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- Author: Matthew J. A. Green x
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This book explores a number of Alan Moore's works in various forms, including comics, performance, short prose and the novel, and presents a scholarly study of these texts. It offers additional readings to argue for a politically charged sense of Moore's position within the Gothic tradition, investigates surreal Englishness in The Bojeffries Saga, and discusses the doppelganger in Swamp Thing and From Hell. Radical environmental activism can be conceived as a Gothic politics invoking the malevolent spectre of a cataclysmic eco-apocalypse. The book presents Christian W. Schneider's treatment of the apocalyptic in Watchmen and a reassessment of the significance of liminality from the Gothic tradition in V for Vendetta. It explores the relationship between Moore's work and broader textual traditions, placing particular emphasis on the political and cultural significance of intertextual relationships and adaptations. A historically sensitive reading of From Hell connects Moore's concern with the urban environment to his engagement with a range of historical discourses. The book elucidates Moore's treatment of the superhero in relation to key Gothic novels such as The Castle of Otranto and presents an analysis of the nexus of group politics and survival in Watchmen. The book also engages in Moore's theories of art, magic, resurrections, and spirits in its discourse A Small Killing, A Disease of Language, and the Voice of the Fire. It also explores the insight that his adaptations of H.P. Lovecraft, which are laced with heterocosms and bricolage, can yield for broader understandings of his forays into the occult.
Viewing Alan Moore's work in relation to the Gothic tradition focuses attention on similarities across his diverse body of work, highlighting the political import of a variety of spectral or marginal continuities. The transformative capacity of literature as a device for reconnecting the human with the non-human is a central aspect of Moore's work on Swamp Thing. This work communicates an environmental politics that registers across his texts. To the extent that Moore's writing accelerates the experience of the text overflowing its own boundaries, it is constituted by the uncanny, which 'overruns, disordering any field supposedly extraneous to it'. Moore's most sustained and self-reflexive adaptations of Gothic texts and figures are The Bojeffries Saga and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
H.P. Lovecraft provides a set of tools and materials (images, terms, concepts and textual forms) with which Alan Moore can explore the darker aspects of magic. He lays bare the latent violence in the imaginative and sexual freedoms that he elsewhere imbues with a messianic potential. The violence inherent in bricolage is mirrored, in Lovecraft's work, by representations of forces capable of bursting through the very fabric of time and space. The League exemplifies Moore's practice of adapting, reworking and combining the heterocosms of other writers and artists. 'Zaiman's Hill' in Dust: A Creation Books Reader suggests that the negotiation between self and the exterior world involves an effacement of the distinction between the real or exterior world and fictional or subjective worlds.