Stalking (Focus on Contemporary Issues (FOCI))

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9781861892898: Stalking (Focus on Contemporary Issues (FOCI))
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It scares—and titillates—in such movies as The Hand That Rocks the Cradle and Basic Instinct. It violently ended the lives of legendary artists such as Selena and John Lennon, and thousands of people endure it daily in anonymity from ex-lovers and strangers. Stalking has been a fact of human society for a surprisingly long time, yet it is only in the last two decades that the term “stalking” came into wide use throughout mass culture. Bran Nicol traces here the history of stalking and chronicles how acts of extreme obsession have created a public fixation of their own. 

This unprecedented study draws on a wealth of sources—including forensic psychology, films, literature, news reports, and cultural theory—to examine stalking as a behavior and a social phenomenon. Moving from Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa to Fatal Attraction and from Charles Dickens’s Our Mutual Friend to Taxi Driver and One Hour Photo, Nicol skillfully probes how stalking has pervaded our civilizatoin for over two hundred years. He then turns his focus to the role that stalking plays in the context of our contemporary media-saturated culture, posing provocative questions about the state of modern society: Have interpersonal relations become increasingly intense or more perverse today? Are we dealing with something truly new, or is stalking simply the latest name for an age-old form of social interaction? Stalking also examines cases of deadly obsession with celebrities, such as Jodie Foster, and explores how such fixations are fueled by mass media and the Internet.

A wholly fascinating and groundbreaking investigation into one of the extreme consequences of our hyper-connected age, Stalking provides a thorough understanding of this disturbingly compelling abnormality.

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About the Author:

Bran Nicol is professor of English literature at the University of Surrey, UK. He is the author of several books, including Stalking, published by Reaktion Books.

Review:

"Stalking, as a criminal offence and as an obsessive psychological state, has only recently been identified but it has a long and vivid history in literature and film from the schoolteacher Bradley Headstone in Dickens’s Our Mutual Friend to Alex Forrest, the bunny boiler in Fatal Attraction. A fascinating mix of psychology, film studies, literature and cultural theory." (Times (London) 2006-11-04)

"Sharp treatment of the idea of stalking in modern culture. . . . illuminating . . . intriguing." (Steven Poole The Guardian 2006-11-18)

"A fascinating mix of psychology, film studies, literature, and cultural theory." (Iain Finlayson The Times 2006-11-04)

"Short, sharp analysis of our deviant cultural psychology. . . . A good effort at rounding up his novels and movies without too much academic nattering about the patriarchy." (John Allemang The Globe and Mail 2006-11-30)

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Book Description Reaktion Books, United Kingdom, 2006. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Stalking is very real and very pervasive. In recent years, more and more people have been harassed by strangers or persecuted by ex-lovers. Almost any celebrity you care to mention has been stalked. Numerous films and novels revolve around the figure of the stalker. But, though seemingly everywhere, it is only since the 1990s that the term stalking' has begun to be widely used. This unprecedented study reveals the cultural dimension of this obsessive behaviour and examines stalking in the context of contemporary media-saturated culture. Moving from novels of previous historical periods such as Richardson's "Clarissa" and Dickens' "Our Mutual Friend", to classic Hollywood cinema such as "Play Misty For Me" and "Taxi Driver", to more recent stalking films and novels, "Fatal Attraction", "One Hour Photo" and "Enduring Love", Nicol skilfully shows how stalking has pervaded human society for over two hundred years. He also considers famous cases of celebrity stalking such as Jodie Foster, John Lennon, Monica Seles and Jill Dando and related issues such as the internet and TV shows.By examining the depiction of stalking in books, films and the news, and drawing on forensic psychology, psychoanalysis and cultural theory, this book reveals how fears and desires are expressed in contemporary culture. "Stalking" offers a unique analysis and history for anyone who wants to make sense of this contemporary phenomenon. Seller Inventory # BTE9781861892898

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