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This study maps the influence of the Gothic mode in the Czech postmodern prose, especially in the novels published at the turn of the millennium: it primarily concerns books by Václav Vokolek, Miloš Urban and Jan Jandourek. Through analyticalinterpretative probes into these texts are demonstrated the main possibilities of the Gothic mode and consequences of its implementation in the contemporary Czech literature: distortion of the perspective and blurring of the individual identity, instability of the setting, expression of civilizational and existential fears. The study illustrates capturing of the key Gothic themes in the analyzed works of fiction and also the specific transformation and modification of these topics within individual author poetics. Special attention is particularly given to specifics of the setting, often combining typical Gothic topoi, which may be part of seriously intended opposition of the sacral and the profane, or they can also be presented as exposed cliché sceneries.

Gothic Studies

within the risen Christ. Conversely, Lewis’ demonic stigmatic and her vampire sisters in Stoker’s Dracula are resurrections of the profane rather than of the pious body. Instead of being redemptive, they reinforce the blood curses visited upon Eve and her daughters. By contrast, the religious stigmatic invariably acquired reverence, authority and even canonisation in the Church by professing to bleed

in Dangerous bodies
The case of Pier Paolo Pasolini

. 11 Accatone performs contamination: the film commingles the profane with the sacred, social abjection with the saintly. At the centre of the film is a fight in the slums of Rome. The frame of the profane fight scene draws upon sacred allusions: long shots accompanied by Bach’s religious music from the St. Matthew Passion. The voices of Bach’s music sing of eternal peace whereas the reality of the

in Incest in contemporary literature
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Beyond the mid-century

approachable veneer of quasi-natural contemporaneity. His essay on the Blue Guide book on Spain notes that ‘History is hardly a good bourgeois’ and is therefore without traction in commodity culture; he proposes that more up-to-date guidebooks should ignore old churches and monuments in favour of ‘the urbanism, the sociology and the economy which trace today’s actual and even most profane questions’. 5 A guide to modern culture, he argues, must primarily track and critique the workings of the dominant system of consumption; it can safely ignore the past, and indeed is

in Mid-century gothic
French fiction and Djuna Barnes’s Nightwood

Volkbeins’ Viennese home (complete with ancestral fake portraits and a ‘thick dragon’s blood pile of rugs from Madrid’ (p. 17)), as a Gothic house; a continual questioning of normality as benign; and, above all, a blurring of the boundaries between night/day, masculine/feminine, sacred/profane, real/surreal and human/animal. Furthermore, whilst Felix Volkbein is linked explicitly with the figure of the

in European Gothic
Gothic mansions, ghosts and particular friendships

furnish the setting for uncanny events, Vidler describes houses in which the labyrinthine exterior gives the effect of ‘protecting the inner center from profane intrusion’. 14 He also refers to houses that are constructed around or resemble a tomb, citing as an example the mansion that furnishes the setting for Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher (1839). Both kinds of edifice are pertinent to the

in Queering the Gothic
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Elisabeth Bronfen and Beate Neumeier

profane world [that] is the world of taboos’ (67), in which the act of transgression offers a glimpse of ‘the sacred’. Bataille goes on to describe the dialectic between ‘the sacred’ and the ‘profane’ that produces the following reaction: Men are swayed by two simultaneous

in Gothic Renaissance
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‘The world of things’: an introduction to mid- century gothic

provocative intransigence towards Enlightenment rationality. In the early twentieth century, the imbrication of gothicism, modernism and materialism was central to Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project , which found currents of revolution in the ruins and discarded rubbish of Paris’s consumer dreamworlds. As Margaret Cohen points out in Profane Illumination , his project amounted to a work of ‘gothic Marxism’ which was ‘fascinated with the irrational aspects of social processes’. The Enlightenment, she points out, was ‘always already haunted by its gothic ghosts, and the same

in Mid-century gothic
Christabel, The Eve of St Agnes and Lamia
Robert Miles

than disillusions him. Sacred and profane love obliterate their borders, with Porphyro’s perception of Madeline winning out over the narrator’s worldly wise one. Thus, in The Eve of St Agnes ‘angel’ is a loose, innocent figure, whereas in Christabel, reified as a statue, or patriarchal totem, it casts a divisive shadow. Hence the central reversal of Keats’s poem: in Christabel the strength of the

in Gothic writing 1750–1820
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Angela Carter and European Gothic

’s capacity for ambiguity and contradiction, and for dismantling the boundaries between ‘high’ and ‘low’ cultural forms. Describing her fondness for the tales of Edgar Allan Poe and E. T. A. Hoffmann in particular, she proposes that Gothic writing ‘grandly ignores the value systems of our institutions; it deals entirely with the profane. [...] Its style will tend to be ornate, unnatural – and thus

in Decadent Daughters and Monstrous Mothers