In this anthology, I’ve collected a series of texts discussing Freak Shows in the late Victorian era. These shows exhibited individuals with extreme deformities, and they became a source of fascination for the general public. In this same time period, the Theory of Evolution was gaining popularity, and so individuals were curious as to how these misfits fit onto the evolutionary ladder. There was a simultaneous curiosity and repulsion that drew an increasing number of attendees to get a glimpse for themselves. Though the freaks shows were discriminatory and oftentimes abusive, they left a significant impact on the world of literature and the arts.
print, photography, typography, text curation
I was inspired by the cultural perception of the deformed in the late Victorian era, and how the combination of fear and fascination resulted in Freak Shows. These events attempted to evoke a feeling of the uncanny in its audience. I constructed by anthology in a similar way, using unnatural forms and colors to create the same feeling for readers.
I've included an article written by Dr. Theodora Goss, "The Invention of the Modern Monster", an excerpt from Stephen T. Asma's "On Monsters: an Unnatural History of Our Worst Fears", and "Exploring the Cultural History of Continental European Freakshows and Enfreakment" by Anna Kerchy.