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Melodrama, Mystery, and the Nightmare of History in Jessie Fauset‘s Plum Bun
Charles Scruggs

This essay discusses how African-American novelist Jessie Fauset used the Gothic motif of a hidden history to critique the melodramatic happy ending of her best novel, one set in New York city in the 1920s. What undermines the ‘moral legibility’ of melodrama is the Gothic implications of an unsolved crime in the past, one that, ironically, continues to haunts the ‘New Negro’ of the Harlem Renaissance who claims to have reinvented him or herself in the modern city.

Gothic Studies
The Case of Mary Ashford and the Cultural Context of Late-Regency Melodrama
David Worrall

This paper examines the historical context of the publication and reception of three dramas related to the murder of a gardener‘s daughter, Mary Ashford in Sutton Coldfield in 1817. George Ludlam‘s The Mysterious Murder was countered by a play called The Murdered Maid whose anonymous author is likely to have been a local clergyman. Both plays were locally written and published. When the case reached a national arena, John Kerr‘s Presumptive Guilt provided a London-based comment on the case. The paper examines the relationship between these metropolitan and provincial print cultures and the way in which dramatic form was used as a mode of mediation between public and legal discourse.

Gothic Studies
Matthew Lewis‘s The Castle Spectre
James Robert Allard

The Castle Spectre was one of the most popular and successful theatrical events of its day, and critics have often tried to explain its success, usually appealing to the ‘spectacular’ appearance of the spectre herself. But critics have not explored how the spectre - certainly no novelty on the stage - caused such a stir among contemporary audiences. By examining a selection of reviews, comments by contemporary literary figures, the text of the play, and Lewis‘s own comments concerning his spectacle, this paper demonstrates how Lewis employs strategies of delay and misdirection to make an otherwise nonviolent and unspectacular play appear excessively violent and spectacular even by 1790s Gothic standards.

Gothic Studies
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Colonial Structures and the Gothic Genre in Contemporary Puerto Rican Narrative
Sandra M. Casanova-Vizcaíno

This article analyses the representation of several colonial structures in the Caribbean reconfiguration of the Gothic genre, specifically in two works of contemporary Puerto Ricanfiction: Miss Florences Trunk: Fragments for a Romantic Trash Novel (1991) by Ana Lydia Vega and Over My Dead Body (2012) by Marta Aponte Alsina. In these novellas, specifically through the main characters reading of diaries and confessions, we are presented with a description of the physical structures. At the same time, the colonial structure also emerges, a context in which slavery, sexual abuse and mulataje are described as ubiquitous sources of terror.

Gothic Studies
Gothic Melodrama and the Aesthetic of Silence in Thomas Holcroft‘s A Tale of Mystery
Diego Saglia

Focusing on melodrama and on Thomas Holcroft‘s exemplary A Tale of Mystery (1802) in particular, this essay proposes a reinterpretation of Gothic drama and theatre as constitutively characterized by interruptions of comprehension. The tribulations of its persecuted protagonist Francisco are read in the context of the court trial of a real-life Francisco, who lived in London in 1802 and was one of the ‘stars’ in contemporary newspaper reports from the Old Bailey. Combining different generic and tonal modes, Romantic-period Gothic melodrama capitalized on explicitness and hyperbole, as well as on materializations of ethics and sentiment through their overt exhibition on stage or ‘ostension’. At the same time, it emphasized absence, silence, dematerialization and dissolution. With its continuously deferred revelations,and ostensions of the unsaid, A Tale of Mystery is a significant investment in an aesthetic of the unsaid that is central to a definition of Gothic on stage.

