What is 'Gothic'?
in Gothic writing 1750–1820
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This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book investigates discursive structures intermittently recurring through Gothic writing. It explains that the intertextual readings form the methodological lynchpin for interpreting Gothic writing as self-aware debate on the character of the subject. The book argues that before one can theorize the Gothic as a response to a 'gap in the social subject' one needs to recoup the Gothic's contemporaneous meanings, itself a theoretical task. The book adopts Michel Foucault's 'genealogy' as the theoretically sensitive model of literary history. The book discusses the common usage of 'ideology' as referring to configurations of national or class values individuals might find themselves associated with, as for instance, 'liberalism' or the 'Freeborn Briton'.

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