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Goth Subcultures in Cyberspace
Jason Whittaker

While Goths tend to be neglected in more mainstream media, they are thriving as part of online communities as part of the phenomenon of net.Goths. This paper considers some of the recent manifestations of such subcultural activities online, especially in relation to the practice of demarcating the boundaries of participation through displays of cultural capital (such as music and fashion), and aspects of communication that have emerged on the Internet such as ‘trolling’. The overarching concern of this paper is to explore some of the ways in which defining a subculture virtually may reinforce activities of the group in other environments.

Gothic Studies
Blake and the Science-Fiction Counterculture
Jason Whittaker

This article explores the more detached and ironic view of Blake that emerged in the 1970s compared to appropriations of him in the 1960s, as evident in three science-fiction novels: Ray Nelson’s Blake’s Progress (1977), Angela Carter’s The Passion of New Eve (1977), and J. G. Ballard’s The Unlimited Dream Company (1979). In adopting a more antagonistic posture towards Blake, all three of these books reflect increasingly ambivalent attitudes towards the countercultures of the 1960s, and can be read as critical of some of those very energies that the Romantic movement was seen to embody. Thus Nelson rewrites the relationship of William and Catherine, in which the engraver comes under the influence of a diabolic Urizen, while Carter recasts the Prophet Los as a Charles Manson-esque figure. Even Ballard, the most benign of the three, views Blakean energy as a release of potentially dangerous psychopathologies. In all the novels, we see a contrarian use of misprision, rewriting Blake as Blake had rewritten Milton.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
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Blake, Milton, and Lovecraft in Ridley Scott's Prometheus
Jason Whittaker

Jason Whittaker argues that Scott’s Engineers, a species of ‘dark angels’ who seem to have created human life accidentally, have their origin in Blake’s Zoas, thus locating the film’s action in a metaphysically distressing universe devoid of any fundamental benevolence or omniscience. Hence, ‘[t]he horror of Prometheus’, for Whittaker, ‘lies not so much in our disgust with the operations of the human body and in abjection as in the realisation that the secret history of the cosmos is utterly alien to us’. Human life is the product neither of a Divine, infallible creator nor a natural, evolutionary process, but rather of ‘an aberrant series of alien experiments’, an idea at the root of ‘the cosmic horror of Prometheus’.

in William Blake's Gothic imagination