Transgression Versus Expression

“…. What distinguishes the grotesque from most other aesthetic categories is that it is not an expression of norms but rather the result of a transgression of norms; it is a borderline phenomenon, hovering between the real and the fantastic, the beautiful and the ugly, the ridiculous and the repulsive, the funny and the frightening…. since its definition rests on affective terms that are not fixed but rather are individually and culturally variable, there can never be complete agreement as to what objects are to be regarded as ‘ambivalently abnormal’….”

Petzold, Dieter. “Grotesque.” THE OXFORD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CHILDREN’S LITERATURE. Vol. 2. Ed Jack Zipes. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. Print. 182.


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