This essay situates Lewis‘s ‘Anaconda’ (1808) in relation to an early imperial Gothic tradition which represents colonial spaces as threats to English character. Lewis draws on orientalist discourse to describe the orient not only as a source of wealth but also as the site of a potentially fatal trauma for English subjects; Ireland is similarly represented but key differences suggest a lesser threat to the English psyche (and so the imperial project). Sensibility, as the foundation of civility that bears with it the risk of emotional susceptibility, emerges in ‘Anaconda’ as a register of national superiority, imperial vulnerability, and differences between colonies.
Tales of Terror and the Uncanny in Proust‘s In Search of Lost Time
This essay reads the opening of Marcel Proust‘s In Search of Lost Time against its high-modernist reception history to recover its Gothic unconscious. My argument first traces the repressed horror tale at the heart of ‘Combray I’ by foregrounding tropes of fear and imprisonment; I then recontextualize Proust within the Gothic tradition, drawing explicit comparisons to Poe and Radcliffe. I suggest that the narrators invocation and subsequent repression of Gothic forces, in particular of the uncanny, constitutes the novels primal dialectic and plays a constitutive role in the dramas of memory and desire.
This paper examines Gothic traditions across the survival horror videogame series Silent Hill. Considering Gothic dimensions of the videogame medium, then Gothic themes in survival horror videogames, the paper proceeds to explore Silent Hills narrative aesthetics and gameplay in relation to the Gothic. Considerations include: the intrusion of sinister alternative worlds, fragmented narrative forms, a sense of the past impinging upon the present, and the psychoanalytic dimensions of the series. Throughout this paper attention will be paid to ways in which Gothic themes resonate with or are transformed according to the dictates of the videogame medium.
This article examines the effects of distracted sight, peripheral objects and hazily-perceived images in the ghost stories of M. R. James. It argues that the uncanny illumination produced by the accidental glance in his tales bears affinity with many Gothic narratives, including those of E. T. A. Hoffmann and Margaret Oliphant. James‘s work has often solicited only a casual look from critics, yet his exploration of the haunted edge of vision not only grants his work a hitherto neglected complexity, but also places him firmly within the Gothic tradition.
Prison, Slavery and Other Horrors in The Bondwomans Narrative
Haslam reads The Bondwoman‘s Narrative through the lens of the gothic literary tradition, as framed by Jerrold Hogle, and its relations to slave narratives, as discussed by Teresa Goddu. Specifically, the novel uses the gothic, in part, as slave narratives traditionally do: to depict the brutality and horror of the violence of slavery. But Crafts transforms this use of the gothic into a direct attack on the slave owners themselves. Crafts situates the generalities of the gothic tradition within American slavery, writing a gothic narrative that - to transform Hogle‘s analysis - exposes the ‘brutal concreteness’ of slavery while depicting the ‘pervasively counterfeit existence’ of white superiority.
This article examines Denise Mina‘s treatment of Scottish identity and the gothic tradition in her run on Hellblazer, an American horror comic about an English occultist, John Constantine. Mina takes Constantine to Glasgow to confront the deadly “empathy plague” which forces victims to emphasise with others. Mina argues that the Scots revel in the misery of others, making them easy victims for this malady. However, this failing becomes a means for victory, as everyone is united in an outpouring of shameful joy at the story‘s conclusion. Mina‘s Scotland is a home away from home for Constantine – haunted, embittered and lost – and her image of Scotland mirrors representations seen in other Scottish Gothic texts.
The Return of the Hibernian Repressed During
the Rise and Fall of the Celtic Tiger
Whilst debate rages in certain circles as to what constitutes an Irish Gothic tradition
and whether imposing canonical status upon it is even possible or desirable, very little
of this discussion focuses on twenty-first century writing, and certainly not upon writing
for the stage. The aims of this essay are twofold: to argue the case for a contemporary
Irish Gothic theatre school (whose primary proponents I will identify as Martin McDonagh,
Conor McPherson, Marina Carr and Mark ORowe); and to place this contemporary school in
conversation with the Irish Gothic literary corpus identified by the scholarship of Terry
Eagleton, Seamus Deane, W. J. McCormack, Jarlath Killeen, Christopher Morash, Richard
Haslam, Sinéad Mooney and David Punter. The resulting intention here is to open up a fresh
way of reading and comparing contemporary Irish playwrights,that allows us to place their
work into sharper focus when it comes to comparing them to each other as pre-eminent Irish
writers of the millennial period.