I mentioned in my last post that I had a brief to write this piece and take part in the Big Conversation. It had to be short and be accessible to scholars in all disciplines and provide evidence for my hypothesis. The idea is that a snapshot of your research will be used to start a wider conversation and generate debate. My piece is called ‘Why We Should Welcome the Return of Old Stinker the English Werewolf’ Please do comment and share this story from their site (even if you disagree) as that is the whole point and I will respond to any posts however critical. I am realising that it is very tricky to present some of these ideas outside of gothic studies and literature which deals with representation but I am glad I tried and will endeavour to keep responding (even when I don’t understand the comment). If you are interested in the story please respond on the conversation site from the link to the story above so that they can track the response! This is proving to be a very interesting exercise!
I was grinning all day after reading the word ‘werewolf’ in the headlines, but I would hesitate in using Old Stinker to begin a debate for rewilding. As I see it we are not talking about wolves when we mention Old Stinker, but monsters. An eight-foot supernatural beast that ripped a family pet apart and is associated with cannibalism and repression may not convince the masses of the argument to reintroduce the Wolf, a highly social animal that is integral (as any other life-form) to the ecosystem in which they live. We should consider the fact that the werewolf superstition has only damaged the wolf species.
Vampires were rarely scary, zombies are very but have been beaten into objects of derision with relentless repetition. Now is it the turn of the werewolf to be indicative of the current fearful social and political climates? The media doesn’t need any help to stoke those particular fires, and for that reason alone, I, sadly, suggest we should put a silver bullet in Old Stinker.
All that said, it is only a matter of time before I write a piece of werewolf fiction, and I realise that we have now begun talking about rewilding. Nice one, Lucy.
Thank you for your comments. My point is that all we are left with is the spectre animal, the werewolf in place of the flesh and blood wolf. Old Stinker can raise awareness of this absence, and point to environmental damage – a landscape constituted by what is missing rather than what is present. Werewolves are not responsible for eradicating wolves, humans are. I see the werewolf myth in the present as being related to what humans did to wolves…ghostifying them (to use Kaja’s term). Discussing werewolves can pave the way for re-wilding debates therefore, making Old Stinker a gift rather than a curse! Glad you joined the conversation! I look forward to an intelligent werewolf novel!