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Jon Towlson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781911325543

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781911325543.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 09 December 2021

‘Sweets to the Sweet’: from ‘The Forbidden’ to Candyman

‘Sweets to the Sweet’: from ‘The Forbidden’ to Candyman

(p.17) 1. ‘Sweets to the Sweet’: from ‘The Forbidden’ to Candyman

Jon Towlson

Liverpool University Press

This chapter discusses the intersection between Clive Barker's work and that of Bernard Rose; surprisingly, the two are closely connected, even symbiotic. Rose's UK debut film Paperhouse (1988) concerned the fantasy world of a young girl, and his subsequent work has shown a tendency towards transgression and transcendence, and repeated returns to social horror. Indeed, Rose was attracted to Barker's ‘The Forbidden’ because he wanted to ‘deal with the social stuff’. Relocating the action from a Liverpool housing estate to Chicago's notorious Cabrini-Green housing project, Rose extended the story, adding the innocent-person-on-the-run plot twist, and took Barker's conclusion further. But the class subtext, the urban legend and the idea of the myth biting back after attempts are made to debunk it, are all there in Barker's source material. The heroine, Helen Lyle, discovers that her normal life is more banal and morally dead than the eternal life-in-myth that the Candyman offers her.

Keywords:   Clive Barker, Bernard Rose, transgression, transcendence, social horror, The Forbidden, Cabrini-Green housing project, urban legend, urban myth

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