The previous chapter explored the different ways in which death manifested itself in the mid to late eighteenth century. This was a period that was characterised by new ways of writing about death in which the role of memory was implicit. Thomas Gray’s ‘Elegy Written in a Country Church-Yard’ (1751) was instructive in that regard as his narrator imaginatively
fitting emblem for gothic writing. It develops the genre’s tropes of haunted writing in the latency of the image and the automation of its inscription, an invisible presence that endures as the trace of a prior writing. Nearly twenty years before Freud, Joseph Mortimer Granville had opened his discussion of photographic memory with the suggestion that
This article identifies sea-burial as a topos of the early nineteenth-century imaginary that draws on both Gothic tropes and Romantic reformulations of Gothic aesthetics in order to signal a sea changed poetics of shifting dislocation, decay, and denial in the work of Felicia Hemans. The loss of a corpse at sea makes visible the extent to which any act of posthumous identification relies upon a complex network actively maintained by the living. This article will also develop our understanding of the ways in which Gothic tropes of burial might extend into specifically maritime literary cultures of the early nineteenth century. This strand of a nautical Gothic reflects not only nineteenth-century anxieties about nautical death but the corporeality of both individual and cultural memory. Such representations of sea-burial negotiate a nautical Gothic aesthetic that might propel new understanding of the relationship between poetry and the material dimensions of affective memorialization.
This essay examines how Alice Thompson‘s novel, The Falconer (2008), creates a richly allusive Gothic weave by analysing its symbolic languages of myth, nature, and monstrosity, and how it reimagines and reinterprets other modes and texts associated with the Gothic, namely Du Maurier‘s Rebecca and the Bluebeard fairy tale, as well as Scottish ballad tradition and popular fairy belief. Mirroring the trope of metamorphosis which thematically and stylistically informs the novel, the essay also explores how these allusively poetic uses of Gothic become politicised in the portrayal of German Nazism and of traumatic historical memory.
This essay reads the opening of Marcel Proust‘s In Search of Lost Time against its high-modernist reception history to recover its Gothic unconscious. My argument first traces the repressed horror tale at the heart of ‘Combray I’ by foregrounding tropes of fear and imprisonment; I then recontextualize Proust within the Gothic tradition, drawing explicit comparisons to Poe and Radcliffe. I suggest that the narrators invocation and subsequent repression of Gothic forces, in particular of the uncanny, constitutes the novels primal dialectic and plays a constitutive role in the dramas of memory and desire.
With reference to films such as The Terror Experiment (2010) and Osombie (2012), this paper explores the figure of the zombie terrorist, a collectively othered group that is visually identifiable as not us and can be slaughtered with impunity. In cinematic treatments, the zombie terrorist operates within a collectivity of zombies, erasing the possibility of individuality when the transformation from human to zombie takes place. The zombie terrorist signifies otherness in relation to selfhood, and is characterised by a mind/body split. Emerging from the grave in the archetypal zombie primal scene, this reanimated corpse is undead in its animate corporeality coupled with a loss of all mental faculties. The erasure of individual identity and memory along with broader human characteristics such as empathy or willpower coincides with the zombie terrorist s physical movement and action.
This essay introduces this special issue on ‘Romanticism and the “New Gothic”’, which contains revisions of essays presented at a special seminar at the 1999 joint conferences of the International Gothic Association (IGA) and the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism (NASSR) held in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Hogle argues that the ‘Gothic’ as a highly counterfeit and generically mixed mode in the eighteenth century was a quite new, rather than revived old, aesthetic which allowed for the disguised projection - or really abjection - of current middle-class cultural fears into symbols that only seemed antiquated, supernatural, or monstrous on the surface. Romantic writers thus faced this mode as a symbolic location where feared anomalies of their own moment could be faced and displaced, and such writers reacted to this possibility using some similar and quite different techniques. Post-Romantic writers, in turn, ranging from Emily Dickinson all the way to the writers and directors of modern films with Gothic elements, have since proceeded to make the Gothic quite new again, in memory of and reaction to Romantic-era uses of the new Gothic. This recurrent remaking of the Gothic comes less from the survival of certain features and more from the cultural purposes of displacing new fears into symbols that recall both the eighteenth-century Gothic and Romantic redactions of it. The papers in this special issue cover different points in this history of a complex relationship among aesthetic modes.
haven't seen the gardeners in over forty years and don't know if they're still alive. In the photograph, plants on the wall have changed, so has the light, the colours of the air, stone, leaves, clothes; although I've seen other snaps of the period I find it difficult to recognise myself; my comrades remain the same in my memory as the day I last saw them. It suddenly feels so long ago. The photograph is a shock. Four years before this image is taken, Maria and I, with our babe-in-arms, walk around the garden talking to the extraordinary head gardener
the female presence as ‘ever soft, / Gentle, and low’. 5 ‘[B]ound to th’ father’, 6 the patriarchy becomes a prison within which Goneril and her sister Regan are castigated by the cultural weight of Lear’s ‘majesty’, 7 derided as ‘unnatural hags’ 8 and marginalised by centuries of Shakespeare scholarship. 9 It is such critical and cultural ‘lacunas in memory’, however, that Jane Smiley
form. These once meaningful icons are now adrift in signification, no longer anchored to an extant system of thought: in the first quarter of the twenty-first century, a practical phrenologist cannot be found at the end of even the most provincial British seaside pier. With the development of such products, the residual memory of an erstwhile pseudoscience is transformed into an easily overlooked decorative artefact. The physically durable modern ceramic reproduction thereby becomes – perversely – even more ephemeral than the fragile relics of the phrenological past