Andrew Smith
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Decoding the dying
Machen and Stoker
in Gothic death 1740–1914
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In this chapter images of the dead and the dying are explored in quasi-scientific contexts in Arthur Machen’s The Great God Pan (1894), The Three Imposters (1895) and Stoker’s Dracula. Subjecting the dead and dying to scientific scrutiny is echoed within narratives which also emphasise the importance of generating evidence. Within these multi-vocal texts there is a clear emphasis on how readers produce forms of interpretation which need to be reconstituted as narrative. How to decode the dead also relies upon particular methodologies which shape how evidence generates epistemic certainty. The writings of Henry Drummond and F.W.H. Myers, which apply evolutionary principles to models of the spirit world, are used to provide a context to Machen and Stoker.

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Gothic death 1740–1914

A literary history


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