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Matěj Antoš and Petr Hrtánek

This study maps the influence of the Gothic mode in the Czech postmodern prose, especially in the novels published at the turn of the millennium: it primarily concerns books by Václav Vokolek, Miloš Urban and Jan Jandourek. Through analyticalinterpretative probes into these texts are demonstrated the main possibilities of the Gothic mode and consequences of its implementation in the contemporary Czech literature: distortion of the perspective and blurring of the individual identity, instability of the setting, expression of civilizational and existential fears. The study illustrates capturing of the key Gothic themes in the analyzed works of fiction and also the specific transformation and modification of these topics within individual author poetics. Special attention is particularly given to specifics of the setting, often combining typical Gothic topoi, which may be part of seriously intended opposition of the sacral and the profane, or they can also be presented as exposed cliché sceneries.

Gothic Studies
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Jim Thompson’s The Killer Inside Me and the Crooked Game of Post-World War II America
Jamie Brummer

Though presenting itself as pulpy example of hardboiled American fiction, Jim Thompson’s The Killer Inside Me opens up in important and unexpected ways when read as a subversive Gothic novel. Such a reading sheds light on a range of marginalized characters (especially women and rural peoples) who often remain shadowed by more conventional readings. Reading the novel as Gothic also highlights thematic concerns which counter the halcyon image of post-World War II America as a golden age and reveal instead a contemporary landscape fraught with violence, alienation, and mental instability.

Gothic Studies
Rebecca Weaver-Hightower and Rachel Piwarski

This essay investigates how H G Wells’s The Island of Doctor Moreau employs the gothic trope of the uncanny. Despite Wells’s use of ‘uncanny’ twice to describe humanized animals, prior critics haven’t explored what the uncanny adds to our understanding of the novel, perhaps because Freud’s famous essay ‘The ‘Uncanny’ was written in 1913, following The Island of Doctor Moreau by more than two decades. We argue, however, that both men were working from notions of the uncanny circulating in fin de siècle Europe and describing a larger colonial dynamic, so that even though Wells’s work preceded Freud’s, we can use Freud’s explanation of the uncanny to better understand what Wells was doing and why the animals in The Island of Doctor Moreau are so unsettling to readers in our time and in his. That is, the uncanny helps to explain how the novel works as a gothic. Moreover, by examining how Freud’s theories help us to understand Wells, we also see elements of Freud’s essay that we wouldn’t otherwise. We will argue that because Freud and Wells were describing the world around them, overlap is logical, even predictable, and certainly useful to understanding both projects.

Gothic Studies
Chiao-I Tseng

The recent uses of digital technology in war films have sparked a wave of discussions about new visual aesthetics in the genre. Drawing on the approach of film discourse analysis, this article critically examines recent claims about new visual grammar in the war film and investigates to what extent the insertion of different media channels has affected the persuasive function of the genre. Through a detailed analysis of Redacted (2007), which constitutes an extreme case of a fiction filmmaking use of a variety of digital channels, this article demonstrates that the multimedia format works within systems of classical film discourse while also generating new patterns of persuasion tied to new visual technology.

Film Studies
Adam O’Brien

An important theme in current studies of environmental representation is the inadequacy of many narratological and stylistic techniques for registering ecological complexity. This article argues that, in the case of cinema, water constitutes an especially vivid example of an allusive natural subject, and it examines the means by which one film, The Bay (Barry Levinson, 2012), manages to confront that challenge. It pays particular attention to The Bay’s treatment of animal life, and its acknowledgement of water’s infrastructural currency. The article draws on the writings of ecocritical literary theorist Timothy Morton and media historian and theorist John Durham Peters.

Film Studies
Andrew Moor

The article notes a trend towards low-key naturalism in twenty-first-century independent queer cinema. Focusing on work by Andrew Haigh, Travis Mathews and Ira Sachs, it argues that this observational style is welded to a highly meta-cinematic engagement with traditions of representing non-straight people. The article coins the term ‘New Gay Sincerity’ to account for this style, relating it to Jim Collins’s and Warren Buckland’s writing on post-postmodern ‘new sincerity’. At its crux, this new style centres itself in realism to record non-metropolitan, intimate and quotidian gay lives, while acknowledging the high-style postmodernism of oppositional 1990s New Queer Cinema.

Film Studies
Tim Snelson

This article focuses on a cycle of late 1960s true crime films depicting topical mass/serial murders. It argues that the conjoined ethical and aesthetic approaches of these films were shaped within and by a complex climate of contestation as they moved from newspaper headlines to best-sellers lists to cinema screens. While this cycle was central to critical debates about screen violence during this key moment of institutional, regulatory and aesthetic transition, they have been almost entirely neglected or, at best, misunderstood. Meeting at the intersection of, and therefore falling between the gaps, of scholarship on the Gothic horror revival and New Hollywood’s violent revisionism, this cycle reversed the generational critical divisions that instigated a new era in filmmaking and criticism. Adopting a historical reception studies approach, this article challenges dominant understandings of the depiction and reception of violence and horror in this defining period.

Film Studies
Vito Zagarrio

The one-shot sequence – the articulation of an entire scene through a single, unbroken long take – is one of the cinema’s most important rhetorical devices and has therefore been much used and widely theorised over the years. This article provides a brief overview of these theories and of the multiple ways in which the one-shot sequence has been used both in world cinema (in general) and Italian cinema (in particular) in order to contextualise its use by one of Italian cinema’s best-known and most significant practitioners, Paolo Sorrentino. Through close analyses of one-shot sequences in Sorrentino’s films L’uomo in più/One Man Up, Le conseguenze dell’amore/The Consequences of Love, This Is the Place and Il divo – La vita spettacoloare di Giulio Andreotti – the article argues that Sorrentino’s predilection for the device is best explained by the wide variety of functions that it serves (as a mark of directorial bravura and auteur status; as a self-reflexive device and meditation on the cinematic gaze; as a political tool; and as a means of generating emotion). While rooted in history, Sorrentino’s use of the one-shot sequence thus transcends its position within Italian film history and discourse.

Film Studies
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Botany and Empiricism in The Mysteries of Udolpho
Rebecca Addicks-Salerno

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.

Gothic Studies
Jordan Kistler

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.

Gothic Studies