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On the spaces and movement of monsters: the itinerant crossings of Gef the talking mongoose

Holloway, J (2016) On the spaces and movement of monsters: the itinerant crossings of Gef the talking mongoose. Cultural Geographies. ISSN 1474-4740

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Abstract

Geographical enquiries of the monster and the monstrous have increased in recent years. Through the accounting of a particular monster that emerged in the Isle of Man in the 1930s, I seek to contribute to these debates. The monster detailed in this article underscores the argument that the power of the monster lies in both their proximity to familiar spatial and cultural codings and their distance in the unfamiliarity they perform. However, I argue that the geographical accounts of the monster must focus their attention not only on their ambiguous status, but how they are constituted through mobility and movement. It is the constant itinerancy in-between and inthe- between wherein the monster finds its disruption and potential. Furthermore, in exploring monstrous modes of mobility, I argue the monster is best understood as an itinerant crossing that is incessantly and continually emergent. I finish by reminding those interested in monstrous geographies that while these strange beings may act as sources of hope and potentiality, geographers must not lose sight of how the monster still has the capacity to warn and to bite.

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