We become monsters

Why we humans need monsters

In the Stone Age, the monsters came into our world. A drawing in the karst cave in Chauvet, France, is around 40,000 years old and shows a monster, half human, half animal: the upper body and head of a bull grow from the abdomen of a woman. The drawing of this mysterious hybrid creature is on the wall of a prehistoric cult site. Proof that the history of the monsters is closely linked to the cultic, magical and even supernatural. Is there a connection from here to the zombies, aliens and monsters of the modern age?

The science journalist Hubert Filser explores this question in his book "People Need Monsters". According to Filser, the monsters should warn us of impending dangers and temptations on the one hand, and on the other hand they embody the deep-seated fears, the dark side of ourselves. These motifs have not changed over the millennia, only the monsters have adapted to the times . Mary Shelley created a human monster in her novel "Frankenstein" at the beginning of the 19th century. The unsuccessful creation of the researcher Viktor Frankenstein, arose from man's delusion to become creators himself, embodied the discomfort in front of the then new wonder world of technology and its apparent promises. The Japanese film monster Godzilla, which saw the light of day in 1954, was created as a symbol of the horror after the devastating atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The author very convincingly presents the psychological background, why the success of the monsters is based on ourselves. . .

Hubert Filser: People need monsters. Everything about creepy characters and the dark in us, Piper Verlag, 288 pages, 20.00 euros

You can read more on this topic on January 11th in the features section of the Passauer Neue Presse