Introduction
Spectres of Maturin; or, the ghosts of Irish Romantic fiction
in Charles Robert Maturin and the haunting of Irish Romantic fiction
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Charles Robert Maturin's fiction, with its explicit use of Gothic themes and motifs, provides a perfect window into the continued influence of the Gothic novel in Irish Romantic fiction. A revenant-like figure, Maturin continues to exert something akin to the 'horrible fascination' attributed to the 'unearthly glare' of his living-dead creation. A kind of ghost lurking in the corridors of Irish literature and literary history, Maturin is very much a Derridean spectre haunting literary production in Romantic Ireland and beyond. The violence of the past, even when acknowledged, will always form the bulk of the Irish individual's social inheritance. Similarly, previous literary forms will continue to influence, however subtly, later literary texts long after they have ostensibly died away. The chapter also presents some of the key concepts of this book.

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