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C. Lejewski
Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
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Found Footage Cinema and the Horror of the Real
Neil McRobert

This article examines the post-millennial popularity of the found footage movie, in particular its engagement with the representational codes of non-fiction media. Whilst the majority of critical writings on found footage identify the 11 September attacks on the World Trade Centre as a key visual referent, they too often dwell on the literal re-enactment of the event. This article instead suggests that these films evoke fear by mimicking the aesthetic and formal properties of both mainstream news coverage and amateur recording. As such they create both ontological and epistemological confusion as to the reality of the events depicted. Rather than merely replicating the imagery of terror/ism, these films achieve their terrifying effects by mimicking the audiences media spectatorship of such crisis.

Gothic Studies
Evil, Privation and the Absent Logos in Richard Marsh‘s The Beetle
Simon Marsden

This essay explores the influence of the theological tradition of privation theory upon Richard Marsh‘s novel The Beetle (1897). Focusing on images of ontological nothingness, corruption and uncreation, it argues that the novel employs the concept of privation both in its depiction of the supernatural Other and in its parallel interrogation of its contemporary modernity. Imagery of privation in the novel is associated not only with the Beetle itself, but with the modern urban environment and weapons of mass destruction. The essay concludes by examining the corruption of language and absence of a creative logos able to respond adequately to the privations of the modern city and industrial economy.

Gothic Studies
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The Entropic Gothic of American Horror Story
Dawn Keetley

FX’s American Horror Story: Murder House (the series’ first season) is an important addition to the Gothic canon, manifesting every conceivable Gothic convention, its narrative overwhelmed by a claustrophobic sense of enclosure in space and repetition,in time. Indeed, the series manifests what I call the entropic Gothic: its trajectory is relentlessly toward exhaustion and stasis, toward dissipation and death. Symptomatic of this entropic Gothic of American Horror Story is its focus on twins - markers, in the series, of an abiding cultural entropy. The first half of this essay is grounded in the more literal association of twins with reproductive technologies and aging mothers. Twins thus stand in for a series of literal anxieties about interwoven children and homes - about the future of the ‘American,Dream’ - that have plagued the United States in particular since the beginning of the recession (2007 through at least the end of 2012). The second half of the essay takes up the more metaphorical meanings associated with twins. American Horror Story’s reiterations of the same, its proliferation of mimetic semblables, mark the entropic drift of the series toward undifferentiation and extinction. Twins metonymically gesture to what the ‘Murder House’ itself represents - a realm of involutionary regression, of reality become virtual reality. The series tracks a fundamental entropic regression of the human to a spent, useless state, in which it is preserved only as what Jean Baudrillard called ‘a kind of ontological “attraction”’.

Gothic Studies
Criminal Female Sexuality in Bram Stoker‘s Dracula
Beth Shane

This essay considers how Bram Stoker‘s Dracula (1901) engages both contemporary medical models and common-sense conceptions of female criminality and sexuality. From Dracula, the figure of Lucy Westenra emerges as a quintessential femme fatale. Lucys neck bears the characteristic marking of the vampire, but we never witness the bite; as a result, ambiguity surrounds the causal relationship in the process of becoming a vampire. The novel produces this ontological ambiguity to perpetuate and to exacerbate contemporary views regarding the radical instability of female nature. Under this logic, Lucys encounter with the vampire brings only latent impulses to the surface. Stokers narrative exploits this physiological uncertainty to perpetuate the sensational terror that all female sexuality is monstrous, threatening to render the British man a debased specimen of his former glory. By tracking the various logical ellipses and rhetorical slippages which give shape to Stokers female vampires, I demonstrate how Stokers novels enact the same anxious rhetoric that likewise informs the portrait of female sexuality in nineteenth-century sexology.

Gothic Studies
The cultural politics of Hill’s later work
Alex Wylie

to resist –​and working hard is the whole point. The belletrism of Eliot, say, emerging from that late-​V ictorian and Edwardian culture of letters, draws credit on the authority of the figure of the author, the public intellectual: a cultural power which has also been eroded over the past sixty or so years along with conceptions of genius and craft. Difficulty and the ontological If one was so inclined, one might symbolise Hill’s earlier and later periods with his two translations of Ibsen plays –​Brand of 1978, and The cultural politics of Hill’s later

in Geoffrey Hill’s later work
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Z Vesper, the Wilderness Garden, Powis Castle
Paul Evans

my consciousness projects onto the backdrop. It is my recognition of the backdrop's atmosphere that specifies the mood which in turn colours my surroundings and the way I feel. When I think about the atmosphere in this garden observatory facing the backdrop of the Welsh Marches, it is not passive like a stage set; I sense a protagonist's spirit, a specific and metaphysical objectness of hills, trees, birdsong, stories, an ontology of objects Graham Harman ( 2018 ) regards as human, nonhuman, natural, cultural, real or fictional. The atmosphere

in EcoGothic gardens in the long nineteenth century
Open Access (free)
Shane Weller

the 1930s), Democritus and Geulincx take diametrically opposed positions on what may be termed the ontological nothing. Whereas for the former the nothing exists (as the ‘void’ separating the ‘atoms’), for the latter the nothing (as ‘vacuum’) is quite simply ‘impossible’.2 In his dismissal – as ‘an utterly silly opinion’ – of the Scholastics’ claim that space is nothing (nihil, nihilum), Geulincx follows Descartes and ultimately Parmenides.3 That said, unlike the Democritean ‘naught’, the Geulincxian ‘nihil’ to which Beckett refers in his letter to Kennedy is not an

in Beckett and nothing
An introduction
Neil Cornwell

’. There have always been constraints imposed on the posing of the most difficult questions, from Aristotle’s injunction, ‘one must stop’, to Kant’s caution over those ‘absurd’ questions that ‘not only [bring] shame on the propounder of the question, but may betray an incautious listener into absurd answers’ (Critique of Pure Reason: cited Fotiade, 197). The shame of absurdity can therefore call forth moderation! 4 Introductory Ontology, Nihilism, Existentialism Logic is doubtless unshakeable, but it cannot withstand a man who wants to go on living. (Franz Kafka, The

in The absurd in literature