The novels of L. M. Montgomery‘s Emily trilogy belong to the genre of domestic fiction, but they are punctuated by uncanny events, by excursions into a Gothic mode where the girl‘s smooth transition from rebellious child to compliant adult is disrupted. This paper is an investigation of Montgomerys use of Gothic tropes in the second novel of the trilogy, Emily Climbs (1925); in particular, this essay analyses the chapter entitled ‘In the Watches of the Night’, a chapter that is exemplary of Montgomery‘s use of the Gothic mode to disrupt the disciplinary system that enjoins the adolescent girl to situate her desires in the home. The chapter is permeated by Montgomery‘s reading in abnormal psychology, particularly by F. W. H. Myerss Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily Death (1903), a work that lends a scientific veneer to Montgomerys Gothicism with its account of what ‘hearing voices’ means. In an extravagantly gothic metaphor, Slavoj Zizek claims that the ‘life of a voice’ is ‘the uncanny life of an undead monster, not the “healthy” living self-presence of meaning’ (103). Montgomery‘s text arguably excavates a moment which reveals both the speaking subject and the ideology which disciplines it to be marked by the uncanny, by that which undermines ‘the “healthy” living self-presence of meaning’.
Interviewing can be a vampiric act especially when it involves leeching from its subject the fluidic exchange which exists between life and art. The vampire novelist Anne Rice had agreed to let me interview her at Waterstones Bookshop in Bristol, England, on 26 January 1993 about the fourth book in her Vampire Chronicles, The Tale of the Body Thief (1992). In the interview she describes the novel as dealing with the differences between art and life and mortality and immortality. Specifically, the story examines the paradox of choosing to be Undead for the sake of life, and the way in which art opens up a locus for a redemption that is outside of life. In my view, the text is as much about the process of interviewing as about authorship. A more obvious example is Rice‘s well-known novel Interview with the Vampire (1976) in which the hapless interviewer eventually enters into the very narrative he is recording by becoming another Ricean revenant.
The volume offers a new method of interpreting screen adaptations of Shakespearean drama, focusing on the significance of cinematic genres in the analysis of films adapted from literary sources. The book’s central argument is rooted in the recognition that film genres may provide the most important context informing a film’s production, critical and popular reception. The novelty of the volume is in its use of a genre-based interpretation as an organising principle for a systematic interpretation of Shakespeare film adaptations. The book also highlights Shakespearean elements in several lesser-known films, hoping to generate new critical attention towards them. The volume is organised into six chapters, discussing films that form broad generic groups. Part I comprises three genres from the classical Hollywood era (western, melodrama and gangster noir), while Part II deals with three contemporary blockbuster genres (teen film, undead horror and the biopic). The analyses underline elements that the films have inherited from Shakespeare, while emphasising how the adapting genre leaves a more important mark on the final product than the textual source. The volume’s interdisciplinary approach means that its findings are rooted in both Shakespeare and media studies, underlining the crucial role genres play in the production and reception of literature as well as in contemporary popular visual culture.
The Open Graves, Open Minds project discussed in this book relates the undead in literature, art and other media to questions concerning gender, technology, consumption and social change. The story of vampires, since their discovery in eighteenth-century Europe, is one of transformations and interbreedings of genre, which mediate shifts in ways of knowing and doubting. It is marked by metamorphoses of the vampire itself, from monstrous to sympathetic, but always fascinatingly Other. Certain tropes, such as optical figures, and particularly that of reflection, recur throughout, calling attention to the preoccupation with epistemology in vampire narratives. The book focuses on various aspects of these themes as the story unfolds to the present day. It shows how the persona of Lord Byron became an effective vehicle for the vampire of fiction as a transformed Gothic mode, and grapples with the figure of the non-reflecting vampire who casts no shadow, moving deftly between Dracula and Wilde's Dorian Gray and the 'vampire painting' and installations of the contemporary artist David Reed. The book gives a luminous account of early vampire cinema as a 'Kingdom of shadows', and explores the undead at the interface, where knowing becomes problematic: 'unsettlement'. The book also unearths the folklore roots of vampire fiction and offers a glimpse of how contemporary writers adapt the perennial figure.
This book investigates the functioning of Gothic clothing as a discursive mechanism in the production of Gothic bodies. It presents the debates surrounding the fashion for decolletage during and immediately following the French Revolution, linking these discourses with the exposure of women's bodies in Gothic fiction. The popularisation of the chemise-dress by Marie Antoinette, and the subsequent revival of the classical shift by the women of the Directory, inflected the representation of female Gothic bodies in this period with political rhetoric. The book examines the function of clothing in early to mid-Victorian Gothic. It suggests that the Gothic trappings of veil and disguise take on new resonance in the literature of the period, acquiring a material specificity and an association with discourses of secrecy and madness. The book also investigates a nexus of connections between dandies, female-to-male crossdressing, and monstrosity. It then traces the development of the female doppelganger in the twentieth century, according to the ideologies of femininity implicated in contemporary women's magazines such as Cosmopolitan. In a world where women are encouraged to aspire towards an ideal version of themselves, articulated through fashion and lifestyle choices, the 'single' girl is represented as a problematically double entity in Gothic texts. The book examines the revival of Gothic style in the fashions of the 1990s. Gothic fashion is constantly revisited by the trope of the undead, and is continually undergoing a 'revival', despite the fact that according to popular perception it has never really died in the first place.
‘Each Age embraces the vampire it needs’, says Nina Auerbach, famously. 1 Nowadays, those embraces are often very intimate; contemporary dark romances abound with couplings between vampire and human. No one can be unaware of the ubiquity of the undead in twenty-first-century culture – particularly, of course, since Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight books and the film adaptations
realism, and sometimes also depicting a welfare state in decline. In Lindqvist's zombie novel Hanteringen av odöda (2005; Handling the Undead , 2009), the undead people are locked away by the Swedish government in a residential area called The Heath in a desperate attempt to handle a horrific situation in a rational and bureaucratic manner. A communal space at The Heath is described as follows: ‘The courtyard was dominated by the large structure in the centre… it had been planned as a combined laundry, social space and refuse centre. However
day, suburban America to gain access to his still-human, still-mourning brother. Grief, relief and fatal mesmerism, nails scratching unbearably on glass, a hellish mist that drifts into the intimate, familiar, domestic space with the solid, brutal, gentle embrace of undead brotherhood … The TV movie is Tobe Hooper’s Salem’s Lot ( 1979 ), starring David Soul and based on
take care lest he become a monster’ (Nietzsche, 1989, 89), and the history of Ireland is one of fighting with monsters and in the process becoming monsters ourselves. The Count, the embodiment of this morbid condition, is the un-dead vestige of a remote past, descended from a once noble landed feudal lineage, but now decadent and corrupted. And not only do the un-dead aristocracy linger on, especially in the colonies, in places like nineteenth-century Ireland, but those who fight them, the modern bourgeoisie and bearers of Enlightenment, Reason and reform, become in
, mourning, revenge, luxury, vice, murder, and hell to argue that even though the nobility is ‘dead’, it is still ‘preying’ on others. Burke notably identifies his opponents with the cannibalistic undead in Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790), the work to which Wollstonecraft is responding. His prophecy of a French regicide paints the revolutionaries’ ‘cannibal