The Urban Gothic of Fin-de-Siècle London and Gotham
Gothic literature set in fin-de-siècle London has often been argued to highlight
duality. However, the urban Gothic truly flourishes through its liminality,
which allows chaos and order to coexist. Texts such as Robert Louis Stevenson’s
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of
Dorian Gray offer versions of a Gothic London that have the appearance of
structure but are difficult to navigate. Likewise, the Batman franchise has
embraced Gotham City as a setting that provides tensions between order and
chaos. In Gotham, as in fin-de-siècle London, liminality puts pressures on
apparent boundaries. While the urban Gothic initially developed through
nineteenth century British texts, modern-day comics and films within the Batman
franchise have allowed us to see how a multiverse normalises liminality and
embraces multiple works to speak collectively about Gothic tensions. This
article analyses the liminal nature of the urban Gothic in both cities side by
side to argue that the urban Gothic’s liminal nature allows instability to
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.
Theorizing the Nineteenth-Century Gothic Pharmography
Carol Margaret Davison
Liberty, a term dear to the Enlightenments emancipatory project, has long been a key concept in the Gothic. No branch of the Gothic more powerfully or creatively examines the complexities of the liberty question than the Gothic pharmography – a narrative chronicling drug/alcohol seduction and addiction. Drawing on three novelistic sub-genres – the Oriental tale, the imperial Gothic, and the Urban Gothic – the Gothic pharmography coalesces several distinct nineteenth-century debates – the nature of the will and liberal individualism; social oppression and conformity; urban and national degeneration; and British imperialist expansion, which involved the perceived anxiety-inducing sense of Britains growing economic dependence on the non-Western world. This essay offers an overview of the Gothic pharmography from the late eighteenth century through to the fin de siècle in Marie Corelli‘s Wormwood.
space in the sense defined by Alexandra Warwick:‘The city is seen as
uncanny, constructed by people yet unknowable by the individual’
(Mulvey-Roberts 1998 ,
Paris, Vienna, Berlin and New York as we see them in
Nightwood are ‘unknowable’ in this sense; they
are labyrinthine spaces where freedom exists more as an intellectual
This chapter investigates the two most influential examples of contemporary Nordic Gothic, Lars von Trier’s TV series Riget and John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel Låt den rätte komma in and its Swedish film adaptation together with the American adaptations of these Nordic works: Stephen King’s Kingdom Hospital (ABC 2004) and Matt Reeves’ Let Me In (2010). The chapter first briefly discusses Gothic TV and TV horror and outlines how von Trier, King and Lindqvist have moved between different media. It then goes on to examine some differences between the Nordic and American productions that are related to Gothic humour. In terms of setting, the American adaptations are placed in small American towns rather than the central locations constituted by the Danish capital in Riget and the Stockholm suburb in Låt den rätte komma in. Whereas the American adaptations thus pertain to King’s brand of small-town American Gothic, the Nordic works can be seen as a kind of urban Gothic. The settings, the chapter suggests, also make visible ideological differences between the Nordic Gothic works and the American adaptations.
Maria Holmgren Troy, Johan Höglund, Yvonne Leffler, and Sofia Wijkmark
American productions that are related to what Troy calls ‘Gothic humour’. In terms of setting, the American adaptations are placed in small American towns rather than the central locations constituted by the Danish capital in Riget and the Stockholm suburb in Låt den rätte komma in . Whereas the American adaptations thus pertain to King's brand of small-town American Gothic, the Nordic works can be seen as a kind of urbanGothic. The settings, Troy suggests, also make visible ideological differences between the Nordic Gothic works and the American adaptations
Each time I sat down to write a story I opened a door; and the pressure against the other side of that door must have been very great, for things – ideas, images, emotions – came through with force and rapidity, sometimes violence. 25
What they share is a strong sense that London in wartime was a place where time had been frozen, but identities were in flux. In UrbanGothic of the Second World War , Sara Wasson describes Bowen’s domestic spaces as ‘carceral heterotopias’ which unsettle the idea of ‘home as a stage for
a macabre dance around what is reality and what a flight of fancy. Egypt erupts into the Victorian present in the Beetle's shape-shifting and gender-bending invasion of London in Marsh's urbanGothic imagining. The intrigues and legacies of Egyptian nobility, conveyed through the translation of hieroglyphs on papyri and stelae, come to life in Cleopatra and The Jewel of Seven Stars . Worship of the cat and the power of the Egyptian priesthood inform the young adult adventure novel, The Cat of Bubastes , the title evoking the feline deity Bast who was
Bodies dis(re)membered: Gothic and the transplant imaginary
(ed.), Globalgothic (Manchester: Manchester University Press (2013), pp. 25–35 (p. 31).
41 X. Aldana Reyes, ‘What, why and when is horror fiction?’, in X. Aldana Reyes (ed.), Horror (London: British Library, 2016), pp. 7–18 (p. 11).
42 M. Wester, African-American Gothic (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2012); M. Mulvey-Roberts, Dangerous Bodies (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2016) ; L. Blake, The Wounds of Nations (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2008) ; S. Wasson, UrbanGothic of the Second World War (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2010
Uncanny assemblage and embodied scripts in tissue recipient horror
the psychology of the uncanny’, trans. R. Sellars, Angelaki, 2:1 ( 1996), 7–17 (p. 13).
48 S. Freud, ‘The uncanny’, Penguin Freud Library , vol. 14, trans. J. Strachey, ed. A. Richards (London: Penguin,  1985), pp. 336–76 (pp. 345–7).
49 A. Vidler, The Architectural Uncanny (Cambridge, MA: MIT, 1992) , p. 7.
50 Freud, p. 359.
51 S. Wasson, UrbanGothic of the Second World War (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2010) , p. 112.
52 M. Fisher, The Weird and the Eerie (London: Repeater, 2016) , pp. 10–11.
53 E.T.A. Hoffmann, ‘The