Afterdeath and the Bollywood Gothic noir
in The Gothic and death
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This chapter maps the received tradition of the Gothic on to the Bollywood Gothic noir. The tradition, it is argued, as it comes to India, is mediated by both the literary Gothic and the pervasive power of the Hollywood film and Gothic noirs. The form that the Bollywood Gothic noir takes is a function of a compromise as the received Western literary and filmic Gothic is deployed to articulate a specifically Hindu narrative of reincarnation. Whereas the idea of an afterdeath in the Western Gothic carried as its basic affect the concept of the uncanny and was alarmingly anti-redemptive, reincarnation narrative postulated that the uncanny was a pre-given capable of recall. However, the presence of the filmic and the literary Gothic as part of a world-literary system now disturbs the seamless and affirmative narrative of Hindu reincarnation by introducing the darker side of karmic retribution.

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