This essay explores the way in which Gothic tropes and metaphors manifest themselves in writing that is not recognisably classed as Gothic in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It argues that recent Gothic writing has exhausted the potency of such motifs and that criticism needs to re-examine the literature of modernity, in particular that of ‘High’ culture, and assess the way in which Gothic metaphor manifests itself therein. Ultimately the paper explores literature which troubles the traditional boundaries constructed between aesthetics and ethics found in nineteenth-century cultural discourse.
Cancer, modernity, and decline in fin-de-siècle Britain
-nineteenth century, British medical men discursively connected breast cancer to the industrial city and ‘forged strong linguistic associations between breast cancer and urban culture’. E. O’Connor, Raw Material: Producing Pathology in Victorian Culture (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2000), 61. However, elsewhere I have shown that Victorian practitioners were equally, if not more intensely, preoccupied by the relationship between cancer and rural space: A. Arnold-Forster, ‘Mapmaking and mapthinking: cancer as a problem of place in nineteenth-century England’, Social History
has analysed the influence of individual notaries’ linguistic
habits on the records ( Inquisitors and Heretics , pp. 83–106). Arnold has
analysed the different voices of the records, the balance between inquisitorial categorisation
and the excess of detail generated within each deposition (Arnold, Inquisition and
Power , chs 3, 4 and 5). In a parallel vein, Bruschi’s study, suggesting how to read
depositions, restored some agency to the person under interrogation and emphasised what she
called the ‘surplus’ of evidence provided
For an assessment see D. Arnold, Police Power
and Colonial Rule: Madras, 1859–1947 (Delhi,
N. K. Bose, Studies in Gandhism (2nd
edition, Calcutta, 1947), p. 68.
B. N. Mullik, Nehru on Police (Dehra
The Phoenix Park, Dublin (1832–49), an urban heterotopia?
For a discussion of the social, cultural and
political significance of the royal parks in London in the early
nineteenth century, see D. Arnold, Re-presenting the Metropolis:
Architecture, Urban Experience and Social Life in London
1800–1840, Aldershot, Ashgate, 2000
colony continues in Andrew Ballantyne’s chapter.
Here again aesthetic theory, in the form of picturesque systems of
viewing and the Burkean sublime, is used to examine literary and
architectural constructions of national identity and the role of women
as embodiments of national virtue. Continuing the debates of Dana
Arnold’s chapter, Ballantyne examines the politics of land-ownership as
played out within