Demonizing Mothers: Psychodramas, Horror Movies, and Hermeneutics of Suspicion

Lauren A. Mitchell//  Fair warning: this post contains some spoilers for Ari Aster’s Hereditary, but you should read it anyway.  Early in Ari Aster’s 2018 Hereditary, family matriarch and film anti-heroine Annie Leigh attends a grief support meeting after the death of her mother. We learn that Annie and her mother, Ellen, had at best a conflicted…

Ted Chiang’s “Exhalation”: Uncanny Neuroscience and the Radical Self-Exam

Lauren Mitchell //   Ted Chiang’s short story “Exhalation,” which you can read online here, evokes pleasure alongside mourning. Written from the perspective of a nameless anatomist in a mechanized future, Chiang re-casts the body as an “extraordinary machine,” where air, flesh and blood is replaced by argon, metal and gold.