of children's and young adults’ literature in Iran recently and its popularity grows day by day.
Horror literature has begun since late 18th century and because of the chaotic situation in Europe at that time when people were afraid of the future and its events, then some authors took advantages of this horror for writing (Mohammad Qhasa, 2011). But in his opinion horror literature theme can be found in Christian literature. Even though these stories came out religious literature, but actually they wanted to overcome fears that convey through Christian texts.
He said that this genre began with adult literature, but seeking excitement and special spirit of children and young adults caused it to inter in to children's and young adults’ literature.
2-2- Advantages and disadvantages of horror genre
Referring to the fact that the aim of horror genre is not scaring to death, Mohammad Qhasa (2011, para2) writer, translator of horror literature said horror genre gives special cognition to young adults that they will face new problems in future life. The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest fear is fear of unknown and the fear of the unknown has been there in human up to now.
In the books of horror genre we face literature and its audiences are accustomed to it. Literature puts readers in specific and new situations, then if s/he faces new situation in the future, s/he will have a proper reaction. Like technology that was first mentioned in the literature and then people showed good reaction to new devices. Horror literature is not damaging for children and young adults provided that it is written by authors of this area. The horror literature is exercise of fantasy and it lets children to fantasy and to be surprised. Sense of surprise is the most important characteristic of contemporary literature. Problems of horror genre are two types, those that are cases like death and disease, and those that are abnormal cases like spirits. In fact, the horror genre is vaccinated children against many cases. (Qhasa, 2011, para3).