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Sandro Jung

The essay explores Ann Radcliffe‘s complex notion of sensibility in The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794) and considers the relationship between the servant class and the young Emily St Aubert. It is argued that the servants’ deployment of the comic Gothic moderates and qualifies Emily‘s heightened sensibility and facilitates her fashioning herself as a woman whose actions are informed by a working together of sensibility and reason, rather than an unquestioning trust in superstition. The comic mode, in that regard, serves as an important element in the development of Emily‘s personality and highlights the dangers of too excessive an indulgence of refined sensibility.

Gothic Studies
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Khaki Gothic and Comedy
Sunday Swift

On first glance, M*A*S*H (1972–83) might not be the ideal text for Gothic analysis. Aesthetically, the traditional dark castles surrounded by black forests in the moonlight are replaced by muted khaki and green canvas Army tents, and the tinny canned laughter punctuating the sardonic jokes echo longer than the terrified screams in the night. Gothic and war are uneasy bedfellows; it is the inclusion of comedy, however, that determines just how horrific the result can be. Using M*A*S*H as a primary example to explore what I refer to as Khaki Gothic this paper will explore how, utilising Gothic tropes, comedy can disguise, diffuse and intensify the horrors of war.

Gothic Studies
Barbara Comyns and the Female Gothic Tradition
Avril Horner and Sue Zlosnik

Horner and Zlosnik explore the work of the English novelist Barbara Comyns whose best-known works were published between 1950 and 1985. They focus on The Vet‘s Daughter (1959) and The Skin Chairs (1962) and explore how Comyns‘s use of parody, wit, and humour exposes the horrors of domestic life. For Horner and Zlosnik this constitutes a Female Comic Gothic which is grotesque and blackly comic in its critical assault on patriarchal plots, and so constitutes a particular form of the Female Gothic which became popular in the twentieth century.

Gothic Studies
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Conspiracy and Narrative Masquerade in Schiller, Zschokke, Lewis and Hoffmann
Victor Sage

This essay brings together the popularity of Venice in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century as a setting for horror, terror and fantasy, and the narrative conventions of the Gothic. Focusing on Schiller, Zschokke, Lewis and Hoffmann, the article studies the representation of Venice as a Gothic labyrinth, in the context of the city‘s changing reputation as a political structure. ‘Venice’ is treated as a common set of signs which overlap between the literary field and the field of cultural politics: ‘plots’ are both political conspiracies and (carnivalised: doubled and disguised) narrative forms. All is given over to the dynamics of masquerade. The topography of the Venetian Republic is itself a political text, which carnivalises the ‘separation of powers’, while the texts of the Gothic writers are narrative masquerades which choose popular hybrid forms of comedy, folktale and horror, rather than Tragedy or Realism, to respond to Venice‘s tension between law and anarchy and the conflicting pressures of Enlightenment, Republicanism and Empire.

Gothic Studies
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Author: Peter Marks

This book argues the centrality of hybridity to Terry Gilliam's films. Gilliam had a collaborative approach to filmmaking and a desire to provoke audiences to their own interpretations as other forms of intertextual practice. Placing Gilliam in the category of cinematic fantasist does some preliminary critical work, but crudely homogenises the diversity of his output. One way of marking this range comes from understanding that Gilliam employs an extraordinary variety of genres. These include medieval comedy; children's historical adventure; dystopian satire; the fantastic voyage; science fiction; Gonzo Journalism; fairy tale; and gothic horror. Gilliam's work with Monty Python assured him a revered place in the history of that medium in Britain. As a result, the Python films, And Now for Something Completely Different, The Holy Grail, Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life, along with his own, Jabberwocky, Time Bandits, and Brazil, show him moving successfully into the British film industry. Most of his films have been adaptations of literary texts, and Jabberwocky forges an extended tale of monsters and market forces. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen builds on some tales from the original texts, constructing a complex examination of fantasy, representation and mortality. Taking crucial ingredients from medieval and older mythologies, the screenplay of The Fisher King resituates them and reworks them for modern America. Gilliam's complex interaction with Britain and America explains his ambiguous place in accounts of American and British films.

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The supernatural and the textual
Janet Hadley Williams

‘dremys or dotage in the monys cruke [waning moon], / Vayn superstitionys aganyst our richt beleve’ (6 Prol. 10, 17, 18–22). 13 This person uses ‘elrich’ to signal a deep suspicion of ‘hyd sentence’ (13) and of experience beyond the known, the rational or approved Christian belief. The dark comedy of some elrich fantasies exploits this fear of the other and of its demonic origins. Roule’s ‘Devyne poware of mychtis maist’, for example, is a mock excommunication of thieves who stole ‘fyve fat geis’ with ‘capounis, hennis, and uther foulis’ (13–14). Because the poem

in The supernatural in early modern Scotland
Phrenology in the British Isles
William Hughes

histories of others without knowing any thing [sic] about them. If the citizens and denizens whom Spurzheim has supposedly observed in Bath are scripted as being comedically shallow and duplicitous, those who embrace the doctor's theories are rendered equally ridiculous. The ladies and gentlemen of Bath have become inclined ‘to converse on the specific merits of their mutual organs; and even to feel each other's heads ’. If this unwonted intimacy between the sexes were not enough, the

in The dome of thought
Julian Goodare and Martha McGill

positioned against the folkloric narratives that may have inspired it. Comedic – often bawdy – literary explorations of the supernatural were common in the Renaissance and the eighteenth century. Further study of supernatural elements in seventeenth-century Scottish literature is required; most of this literature was written either in standard English or in Latin, and neither of these languages has attracted much scholarly attention. 33 The preliminary suggestion can be made that the exquisite prettiness of the poem’s tiny fairies represents a retreat from the wider

in The supernatural in early modern Scotland
Phrenology in Britain during the first decade of the nineteenth century
William Hughes

deliver ‘ses leçons de Cranologie’, but where he was also greeted by a comedy written by the German dramatist August von Kotzebue (1761–1819) that lampooned both the system and its proselytes. 73 The waning fortunes of Gall in his native land were, likewise, acknowledged by a rather terse notice in the Scots Magazine , dated 1 March 1807: The reputation of Dr Gall, the craniologist, seems to be on the decline in Germany. At Munster, Cologne

in The dome of thought
George Combe and the rise of British phrenology
William Hughes

. 88 Anon., ‘Annus mirabilis; or, a Parthian glance at 1823’, in T. Rowlandson, G. & R. Cruikshank, T. Lane and J. Findlay, eds, The Spirit of the Public Journals for the Year MDCCXXIV (London: Sherwood, Jones and Co., 1825), pp. 7–9 at p. 8. The same volume contains an anonymous comedic piece entitled ‘The craniologist: sketches at Bow Street. – No. 1’ which concerns the supposed theft of a head, specifically for phrenological investigation: see pp. 1–6. The spelling M’Kinnon was popularly used in Scottish reports of

in The dome of thought