In The Mysteries of Udolpho, characters practice science in home
laboratories, libraries, green houses and gardens, using observation,
instruments, and books to study botany, astronomy, and chemistry. By integrating
these moments of everyday science into her novels - and making them integral to
the development of her heroines - Ann Radcliffe presents a landscape in which
both reason and sensibility are enlisted to gather and process information and
create meaning in a way that echoed the popular scientific discourse of the day.
To date, there has been no sustained study of Radcliffe’s incorporation of
scientific practice and rhetoric into her Gothic novels. By looking closely at
the scientific engagement within her texts, we can broaden the basis for
understanding her work as a part of the broader culture that not only included,
but was in many ways predicated upon the shifting landscape of science at the
end of the eighteenth century.
The existing canon of scholarship on Dracula asserts that the sexually aggressive
female vampires are representative of the New Woman, and thus are evidence of
Stoker’s conservative reaction to changing gender roles. In contrast, this
article offers a reinterpretation Dracula in the light of key writings of the
New Woman movement which sought to demonize the Victorian marriage market
because of its creation of a class of female parasites: idle middle-class woman
entirely dependent on fathers and husbands. A close reading of key sections of
the novel demonstrates that the female vampires are characterized as
traditionally subordinate Victorian housewives, in contrast to the positive
presentation of Mina Harker as a New Woman. This reading reveals a text that
argues that work for women is the only antidote to the degeneration inherent in
traditional womanhood, through which women are reduced to nothing more than
their biological functions.
Xavier Aldana Reyes, Harry M. Benshoff, Kevin Corstorphine, Alicia Edwards, Jack Fennell, Jonathan Greenaway, Ardel Haefele-Thomas, Emma Liggins, Paul Murray, Claire V. Nally, Sorcha Ní Fhlainn, Rocío Rødtjer, and Caleb Sivyer
Since 2005 Tim Burton’s imagination has frequently turned to Victorian-related
subjects. Focusing primarily on Corpse Bride (2005),
Sweeney Todd (2007) and Alice in Wonderland
(2010), this article argues that Burton’s response to (neo-) Victorian culture
is a distinctly Gothic one. Unlike other more literary and canonical types of
neo-Victorianism it engages with the popular and strongly Gothicised conceptions
of the Victorian that emerged through the horror cinema of the twentieth
century. It is also Gothic in the way that it self-consciously blends the
Victorian with other cultural trends. As a result, rather than offering a
strongly theorised, academic view of the Victorians, Burton remediates them for
his own aesthetic purposes.
This article discusses the manner in which the vampire fiction of contemporary
Ukrainian author Halyna Pahutiak enters into a dialogue with the global vampire
discourse whose core or ‘cultural capital’ finds its origins largely in Bram
Stoker’s novel Dracula (1897). Through discussion of thematic,
stylistic, and structural similarities and differences between Pahutiak and
Stoker’s portrayals of the vampire myth, my paper sheds light on the conscious
mythmaking strategies that Pahutiak employs to return the vampire symbolically
from the West to Eastern Europe where it originated, and reassess the core
characteristics of the Dracula myth.
This chapter explores two productions of stage adaptations of Shelley’s Gothic novel that emerged in the UK in the spring of 2011, both of which made explicit reference to their liveness in performance. The first, directed by Danny Boyle and based upon Nick Dear’s stage adaptation of the novel for the National Theatre in London, was transmitted as a livecast into various cinemas across the country as part of the NTLive initiative. The other production was televised on BBC3, a channel associated with popular, experimental, and, at times, rather subversive entertainment. This was a live, site-specific performance at Kirkstall Abbey in Yorkshire, entitled Frankenstein’s Wedding: Live in Leeds (written by Chloe Moss and directed by Colin Teague and Trevor Hampton). This essay explores how each production adapted and constructed the sense of ‘liveness’ of the theatrical event in transmission, thereby, rather aptly, playing with the ontological concerns through a controlled constructions of liveness which lies at the heart of the Frankenstein Complex itself.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is one of the most popular novels in western literature. It has been adapted and re-assembled in countless forms, from Hammer Horror films to young-adult books and bandes dessinées. Beginning with the idea of the ‘Frankenstein Complex’, this edited collection provides a series of creative readings that explore the elaborate intertextual networks that make up the novel’s remarkable afterlife. It broadens the scope of research on Frankenstein while deepening our understanding of a text that, 200 years after its original publication, continues to intrigue and terrify us in new and unexpected ways.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein continues to be reborn through the dominant and/or cutting-edge technologies of each era. New media platforms disseminate and reassemble Shelley’s work for new and continuing audiences, and the themes of Shelley’s novel resonate with contemporary notions of textuality, hybrid identity, and the human body in the digital sphere. This chapter considers two new media adaptations of Frankenstein from different junctures in the history of new media: Shelley Jackson’s CD-ROM-based multimedia work Patchwork Girl, by Mary/Shelley & Herself (1995) and Dave Morris’s iPad app adaptation of Frankenstein (2012). The chapter investigates how these works explore and extend the themes and concerns of Shelley’s novel, using their own mediums of adaptation – reading formats that are assemblages which inherently destabilise the boundaries between humanity, technology and textuality – to comment on Shelley’s text as well as on notions of reading and authorship in the new media age.
Knowing that historical events include multiple converging lines of historical forces enables us to delve into Hammer Films’ own ‘Frankenstein Complex’ to probe how the studio made a nineteenth-century tale meaningful to a post-World War II audience. Hammer’s first Gothic adaptation illustrates how the studio was able to effect a paradigm shift in horror by differentiating their Frankenstein from previous properties, including focusing more on the creator than on the Creature. Film adaptation is about assemblage, where the concept of ‘fidelity’ to a source is less meaningful than the discursive formations that coalesce during production and saturate the final product. Jimmy Sangster’s revolutionary script creates an unsympathetic Frankenstein who becomes the film’s real monster – a driven, unrepentant psychopath.
The chapter explores three adaptations of Mary Shelley’s metatext from the French-speaking world of bande dessinée via the prism of Julia Kristeva’s notion of the abject. It first examines how Mousse’s Frankenstein de Mary Shelley (2008) uses expressionistic angular lines to convey the tormented fearful minds of both Victor and his Creature. The second part of this chapter focuses on the intermedial and sensory potential of the visual in Baladi’s Frankenstein, Encore et Toujours (2001) and Deprez’s FrAnKeNsTein (2003) to convey the destabilising formlessness of abjection via their texture, empty spaces, splash of colours putrefaction and deformed lines.