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The demonic adoptee in The Bad Seed (1954)

Adoption is a means of forging kinship with great Gothic potential. An innocent-looking little stranger from unknown background is received within the bosom of a well-meaning family, and then what? Clearly, anything may and does happen in Gothic fiction, although it took a while before things became really nasty. To be precise, it took until 1954, when the Southern American

in Gothic kinship
Or, Here we go round the upas tree

, painful adjustment that a complementary process of re-enchantment or mystification began to take place. Two new concepts entered the vocabulary of social description in search of acceptance as normative, even as self-evident truths, later to combine as ‘the Anglo-Irish Protestant Ascendancy’. The Anglo-Irish’ emerged slowly as a quasi-ethnic category. Initially it had denoted no such

in Dissolute characters
Couperus and colonial Gothic

literature. Evaluating the complex load of Gothic machinations in The Hidden Force therefore means that Couperus’s great East Indies novel should not only be read against the background of the changing Dutch colonial policy of around 1900: in particular, it should also be related to the corresponding specific kinship relations such as they were engrained in notions of masculinity, femininity and European

in Gothic kinship
Dreams of belonging in Cornish nationalist and New Age environmental writing

words, for which we can find historical background in the nineteenth-century association between the ‘primitive’ land and its people. Previous chapters have explored how the ‘primitive’ was often perceived as threatening, although it also continued to be romanticised, as a kind of authentic, creative unconscious force by D. H. Lawrence, for example. While the previous two chapters have explored the

in Rocks of nation
Abstract only
The disinherited of literary history

vertiginous change. Ascendancy aims to eclipse history, yet the term itself implies a process of rising and falling eminence. It suggests exclusivity, yet it depends on the mongrel elements of an emergent ethnicity. It is these contradictions which the spasmodic characters of Le Fanu’s stories and novels so vividly indicate. For to advance a case for Le Fanu’s fiction as serialism is to run the risk of

in Dissolute characters
Abstract only

awareness of race, class, ethnicity, nationality, sexual preference and other aspects of difference – a new generation of feminine writing has arisen that redefines the established notions – mostly from the 1970s – of ‘women’s literature’ as confessional, didactic and highly serious; it also reminds us that there is not one feminism but many feminisms, in art just as in criticism. Moreover, this writing

in Gothic Forms of Feminine Fictions
The contrasting fortunes of Northern Irish, Scottish and Welsh television drama in the 1990s

Tiger Bay that had the structure to suggest a genuinely long-running popular serial. Its initial run introduced audiences to a large cast of characters with the usual range of ages and backgrounds designed to maximise the breadth of the audience. Tiger Bay’s strength lay in the potential tensions arising from its setting in the old docklands area of Cardiff, which has undergone a radical transformation in the last twenty years. To some extent, Tiger Bay attempted to reflect these tensions, sometimes in rather clumsy ways, and there was a sense of a shifting

in Popular television drama
Towards a definition of (meta)cultural blackness in the fantasies of Clive Barker

alternative’, Gilroy's inclusive recasting of blackness as ‘open’ offers an opportunity to antagonise racist structures without reifying ‘the concept of race’; 27 it responds to ethnic absolutism by reading ethnicity ‘as an infinite process of identity construction’. 28 Gilroy's ‘infinite process’ becomes the focus of Barker's depictions of

in Clive Barker
Essence, difference and assimilation in Daniel Waters’s Generation Dead

identity itself. On another level of reading, difference is akin to ‘race’ or, more nebulously, ‘ethnicity’; on yet another, it represents lifestyle. At this latter level, the zombies mirror Waters’s (living) heroine, Phoebe, who is herself culturally apart: she is a Goth, interested in literature and non-mainstream music, estranged from the more conventional teenagers around her

in Open Graves, Open Minds
The Books of Blood and the transformation of the weird

charged issue at stake here. Hoppenstand traces the legacy of King's conservatism to Lovecraft: ‘his work is ripe with paranoid reflections of ethnicity and social class; his horror fiction often mirrors an inner dread of outer social forces’. 12 This is, of course, going too far for King's own broadly liberal outlook, but is in complete opposition to Barker's radical

in Clive Barker