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James Herbert, The Spear and ‘Nazi Gothic’
Nick Freeman

This article examines the ways in which James Herbert‘s The Spear (1978) attempted to combine nineteenth century gothic with the contemporary thriller. The novel deals with the activities of a neo-Nazi organisation, and the essay draws parallels between Herberts deployment of National Socialism and the treatment of Roman Catholicism in earlier Gothic texts. Contextualising the novel within a wider fascination with Nazism in 1970s popular culture, it also considers the ethical difficulties in applying techniques from supernatural Gothic to secular tyranny.

Gothic Studies
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Catholicism as System in Charles Maturin‘s Melmoth the Wanderer
Dermot A. Ryan

This essay casts a new light on the anti-Catholicism of Charles Robert Maturin‘s gothic novel Melmoth the Wanderer by reading it as part of a larger assault on systems in the wake of the French Revolution. Maturin‘s attack on the stupendous system of Catholicism contributes to a broader conservative polemic against all forms of international governance. Melmoth the Wanderer‘s portrait of the Church offers us an early instance of modern conservatisms archnemesis: an international system that conspires to rule the world.

Gothic Studies
Rebecca Styler

Elizabeth Gaskell used Gothic as a symbolic language to explore the dark side of Unitarian thought. She explores, in rationalist terms, evils origins, effects, and remedy, using Gothic tropes as metaphors for humanly created misery. Gaskell locates the roots of ‘evil’ in an unenlightened social order – in ‘The Crooked Branch’ erroneous parenting, and in ‘The Poor Clare’ wider social structures, both distorted by the ideology of privilege. ‘The Poor Clare’ also engages with the tension between moral determinism and personal responsibility, and defends a Unitarian salvation. This tale also demonstrates Gaskell‘s views on aspects of Roman Catholicism.

Gothic Studies
Essays on The Smiths

This book seeks to offer a rather wider frame of analysis than is typically adopted in accounts of the nature and significance of The Smiths. It focuses on the Catholic and broader religious dimensions of The Smiths. The book explores the theme of suicide in the songs of The Smiths. It also seeks to examine how the kitchen-sink dramas of the early 1960s influenced Morrissey's writing. The book proposes that beyond the literal references in his lyrics there lies a sensibility at the heart of these films akin to the one found in his poetic impulse. The book expands the argument with some concluding thoughts on how cinema has 'returned the favour' by employing The Smiths' songs in various ways. It examines the particular forms of national identity that are imagined in the work of The Smiths. The book ranges from class, sexuality, Catholicism, and Thatcherism to musical poetics and fandom. It then focuses on lyrics, interviews, the city of Manchester, cultural iconography, and the cult of Morrissey. The distinctive sense of Englishness that pervades the lyrics, interviews, and cover art of the band is located within a specific tradition of popular culture from which they have drawn and to which they have contributed a great deal. The book breaches the standard confines of music history, rock biography, and pop culture studies to give a sustained critical analysis of the band that is timely and illuminating.

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Author: Keith Reader

Lacanian discourse has a complex and multiplies determined relationship with Catholicism, and Robert Bresson has the reputation of being the cinema's greatest Catholic director. Few Catholic artists, however, have found the institutional life of 'their' Church a congenial or inspirational topic, and its declining importance in Bresson's later work is not of itself particularly surprising. Pascal's wager on the existence of God has what contemporary linguistics might call a performative effect, for it is only thanks to the wager that God's existence becomes certain and available to the believer. Bresson's first film, Affaires publiques, is in many ways as unBressonian a work as could be imagined. Bresson from Journal onwards works to all intents and purposes outside genre, with the exception of those parts of Pickpocket and the inserts in Le Diable probablement that are close to the documentary. In 1947, Bresson went to Rome to work on a screenplay of the life of St Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, which was never to be filmed. Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé, released in 1956, was and remains Bresson's most commercially successful and critically best-received film, though curiously for a very long time it was unavailable in Britain. Bresson's next two films, his first in colour, are also his first true adaptations from Dostoevsky. Bresson's final film, shot in the summer of 1982 and released in 1983, brought to an end the longest gap in his work since that separating Journal from Les Dames, more than thirty years before.

Catholicism and devotion in The Smiths
Eoin Devereux

4 ‘Heaven knows we’ll soon be dust’: Catholicism and devotion in The Smiths Eoin Devereux ‘In six months time, they’ll be bringing flowers to our gigs’ (Morrissey, 1983)1 Introduction In this chapter I focus on the Catholic and broader religious dimensions of The Smiths. In doing so, I locate the significance of their Catholicism and their fans’ obvious devotion in the context of recent debates concerning the apparent nexus between popular music and religion. What we might term as either the ‘theological’ or ‘occultural’ turn within analyses of contemporary

in Why pamper life's complexities?
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Keith Reader

drawn largely on Lacanian concepts and methods. Lacanian discourse has a complex and multiply determined relationship with Catholicism, and – third and last, but emphatically not least, in my short list of common approaches – Bresson has the reputation of being the cinema’s greatest Catholic director (doubtless leaving Dreyer and Bergman to fight it out for the Protestant crown). For Louis Malle writing on Pickpocket , ‘[p

in Robert Bresson
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Embodiment and adolescence in recent Spanish films
Sarah Wright

trauma and psychic interior pain (trauma binds the bodily to the psychic). In the sense that wound culture offers up a trauma to the spectator, this chapter will explore the traumatic legacies of endemic machismo and violence and National Catholicism on the Spain of the early twenty-first century. For André Bazin films with children ‘treat childhood precisely as if it were open to our understanding and empathy, they are made in the name of anthropomorphism’ (Bazin, 1997: 121). This ‘anthropomorphism’ may remind us of Jacqueline Rose’s assertions that childhood always

in The child in Spanish cinema
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The Others and its contexts
Ernesto R. Acevedo-Muñoz

arrangements that emphasise allegorically and metaphorically the Spanish contexts of cultural and political isolation, tradition, Catholicism, repression and motherhood. 2 Amenábar’s Los otros reflexively reconfigures these Spanish themes into a horror format that obliquely refers to Spain’s recent traumatic past and to the contemporary need to face and acknowledge the nation

in Contemporary Spanish cinema and genre
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Horror, ambivalence, femininity
Deborah Martin

’amour est un oiseau rebelle’ (Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy)1 Good and evil, the beautiful and the ugly, saintliness and desire: these are the dichotomies upon which La niña santa meditates, the social and cultural categories which it seeks to blur. These are the questions which obsess its young female characters, and especially its teenage protagonist Amalia (María Alche), as she attempts to recon­ cile her Catholic teachings with sexual desire. In La niña santa, it is in particular the ideological conditions established by Catholicism – and their close relationship

in The cinema of Lucrecia Martel