The Manifestation of Grotesque Romance through Deviant Sexuality in Tunku Halim’s Dark Demon Rising

Nur Fatin Syuhada Ahmad Jafni, Wan Roselezam Wan Yahya


Dark Demon Rising (1997) is the debut novel written by an established Malaysian horror stories author, Tunku Halim. Dark Demon Rising narrates the journey of the protagonist, Shazral Abbas, and his encounter with his dark childhood and dangerous future. This paper aims to examine the relationship between Shazral and Minah, specifically the representation of the grotesque through deviant sexuality. To illustrate and depict grotesque romance, a textual analysis is carried out and close reference to the definition of grotesque is applied as the framework of the study. The term ‘grotesque romance’ is coined throughout this study to show the type of relationship entered into by the protagonist and his lover. There are three components of grotesque that are embodied in the notion of grotesque romance in the novel; ‘demonic fantasy’, ‘the excessive and the unreal’ and ‘the horrifying and the attractive’. Our findings illustrate that these three components of grotesque are manifested through the action of deviant sexuality and represented in two ways; 1) pre-marital sex prohibited by religion and culture, and 2) the relationship between two different entities – human and demon.

Keywords: Grotesque, Deviant Sexuality, Romance, Horror Stories

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