Gothic Studies
Techno-Gothic as Performance in Romantic Drama
Marjean Purinton

The discourses and practices of science and medicine significantly influenced British Romantic-period drama so that these new fields of inquiry were recontextualized in popular forms of the Gothic. Notions of the body and the spirit were negotiated on the stage, and the result constituted what I call ‘Techno-Gothic’ drama. Not surprisingly, Techno-Gothic drama took on two manifestations - grotesques and ghosts - and I examine how the vampire - at once grotesque and ghos - demonstrates the workings of Techno-Gothic drama in James Robinson Planchés melodrama The Vampire; or the Bride of the Isles, A Romantic Melodrama in Two Acts, Preceded by an Introductory Vision (1820) and in Thomas Dibdin‘s spectacular Don Giovanni; or A Spectre on Horseback (1818). I argue that Planchés and Dibdins popular plays demonstrate how Techno-Gothic drama appropriated, interrogated, negotiated, and resisted scientific concepts and technological methods in post-Enlightenment thought and culture. In parodying scientific methods and demonstrations, The Vampire and Don Giovanni, question the veracity and omnipotence of the new sciences.

Gothic Studies
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Dark imaginer

This book explores the diverse literary, film and visionary creations of the polymathic and influential British artist Clive Barker. It presents groundbreaking essays that critically reevaluate Barker's oeuvre. These include in-depth analyses of his celebrated and lesser known novels, short stories, theme park designs, screen and comic book adaptations, film direction and production, sketches and book illustrations, as well as responses to his material from critics and fan communities. The book examines Barker's earlier fiction and its place within British horror fiction and socio-cultural contexts. Selected tales from the Books of Blood are exemplary in their response to the frustrations and political radicalism of the 1980s British cultural anxieties. Aiming to rally those who stand defiant of Thatcher's polarising vision of neoliberal British conservatism, Weaveworld is revealed to be a savage indictment of 1980s British politics. The book explores Barker's transition from author to filmmaker, and how his vision was translated, captured, and occasionally compromised in its adaptation from page to the screen. Barker's work contains features which can be potentially read as feminine and queer, positioning them within traditions of the Gothic, the melodrama and the fantastic. The book examines Barker's works, especially Hellraiser, Nightbreed, and Lord of Illusions, through the critical lenses of queer culture, desire, and brand recognition. It considers Barker's complex and multi-layered marks in the field, exploring and re-evaluating his works, focusing on Tortured Souls and Mister B. Gone's new myths of the flesh'.

Lissette Lopez Szwydky

. The scene may be original to Frankenstein ’s film history, but it directly invokes the novel’s nineteenth-century stage history, which also took many forms – melodramas, farces, and burlesques. Song-and-dance routines such as the one in Young Frankenstein were common in nineteenth-century stage productions, such as Frankenstein; or, The Vampire’s Victim , a musical first staged at London’s Gaiety Theatre in 1887. Like the 1974 parody, the 1887 burlesque took its most immediate inspiration from several earlier Frankenstein adaptations, Gothic thrillers, and

in Adapting Frankenstein
Adaptive symbiosis and Peake’s Presumption, or the fate of Frankenstein
Glenn Jellenik

. Obviously, there is no way to know how much Shelley’s version owes its afterlife to its adaptations, but it is certain that some well-worn and iconic aspects of our cultural consciousness of Frankenstein originate not with Shelley’s novel, but Peake’s Presumption . These include industry concerns, such as the generic shift from a philosophical novel that subverts its Gothic-romance plot to a decidedly non-subversive musical melodrama that centres love and romance plots; textual concerns, which also depend on industry concerns, such as the playwright’s productive

in Adapting Frankenstein
Laurence Raw

I have limited my attention to these three adaptations in an attempt to demonstrate the variety of strategies adopted by audio adapters. 2 Anthony Ellis’s Suspense! script reshapes Shelley’s Frankenstein into a family melodrama in which Victor Frankenstein encounters his vicar friend James (Paul Frees), who decides to tell the world about the doctor’s experiments. Meanwhile, the doctor has to struggle to keep his wife, Elizabeth, from discovering his guilty secret. The 1970 LP version of the tale is dominated by the Narrator setting

in Adapting Frankenstein