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The Marvel Films‘ Loki as Gothic Antagonist
Alice Nuttall

This paper explores the role and function of the Marvel film‘s Loki as a Gothic antagonist. Loki‘s characterisation incorporates several Gothic themes. As a shapeshifter, he corresponds with the idea of the unstable and fragmented body, also found in Gothic texts dealing with supernatural transformations. By breaking down the barriers between the realms of Asgard, Earth and Jotunheim, Loki engages with tropes surrounding Gothic space, where borders and boundaries are permeable. Finally, Loki is Othered by his association with the feminine and queer Gothic, something that ultimately leads to another common Gothic theme, that of madness.

Gothic Studies
Servant Negotiations of Gender and Class in Ann Radcliffe‘s The Romance of the Forest
Kathleen Hudson

Male servants in Ann Radcliffe‘s early Gothic novels are frequently underexplored in critical examinations of gender identity in Radcliffe‘s literary politics due to a long tradition of social and literary marginalisation. However, class-specific masculine identities built on a socio-moral and political ideologies and domestic anxieties are not only particularly evident in Radcliffe‘s The Romance of the Forest (1791), but also effectively problematise an already unstable masculine ideal therein. Servant masculine identity in Radcliffe‘s work is developed through the contrast between servant characters and their employers, through examples of potentially revolutionary active and narrative agency by male servants, and through the instance of the heroine and male servants joint flight from the Gothic space. This article will establish that the male servant character in the early Gothic novel is essential to understanding socio-gendered identity in Radcliffe‘s work, and that thisfi gure s incorporation in Gothic class and gender politics merits further examination.

Gothic Studies
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Surfaces and Subtexts in the Popular Modernism of Agatha Christie‘s Hercule Poirot Series
Taryn Norman

In Detective Writers in England, Christie claims a detective story is an escape from the realism of everyday life; however, her Poirot series represents anxieties about the conditions of modernity through the conventions, images, and tones of the classic Gothic, a genre well established as providing a balance between escapism and historical commentary (xiii). While the earlier Poirot texts juxtapose the trappings of the Gothic– séances, curses, ghosts– against a rational modern world and produce a comical effect when these conventions are revealed as staged, as the conditions of modernity weigh upon Christie, particularly during World War II, her Poirot texts take on an increasingly sinister quality in which history itself is coded in Gothic terms.

Gothic Studies
The Gothic Elsewhere in Jane Austen‘s Emma
Andrew McInnes

In recent criticism, Jane Austen‘s Northanger Abbey has been reconsidered as a comic rather than mock-Gothic novel, shifting its mockery onto a variety of other targets: domineering men, unwary readers, the violence underpinning English domesticity. I argue that Austen continues her engagement with the Gothic, beyond Northanger Abbey, using Emma as an exemplary case. Emma not only includes explicit mentions of Gothic novels such as Ann Radcliffe‘s The Romance of the Forest, but implicitly reformulates the relationships between Female Gothic figures: finding a frail, victimised heroine in Jane Fairfax and a seductive femme fatale in Emma herself.

Gothic Studies
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The Rejection of Enlightenment in the Unreliable Souvenirs of Charles Nodier
Matthew Gibson

Charles Nodier (1780–1844), librarian, occultist, entomologist and pioneer of the Fantastic in France was also a consummate liar in his many biographical souvenirs, a fact which led Bryan Rogers to understand him as attempting tofind consolation in a superior truth in his memoirs to that of his own lived experience, while Hélène Lowe-Dupas has remarked more on his use of the language of theatre in these memoirs in order, amongst other things, to render experience less chaotic. By detailing the nature of his lies in two souvenirs Les Prisons de Paris sous le Consulat (1826) and Suites dun mandat darrêt (1834), the current article seeks to locate the falsehoods as being more firmly rooted in his symbiotic rationale for Fantastic fiction, and demonstrate how his lies have a more scientific justification, helping him to extend historical truth before it is shown to be demonstrable.

Gothic Studies
The Seduction of Innocence and Gothic Coming of Age in Låt Den Rätte Komma In/Let The Right One In
Amanda Howell

Swedish film Låt Den Rätte Komma In/Let the Right One In turns away from the representations of sexual threat and desire that have long typified – and currently dominate – vampire fiction and film, a significant generic, narrative, and aesthetic shift. Yet, while the film deliberately cuts sex from its story of love between a boy and a vampire, seduction is still key to its representation of vampirism, as the film plays, as is typical of gothic fiction more generally, upon our cultural investments in innocence.

Gothic Studies
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Manliness and Mesmerism in Richard Marsh‘s The Beetle
Natasha Rebry

Through an analysis of Richard Marsh‘s The Beetle (1897), this article explores a link between the practice of mesmerism and Victorian insecurities about the state of masculinity. It argues that The Beetle attempts– through the characterisation of mesmeric power as a dangerous virile energy and suggestibility to trance as effeminate and degenerate– to make a clear but highly unstable distinction between ideal and deviant forms of masculinity. In the process, Marsh‘s novel illuminates a complex relationship between the permeability of mind, body, and nation that paradoxically serves to both uphold and undermine the virility of the British male subject.

Gothic Studies
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Deborah G. Christie, Emma Liggins, Shellie McMurdo, Hannah Priest, and Jillian Wingfield

Gothic Studies
Criminal Female Sexuality in Bram Stoker‘s Dracula
Beth Shane

This essay considers how Bram Stoker‘s Dracula (1901) engages both contemporary medical models and common-sense conceptions of female criminality and sexuality. From Dracula, the figure of Lucy Westenra emerges as a quintessential femme fatale. Lucys neck bears the characteristic marking of the vampire, but we never witness the bite; as a result, ambiguity surrounds the causal relationship in the process of becoming a vampire. The novel produces this ontological ambiguity to perpetuate and to exacerbate contemporary views regarding the radical instability of female nature. Under this logic, Lucys encounter with the vampire brings only latent impulses to the surface. Stokers narrative exploits this physiological uncertainty to perpetuate the sensational terror that all female sexuality is monstrous, threatening to render the British man a debased specimen of his former glory. By tracking the various logical ellipses and rhetorical slippages which give shape to Stokers female vampires, I demonstrate how Stokers novels enact the same anxious rhetoric that likewise informs the portrait of female sexuality in nineteenth-century sexology.

Gothic Studies