Gothic dreams and nightmares

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Carol Margaret Davison
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Ranging across more than two centuries of literature, visual arts, and twentieth- and twenty-first-century visual media – television and video games – Gothic Dreams and Nightmares is an edited collection of twelve original chapters examining the compelling, much-overlooked subject of Gothic dreams and nightmares. Written by an international group of experts, including leading and lesser-known scholars, this interdisciplinary study promotes the reconsideration of the vastly under-theorised role of the subliminal in the Gothic. Beginning with an exploration of the varied intellectual and cultural matrices of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Gothic, and recognising the Gothic’s frequent oneiric inspiration, thematic focus, and atmospherics, a line of inspirational transmission and aesthetic experimentation with the subliminal – usually signposted by the artists themselves – is traced across two centuries. Gothic Dreams and Nightmares examines the range of literary forms and experimental aesthetics through which these phenomena were conceived – from Horace Walpole’s incorporation of Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s ‘sublime dreams’ in The Castle of Otranto into the early Gothic novel and Romantic poetry, through the paintings of Henry Fuseli and Francisco Goya and nineteenth-century British and European Gothic novels and short stories, into Surrealism and visual media. Remaining attentive to the cross-fertilisation between medical, philosophical, scientific, and psychological discourses about sleep and sleep disorders (parasomnias), and their cultural representations, these contributions consider Gothic dreams and nightmares in various national, cultural, and socio-historical contexts, engaging with questions of metaphysics, morality, rationality, consciousness, and creativity. This volume’s cross-disciplinary interrogations will have theoretical ramifications for Gothic, literary, and cultural studies more broadly.

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Introduction – Gothic parasomnias and oneirocriticism
Introduction – Gothic parasomnias and oneirocriticism
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