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‘of cult-like and occult undertaking’
John Whatley

This Introduction by John Whatley to ‘Gothic Cults and Gothic Cultures 2: Historical Gothic’, his second issue as guest editor of Gothic Studies, begins with a brief summary of some of the conclusions found in Gothic Studies 4/2, and goes on to explain how the seven new articles in 5/1 explore the relations between Gothic cults and cultures in their historical dimensions. The articles illustrate how threats posed by conspiratorial groups of the Gothic past were responsible for the infiltration of the spectral and uncanny into everyday life, so the fear of dangerous ideas and conspiracies figures in the apparitions and phantoms of Gothic culture. To help contextualise the articles, this Introduction outlines the shapes and origins of cults in the Gothic texts of the past, for example in religious sects and robber bands. A summary of each article then follows.

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
An Analytic of the Uncanny
Kathy Justice Gentile

In a footnote to his 1919 essay, ‘The Uncanny’ (‘Das Unheimliche’), Freud perfunctorily reports a strange encounter with himself. While he was traveling by train, a mirrored door in his compartment swung open, whereupon Freud was confronted with a distasteful-looking stranger intruding into his private space, a stranger whom he momentarily recognized as a reflection of himself.2 If we use Freud‘s own analysis in ‘The Uncanny’, derived from Otto Rank‘s work on the double, the power of this disconcerting episode could be attributed to the adult fear of the double, transmogrified from the animistic or childhood projection of a friendly double, another self who served as a protection against danger or death, into a fearful emblem of ones own mortality in the more repressed adult mind.3 That is, in our early state of primary narcissism we familiarize the strange world around us by projecting outward versions of ourselves; however, as adults who have discovered that we are not the source of all being, the unexpected appearance of an alternate self is initially frightening and unrecognizable. Freuds initial impression of himself as an alien intruder is uncanny because the scene is suffused with a supernatural aura and recalls him to a primary narcissistic fear. A double is a distorted version of a being already in existence, thus engendering the fear that the double is the real, original self who has come to take our place. Or, as Françoise Meltzer has noted, ‘the double entails the seeing of self as other, and thus forces the admission of mortality’ (229). Unexpected sightings of doubles in adulthood also confirm the validity of the sensation evoked by the super-ego which oversees and watches the self as it engages in worldly transactions. Seeing double may support the paranoid suspicion that an individual is actually two people, one divided against the other. As Rank demonstrates in his study, the double, as an emblem,of the soul, carries both a positive and negative valence. On the one hand our existence is confirmed by seeking reflections, versions of ourselves in mirrors, photographs, offspring, etc., yet if we are taken unawares by a double, we quail from it as a supernatural visitant. Thus the unsolicited sighting of a double, an embodiment of unsurmounted supernaturalism, marks the eruption of the uncanny into everyday life.

Gothic Studies
Trance in early modern Scotland
Georgie Blears

Klaniczay (eds), Communicating with the Spirits ( Budapest : Central European University Press , 2005 ); Gábor Klaniczay , ‘The process of trance: heavenly and diabolic apparitions in Johannes Nider’s Formicarius ’ , in Nancy van Deusen (ed.), Procession, Performance, Liturgy, and Ritual: Essays in Honor of Bryan R. Gillingham ( Ottawa : Institute of Mediaeval Music , 2007 ), pp. 203–58 . 4 Edward Bever , The Realities of Witchcraft and Popular Magic in Early Modern Europe: Culture, Cognition and Everyday Life ( Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan

in The supernatural in early modern Scotland
Julian Goodare and Martha McGill

, 2015 ); Jennifer Spinks and Dagmar Eichberger (eds), Religion, the Supernatural and Visual Culture in Early Modern Europe ( Leiden : Brill , 2015 ); Michelle D. Brock , Richard Raiswell and David R. Winter (eds), Knowing Demons, Knowing Spirits in the Early Modern Period ( Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan , 2018 ). 4 Julian Goodare , The European Witch-Hunt ( London : Routledge , 2016 ), ch. 5. 5 Edward Bever , The Realities of Witchcraft and Popular Magic in Early Modern Europe: Culture, Cognition and Everyday Life

in The supernatural in early modern Scotland
Domhnall Uilleam Stiùbhart

the early modern Highlands, just as in the Lowlands, was Tòmas Reumhair: Thomas the Rhymer, the thirteenth-century Thomas of Erceldoune. 18 ‘High-status’ predictions, whether ‘ancient’ or biblical in character, may usefully be contrasted with more mundane, parochial visions arising out of and playing a part in everyday life, in particular the involuntary premonitions, mostly associated with impending death within the community, which have come largely to epitomise Second Sight today. As with fiosachd , other Highland beliefs regarding the prediction of future

in The supernatural in early modern Scotland
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Susanne Becker

especially relating to everyday life, as the traditional separation of the spheres of production and reproduction along gender lines is radically shaken: images of career women and new fathers, alternative modes of family organisation and single parenting, mark the way towards a new – post-feminist? post-patriarchal? – culture. Neo-gothicism reflects the feminine dimensions of the ongoing cultural and

in Gothic Forms of Feminine Fictions
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E.J. Clery and Robert Miles

.8 The supernaturalism of everyday life The following two essays both employ the rhetorical device of assenting to the platitudes of scientific rationalism, with its sceptical refutation of the supernatural, before going on to undermine it. Both argue ultimately for the involuntary and universal nature of superstitious fears. This may seem to offer us a bland acceptance of

in Gothic documents
The heritage of horror on British television
Helen Wheatley

its production are exposed by the depiction of soundtrack composition to create maximum horror ‘affect’. By comparison television horror is authenticated through its representation of the everyday life of the composer within a recognisable domestic space (a space which is nevertheless invaded by the arrival of a seventeenth century ghost later in the episode). In Hammer

in Gothic television
Author: Susanne Becker

The gothic has, for two hundred years, played an important role in female culture; and worked early on to feminise established literary forms and has, throughout its history, strongly challenged established notions of femininity. Neo-gothicism reflects the feminine dimensions of the ongoing cultural and literary change: gothic horror addresses 'gendered' problems of everyday life. This book focuses on the narrative and ideological components that shape gothic fictions as feminine forms. It explores the classic texts of two hundred years of gothicism on three levels. The first is their contextualising of the specific cultural-historical situation that they both come from and address. The second is their narrative texture, marked by a complex subjectivity; and third, the inter-textualisation of feminine gothic writing. Alice Munro's Lives of Girls and Women uses gothic contextualising to tell a gothic story of growing up, and Margaret Atwood's Lady Oracle parodically incorporates gothic texture. The gothicism of Aritha van Herk's No Fixed Address relies very much on the Canadian landscape, and points to the intersection of neo-gothicism and Canadian culture. Lynne Tillman's Haunted Houses is a fictional braid of three gothic life stories of girls growing up in contemporary Brooklyn; the 'haunted houses' of the title are their bodies that are not born but becoming women. Dress, a classic feminine gothic sign for both propriety and property, is shown in the postmodern context as thematic enclosure of the body as well as formal enclosure of the story.