Suicide and the Gothic is the first protracted study of how the act of
self-destruction recurs and functions within one of the most enduring and
popular forms of fiction. Comprising eleven original essays and an authoritative
introduction, this collection explores how the act of suicide has been
portrayed, interrogated and pathologised from the eighteenth century to the
present. The featured fictions include both the enduringly canonical and the
less studied, and the geographical compass of the work embraces not merely
British, European and American authors but also the highly pertinent issue of
self-destruction in modern Japanese culture. Featuring detailed interventions
into the understanding of texts as temporally distant as Thomas
Percy’s Reliques and Patricia Highsmith’s crime fictions, and movements as
diverse as Wertherism, Romanticism and fin-de-siècle decadence, Suicide and the
Gothic provides a comprehensive and compelling overview of this recurrent crisis
– a crisis that has personal, familial, religious, legal and medical
implications – in fiction and culture. Suicide and the Gothic will prove a
central – and provocative – resource for those engaged in the study of the genre
from the eighteenth century onwards, but will also support scholars working in
complementary literary fields from Romanticism to crime fiction and theoretical
disciplines from the medical humanities to Queer Studies, as well as the broader
fields of American and European studies. Its contents are as relevant to the
undergraduate reader as they are to the advanced postgraduate and the faculty
member: suicide is a crucial subject in culture as well as criticism.
Over the course of the past twenty-five years, as neoliberal economics has transformed the geopolitical landscape, monsters have overrun popular culture. This book explores literary, televisual, filmic and dramatic works from distant and diverse countries. It traces the vampire's evolution from the nineteenth-century past of industrial capitalism to the neoliberal present's accelerated violence and corrupt precarity, and discusses the NBC television mini-series Dracula, perfectly encapsulating our own post-recessionary subjectivity. The book addresses state capitalism but turns readers' attention away from the vampire and towards the ghost, focusing on the ways in which such spectral figures have come to dominate new German theatre. On the biotechnology sector, the book presents three examples: cinematic depictions of the international organ trade in Asia, the BAFTA award winning three-part series In the Flesh broadcast in BBC3, and literary representations of the dehumanised South African poor. The book moves from the global to the local, and charts the ways in which post-2006 house owners are trapped in the house by the current economic situation, becoming akin to its long-term resident ghosts. The ghost estates, reanimated and reimagined by the Irish artists and film-makers, are shown to embody the price paid locally for failures in global economic policy. The preoccupation with states of liminality is encapsulated by showing that the borders of the nation state have become a permeable membrane. Through this membrane, the toxic waste of first world technology seeps out alongside the murderous economic imperatives of the neoliberal agenda.
The late twentieth century saw growing number of articles and books appearing on new national gothic; however, the wider context for this had not really been addressed. This collection of essays explores an emerging globalgothic useful for all students and academics interested in the gothic, in international literature, cinema, and cyberspace, presenting examples of globalgothic in the 21st-century forms. It analyses a global dance practice first performed in Japan, Ankoku butoh, and surveys the ways in which Indigenous cultures have been appropriated for gothic screen fictions. To do this, it looks at the New Zealand television series on Maori mythologies, Mataku. The unlocated 'vagabonds' of Michel Faber's "The Fahrenheit Twins" are doubles (twins) of a gothic trajectory as well as globalgothic figures of environmental change. The book considers the degree to which the online vampire communities reveal cultural homogenisation and the imposition of Western forms. Global culture has created a signature phantasmagoric spatial experience which is uncanny. Funny Games U.S. (2008) reproduces this process on the material level of production, distribution and reception. The difference between the supposedly 'primitive' local associated with China and a progressive global city associated with Hong Kong is brought out through an analysis of cannibal culture. In contemporary Thai horror films, the figure of horror produced is neither local nor global but simultaneously both. The book also traces the development, rise and decline of American gothic, and looks at one of the central gothic figures of the twenty-first century: the zombie.
This volume explores how current ideas about ecocriticism can be applied to Gothic narratives in order to help draw out their often dystopian ecological visions. The book argues that, from chilling Victorian panoramas to films such as Frankenstein or The Thing, the Arctic looms large as a blank screen on which fantasies of Gothic entrapment may be projected. It explores selected tales of Algernon Blackwood showing some ways in which Blackwood blurs the distinctions between the human world and a wider natural and spiritual ecology. The book examines the seventeenth-century New England Puritan influence on later Gothic representations of the natural world in North America. It provides an overview of recent studies on the American Gothic which highlight the notion of the wilderness as an ideological lens through which early settlers viewed the strange landscape they found themselves in. The book argues that, from its origins, women's Gothic fiction has undermined fictions of the human and the nonhuman, the natural and the unnatural by creating worlds in which the everyday is collapsed with the nightmarish. The book is the first to explore the Gothic through theories of ecocriticism. The structure of the volume broadly follows national trends, beginning with a British tradition, and moving through a Canadian context. It also follows through a specifically American model of the ecoGothic, before concluding with Deckard's discussion of a possible global context which could overcome national variations.
Monstrous Media/Spectral Subjects explores Gothic, monstrosity, spectrality and media forms and technologies (music, fiction's engagements with photography/ cinema, film, magic practice and new media) from the later nineteenth century to the present day. Placing Gothic forms and productions in an explicitly interdisciplinary context, it investigates how the engagement with technologies drives the dissemination of Gothic across diverse media through the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, while conjuring all kinds of haunting and spectral presences that trouble cultural narratives of progress and technological advancement.