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Anne Young

Chris Baldick and Robert Mighall have argued rather convincingly that ‘Gothic Criticism’ is in need of an overhaul. I revisit their controversial article through an analysis of Oscar Wilde’s parody of the Gothic and of scholarship, ‘The Portrait of Mr W. H.’ In this tale of creative criticism, Wilde’s hero, Cyril Graham, invents the character of Willie Hughes to prove a theory about Shakespeare’s sonnets. Contrary to Baldick and Mighall, I argue that Gothic criticism might do well to take its cue from its object of study. Plunging deep into the abyss, abandoning pretentions of knowing fact from fiction, natural from supernatural, I whole-heartedly - momentarily - consider the ‘Willie Hughes theory’ and ‘I will take up the theory where Cyril Graham left it and I will prove to the world that he was right’.

Gothic Studies
The Urban Gothic of Fin-de-Siècle London and Gotham City
Erica McCrystal

Gothic literature set in fin-de-siècle London has often been argued to highlight duality. However, the urban Gothic truly flourishes through its liminality, which allows chaos and order to coexist. Texts such as Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray offer versions of a Gothic London that have the appearance of structure but are difficult to navigate. Likewise, the Batman franchise has embraced Gotham City as a setting that provides tensions between order and chaos. In Gotham, as in fin-de-siècle London, liminality puts pressures on apparent boundaries. While the urban Gothic initially developed through nineteenth century British texts, modern-day comics and films within the Batman franchise have allowed us to see how a multiverse normalises liminality and embraces multiple works to speak collectively about Gothic tensions. This article analyses the liminal nature of the urban Gothic in both cities side by side to argue that the urban Gothic’s liminal nature allows instability to reign.

Gothic Studies
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Medicine, masculinity and the Gothic at the fin de siecle
Author: Andrew Smith

This book is a study of constructions of masculinity in a range of medical, cultural and Gothic narratives at the fin de siecle. The final decades of the nineteenth century provide a particularly complex set of examples of how the dominant masculine scripts came to be associated with disease, degeneration and perversity. The book first outlines the theories of degeneracy, explaining how they relate to masculinity. It then charts an alternative British tradition of degeneracy as this British context provides a more immediate background to the case histories that follow. The book presents a close reading of Sir Frederick Treves's Reminiscences; Treves's memoirs focus on the issues confronted by doctors working in the late Victorian period. The Whitechapel murders of 1888 are then discussed. The book focuses on how and why the medical profession became implicated in the murders. The murders also suggested the presence of a demonic, criminalised form of masculine control over the East End. Continuing with its focus on medicine, the book discusses medical textbooks on syphilis in the 1880s and how they responded to a shift in attitude towards attributing responsibility for the spread of syphilis. An examination of how London appears as a gendered space in the work of male authors such as Thomas De Quincey, and Charles Dickens, and later Arthur Conan Doyle and Bram Stoker, is presented. Finally, some aspects of Oscar Wilde's trials are also examined as well as a range of his writings.

Wilde’s Art
Andrew Smith

Oscar Wilde was convicted of the charge of gross indecency on 25 May 1895. Prior to this (between 3 April and 5 April 1895) he had attempted to prosecute Lord Queensberry for libel over Queensbeny s accusation that Wilde was a ‘somdomite’ (sic). During his cross examination by Queensberry’s defence counsel, Edward Carson, the following now famous exchange took place over

in Victorian demons
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Dorian Grayand the Gothic body
Elisabeth Bronfen and Beate Neumeier

-century culture, one that Wilde’s work both instantiates and critiques. The prospect Lord Henry holds out to his disciple under the label of ‘[a] new Hedonism’ (22) draws on the notion of ‘Renaissance Man’ as expounded in Jacob Burckhardt’s The Renaissance in Italy ( 1860 ), relayed to England by Walter Pater and absorbed by Pater’s disciple, Oscar Wilde

in Gothic Renaissance
Queering the queer Gothic in Will Self ’s Dorian
Andrew Smith

Michael Foldy, The Trials of Oscar Wilde: Deviance, Morality, and Late-Victorian Society (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997), pp. 110–16. See also Oscar Wilde, ‘The Critic as Artist’, in The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde , ed. G. F. Maine (London: Collins, 1992), pp. 948–98. 13 See the

in Queering the Gothic
Undead aesthetics and mechanical reproduction – Dorian Gray, Dracula and David Reed’s ‘vampire painting’
Sam George

vampire in works of art, both real and imagined, beginning with the writings of Oscar Wilde. There is a passage in ‘The Critic as Artist’ ( 1891 ) where Wilde imagines the Mona Lisa as a vampire, following its description in Pater: 37 Mr Pater has put into the portrait of the Monna Lisa [ sic ] something that Lionardo [ sic

in Open Graves, Open Minds
Sarah Annes Brown

uncanny traditions he is tapping into enhances the effective ambiguities attendant on James’s fall. This is yet another example of the uncanny – like allusion – benefiting from understatement. We have already seen a confusion between suicide and Doppelgänger murder in both of Hogg’s tales, and in several other texts, including Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘William Wilson’ (1839) and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture

in A familiar compound ghost
The rise of Nordic Gothic
Yvonne Leffler and Johan Höglund

Also, many of the most recognised modernist writers, some of whom have been described as Gothic, were translated into Scandinavian languages. The most prominent include Joseph Conrad, Oscar Wilde and Charles Baudelaire, who all had a well-documented impact on Nordic authors. Thus, fin-de-siècle writers and the first generation of filmmakers in the Nordic region were influenced by late-Victorian Gothic and the heavily gendered and racialised categories that informed it. 11 It can also be argued that Gothic powerfully

in Nordic Gothic
Medicine masculinity, same-sex desire and the Gothic in Teleny
Diane Mason

B est known today for its alleged association with Oscar Wilde, Teleny, or The Reverse of the Medal (1893), is a classic erotic and, in many respects, Gothic novel that charts the brutal and tragic progress of an obsessive homosexual passion. 1 The novel, though, is not necessarily, as Alan Sinfield suggests, nothing more than the celebration of ‘an emerging

in Queering the Gothic