Simon Marsden1
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  • 1 University of Liverpool
Nothing Moved, Nothing was Seen, Nothing was Heard and Nothing Happened
Evil, Privation and the Absent Logos in Richard Marsh‘s The Beetle
in Gothic Studies
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This essay explores the influence of the theological tradition of privation theory upon Richard Marsh‘s novel The Beetle (1897). Focusing on images of ontological nothingness, corruption and uncreation, it argues that the novel employs the concept of privation both in its depiction of the supernatural Other and in its parallel interrogation of its contemporary modernity. Imagery of privation in the novel is associated not only with the Beetle itself, but with the modern urban environment and weapons of mass destruction. The essay concludes by examining the corruption of language and absence of a creative logos able to respond adequately to the privations of the modern city and industrial economy.

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