the BBC to try to emulate ITV’s success with bland, middle-of-the-road dramas such as Heartbeat (Yorkshire 1992–) by commissioning equally unadventurous soap-star vehicles such as Harbour Lights (BBC 1999–2000) and Sunburn (BBC 1998–2000). Clocking Off provided the BBC with an opportunity to return to its traditional strengths with a northern working-class drama intent on updating social realism for a new ‘postmodern’ television audience.
In the ratings-driven climate of the late 1990s when Clocking Off was being developed (under its original title of
The Gothic-Fantastic in Soviet Socialist Realist Literature
The European Gothic novel was an enormous influence on nineteenth-century Russian fiction, as shown by the works of Pushkin, Dostoievskii and many other major novelists. However, both Russian and Western critics have ignored the survival of Gothic-fantastic themes and motifs in Russian literature of the Soviet period, not only in fiction by dissident writers but also within the officially promoted genre of Socialist Realism. The Gothic-fantastic mode continued to function as a resource for satire, speculation, and ideological re-evaluation throughout the Soviet period and up to the present day. This article identifies and analyses three Gothic texts selected from mainstream Soviet literature between 1920 and 1940 and discusses their interaction with ideological trends.
Del Principe argues that a compelling historical and political vision of post-unification Italy lies beneath the preternatural façade of Ugo Tarchettis Fantastic Tales, and that the authors transgressive approach to social realism is a reflection of the vast, cultural transformations of the period. Del Principe proposes correlations between sexual and political realms surfacing in Tarchettis narrative as indicators of mutating class structure and emerging capitalism. An examination of spatial allegories engages a discussion of psychic and physical modes of hysteria and xenophobic reactions that stem from the nationalistic fervor of post-unification Italy.
The aim of this article is twofold. On the one hand, it offers a survey of found footage horror since the turn of the millennium that begins with The Blair Witch Project (1999) and ends with Devils Due (2014). It identifies notable thematic strands and common formal characteristics in order to show that there is some sense of coherence in the finished look and feel of the films generally discussed under this rubric. On the other hand, the article seeks to reassess the popular misunderstanding that found footage constitutes a distinctive subgenre by repositioning it as a framing technique with specific narrative and stylistic effects.
Mahawatte explores George Eliot‘s use of the Gothic in Middlemarch (1871–72) and in particular the literary connections between Dorothea Casaubon and the heroine of the Gothic novel. He argues that Eliot has a conflicting relationship with this figure, at once wanting to satirize her, and yet also deploying Gothic images and resonances to add an authenticity of affect to her social commentary. Using Jerold E. Hogle‘s idea that the Gothic re-fakes what is already read as a copy, Mahawatte presents Dorothea as a quasi-reproduction of Sophia Lee‘s heroines in The Recess; or, A Tale of Other Times (1783–85) and also as part of a Gothic process within a social realist novel.
Cruelty, Darkness and the Body in Janice Galloway, Alison Kennedy and Louise Welsh
This essay seeks to define a Gothic tendency in the ‘viscerality’ of some recent and prominent Scottish women writers: Janice Galloway, Alison Kennedy and Louise Welsh. The argument addresses an alienating tension in this ‘viscerality’ between a fabular form and the impression of a new realism of social surfaces. This is a Gothic of cruelty and violent representation of the body, which opens a Scottish urban culture, portrayed as a synecdoche for divided consciousness, to fables of sexual and political alienation.
Professional Integrity in Peril at the Fin de Siècle
This essay positions the drug-using doctor at the intersection between traditional Gothic horror and a new fin-de-siècle medical realism, embedding the cultural anxieties at the fin de siècle in relation to the ethical and theological boundaries of scientific knowledge. The objective is to provide a framework for reading and interpreting the medico-gothic narrative of addiction. The essay examines the writings of three pioneering physician-scientists: one historical – Sigmund Freud – and two fictional – Dr Jekyll, in Robert Louis Stevenson‘s Strange Case of DrJekyll and Mr Hyde (1886), and Dr Seward in Bram Stoker‘s Dracula (1897).
Victor Frankenstein relates his narrative ‘marking the dates with accuracy’, determined that his improbable story will be believed. Through examining the time references, this essay reveals the extent to which the novel is preoccupied with realism and temporal accuracy and demonstrates why the time scheme of Frankenstein is a problem for critics. The narrative can be charted via a consistent and extensive system of time references provided by the three narrators. At a point near the end, Shelley is momentarily vague. Previous decisions on how to deal with this difficulty are opened up to scrutiny, and a detailed chronology of the 1831 version is proposed. Readings which have based their arguments for political or biographical significance on embedded numerology are reexamined using the new chronology.
Surfaces and Subtexts in the Popular Modernism of Agatha
Christie‘s Hercule Poirot Series
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.
Conspiracy and Narrative Masquerade in Schiller, Zschokke, Lewis and Hoffmann
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.